RGD Members take on design challenges for non-profit organizations in RGD's inaugural Designathon

At OCAD University in downtown Toronto, 10 teams of 3-4 Student RGD, Junior Affiliate & Provisional RGD Members, each with a Certified RGD Mentor, reviewed a brief, met with their non-profit clients and then spent the next 12 hours developing design solutions.


Click here for photos from the event, taken by Eric Forest RGD.

Created with flickr slideshow.

Here's what some of the participants had to say:
- "This event was invaluable both for myself and for our non-profit organization. Our small but mighty organization would not have the opportunity to access such a great team. They brought so much to the project - a google doc with all the work strategy and background to generate the final outcome and recommendations. I can't thank the RGD and the team enough. This experience will no doubt be one of my highlights this year. Thank you."


- "The Designathon was a great test of everyone’s design mettle. As a mentor it was thrilling to see how our team bonded quickly and worked together for a worthy cause." Gilbert Li RGD (one of our Mentors)

- "It was incredible to see young designers participate in a comprehensive project from start to finish, from strategy to ideation to execution. It was fun to oversee them, help them pace themselves and collaborate. And the fact that we provided a genuine solution to a real, meaningful project made all the difference."

- "I found the interactions with other students and RGD members valuable. In the break times, I was able to connect with people outside my "network". During the dinner break, our mentor sat with our group and we just talked about the industry, finding jobs, etc."

"I really enjoyed the time I got to spend with my mentor and team. It was a great opportunity as a student to ask questions about the industry and really just soak up the entire process of designing for a real client."


Here's a look at some of the work produced by our 10 teams...


Asian Community AIDS Services

Team: Xintong Cai Student RGD, Lisa Leighton Prov RGD, Christine Xia Student RGD

Mentor: Cai Sepulis RGD, Toque Ltd

Brief: ACAS was in need of a brochure to help inform potential service users of the organization’s programs, services and activities.


ACAS Brochure – Designathon


Assaulted Women's Helpline

Team: Marvin Veloso Student RGD, Tawny Robinson & Claudia Konopko (both Junior Affiliate Members of RGD)

Mentor: John Furneaux RGD, Projektor

Brief: The client needed a new logo with a more modern look and feel, that reflected the mission of the organization and considered new modalities of servicing its audience such as e-counselling. 




The Kidney Foundation of Canada

Team: Rebecca Black Student RGD, Olga Netaeva Student RGD, Thiago Santarem Prov RGD

Mentor: Wendy Gray RGD, Gravity Inc.

Brief: The client needed a series of social media graphics highlighting the patient programs and services offered and the importance of funding for life-saving kidney-related research.



Sinai Health Foundation

Team: Wing Hong Chen Student RGD, James Rodrigues Prov RGD, Rami Shouk Student RGD, Maxi-Ann Smith

Mentor: Anthony Furia RGD, Furia

Brief: The client needed a fundraiser event invitation is to entice attendance and notify guests of key event details.


Jewelry Heist – Designathon



Arab Community Centre of Toronto

Team: Michelle Scholz Student RGD, Brandon Watton Prov RGD, Parisa Yazdani Student RGD

Mentor: Nicola Hamilton RGD, Studio Wyse

Brief: The ACCT asked for help with social media and reaching its youth clients.




Team: Zunash Ashiq Ali Student RGD, Geoff Krawiec Prov RGD, Chen Luo Student RGD

Mentor: Tina MacKenzie RGD, City of Mississauga

Brief: The client asked for social media graphics  to drive awareness about the statistics that teen drivers are more likely to be involved in collision and injury than drivers from other age groups. 


Parachute – Designathon


Dallington Pollinators Community Garden

Team: Chaza Abdel Samad Student RGD, John Abila Prov RGD, Katrina Sunter

Mentor: Gilbert Li RGD, The Office of Gilbert Li

Brief: The client asked for graphics to teach the community the importance of water conservation and stormwater management. 


Dallington – Designathon


Coveted Canines Rescue

Team: Savanna Campoli, Junior Affiliate Member of RGD, Sydney Gang Student RGD, Aldona Malisieuicz Prov RGD, Ashley Tomlinson Student RGD

Mentor: Laura Stein, Bruce Mau Design

Brief: The client asked for a suite of templates to help advertise events and adoptable dogs as well as new logos for its Coveted Canines Kids program and a sanctuary they hope to open later this year called Coveted Corners.



Melanoma Network of Canada

Team: Paul Ching Student RGD, Alison Howes Prov RGD, Cornelia Baptista, Junior Affiliate Member of RGD

Mentor: Ian Chalmers RGD, Pivot Design Group

Brief: The client asked for social media graphics to promote the importance of sun safety and the dangers of high UV to kids and its Camp Nurse Advisory council. 



Fred Victor Centre

Team: Samantha Goh Student RGD, Jack Henry Prov RGD, Christie Wong Student RGD, Patricia Beader Student RGD

Mentor: Dominic Ayre RGD, Hambly & Woolley

Brief: The client asked for a new identity for its annual holiday campaign to communicate its focus on helping people in need (particularly around the issue of homelessness).


FredVictor – Designathon



We hope to see you at our next Designathon event (planned for the Summer)! For Non-Profit Organizations wishing to participate at the next event, please fill out our Application Form. Certified RGDs interested in participating should contact RGD's Executive Director at .


To see more of what went on at the event, search #RGDdesignathon on Twitter and Instagram.