What makes Thorncliffe Park a ‘magnet’ to new Canadians? What defines it as a ‘welcoming community’? Based on indicators provided by the Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration, the research intends to evaluate whether or not an urban neighbourhood is a welcoming community. The community of Thorncliffe Park was chosen as the case study for this project. Thorncliffe Park is an inner suburban neighbourhood in the City of Toronto and is one of the City;s most multicultural neighbourhoods. A review of the literature related to this topic indicates a lack of an empirical evaluation of a welcoming community.


WATCH: WELCOMING COMMUNITIES from job rutgers on Vimeo.

Bird's view satellite image of a Toronto neighbourhood with overlaid text reading: What makes Thorncliff Park a Welcoming Community?"
Saturday, June 23, 2012 - 6:45pm

Visible Campus

We are creating a visible, tangible presence for OCAD U’s research themes visible across OCAD U’s campus. We aim to make OCAD U’s innovation culture inviting and accessible ‘outside the lab’ through innovative, site-specific communication strategies. OCAD U has facilities spread around McCaul Street, Dundas Street and Richmond Avenue. The newly established Richmond Street campus lack OCAD U identity in comparison to the more established buildings and spaces on McCaul Street, including Will Alsop’s landmark Sharp Centre for Design at 100 McCaul Street

Photograph of clay slabs with round, red, white and blue impressions.
Saturday, June 23, 2012 - 6:30pm


Singapore Polytechnic invited the Ambient Experience Lab at OCADU to develop a process for the design and development of learning spaces. Singapore Polytechnic, a leader in the field of 'design thinking' recognized that in order to fully deploy its design thinking pedagogy it also needed to innovate in the spaces that help deliver that pedagogy. Working with students, faculty, architectural staff and the pedagogy department, within five weeks a process was developed, piloted, tested and a first project was delivered.

WATCH: Ambient Experience Singapore Polytechnic from Job Rutgers on Vimeo.

Abstract blue shapes with overlaid text reading: Transforming Learning Environments Singapore Polytechnic
Sunday, June 23, 2013 - 6:30pm


Third year students taking the Ambient Experience Design class were tasked with creating an outdoor way finding and identity system that aimed to encourage people to move between the GradEx sites and generally, to improve the ambience of the McCaul Street corridor. Traditionally, at the Gradex, people have spent time at 100 McCaul, and then left. Students exhibiting in the other buildings felt left out. We needed to create a visible, active and inclusive streetscape.

The students, under supervision of professor Job Rutgers, created animated concepts that helped to establish visual connections between the buildings and created beacon like functions to attract people. For example, existing planters along MCaul Street were transformed by Joycelyn and Danillo into  moments where people can huddle, sit, relax, and engage, in fun and interesting ways along the street landscape. Miranda and Roxanne designed spatial interventions that produced ‘Instagram moments’ for visitors to take pictures with themselves. The window of the OCADU shop was converted into a large light box, animating the street in day and night. Adam and Max supported the projects with graphic design ideas. Greg Moock helped to build the ideas into reality.

This class was an example of learning beyond the classroom. The opportunity to work with a real problem, some budget and getting to see your ideas through to implementation provided challenges, but also a steep learning curve on design. The initial ideas that arose in the classroom had to be translated into actionable designs and then built. This connection between idea and realization is valuable, but a lot of hard work to get it done. Perhaps the greatest learning is the need for resilience, of which the students showed to have ample!

Photograph of red plexiglass letters reading "@60" with people in the background.
Tuesday, May 5, 2015 - 6:30pm