Urban Ecologies Conference

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Wednesday, June 17, 2015 - 10:00pm to Friday, June 19, 2015 - 9:00pm

A conference bringing together the brightest minds in creativity from around the world to examine the future design of our cities. How do we build future urban centers within the limits of our planetary ecosystem? Urban Ecologies 2015 challenges its participants to think beyond the current buzzword that is sustainability and move toward a more advanced humanitarian frontier.

Keynote speakers include Dr. Rachel Armstrong, Professor of Experimental Architecture at the University of Newcastle in the UK (June 18), Danny Wills, Project Architect, Urban-Think Tank, Researcher, Lecturer, ETH Zürich (June 18), and Newsha Ghaeli, Research Fellow, Project Lead at MIT Sensible City Laboratory (June 19).

Dr. Armstrong is a Senior TED Fellow and visionary Black Sky Thinker. Her work centres on a new approach to building materials called “living architecture,” suggesting the possibility for our buildings to share some of the properties of living systems. From preventing the sinking of Venice into its muddy foundations, to growing the living interior for an interstellar spacecraft, her work reaches far beyond our world and into the next.

Danny Wills is a researcher and design studio critic at the Urban-Think Tank Chair of Architecture and Urban Design at ETH Zürich, an interdisciplinary design practice focused on creating bridges between first world industry and third world, informal urban areas. His work with U-TT investigates sustainable development of informal areas through ecological systems thinking in food, sanitation, and water. Danny is a graduate of The Cooper Union, where he also lectured on the topics of landscape and sustainability.

Newsha Ghaeli is a Research Fellow at MIT where she is Project Lead at the Senseable City Laboratory. Her research involves the creative application of sensor-based technologies in urban systems to generate new data streams, promoting resilient cities. An architect by training, Newsha has collaborated with the U.S. Department of Energy and the United Nations Climate Change Summit. Newsha holds degrees from the University of Waterloo and McGill University.

Presented by OCAD University in Toronto and sponsored by TD.

Venue & Address: 
OCAD University, 100 McCaul Street Art Gallery of Ontario, 317 Dundas Street West

OCAD University and smart Canada Challenge Students to Design smart City Project: Motion

Friday, June 21, 2013 - 4:00am

Winner Announced at Urban Ecologies 2013 Conference

June 21, 2013 (Toronto) – OCAD University and smart Canada today announced the winner of the smart City Project: Motion competition. Through the competition, students in art and design were challenged to envision smart City: Motion, a place where the movement between home and work aspires to meet twenty-first century design demands for healthy living and intelligent travel.

The winner of the competition is Maximillian Wessman, whose project, entitled “Thought Velocity”, outlined an adaptive road infrastructure “for a city that thinks on its feet”. Second and third place awards were given to Calvin Kuo for his project “Smart Swarm” and Patrick Kroetsch for “The Hub”. Finalists for the competition displayed posters of their projects at Urban Ecologies 2013, where academics and practitioners in a various fields are meeting to further the practice of urban design.

“smart Canada is proud to partner with OCAD University to challenge the next generation of urban designers to envision a more sustainable and intelligent way to move people and goods around Canada’s cities in the future,” said Nicole Israng, Head of smart Marketing. “We were thrilled with the quality of submissions by the students, congratulate the winners and thank each one of the participants for their creative and insightful submissions.”

“Sustainability will only be achieved through excellent design. smart Canada has provided an excellent opportunity for OCAD University students to provide solutions that can solve the grand challenge of urban transportation and energy efficiency through excellent user experience design,” said Dr. Sara Diamond, President and Vice Chancellor of OCAD University.

Mr. Wessman received $5,000 as the Grand Prize winner of the competition. Mr. Kuo and Mr. Kroetsch received $1,000 and $500 respectively. Projects were reviewed by a panel of judges, including Lisa Rochon, Architecture Critic, The Globe and Mail; Matt Blackett, Co-Founder, Publisher, Creative Director, Spacing Magazine; Matthew Browning, Transportation Consultant, ARUP; Beth Kapusta, Executive Technical Advisor - Design Excellence, Metrolinx; and Nicole Israng, Head of Marketing, smart Canada.

About the competition
Can you imagine a city where movement in any direction is a seamless, timely, efficient human experience?

As the scale of cities grow exponentially, so do transportation systems and the dependency on energy to drive the economy. Is it possible to work with what we have and reinvent better ways to move people and goods more efficiently and more enjoyably? How would you envision the thresholds, the movement, the interconnectivity, and the user experience of transportation in the city? What connections would you make? What new experiences of motion could you design?

About OCAD University
OCAD University (www.ocadu.ca) is Canada’s “university of imagination.” The university, founded in 1876, is dedicated to art and design education, practice and research and to knowledge and invention across a wide range of disciplines. OCAD University is building on its traditional, studio-based strengths, adding new approaches to learning that champion cross-disciplinary practice, collaboration and the integration of emerging technologies. In the Age of Imagination, OCAD University community members will be uniquely qualified to act as catalysts for the next advances in culture, technology and quality of life for all Canadians.

About smart Canada
smart Canada is responsible for the sales, marketing and service for the smart brand in Canada. Produced in one of the most modern and environmentally friendly plants in the world in Hambach, France, the smart fortwo is a safe, comfortable and extremely versatile vehicle. Since its launch in Canada in the fall of 2004, smart Canada's nationwide network of 53 dealers across the country have sold over 23,000 smart fortwos. Further information about the smart can be found online at http://www.thesmart.ca/, facebook.com/smartCanada and twitter.com/smartCanada.

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