Scholar, Mentor, Instructor.

Thomas Girard
Sessional Instructor
Design and Dynamic Media
Emily Carr University of Art & Design
Great Northern Way Campus
520 East 1st Avenue
Vancouver, BC V5T 0H2

Currently lives and works in
Vancouver, Canada


With just an undergraduate degree (BDes Communication Design, Coursework Industrial Design, Emily Carr University of Art and Design 05) I hold distinction as an RBC Emerging Scholar by the Royal Bank of Canada Foundation and have taught undergraduate level interaction design in three countries, for 2 years in India and China and for 2 years on certificate in Canada plus one semester undergraduate level in Canada. I have also done curriculum development on an MDes. Considered mainly a practicing designer, I have been employed as a Staff UX Designer at Lenovo in Beijing and Hong Kong. I live and work in Vancouver, Canada.

Social Links


PDF Downloads

Complete Application
Teaching Philosophy
Portfolio – List
Portfolio – Professional Work
Portfolio – Student Work
Course Evaluations 2016
Course Evaluations 2015


RBC Emerging Scholar by the Royal Bank of Canada Foundation at the Spur Festival 2014

Academic Appointments

2017 – Present
Emily Carr University of Art & Design, Vancouver, Canada
Sessional Instructor, Design and Dynamic Media
– INTD 210 Core studio interaction design (co-taught)
– INTD 400 Core studio interaction design (co-taught)
– INTD 217 Prototyping interactions (one class)
– INTD 316 Interaction Design: Principles (one class)
– DESN 200 Core studio in design (informal)

2015 – Present
Emily Carr University of Art & Design, Vancouver, Canada
Continuing Studies Instructor, Interaction Design Essentials
– CEIE-210 Mobile application design
– CEIE-220 Mobile application production (co-taught)
– CEIE-110 Design fundamentals

2012 – 2013
Lecturer, Interactive Media Design,
Raffles Education Corporation, New Delhi, India
– Major studio project
– Final major project
– Typography
– Creativity and problem solving
– User interaction design
– Interactive media design
– Advanced interactive media design
– Experimental video
– Digital photography
– Digital illustration
– Graphic design and multimedia studio
– Colour for designers

2008 – 2009
Lecturer, Interactive Media Design,
Raffles Education Corporation, Shanghai, China
– Creativity and problem solving
– Page layout
– Typography
– Colour for designers
– Programming integration
– Interactive media design
– Advanced interactive media design
– New media and interactive environments


Staff User Experience Designer /
Lenovo / Haidian District, Beijing, China 11
– Designer on future focused projects
– Android UI Designer in a pod of 4 under an advisory designer
– Designer of energy efficient interface considering battery life of device
– Designer of physical interactions with mobile devices
– Brainstorming of internal patent concepts
– Consultant with Monotype for typography on screen
– GUI designer
– Usability with hardware keyboards for IDEA pad
– Team building as first foreigner in UX
– Recruiting for user experience
– Paper prototyping of an Android based OS for tablet
– Consulting with head of design at Hong Kong Polytechnic
– Consulting with pioneer of information design department at Hong Kong Polytechnic

Art Director, Designer, and UI Specialist for Russia, China, and Indonesia /
EF English First / Shanghai, Hong Kong, London 10


B.Des Communication Design Coursework Industrial Design /
Emily Carr University of Art & Design, Vancouver, Canada 98 – 05


Mentor, Product Hive 17


HTML / CSS / Javascript / jQuery
Photoshop / Illustrator / Indesign / Acrobat / Invision
Raspberry Pi
Card Sorting / Affinity Diagramming / Journey Mapping
Low Fidelity Prototyping
Value Proposition Design

Course Descriptions

Upcoming Courses Taught in Spring 2018

INTD-210-F002-2018 Core Studio Interaction Design, Emily Carr University of Art & Design
This Core Studio builds on the knowledge and skills learned in DESN 200 Core Studio in
Design, and offers exposure to key aspects Interaction Design. Projects involve primary and secondary design research methods and practices as well as prototyping using a variety of form-giving strategies. Students engage in all aspects of the design process: research, analysis, iteration, prototyping, presentation and evaluation in order to meet the required objectives through individual and group projects. Discussion and reflection help students make informed decisions about their personal professional development.

