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Students challenged to get creative with bike racks for Mt. Pleasant Cemetery

By Antoinette Mercurio

Katy Alter

Third-year interior design student Katy Alter won first place, with her partner Jeff Cogliati, master of architecture, in the Mount Pleasant Cemetery bike rack competition.

Interior design students stepped up to the challenge and delivered unique results in a design competition.

Students were asked to create specially-designed bicycle racks for Toronto's historic Mount Pleasant Cemetery. The idea is that the racks will enhance the bicycle-friendly environment that exists within the Mount Pleasant grounds. Andrew Furman selected seven third- and fourth-year students in his interior design course to take on the challenge, letting them choose teammates from any discipline across the university. The first place prize of $3,000 went to Katy Alter, third-year interior design, and her partner Jeff Cogliati, master of architecture.

Alter and Cogliati designed "The Lotus," a dynamic, functional and sculptured bike rack that's practical in purpose but artistic in vision as well. They chose the lotus flower because it symbolizes regeneration and the continuing cycle of life.

"We wanted to create something that blended in with the cemetery and was sensitive to the surroundings," Alter said.

The design jury was chaired by Ryerson alumna and renowned landscape architect Janet Rosenberg and included Daniel Doz, dean, Faculty of Communication & Design; Andy Barrie, host of Metro Morning, CBC Radio; Christopher Hume, urban issues and architecture columnist, Toronto Star; and Glenn McClary, President and CEO, Mount Pleasant Group of Cemeteries.

Second place winners Shiwa Tseng, fourth-year interior design; Kenneth Lee, second-year master's in mechanical engineering; and Michael Goriup, second-year mechanical engineering, received $2,000 while third-year interior design student Michael Shafir and Tommy Tso, third-year architectural science, garnered $1,000 in the third spot.

"When Mount Pleasant approached us about this unique challenge for our students, we were thrilled to be part of this opportunity," Doz said. "This kind of joint initiative speaks to so many aspects of what Ryerson is about - in particular, challenging our students with unique experiential learning opportunities in engaging with our community."

The designs are on display at the School of Interior Design until Feb. 10. The winning team will begin to produce their prototype in April.

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