Toronto Charrette: Responsive Buildings

Thursday, February 20, 2014 - 5:00am to Monday, February 24, 2014 - 5:00am

Open to all OCAD University students

Attention OCAD University Students!!

You're invited to participate in a Design Charrette, with other students from design schools around the world, themed around responsive buildings, hosted by the Institute without Boundaries, George Brown College.

This opportunity will allow you to:
• meet students and faculty from local and international Universities and Colleges enrolled in Architecture, Art, Design and Media studies
• sharpen your agile artistic and design skills
• acquire skills on a focus, fast-pace challenge
• learn how to co-create within a team of your peers
• meet potential employers (industry partners and participating advisors)
• you will receive a certificate of participation
• food and supplies will be covered, this is a voluntary participation

If you are interested in participating:
please contact Monica Contreras at
office: 416-977-6000 x2462
or mobile: 416-554-6416

Participating schools include George Brown College’s Institute without Boundaries (IwB), Advanced Digital Design (ADD), Architectural Technology (AT), StudioLab, and Design Management with international students from Copenhagen School of Design & Technology, (KEA Copenhangen, Denmark), Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT Dublin, Irish Republic), École de Communication Visuelle (ECV Paris, France ), Illinois Institute of Technology, (Chicago, USA) Parsons DESIS Lab (New York, USA), and the Politecnico di Milano (Italy).

City of Toronto, Metrolinx, Toronto Regional Conservation Authority, GTAA, Toronto Community Foundation, ARUP and CMHC.

School of Design, 230 Richmond Street, East
GBC Waterfront Campus, 51 Dockside Drive, for main opening lecture


Thursday February 20
9:00am: Student meet their team at the IWB, School of Design, 230 Richmond East
10:00am - 4:30pm: Team do site visits
5:30 pm - 6:30 pm: Lecture by Rahul K. Bhardwaj, President & CEO, Toronto Community Foundation at George Brown College waterfront campus: 51 Dockside Drive, Toronto
7:00pm: Teams Check-in in lobby of the GBC Waterfont campus

Friday February 21 (230 Richmond Street East)
8:30am: Breakfast Provided
9:00am - 12:30pm: Work Session
12:30pm: Guest Lecture
1:00pm - 2:00pm: Lunch provided
2:00pm - 4:00pm: Work Session
4:00pm - 5:00pm: Advisor session # 1
5:00pm - late (building is open all night)

Saturday February 22 (230 Richmond Street East)
8:30am: Breakfast Provided
9:00am - 1:00pm: Work Session
1:00pm: Guest Lecture
1:30pm - 2:00pm: Lunch provided
2:00pm - 4:00pm: Work Session
4:00pm - 5:00pm: Advisor session # 2
5:00pm - late: (building is open all night)

Monday February 24 (230 Richmond Street East)
9:30am - 3:15pm: Presentations, School of Design, 230 Richmond East
3:15pm - 4:00pm: Panel deliberates
4:15pm - 4:35pm: Presentation by Jennifer Keesmat
4:35pm - 5:00pm: Panel presents charrette results
5:00pm - 5:30pm: Cake and Champagne
7:00pm: Charrette closing party, location TBA

A Design Charrette is an intensive, collaborative process that brings together a community of experts and professionals to develop a broad range of ideas and innovative solutions around a central theme. A Design Charrette that involves the user/beneficiaries ensures practical, comprehensive and implementable actions.


These sites have been selected based on their locale and the ability to enhance existing neighbourhoods or establish new, emerging neighbourhoods that offer unique living, learning, playing and working environments. The sites selected include:
• Woodbine Racetrack
• Centre Ave. Parking Lot (City Hall)
• Bloor Collegiate
• Meadowvale

The above sites each have unique characteristics, but offer opportunities to transform residential neighbourhood planning to create complete and unique neighbourhoods that cater to a variety of users. The vision for these sites should set new standards for neighbourhood development and explore inclusive, mixed-use development models that are flexible and adaptable to change over time.

Transit Nodes:
These sites are key areas of transit intersection, providing mobility choices that enable the flow of people and goods both locally and regionally. The sites have been selected based on planned local and provincial transit expansion initiatives, and the need to transform our current transportation networks to adapt to intensification of urban centres. The sites selected include:
• Kennedy Mobility Hub
• Dundas West – Bloor Mobility Hub
• Finch West Mobility Hub
• Bramalea Go Station

These sites have the ability to transform how people move throughout the region and can set new standards for mobility hubs locally and globally. Each site will explore a unique challenge and cater to local contextual needs while considering its effect on regional mobility development. The sites also offer the opportunity for intensification to create places that can act as “social condensers” or places of exchange.

