onno.works is the student portfolio of Izzy & Shaili.
We are two collaborators who have been creating together for the last decade. The projects were completed between fall 2017 and summer 2019, during our time at George Brown College.
Having contributed equally to each of the projects, it would be disingenuous of us to represent the same work in two separate portfolios as we pursue similar career opportunities.
With backgrounds in Graphic Design, Interaction Design & Development, and Visual Effects, we each took turns fulfilling different creative roles in each of the projects to hone our skills as interdisciplinary design generalists. This was an approach we strategized together after our time at OCADu, in order to better respond to an ever evolving, innovation-driven digital media landscape.
We are creative technologists committed to experimenting, exploring uncharted possibilities, and bring new realities to life.
Back to portfolio
Learning how to think like a technical artist; using VEX in Houdini to explore how generative algorithms create biomimetic structures.
March - August 2019
Houdini, Maya, Arnold, After Effects
Visual Effects, Houdini, Proceduralism
Immediately after completing the Interaction Design and Development program, Izzy immersed himself into the world of Visual Effects through George Brown College’s nascent post-graduate program.
Learning all he could about each aspect of the VFX production pipeline —using tools such as Maya, ZBrush, Substance Painter, and Nuke— it was ultimately the flexibility of SideFX’s Houdini that captivated him. Over the summer semester, Izzy taught himself how to think like a technical artist; using VEX in Houdini to explore how generative algorithms could create biomimetic structures.
After a challenging year, the thesis was also a welcome moment to reflect on personal motivations and the obstacles that had been overcome. The visual narrative is an attempt to document those reveries.
An AR table tennis game, built for Google Chrome.
January - April 2018
Google WebARonARKit, Three.js, Cinema 4D
Branding & Identity, Exhibition / Installation, Extended Reality, Web Dev, UX/UI
Augmented reality isn’t new, but access to powerful pocket computers offer more possibilities to push the boundaries of spatial computing than ever before.
In our final semester of GBC’s Interaction Design and Development program, we wanted to make the web tangible. Inspired by Pong, we wrote Corkspin; an experimental game of Table Tennis that exists on a website —and can be played anywhere with a smartphone or tablet.
Playable link coming soon.
An interactive mixed-reality book that explores the history of Detroit, Michigan for George Brown College's 2017 Year End Show: Pull.
January - April 2017
Branding & Identity, Data Visualization, Exhibition / Installation, Extended Reality, IoT, Projection Mapping, Web Dev, UX/UI
For an exhibition centered around "rebooting" the city of Detroit, we created an interactive projection-mapped mixed-reality book to present some of the discovery we had gathered over the course of a semester.
Split into seven sections, the book allowed audiences to learn more about Detroit’s history, its once dominant industry, cultural legacy, social structure, recent tipping point, the lingering challenges, and the efforts being taken locally to revive the city. Including a catalog of over six hundred cars, and over a hundred of Motown’s greatest hits integrated via Spotify, visitors were encouraged to touch and interact with the oversized projection-mapped spreads at their own pace.
With the turn of each page we were able to present our research in an accessible manner and contextualize adjacent installations, helping visitors gain a better understanding of the challenges and nuances which led Detroit to becoming the largest municipality in the United States to ever file for bankruptcy.
A 8 ft. by 5 ft. data visualization which looks back a hundred years and forward a hundred years, mapping the history and future of innovation through the lens of our favourite science fiction movies.
September 2017 - April 2018
Google Sheets, Illustrator, InDesign
Branding & Identity, Data Visualization, Exhibition / Installation, UX/UI
We were asked to create a visual timeline that looks back 100 years and forward 100 years. We chose to map the history and future of innovation through the lens of our favourite science fiction movies. Because we believe that fiction helps shape our reality.
The books we read, the movies we watch, the worlds we inhabit in our imaginations all have an influence on tomorrow. The descriptions and visualizations of future innovations aren’t just good fiction, the narratives help define our future realities. This data visualization shows how complex and far-reaching the interplay between fiction and reality actually is.
The timeline maps the science-fiction movies we’ve watched, and the innovations the films depicted. The arcs drawn from certain films show when the fictional events were set temporally —illustrating when we imagined our future histories. The timeline also blocks out technological eras, and features real technological milestones over the 20th and 21st centuries —contextualizing what may have influenced and inspired fictional ideas, or vice versa. As a whole, the data visualization presents the relationships between innovations realized, the adjacent possible, and the fantastical imaginary.
