Press Release - Design Wo/ManifesT.O. 2020

Monday, November 11, 2019 - 1:15pm

Professors Saskia van Kampen (San Francisco State University) and Cheryl Giraudy (OCAD University) received a Canada SSHRC Partner Engage Grant Grant for their 2-year Toronto based research project Design Wo/ManifesT.O. 2020.  The research team has partnered with New Orleans-based, non-profit-Colloqate Design for a “Creative Practice and Placemaking (CPP) Workshop” organized for Saturday January 11, 2020 at OCAD U.


The workshop will also host a placemaking and ideas event focused on youth engagement/empowerment in responding to critical issues in their communities. This is Phase 3 of the four phase, two-year research project, and follows recent borough-based open forums to learn about and share community-based placemaking efforts across the city.

Figure 1 Above: Launch at DesignTO 2019

Figure 2 Above: Open Workshop, March 26, 2019 East Scarborough Storefront

Working with Colloqate’s founder, architect Bryan C. Lee, Jr., professors van Kampen and Giraudy hope workshop and ideas session offer opportunities to discuss pressing community issues facing the six boroughs that make up the city while empowering and engaging youth in that discourse. “Injustice and inequity manifest relative to their respective context. We see the opportunity to work with OCAD U on this project as a means to grow the base of knowledge around interventions in space outside of a U.S. context.  We are attempting to grow the Design Justice field through organizing students, academic theory and community collaboration. This [project] would effectively allow for that work to develop within the structure of a top-level university.” (Lee, 2019).


Figure 3 Above: Research Partners L to R: C. Giraudy (OCAD U), S. van Kampen (San Francisco State U) and Bryan C. Lee Jr, AIA Founder/Principal, Colloqate Design

Reaching out to creative thinkers and Nextgen leaders from across Toronto, Design Wo/ManifesT.O. 2020 continues to engage with communities as they build and nurture a society that lives up to Toronto’s global reputation as one of the most livable, multicultural urban areas in the world. Following this phase of work, the participatory action research will undertake a final phase case study with similar activities at San Francisco State University over the coming year, where both theoretical and practice-based outcomes will be applied. We look forward to sharing more information about the upcoming placemaking event in this space!

Cheryl + Saskia

Figure 4: Workshop Session, March 26 2019, East Scarborough Storefront


Toronto City Centre

Womanifesto Toronto City Centre Logo
Tuesday, July 9, 2019 - 6:00pm to 8:15pm

Part of a two-year research project out of OCAD University that is looking at how we as citizens can make change happen to build community and turn forgotten places into vibrant spaces in Toronto. How can design and art support community-based placemaking? This workshop will focus on Toronto City Centre and is proudly supported by Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam from Ward 13.

Confirmed guest story tellers:
Sean Lee, Director of Programming of Tangled Art + Disability.
Jay Wall. Principal & Creative Director of Rally Rally.

Venue & Address: 
Committee Room 1 2nd floor of Toronto City Hall A Street Reception
FREE and open to the public. snacks and refreshments will be provided.
Womanifesto information flyer

University of Toronto Scarborough Campus

Scarborough UTSC
Thursday, May 16, 2019 - 3:00pm to 5:00pm

This workshop is focuing on youth in Scarborough. Through shared stories and collaborative discussion and brainstorming this workshop/forum intends to connect youth and help them discover ways to make change for themselves within their communities.

Story tellers include: Sylvie Stojanovski from Art Side Out and Melissa James Wellness Coach and Smile Promoter


Venue & Address: 
HW 305 Market Place Upper Cafeteria
UTSC Forum Poster

Scarborough Forum

Scarborough Event Poster
Tuesday, March 26, 2019 - 6:00pm

Design is an evolving, evocative creative process permeating all aspects of social, economic, and political life, and it is shifting the way our city operates and functions. With human-centred values and diverse perspectives, advocacy, and calls to action and equality, we are collectively and individually changing local neighbourhoods, and the larger social and physical fabric of Toronto, often with design as the catalyst. As we approach 2020, Design ManifesT.O. asks that we reflect on how we as citizens have made or hope to make change happen in order to build community and turn forgotten and 'non-places' into vibrant spaces. How can design and allied arts support community based place-making? How can we channel creative practice to address challenges of the next wave of social, demographic, and technological change in our city.

Design Wo/ManifesT.O. 2020 is a series of forums and interviews that are being organized throughout the six boroughs of Toronto. Join the conversation by attending a forum or submitting your own story of change making, community building, or place-making using the submission portal on this wesite.


Venue & Address: 
East Scarborough Storefront. 4040 Lawrence Ave E.
Scarborough Design Wo/ManifesT.O 2020 Scarborough


Design TO panel
Thursday, January 24, 2019 - 6:30pm

The Design Wo/ManiFesT.O. kick-off public panel discussion was part of the 2019 Design TO Festival (formerly the Toronto Design Offsite Festival) and took the form of a discourse salon. The panel of community-based activists, writers, critics, and makers told their stories of making change in their communities. The audience was then asked to share their own stories or ask the panel questions and end with a public open-microphone session encouraging guests to tell us their visions for Toronto. 

Panelists included:
David Meslin is the Creative Director of Unlock Democracy Canada, the founder of the Toronto Public Space Committee and the co-founder of Spacing Magazine.
Ajeev Bhatia is currently the Manager of Policy/Community Connections with the Centre for Connected Communities, an organization which connects community builders, translates knowledge across sectors, and celebrates community building to support communities to solutions to complex social issues.
Sabina Ali is the Chair and one of the founding members of Thorncliffe Park Women’sCommittee—created by residents to advance a transformative vision for Thorncliffe Park and the surrounding community.
Sara Ratzlaff is a recent philosophy graduate from the University of Toronto and the Public Art Columnist for Spacing Magazine. She is interested in philosophical theories that focus on the nature of public art and public space, and hopes to debunk some of the presuppositions we have about these concepts.

Kristin Wong-Tam is a third-term Toronto City Councillor and is currently serving the communities of Toronto-Centre (Ward 13) in the new 25 ward system.

Sponsored by:
Environmental Design Program, OCAD University

The research team has begun planning the second forum in collaboration with potential sponsors, and aimed for Scarborough neighbourhoods, to gather/listen to citizen efforts for community based creative placemaking. In conjunction with faculty partners, early plans for a ‘Creative Practice as Protest Workshop’ with Colloqate.Org, an award winning community platform for racial, social, and cultural equity in city-making, are being discussed, potentially aligned with a student competition for new  ideas for Toronto. Stories and information collected from all events, forums, workshops, as well as interviews, will form a rich database to explore and ideally manifest a creative artefact, be it video, book or toolkit for planning Toronto 2020 and beyond.

Be a part of the conversation at


Venue & Address: 
Open Space Gallery 49 McCaul Street
The panel