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