Current Courses Taught in Canada

DESN-200 Core Studio Design, Emily Carr University of Art & Design
This Core Studio consists of a series of team-taught interdisciplinary streams offering exposure to key aspects (values, concepts and skills) of Communication Design and Industrial Design for all Design students. Included are 2D, 3D and 4D design perspectives, such as: typography, photography, illustration, motion, interactivity, packaging, exhibition design, product, soft design,sustainable and eco design. Students engage in design process, research, analyze, design, present and evaluate ideas to meet required objectives through individual and group projects. Discussion and reflection help students make informed decisions about their personal and professional development. Priority is given to COMD, INDD and INTD students in Year 2. Students outside of the registration priority group may register/waitlist for this course as of the registration rule release date.

INTD-400-F001-2017 Core Studio Interaction Design, Emily Carr University of Art & Design
This team-taught course offers exposure to key aspects (values, concepts and skills) of 2D, 3D, and 4D Design. Students independently engage in design research and methods, analyze, design, present and evaluate ideas to meet required objectives through individual and group projects. Discussion and reflection help students make informed decisions about their personal and professional development. Collaborative and contextual project work is emphasized in order to develop students community-based multidisciplinary teamwork, project management and client management skills.

INTD-217-F001-2017 Prototyping Interactions, Emily Carr University of Art & Design
Prototyping has become an essential skill for interaction designers and is the most effective, quickest, and often most affordable way to communicate concepts and make ideas tangible. In this hands-on course participants learn contemporary prototyping techniques to design better user experiences by sketching, experimenting, making and testing.

INTD-316-F001-2017 Interaction Design: Principles, Emily Carr University of Art & Design
This interdisciplinary studio will engage students in the topics and processes of interaction design. Projects will be developed in depth, allowing students to develop their collaboration
and design skills while integrating all phases of the design process. Students learn how to
respond contextually to user needs for interactive devices, systems, and services. Through a process-driven, participatory methodology students learn how to engage people at the front end of the design process; to apply observation techniques to the understanding of human interactions, and to develop iterative conceptual models and prototypes through testing and assessment strategies in order to develop meaningful human interactions.

Previous Courses Taught in Canada

CEIE 210 SU01 Mobile Application Design, Emily Carr University of Art & Design
This course will show students how to make their own apps for mobile devices including, but not limited to, iOS and Android OS. Using a simple set of tools, they will learn how to design and build an app with an interactive graphical interface and sound components. Issues regarding user interaction and current design methodologies are introduced for mobiles devices. Students will be encouraged to investigate the conceptual and aesthetic potential of mobile technologies and demonstrate design strategies for an interactive mobile app.

CEIE 210 S001 Mobile Application Design, Emily Carr University of Art & Design
This course will show students how to design for mobile devices including, but not limited to iOS and secondly Android OS. Using a diverse set of tools, students will learn how to design and build applications with GUI components. Issues regarding user interaction and current design methodologies are introduced for mobile devices.

CEIE 110 F001 Design Fundamentals, Emily Carr University of Art & Design
This course provides an introduction to visual communication principles and design processes. Students will be introduced to various drawing methods, tools and materials and are encouraged to experiment with concept development, self-expression and risk. This course covers such basic principles as line, shape, composition, perspective, proportion, positive and negative space, colour theory and the semantics of colour through a variety of applied media.Students will explore how these visual fundamentals translate into digital environments.

CEIE 220 SU01 Mobile Application Production, Emily Carr University of Art & Design
This course will show students how to take an application to production. Topics of user interaction, program design, common challenges, and safe programming practices will be discussed. At the end of the course, students will be able to put their app on a device and will be shown how to upload it to the appropriate online app store. Students will further investigate the material and aesthetic potential of programming practice, and will be encouraged to experiment with design strategies for mobile devices.

