International Design Charrettes

Title: Sustainable Cities of the Future Charrette; Main Streets of Markham Charrette; Creative Convergence Hubs Charrette
Project Scope: Three international design charrettes to support the work of students in the City Systems – Edge Cities project.
Location/Year: Toronto, 2012
Role: Team leader, facilitator
Collaborators: Students from George Brown School of Design (StudioLab, Game Design), Architectural Technology; Politecnico di Milano; KEA, Copenhagen School of Design and Technology; L’Ecole de Communication Visuelle (France)

A charrette is an intensive, collaborative process that brings together community members and professionals to develop innovative solutions for complex issues. Over a few short days of brainstorming, discussion and expert consultation, teams create a broad range of ideas around a central theme. Because users are involved at every stage of the problem solving process, the results are practical and meet community objectives comprehensively. Charrettes originated as a design process used by architects, urban planners and designers to bring together community members, developers and professionals, groups that often hold competing interests and agendas, to address complex projects such as neighbourhood planning, urban development and construction projects. By working together in a charrette, these groups are able to develop feasible solutions that meet everyone’s needs. The Institute without Boundaries hosted three charrettes during the 2011/2012 academic year to support the work of students in the City Systems – Edge Cities project. View all charrette results here.


Photography by Michelle Hotchin

Sustainable Cities of the Future Charrette

Date: October, 2011
Project Scope: The Sustainable Cities of the Future charrette asked participants to design digital tools to promote sustainable living for residents of Markham.
Team: Team One
Role: Team leader, facilitator
Participants: Liz Dougherty, Valery Prokhurovskiy, Jamie Verbrugge, Stephan Larsen, Andrew Lauder, Breanna Rawn, Miranda Bowland, Joyce Tan

Final Propsal:
ROUTED, an innovative community planning initiative that enables cyclists and drivers to form partnerships and take action on developing a state of the art cycling infrastructure in Markham. Routed taps into the power of the crowd by providing an application for cyclists in Markham to track their daily bike commutes and record problems such as potholes or dangerous intersections. This information is aggregated and sent to the city so that planners can have a clear picture of the needs of cyclists. The information is also made public through social media channels like twitter to apply public pressure on the city to take action. Commuters with an environmental conscience who drive to work and home everyday can join in on the action by signing up to “sponsor” stretches of road in Markham. Sponsors receive updates from cyclists and are encouraged to take action when problems arise. View the full charrette summary here.


Main Streets of Markham Charrette

Date: March, 2012
Project Scope: The Main Streets of Markham charrette asked participants to consider innovative new approaches to main street revitalization in along Markham’s arterial roads.
Team: Old Kennedy Road
Role: Team leader, facilitator
Participants: Hiu Chan, Jordan McCallum, Kimberlyn Lee Lei, Kristian Pal, Micheline Ferguson, Marianne Métairie, Matteo Casaburi, Natalie Pozzan, Stuart McPherson and Troels Kobberø.

Final Propsal:
Old Kennedy Road Revitalization: The project envisions a sustainable main street that reflects community diversity in the built form, creates spaces for connection and exchange, invites discovery and learning. It is a living laboratory of urban transformation that is community driven and self-sustaining and a geography of place starting not from retail, but from real human connection. View charrette results here.



Creative Convergence Hubs Charrette

Date: April, 2012
Project Scope: The Creative Convergence Hubs charrette asked participants to design innovation hubs to develop and nurture the creative sector in Markham
Team: Enterprise and Main Street, Team Yello
Role: Team leader, facilitator
Participants: Ashely Vigilante, Jessa Sy, Walter Batori, Courtney Richard, Kurtis Eckensweiler, Cordero Wingerter, Sony Pereira, Massimilliano D’Arcangelo, Esteban Came, Winnie Chan, Hley Vacirca, Andrew Wallace and Melanie Gaspar.

View charrette results here.


Photography by Michelle Hotchin

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