OCAD U and Ryerson students team up to win Red Bull Basement University Competition

Anna Pogossyan and Temirlan Toktabek. Photo courtesy: Red Bull/Michael Krosny
Tuesday, December 4, 2018 - 3:00pm

Anna Pogossyan, a fourth year OCAD U Environmental Design student and her collaborator, Temirlan Toktabek, a fourth year Ryerson University student, are the inaugural winners of the Red Bull Basement University competition. Held in Berlin, the duo competed against students from 16 countries and more than 800 entries.

Their winning creation, Vacant, is a system that allows students to get real-time information on available study spaces across campus. Based on a series of motion-sensitive sensors, Vacant is able to provide accurate data for desk and room availability on demand.

“Vacant allows for a stress-free, plan-ahead and waste-no-time student lifestyle, while providing insights for the universities about its facilities usage,” said Pogossyan. “We thought that implementing a design strategy that incorporates robotics, data collection and infographics is a way to solve this problem.”

Red Bull Basement University is a platform for students to challenge the status quo and co-create to drive change on campus through technology. The competition included four days of inspirational workshops, lectures, mentorship sessions and other activities, wrapping up in a final pitching competition.

The team's next moves are to meet with universities in Canada to run their first pilot and work out the technicalities of the prototypes.

Temirlan Toktabek and Anna Pogossyan. Photo courtesy: Red Bull/Michael Krosny.