CECD 110 SU02 Basics of Communication Design, Emily Carr University of Art & Design
Learn the fundamentals of Communication Design including process, ideation, research, analysis, concept development, problem definition, and creative problem solving. Through collaborative exercises, you will be introduced to design process – from development through to the creation of a mock-up and a short design presentation.

GD 303 Mobile Design Application, LaSalle College

Learn how to build, test, and launch mobile applications that works in different platforms and devices. Use the latest technologies and tools to create dynamic interactive applications.

Previous Courses Taught in China and India

• Advanced interactive media design
• Colour for designers
• Creativity and problem solving
• Digital illustration
• Digital photography
• Experimental video
• Final major project
• Graphic design and multimedia studio • Interactive media design
• Major studio project
• New media and interactive environments • Page layout
• Programming integration
• Typography
• User interaction design

25 Student Recommendations from Emily Carr University of Art & Design

Thomas has been an invaluable mentor to me, he has helped me grow both as a young designer and as a person. I first met Thomas while enrolled in the Emily Carr Interaction Design Essentials program where he taught Mobile Application Design. I am now studying in London at Ravensbourne University as a Product Designer. Thomas is committed to making sure I am constantly improving my work by consistently checking in with me, providing feedback and critique which I have found helpful and quite necessary. Thomas has been supportive, kind and has aided me without any ask for anything in return – I believe this is his most admirable trait; his desire to help all of his students with remarkable care and attention. I hope this speaks to what a great mentor and friend Thomas is, I am very glad to have met him and would recommend him wholeheartedly.

– Hafeez Dawood, Product Design Student at Ravensbourne

Thomas was my instructor for several courses during my time at Emily Carr. He was an excellent mentor who was able to inspire me to push my creative thinking and abilities. His dedication to helping every student showed and he was always very willing to give up his personal time to offer individual help to every student. Overall, I believe that Thomas is was an integral part to my learning and development throughout the entire program.

– Natalie Lim, Digital Designer | UX/UI Specialist

Thomas is committed to helping all of his students achieve their individual goals through his design experience and industry connections. He has a lot to offer his students if they are willing to seek his assistance. As a recent graduate of the University of Waterloo with a bachelors degree in Knowledge Integration (a collaborative interdisciplinary program) with a varied background in work and design experience, Thomas has helped me narrow my focus and betterunderstand potential career paths. He has gone out of his way to help me focus on future directions and helped align the work I am doing in class with career goals. Thomas’s classes at Emily Carr leave a lot of room to explore and push boundaries. He is knowledgeable, articulate,and very open-minded when giving critique and feedback making his classroom a very safe space to design in freely. I look forward to designing and learning from Thomas in second term.

– Clarice Chin, Interaction Designer

I was so lucky to have Thomas as my instructor for mobile app class at Emily Carr University. He is a great talented designer, artist, creative problem solver and an ethousiastic instuctor who is always try to share his knowledge with his students with out any deficiency. I found him as a teacher who always dedicated to help and courage his students to grow based on their skills and experiences to be successful. Thomas was not only my unique instructor also one of my good friends

– Mona Meysami UI/UX Designer at Clixeen Inc.

Thomas is a very committed and thoughtful mentor that I was lucky to have throughout my experience at Emily Carr University’s interaction design program. His passion for design thinking manifests through his work and in his teaching style. Thomas is a proactive and approachable mentor who reaches out to all of his students in order to help them succeed. I highly recommend Thomas because he is an observant person who has helped me undergo tremendous growth in my own education in design.

– Emily Han, Creative Director at UBC Social Enterprise Club

Thomas is an amazing instructor who has the unique ability to help students understandabstract ideas in a very simple way. He is extremely creative in his teaching style and is very dedicated to his craft. I had the privilege of being in his classes at Emily Carr University whichelevated my skills as a designer. His talent in the industry is translated into the classroom where he pushes the boundaries of art and technology and motivates each student to be at their best. Thomas brings a fresh perspective to every session and goes above and beyond to help his students think in a different way. His depth of knowledge and dedication to design is thoughtful and rewarding. Thomas embodies what every instructor aspires to be, and inspires anyone interested in design to realize what is possible. His mentorship and guidance as an instructor is unmatched.

