Peter Coppin is an Assistant Professor of Design at OCAD University. At OCADU, Coppin is appointed to the Master of Design (MDes) in Inclusive Design program where he teaches the first and second year inclusive design laboratories. He researches at the intersection of graphic representation and cognition, with the aim of developing a perceptual-cognitive framework to inform the applied visual arts, such as visual information design. Such a framework would provide a perceptual-cognitive understanding of graphic representation in domains such as human-computer interaction, human-robot interaction, educational technology, and public policy communication. His current research investigates the perceptual, cognitive, and social factors involved in making use of realistic pictures, outline drawings, diagrams, and sentences.
Coppin has produced novel information displays, telerobots, and other systems, to support: science exploration, education, and artistic experience. He led the design of the BigSignal, EventScope, and Metahuman efforts, which have been displayed worldwide; used by thousands of audience members, such as researchers, civil servants, students, science museum attendees, and data enthusiasts.
Coppin received his B.A. degree focused on electromechancial sculpture and the humanities from the University of Dallas, his M.F.A. in Electronic and Time-Based Media from The School of Art at Carnegie Mellon University, and is completing his Ph.D. degree from the Faculty of Information and Knowledge Media Design Institute at the University of Toronto. Over the years, he has also directed projects at research laboratories and companies. These include CMU's Robotics Institute and STUDIO for Creative Inquiry. Coppin's work has been sponsored by government agencies, such as NASA, as well as philanthropic foundations, such as the Heinz Endowmenets, RK Mellon Foundation, and the Buhl Foundation. Coppin is the recipient of an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, and his electronic media art has been shown in venues such as Ars Electronica '98; the SIGGRAPH '98 Touchware exhibition; and MIR: Art in Space, Bolzano, Italy.