Designing Climate Ready Communities
The 2021–22 Interdisciplinary Design Strategy cohort will embark on a year-long investigation to understand how local solutions could help solve some of the challenges associated with climate change and climate related migration.
Future Ways of Living:
As we transition to the 21st century, global forces such as geopolitical fragility, mass migration, income inequality, rapid urbanization, economic restructuring, precarious employment, climate change, and exponential technological innovation are challenging our existing societal constructs and transforming the ways we live. This can have both positive and negative impacts on our human experiences, and as designers we often react to these forces rather than anticipate them to achieve our collective aspirations.
Future Ways of Living is both a research method and a call to action developed to foster anticipatory design. As a research method, it aims to investigate and visualize the past and present forces shaping society, which inform an understanding of potential futures. As a call to action, it challenges us to imagine and create what ought to be, rather than what exists. This approach encourages the development of tangible design outcomes that can contribute to more responsible, humane, sustainable, democratic, and resilient futures.
In 2021-22 the Institute without Boundaries (IwB) will reimagine local solutions to help communities mitigate or adapt to the many impacts of climate change including but not limited to environmental migration. The Institute will focus on key communities in Europe, Canada, and Latin America as case studies for how grassroots action can create systemic change, revive decaying cities, diversify economic development, and cultivate new and healthier ecosystems.
Over the course of this year, students will be challenged to:
- Identify and change perceptions around climate migration.
- Identify and leverage technology to mitigate the impacts of climate change.
- Identify and empower communities to build resiliency against the impacts of climate change.
- Identify the needs of communities to adapt to or mitigate climate change based on their geographic region.
- Design with, and for communities.
How might we design local solutions to help address global changes?
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Project Context & Year Ahead
Throughout the 2021–22 academic year, Designing Climate Ready Communities will be explored in the context of Future Ways of Living – encouraging a holistic, forward-thinking approach to inform design outcomes.
Designing Climate Ready Communities Overview
The climate crisis has been fostered by the human disregard of the environment generated by our urban settlements and by the pollution of the natural and rural environments that support them. Over time, this has resulted in the destruction of habitats and environments for both animals and humans. The result of these negative activities is eradicating species and forcing patterns of migration that grow out of the “desertification” or “inundation” of once habitable places. People and wildlife have begun to migrate seeking places of refuge to survive and to continue living.
One of the many impacts of climate change is environmental migration where people move from one part of the region to another or to a new country as a result of severe natural disasters. How will we manage the dual emerging crisis of climate change and human migration which may go well beyond the migrations of the 19th and 20th century, when rural populations moved to cities? Will we attempt to reverse negative impacts of human activity to avert a climate crisis? Will we build barriers to protect ourselves and our lifestyle condemning others to poverty and desperation? Will we reimagine places that mend or regenerate “broken” environments? How can we enact global change through local, grassroots initiatives?
The Bootcamp introduces students to IwB, expectations, values, philosophies and approaches. Students will take
part in exercises to get to know each other and become better familiarized with the research theme of the year. During this week, students will be introduced to the tools and resources available at the IwB, School of Design, George Brown College and will also get familiarized digital software and design principles. They will receive lectures from faculty to understand how they can approach researching, reframing and Designing Climate Ready Communities.
Students explore design issues and develop solutions in a team environment through the design charrette process—an intensive, collaborative process that brings together students from different disciplines to interact with design professionals and citizen stakeholders 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 the central theme, and eventually focus on elaborating a single concept. Students take part in the design and planning of the charrette process, and act as team facilitators during it, collaboratively generating, refining and presenting ideas.
The work completed during the charrette will be key to the students understanding of the larger research questions undertaken in the Major Project.
Students explore design issues and develop solutions in a team environment through the design charrette process— an intensive, collaborative process that brings together students from different disciplines and design 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 the central theme, and eventually focus on a single concept which they believe best addresses client needs. DESN 4024 Charrette II requires students to show the experience they gained in planning and executing DESN 4009 Design Charrette I. Students take on the development of the design brief and the design and planning role prior to the charrette, and act as team facilitators for the charrette leading teams to collaboratively generate, refine and present their ideas.
From April 29–May 13, 2022, IwB students will take part in a two-week charrette in collaboration with disciplines within the George Brown College ecosystem to test and prototype their design solutions. During the charrette, the IwB team will lead and work with students from Graphic Design, Interactive Media Management, and Interaction Design and Development Program among others to fine tune and finalize their design outcomes. The focus and themes of the Production Charrette will be developed from the students’ year-long research insights and will directly lead to the development of the final exhibition.
The IwB students will showcase their year-long research insights on living and aging in place and its impact on human experiences. Demonstrating their design outcomes, the IwB students will highlight the work developed throughout the year including various scenarios, projects developed throughout the International and Prototyping Charrettes.
IwB staff and faculty 2021-22
Athena, 2018 (Pexels).
Future Ways of Living, Designing Climate Ready Communities, Toronto, Greater Toronto Area, GTA, connection,