Preservation Districts:
As intensification of urban centres continues to gentrify neighbourhoods and consume green space, it is essential to consider the preservation of environmentally, culturally and historically significant sites. These sites directly contribute to the identity of communities. They can also play key roles in promoting well-being, educating the public, and maintaining unique community identities by providing attractive places to live, work, learn and play. The sites chosen for this charrette include:
• Black Creek Pioneer Village
• The Guild Inn
• Mirvish Village
• Downtown Brampton

Each of these sites have distinctive challenges that require unique solutions to ensure their long-term preservation, viability and existence. Teams will be encouraged to explore ideas that build off the existing attributes of these sites and contribute culturally, socially and economically to the greater communities and region in which they exist.

Industrial Districts:
As much of world’s industrial and manufacturing networks have shifted to offshore markets in the east this has resulted in vacant industrial districts that offer opportunities for redevelopment as countries shift toward more creative economies. However, these industrial uses play an important role in the economy and should be rethought through a new economic lense to expand job creation within the region. The chosen sites include former and current industrial lands:
• Christie Factory
• Malton Industrial District
• The Hearn
• Heartland Town Centre

These sites should be reimagined through the lens of economic development and social/environmental sustainability to create innovative new mixed land use that address key functions, including energy production, job creation, and identity. Teams will focus on how to transform these often single use lands into vibrant and economically driven centres that include a mix of uses and attract new employees, residents and investment.

Venue & Address: 
Institute Without Boundaries 230 Richmond St East Toronto, Ontario
416-977-6000 x2462

Design With Dialogue

Black and white logo with a speech box
Wednesday, October 8, 2014 - 10:00pm to Thursday, October 9, 2014 - 1:00am


The issues facing working parents are most often posed at either the individual level (“How can I achieve better work-life balance?”) or at the level of society at large (“Should Canada have a national child-care strategy?). On Wednesday October 8, Jane Thompson will lead a Design With Dialogue session centred on the question “How can community-level change help working families?”. Can local initiatives like babysitting co-ops, community kitchens and pedestrian school-buses transform the lives of working parents?  Jane would like your help considering this question.


Jane will introduce the session with an overview of the issues facing working moms and dads, and how reframing our understanding, at both the individual and the family level, can help us navigate our way to greater resilience and sanity.


While these family issues are played out against the backdrop of broad social policies (including paid parental leave, child-care subsidies, and full-day kindergarten), this session will focus on how we can address the challenges of working families at a community level. Please join this lively workshop conversation.



Jane Thompson is the author of Resilient Woman: Weaving Together Work, Family, and Self. She writes and speaks on the challenges and opportunities faced by working families.  A working mother herself, Jane has a PhD in women’s history, as well as a business degree, and a certification as a life coach. As part of her broad commitment to helping people live their best lives, she also works as the executive director of a national scholarship program, granting $1.4 million in undergraduate funding each year.


Design with Dialogue (DwD) is an open community of practice learning together to lead organizational & community change through participatory design, strategic dialogue and emerging facilitation methods.

We gather monthly to convene workshops as a practice in social design to engage the organizations, projects, and civic communities to which we're committed.

Join us from 6-9pm on the second Wednesday of every month at OCAD's Lambert Lounge.

DwD is coordinated by:

Peter Jones
OCADU professor and Principal at Redesign

Greg Judelman
Chief Design Officer at The Moment

Kaitlin Almack
Process Facilitator at ICA Associates

Christopher Lee
Principal at Potluck Projects

Venue & Address: 
OCAD University Lambert Lounge, Room 187 100 McCaul Street M5T 1W1    

Monthly Open Review at the Inclusive Design Research Centre

Wednesday, February 5, 2014 - 7:30pm to 8:30pm

Please join us!

Interested in having a say about inclusive design? Want your ideas about digital accessibility heard? Your feedback is important to us!

We will be holding a monthly, open design review meeting where we will present work from current and ongoing projects at the Inclusive Design Research Centre. We want to hear from you -- our potential users, fellow designers and anyone interested in seeing what we're up to here at the IDRC. Spread the word!

