The RGD Announces 2021 Design Educator Award of Excellence Winners

Organized by the Association of Registered Graphic Designers (RGD), the Design Educator Awards commemorate the work of design faculty who have made outstanding contributions to student development and pedagogical research. The 2021 Award is presented to Dr. Ana Rita Morais, Chair, School of Design at George Brown College, Toronto, ON, for Eastern Canada and Dr. Bonne Zabolotney, Associate Professor, Emily Carr University of Art + Design, Vancouver, BC, for Western Canada.


"Over the past year, our design educators have had to face and overcome many challenges for the sake of the education they deliver and the students they mentor. I am astounded by the level of strength, endurance and optimism as they navigated the treacherous waters of teaching during the pandemic." offers Faron Dawe RGD, the Chair of RGD's Education Committee, congratulating this year's winners.


Dr. Morais’ work largely focuses on the intersections between mobile media and cultural heritage, including her SSHRC-funded research-creation doctoral project, me-dérive: toronto — an augmented reality counter-archive of Toronto's historical urban environments. She is also the Principal Investigator on a multi-year NSERC-funded project entitled ‘SunnyOp’ in partnership with Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, a member of the Toronto-based HXOUSE programming team and the Vice-President of The ArQuives — one of the largest LGBTQ2+ archives in the world.


Dr. Zabolotney’s areas of expertise and research include Canadian design history, with an emphasis on anonymous and unacknowledged works, theories and practices of domestic space and the political economy of design. Her practice has materialized as curation, exhibit design, writing, fieldwork and using social media as a way to develop discourse around design works.


Honourable Mentions for Eastern Canada have been bestowed upon John Baljkas, Dr. Ann Donar RGD, Isabel Meirelles, Albert Ng RGD, Diana Varma RGD and for Western Canada upon Karin Jager, Ben Kunz, Constanza Pacher, Ashlea Spitz RGD.


Further details on our 2021 Winners and Honourable Mentions can be found here and here.


Nominations for our 2022 Design Educator Awards will open in March 2022.


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About the Association of Registered Graphic Designers (RGD)

Through the Association of Registered Graphic Designers, Canadian designers exchange ideas, educate and inspire, set professional standards and build a strong, supportive community dedicated to advocating for the value of design. The RGD is Canada’s largest professional association for graphic design and related professionals with over 4,000 Members. To learn more, visit

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