– Andrea Mah, User Experience Designer

I had the pleasure of taking several classes with Thomas during my time in Emily Carr University’s interaction design program. Coming from an Ivy League liberal arts background, I was challenged by Thomas’ teaching style to think and create in a way I had never before.Integrating conceptual development with a variety of hands-on techniques, Thomas provided an environment for students to stretch their skills base and build confidence in their creative process. Extending beyond design, his methods are relevant in any field where one needs to communicate and reach a targeted audience effectively. Above all, Thomas is a great mentor who generously supports students in their career development, both during and after the program.

– Misty Liang

I too was lucky enough to have Thomas as my mobile app design and UX teacher. He taught us current trends and methods of design thinking, prototyping, user testing, and each of their respective importances in modern design. He fostered a great learning environment and he regularly encouraged us as a group to get together and share our successes and frustrations with our post-schooling careers. Not only does he do a great job teaching, but he genuinely cares!

– Brian Corber Designer, Artist, creative problem solver. interested in User Experience and Interaction design

Thomas is a passionate and committed mentor that helps his students achieve their potentials and become who they want to be. My background is in Industrial design and I used to work as a UI and graphic designer before I move to Vancouver. I decided to study Interaction design at Emily Carr to develop my skills and to connect with designers in Vancouver. Thomas was one of my first teachers that helped me to trust my skills and knowledge and to value them as unique qualities. He encourages students to experience, take risks and connect with other designer. He is very smart and recognizes his student’s talents and encourages them to develop these qualities. Moreover, I found Thomas to be a really nice guy who is generous in sharing his knowledge with students and provides the opportunity for them to practice sharing their knowledge in return.

– Maryam Azarnia, Industrial/UI/UX designer, Looking for New Opportunities

Thomas is a very thoughtful, genuine and observant individual. His feedback was crucial for me in my professional growth as a designer and how I would take steps beyond Emily Carr into the industry. Our conversations throughout my internship application process to FCV was incredibly helpful as he shared what it was like to be a budding designer and how to follow up with formality but keen interest while keeping in mind about the company’s timeline. This made my application process a lot less stressful. I continue to keep in touch with Thomas and there is good reason why. He is a truly keen and passionate individual that believes in the power of Design and Design thinking and mentoring students beyond the classroom.

– Shiaoshiao Chen, Freelance photographer

Thomas has a genuine passion for all things design – this enabled him to build an interesting and varied course structure. He excited our class by allowing us to design ‘blue sky’ ideas, but then grounded us in reality by presenting true-to-life development/client scenarios. He fostered an open culture of sharing with daily ‘brain dumps’ for students to either absorb or contribute design knowledge. I really felt he gave us the opportunity to shine while provided us useful techniques, tools and insights to bring into the real world. Lastly, his unique and sometimes quirky personality was refreshing among the monotonous lectures and homework of student life. Great experience overall!

– Sam Flores, Interface Designer at Electronic Arts (EA)

Thomas cultivates community and inspires his students to stretch beyond their bounds and push for excellence. He truly cares about each of his students’ goals and aspirations. I entered the Emily Carr Interaction Design Essentials program with over ten years experience in communications, marketing and project management. I have always loved design and took the leap to follow my passion. Thomas helped me to realized that having a diversified background is an incredible asset within the field of Interaction Design. In addition, he took time to work with me one-on-one to tailor my portfolio. I spoke with Thomas about my hopes to one day work within the UX team at Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics and he kindly connected me with one of his personal friends who worked at the company. I feel very lucky to have the guidance and support of Thomas in achieving my career goals and would like to one day pay it forward in supporting others in achieving their goals.

