Martha Ladly

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Martha Ladly
Prof Martha ladly 2011.jpg
Martha Ladly 2011
Nationality Canadian
Occupation Associate Professor of Interaction Design
Known for Academic, Designer &
former international popstar
Martha Ladly in 1982 (during her time with The Associates)

Martha Jane Ladly is a Canadian academic, designer and musician. She is Professor of Design, at OCAD University.[1] Ladly has also had a long career as a musician and achieved international fame as part of Canadian new wave band Martha & the Muffins. She then had a solo career in the mid-1980s and then worked in design and education.

Musical career[edit]

A student at the Ontario College of Art in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Ladly was invited to join Canadian new wave band Martha & the Muffins in 1978. Upon accepting the offer, she became one of two vocalists and keyboard players named Martha in the band. The other Martha was Martha Johnson, who sang lead on the majority of the group's songs, including their biggest hit, 1980's "Echo Beach". Ladly played with the band from 1978–80, and sang lead vocals on the group's seventh single, "Was Ezo", which she also co-composed. Ladly left the band in August 1980 to take up an art scholarship. She subsequently relocated to the United Kingdom. During her time in England, while pursuing her twin interests in music and visual art, Ladly became friends with a number of popular British musical acts. Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark credits Ladly for suggesting the titles of their 1981 hit album Architecture & Morality, and their 1984 hit single "Tesla Girls". In 1982, Ladly provided backing vocals for Roxy Music and joined cult Scottish post-punk act The Associates appearing with them on Top of the Pops. She left The Associates in 1986 and subsequently worked with Robert Palmer's band.

Ladly established a short solo career in the early 1980s, releasing two singles: ("Finlandia" and "Light Years From Love"). She concurrently worked in visual arts and design with designer Peter Saville. Her painting Factus 8 was used by Saville for the sleeve of New Order's EP 1981 - Factus 8 - 1982.

Between 1992 and 2001 she worked with Peter Gabriel as the manager of Real World Design, and editor of Real World Notes.

Solo discography[edit]

Academic career[edit]

In 2012 Ladly was appointed as Associate Dean, Graduate studies, at the Ontario College of Art and Design.[2] She is an associate professor of design where her specialty is interactive communication. She is a mentor with the Canadian Film Centre's Interactive Project Lab (IPL) and a faculty member with the Habitat Interactive Art and Entertainment Program. Prior to her appointment at OCAD, she was the creative director of HorizonZero; a bilingual internet publication dedicated to creating and showcasing digital art and culture in Canada, in collaboration with the Banff New Media Institute and Culture Canada.[3]


  • 2007: SSHRC: Principal Investigator. ITST Mobile Nation Conference Grant
  • 2007: Canadian Design Research Network: Co-Principal Investigator. Mobile Nation Publications, Workshops and Dissemination Grant
  • 2006: Portage: Co-applicant, Canadian Heritage New Media Research Network
  • 2005-06: The Mobile Digital Commons Network 2: Co-applicant, Canadian Heritage New Media Research Network
  • 1996, 1982: British Designers and Art Directors Association (D&AD): Silver Citation for Best Multimedia Packaging Design for 'EVE. Silver Citation for Best Record Sleeve Design, for New Order single "Everything's Gone Green"
  • 1994: American Recording Academy: Grammy Award Nomination for Best Record Sleeve Packaging Design, for marth Peter Gabriel "Secret World Live"
  • 1981: Canadian Juno Award: for Single of the Year with Martha and the Muffins, for the single "Echo Beach".


External links[edit]