A two-month exhibit at Toronto's Design Exchange, which showcased works by students and faculty from the School of Design at George Brown College.
December 2018 - January 2019
Branding & Identity, Exhibition / Installation, Projection Mapping, Web Dev, UX/UI
City of Experiences was a two-month exhibit at Toronto's Design Exchange, which showcased works by students and faculty from the School of Design at George Brown College. Curated in collaboration with the Department of Unusual Certainties and Ahmet Kokulu, the show is a part of the larger City of Experiences project, the goal of which is to continue questioning how cities are constructed and who they are constructed for.
The following was the curatorial statement for the exhibit:
As we move through the 21st century, the experience of life in the contemporary city has surpassed classic urban development models. We are living in the 50/50 (some might say 80/20), a fluid presence between the virtual and physical worlds. One of the major issues we face is how to adapt and interpret ideologies, structures, and systems in this new way of living, to modify the definition of cities to encompass the experiences of the invisible cities that extend beyond physical infrastructure. As the digital landscape evolves, humans have more opportunities to intersect with physical and digital realms as they navigate the city and its experiences, creating a series of micro-interactions that occur across and throughout urban spaces.
The underlying goal for the City of Experiences project is to continue questioning how cities are constructed and who they are constructed for. The popular discussion around the smart city and tech-utopias is not new, although maybe the technology used to drive them is. What is needed now, is to stop waiting for the acceleration of technology to determine how we will live. Instead, we should be active in creating the necessary platforms for society to imagine what experiences they want in their lives, and how these experiences can drive new methods for design. The City of Experiences is a project that through different experiments and engagements will continue to explore this hypothesis.
A platform we envisioned to address latent and emerging needs of drivers, and other public services —by digitizing the existing user experience.
September 2016 - April 2017
After Effects, EKO Studio, Illustrator
Branding & Identity, Interactive Video, Motion Graphics, SaaS, UX/UI
Canada’s growing population, diverse citizenry, and the rise of autonomous vehicles were the driving factors of this project. We wanted to explore if, and how a SaaS model could be implemented to facilitate latent and emerging needs of users and service providers of complex interrelated systems.
DriveKit is an app we envisioned to help facilitate the inevitable transition to digital driver’s licences. Our goals were to address not only the needs and expectations of existing licence holders, but also empower citizens who will use this service in the near future.
By digitizing the entire graduated licencing process as a case study, we were able to design a system that mitigates friction, is both scalable and modular, and adaptable to Service Canada’s diverse initiatives. DriveKit is a system that addresses not just current demands, but also the challenges of tomorrow.
Video installation for Gardiner Museum’s annual art event, SMASH: We are More.
After Effects, AutoCAD
Exhibition / Installation, Motion Graphics
In the summer of 2018, the Gardner Museum’s Young Patron Circle hosted their annual summer art party, SMASH. Partnering with GBC and Aldo, we were tasked with producing a passive video installation exhibiting Aldo’s Summer 2018 collection.
Using existing assets, we built kaleidoscopic portals into the world of Aldo. Each mesmerizing pattern was constructed from the fashion brand’s latest arrivals, from shoes to accessories. Revelers immersed themselves in the infinite tessellations as they revealed shapes, colours, and patterns of the season throughout the evening.
A Twitter bot that obscures faces in images being tweeted at it, to hide them from other bots.
September 2017 - April 2018
Branding & Identity, Exhibition / Installation, Web Dev, UX/UI
While we marvel at experiential opportunities offered by the latest technologies —ambient surveillance has become our reality. Consumer cameras come equipped with facial recognition software, automatically tagging users and uploading to social media. With each click and tap we freely distribute our personal metadata throughout the internet —without question and little discretion— to be granted access to the latest platforms and services. Deepfake videos manipulations are increasingly normative, disseminated virally for entertainment.
Inspired by our Orwellian present, we wanted to create a service that could be used as the first line of defence against the loss of our most oft-accessed biometric data. We fashioned a Twitter bot which processes images that are tweeted at it, applying stylized filters to the detected faces in order to obfuscate key features from similar bots with malintentions.
The processed images act as captchas: they remain readable to humans, but prevent other machine vision algorithms from recognizing the face in the image.
Camoufleur Bot is based on based on Rachel White’s Smarter & Cuter Bots.