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Ryerson Urban Water

Each year the Department of Architecture hosts a Design Competition during the New Year. George Kapelos is the architect of this brilliant experiential learning program that places first year students alongside 2nd, 3rd, and 4thyear students to collaboratively design an intervention that speaks to a socially enigmatic issue.

This year the Architectural Design Competition theme was WATER.

To fully inform the students, the Department of Architecture sought the collaboration of Ryerson Urban Water (RUW). RUW delivered a roster of water experts to speak about urban development, innovations in water technologies, sustainable urban planning, human engagement with water from the aboriginal point of view and artistic expressions around water.

Four-hundred students learned about water during the week long program and were inspired by photographs taken by Steven Evans along the banks of the Thames River in southwestern Ontario (2001).

Photographer Steven Evans
Photographer Steven Evans

Students designed architectural interventions along the river’s edge to invite the public to consider the importance and meaning of water, allow people to gather, contemplate and engage with water.

The designs were displayed in the Paul H. Cocker Gallery at Ryerson University alongside photographs by Steven Evans of the Thames watershed from Jan 15-22, 2016.

One of the student-designed models

-Pavilions, viewing platforms, and amphitheatres to engage people with the water,

-reintroduction of native flora and fauna to repair eroding riverbanks and remediate water quality,

-green technologies to heat up hot springs in the winter and clean water for swimming and wading in the summer,

-vertical living walls, gazebos with waterfalls that freeze in winter to create a windscreen, and piers that measure seasonal water levels with perforations permitting wind flow creating musical wind chimes.

All the speakers who presented to the students
11:00 George Kapleos Chair Associate Professor, Department of Architecture 
11:03 Lynda McCarthy Moderator Professor, Department of Chemistry and Biology 
11:08 Lisa Prime Waterfront Toronto Director, Environment and Innovation, Waterfront Toronto
11:20 Nina-Marie Lister Urban Planning Associate Professor, School of Urban and Regional Planning, Faculty of Community Services
11:30 Joy Charbonneau Arcitecture & Artistry Architect and Artist
11:40 Tom Kaszas MOECC Environmental Innovations Branch, Ministry of Environment and Climate Change
11:50 Irene Hassass Aslan Technologies Director, Strategic Planning and Partnerships, Aslan Technologies
12:00 Ludiwine Clouzot Educator President, Ecoloodi
12:10 Eric Meliton Partners in Project Green Project Manager, Water Stewardship, Partners in Project Green
12:20 Cyndy Baskin Aboriginal Relationship Associate Professor, School of Social Work, Faculty of Community Services
12:30  Lynda McCarthy Pollution Professor, Department of Chemistry and Biology 
Professor, Department of Chemistry and Biology 
Professor, Department of Chemistry and Biology