– Jennie Reckon, Senior Communications and Interaction Design Professional

I was lucky enough to have Thomas as my user experience design teacher. He taught us the process of design thinking, real world prototyping, user testing, and their importance. No exaggeration, he’s one of the best teachers I’ve had, and I regularly apply the methodologies he shared with us.

– Craig Huff, Interaction Designer, passionate penciler.

Thomas is smart, perceptive, caring, and deeply committed to helping his students succeed, calling on them to challenge themselves when in school as well as to unreservedly pursue learning beyond it. His positive outlook and sincere belief in community are catching, and have led his students to establish meaningful connections with each other that spread far beyond each graduating class. His approach pushes students to further their thinking, take action on their career aspirations, and undergo remarkable growth as a result. He has a knack for drawing out students’ unique strengths and bringing them into dialogue together so that each plays off the others to lift all. Thomas’s emphasis on teaching design thinking, process, and methodology helped me build on my own existing educational and professional experiences in ways I couldn’t previously have anticipated, and following my studies at Emily Carr, I was accepted into the MA Information Design program at the University of Reading’s Department of Typography and Graphic Communication.

– Andrea Wong, writing + research + design

Thomas communicates a deep knowledge and instinct for the iterative design process. It was a pleasure to study under his tutelage for 6 months. Learning a vast range of design methods and processes that really helped me in strategizing and reaching my goals. Thomas is patient, thoughtful, and a enjoyable team leader that really strives for the betterment of the whole and each individual based on an assessment of skills and interests. He has the ability to help you understand a subject from multiple perspectives and use your own mind to produce amazing insights, helping you really construct original and practical approaches to solving really any problem. Thomas was a joy, and made himself available at all times for feedback, or help guide everyone.

– Kyle St-Amour Brennan, Merchant Success Guru

Great teachers become immortal _ they make undeniable impacts on their students, and Thomas is without doubt one of them. He is an incredible person and an amazing teacher, and it was a great privilege for me to be in his Interaction Design classes at Emily Carr. Thomas is a devoted instructor who truly cares about each and every student he comes into contact with. You can often find him in his classroom outside class hours, making himself available to those who need help. When teaching, he is not only extremely knowledgeable and experienced but also has the ability to bring the subject to life through interesting and meaningful activities. That is why the entire class immensely enjoys interacting with him. To me, he is an inspiration and instrumental in developing my skills as a designer.

– Mo Torabi, Interaction Designer

It’s rare that you come across an instructor such as Thomas. He has tremendous initiative, a desire to continue to learn and a willingness to modify his teaching methods based on his class’s needs and personalities. He consistently does this by observing and adapting a no “ego” approach about preferred teaching styles. I have had the enjoyment of experiencing this first hand at Emily Carr University participating in classes such as Design Fundamentals and Mobile App Design. Thomas displays the qualities that make a teacher successful. He is dependent, motivated and in tune with the needs of his students. I am very grateful and would like to thank Thomas for his invaluable support and mentorship on my successes as a Web Design Freelancer.

– Jennifer Mills, UI / UX Designer

Thomas was an exceptional instructor. He always took his teaching beyond the classroom. He would meet one-on-one with students, encourage them based on their individual skill, challenge them to grow, and help them pursue career opportunities even after our classes with him were complete. Thomas posesses the traits of a great professor of design: someone who is not only thoughtful and critical, but also caring and fun. He is exceptionally knowledgable about all aspects of design and industry trends. I would highly recommend him as a professor of design.

