Design Projects

2017 Design Project


An Inspirational Beginning

Our 2017 challenge: “to develop a sustainable and creative bench or bike rack for your local community”. It was sponsored by the Public Accessory Commission, an organization that trains at-risk youth to build bike racks and accessories in low-income Toronto neighborhoods. Pictured is our workshop to “inspire student change” facilitated by PAC Founder Kevin Vuong.



Brainstorming – Evergreen

Evergreen Brickworks, an organization dedicated to sustainability and environmentalism in urban development, came in to facilitate a brainstorming workshop to get members engaged with issues that affect them. We investigated small and large interventions that could take place to impact communities on a neighbourhood level.



Fleshing Out Our Ideas

In December, we invited Mr. Fullan and Ms. Michel, two UTS teachers enthusiastic about urban planning, to come in and facilitate a workshop where we fleshed out our ideas from the previous month. We brainstormed ways that some of these ideas could be implemented and how some key stakeholders would be affected.



Modelling and Designing – KPMB

In February, two architects from KPMB, Mitchell and Tyler Hall, dropped by and helped with the design and modelling of three major bench proposals: a street library, an urban campfire, and a planter. We had a constructive discussion surrounding some major design elements and overall design style.



Our Final Design

This park bench doubles as a street library. It’s a symbol of communal bonding, both through conversions on the bench and through the exchange of books. The design language is angular, but the bench invokes a sense of roundness and belonging.

Past Design Challenges


Challenge 1: Redesigning Everyday Objects. Take an object that you encounter on your way to school as the focus of your design. What are the potential and possibilities for this everyday object to be more useful or sustainable? Read more.



Challenge 2: Under the Gardiner. The Gardiner Expressway has been a vital for Toronto commuters since its completion in 1966. We want you to draw unique ways of using the downtown space beside the expressway. Read more.

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