Join us from 2:30-3:30 p.m. on the first Wednesday of each month at the Inclusive Design Research Centre, OCAD University, 205 Richmond St., 2nd floor.

If you are interested please respond with your preferred contact information. You will receive a reminder each month and you can choose to participate on a month-by-month basis.

Questions or concerns? Please send an email to

The IDRC is a research and development centre at OCAD University where an international community of open source developers, designers, researchers, advocates, and volunteers work together to ensure that emerging information technology and practices are designed inclusively. Learn more about the IDRC.

Venue & Address: 
Inclusive Design Research Centre, 2nd Floor 205 Richmond Street West Toronto, Ontario

Be Mysterious

Saturday, August 2, 2014 - 4:00am to Sunday, October 19, 2014 - 4:00am

Opening Reception Friday, August 1, 5:00 p.m.

Exhibition including work by MFA Alum Rebecca Baird

Be Mysterious is a survey of recent sculpture by Canadian and international artists, who invert the practicality of commonplace things. Accentuating the sensual and physical qualities above their use, these artworks go beyond appearances and allow for the development of alternate relationships with and among objects.

The exhibition includes work by: Mark Clintberg, Rebecca Baird, Patrick Jackson, Daniel Jacoby, Joo Choon Lin, Alex Morrison and Brent Wadden

Exhibition Hours: Wednesday through Sunday,
12:30 to 5:00 p.m.
Thursday, 12:30 to 8:00 p.m.

Venue & Address: 
The Banff Centre, Walter Phillips Gallery 107 Tunnel Mountain Drive Banff, Alberta

Call for Submissions - Relating Systems Thinking & Design 2013

Call for Submissions - Relating Systems Thinking & Design 2013
Wednesday, December 11, 2013 - 8:30pm

With presentations by former Strategic Forseight and Innovation students Josina and Jonathan Veale as well as David Ing

Theme: Emerging Contexts for Systemic Design

The second RSD symposium will take place at the Oslo School of Architecture and Design (AHO) 9-11 October, 2013. The symposium is a meeting of roughly 50 researchers and scholars committed to developing discourses and methods in this emerging field, with a schedule of presentations and workshops being held at AHO.

We also invite up to 100 non-presenting participants who may wish to attend and participate in discussions and dialogue as part of this developing international community of practice and scholars. The symposium is free of charge, but is hosted as a working conference without the typical amenities of a revenue-based and sponsored event.

Interested applicants are invited to view details and register at the symposium website:

The schedule includes up to 50 presenters in 5 thematic tracks. The schedule consists of a day of workshops and two days of presenter discussions based on reviewed and accepted abstracts.

October 9: Workshops
October 10 - 11: Symposium

Overview of Symposium:
The emerging renaissance of systems thinking in design responds to the increasing complexity in all challenges faced by designers and transdisciplinary innovators. Our worlds have become too complex for linear and goal-driven management, resulting in hopelessly complicated social, economic, and political systems. The global demand for sustainability, democratic economies, and the emerging social arrangements for better education, employment, and development have become too complex for conventional thinking.

In re-examining the relationship of systems thinking to design we believe it possible for systems thinking and design praxis to develop the foundations for new, interrelated practices. This synergistic relationship will launch a new generation of systems-oriented thinkers empowered with the creativity and perspectives of design thinking. As educators and researchers, we also seek better theoretical foundations and rigor in design thinking.

Organizing Committee
Birger Sevaldson, AHO, Institute of Design http://
Harold Nelson, University of Montana http://
Peter Jones, OCAD University, Toronto
Alex Ryan, Ph.D.
Linda Blaasvaer, AHO



Venue & Address: 
Oslo School of Architecture and Design (AHO) Maridalsveien 29 Oslo, Norway

Navigating the World of Design (w/ Zahra Ebrahim)

Navigating the World of Design (w/ Zahra Ebrahim)
Tuesday, October 22, 2013 - 7:30pm

Learn more about the professional design world!

Join designer and OCAD U faculty member Zahra Ebrahim for an intimate conversation as we discuss the strategies which can enable a fulfilling, successful professional life.


416-977-6000 x3843



Venue & Address: 
Room 284 100 McCaul St., 2nd Floor Toronto, Ontario