– Katie Alcock, Creative Design Director (Art Director) at Caredove

I was extremely lucky to have Thomas as my instructor for Design for Design Fundamentals and Mobile App Design during my Interactive Design Essentials program at Emily Carr.He was not only very knowledgeable but also very dedicated to helping all his students succeed, often going above and beyond to mentor us both in and out of classroom. Not only did Thomas impart to us his knowledge and experience in interaction design, he challenged and encouraged us to apply what we have learnt outside of the classroom setting at events such as hackathons. I am very thankful for Thomas’s ongoing support and mentorship throughout and beyond the IDES program

– Mimi Xia, { maker, tinkerer, experimenter, designer }

I came to the Interaction Design Essentials program at ECUAD after completing an undergraduate Liberal Arts degree at Quest University Canada, where I focused on technology politics and cognition. I was lucky enough to work closely with faculty during my undergrauate degree, and can confidently say Thomas is one of the most excellent and committed educators I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with. He has made himself available beyond expectation in order to help me develop as a designer by sharing resources, offering advice, creating connections, providing meaningful critiques of my work, and challenging my opinions and perceptions of the world. He’s been firmly committed to developing my critical thinking skills by focusing on the importance of process, and is always seeking ways to push my work further and cultivate the way I think about my work. He is particularly focused on integrating my past experiences and expertise in non-design areas, including residence life, project management, and Liberal Arts, into my design process. His mentorship has had a huge influence on the way I think about design and the way I approach my own work and his uncompromising commitment to myself and my peers has been an integral part of my development as a designer.

– Eva Schipper, Attended Emily Carr University of Art & Design

I was a latecomer to a very intense interaction design program in which Thomas was teaching the “design” portion. What set his classes and studio times apart before I even met him was howthe rest of the students are looking forward to his classes. Now I know why: Thomas connects instantly and genuinely cares about each student in an individual way. Being an instructor in a design program myself I noticed his ability to see the potential in each of his students and to find a way to push it to the next level. This, along with his approachable personality, marks Thomas as one of my most influential and strategic instructors I enjoyed being his student and continue to enjoy his mentoring even after school. He plays a key role in my development as an interaction designer

– Rosi Petkova, designer • UX • UI

It takes years of practice to be a good designer, the effort of becoming a good teacher grows exponentially. I did my design program at Emily Carr University of Art & Design and had the pleasure to meet and study from Thomas. We all know creativity doesn’t just come from memorization, great designers have great empathy and can feel the world. Thomas’s class has always been the one that bring out our personality and creativity, he didn’t just tell us the rules and the principles in design, but rather he used a variety of approaches to inspire us and guide us toexplore. I now worked as a UX/UI designer at Conquer Mobile, and what I have learnt from his classes certainly got me very prepared, and more importantly, very excited for entering the industry

– Desmond Gao, UX/UI designer

Thomas is absolutely, fully committed to the success of each student in his classes. He challenges his students to use their existing background to inform their work and elevate the value of the group’s time in studio, and helps students identify blocks that will limit them as designers. He encourages students to push themselves past the limits they once thought possible, supports them by reviewing portfolio work and resumes, and makes industry introductions where appropriate. I owe a great deal of my success as a designer to his mentorship.

– Katrina Heschel, Senior User Experience Consultant at Vancity

Thomas has done everything in his power to assist me in reaching my goal of becoming a professional user-experience designer. He’s made himself available to meet for coffee, he sends timely emails and he also encouraging me be better on a daily basis. Over the years, he has helped me and many other students to flourish, by teaching us to network and he also has amazing insights which have brought our design projects and resume to a really good place. Under his guidance, I’ve had the privilege of meeting with talented designers working at Mozilla Firefox, Ayogo and Domain 7. The guy just wants to help his students and the satisfaction of seeing us succeed in life is why he’s put in so much of his time.

– Ryen Mackaay, Interaction Designer

First of all, I really appreciate Thomas taught me something new and useful about design and art stuff in the ECU program about UI/UX + App + web knowledge. Thomas’ classes are like good tea or good wine, you may not taste the difference at the very first but the great taste will come out after a second. Honestly, I didn’t understand the importance of card sorting and mood board in the first 2 weeks. When the courses in the program had more and more design decisions to make, those new skills were very useful. More than just brainstorming, card sorting helped to choose the better paths for many projects. Basically, the skill reroutes the way I think not only about design but also about my photography work. I miss Thomas’ Monday morning class in the Summer.

– Raymond Leung, Wedding Photographer at Raymond and Jessie Photography