Facilities & Resources

Facilites Overview

By joining the Interdisciplinary Design Strategy (IDS) program students become an integral part of an international, interdisciplinary, and collaborative design team that is situated at the centre of the IwB.

IDS students will enjoy experiential education with strong emphasis on professionalism and industry best practices. The IwB resources and facilities were designed to support students’ professional development; the IwB staff continuously work to update and improve student resources


The IwB studio is a creative, open-concept space, designed by award winning architects Daoust Lestage. In fact, the entire School of Design 230 Richmond St. East campus is undergoing massive expansion, including housing the new YouTube Space Toronto. Starting Fall 2016, the campus facility expansion will be completed, adding an additional 20,000 sq ft (appx) to the School of Design, including new facilities such as a Maker Lab. Continue reading below to explore all the facilities and resources available to the IDS students.

Be Collaborative

The The IDS learning space was designed to enhance professional collaboration between students and between students and faculty. The IDS program is run from the IwB studio and the classroom, which are located at the heart of the School of Design. In the studio and the classroom, students enjoy easy access to a range of resources to support a continuous learning experience.

A large part of the School of Design’s programming includes international collaboration. Through the program, IwB students have opportunities to travel to diverse places in the world for field trips, charrettes and to conduct research.

In the past, the IwB students have travelled to Milan, Italy for the the Future Ways of Living Summer School, Ireland to conduct projects like Interstitial Zones and The Dublin Project, and Latin America for the Costa Rica Project.

These are only a few of the examples of the school’s open and global approach that emphasizes situated learning and user centred research.

Collaboration Space

IDS collaboration space

The Collaboration Space is the IDS dedicated classroom, approximately 40 sqf in size. This space is the centre of the IDS education where students work together with faculty. This is a multifunctional space which was designed to accommodate lectures, presentations, workshops, group and individual work. This dedicated space enables students to work on large projects continuously, by leaving unfinished work in the room to be continued the next day. The room is equipped with large tables, computers and projectors for presentations. The Collaboration Space is attached to the studio to allows a seamless transition between the different learning, research, and work activities done by the students.


studio_squareStudents conduct their research and work from the IDS studio. The studio provides students with a professional open space work environment. The studio is located at the heart of the IwB and has a direct access to the IDS classroom. At the IwB studio, each student receives an individual work station including a desktop computer, personal drawer and file cabinet, ergonomic chair, and table space (See more on the students’ technology and software access in the Be Productive section).


charretteSeveral times each year the School of Design runs interdisciplinary charrettes, intensive collaborative workshops that bring together students and professionals from different disciplines to brainstorm, discuss, and, with expert consultation, propose design solutions to a given problem.

During charrettes the whole of the School of Design is transformed–classrooms, break rooms, hallways and all other spaces become working zones for interdisciplinary charrette teams.

The school holds its largest, international charrette in February. It is an annual IwB event that brings together more than 200 students, faculty and industry experts from organizations around the world. Past IwB Toronto International Charrettes include the Balancing Continuity & Change Charrette, the Our City within a Park Charrette and the Responsive Buildings Charrette.

Be Smart

The The IDS learning space was designed to enhance professional collaboration between students and between students and faculty. The IDS program is run from the IwB studio, which  is located at the heart of the School of Design.

At the Studio, students enjoy easy access to a range of resources to support a continuous learning experience. Display showcases with students’ work from the School of Design can be found in most common spaces at the school. This promotes creative stimulation, inspiration, and peer learning even during break time.

Orange Box

School of Design orange box

The Orange Box is a computer and design tutoring lab that welcomes students from all of the School of Design’s programs. The lab is located at centre of the School of Design at 230 Richmond St. East campus. Students have access to peer tutors from different School of Design program. The tutors assist with a wide range of professional design software and technologies. IDS students have the opportunity to undertake self-guided learning to support the execution of their projects.

Here students also have access to regular and large plotter printing.


IwB Book Library
IDS students have access to the IwB professional book library. In this library students can find literature related to their field of study with books about communication design, urban design, architecture, design research, design thinking, systems design, and IwB publications.  

SOD Digital Library
A digital library including librarian support will be available at the School of Design starting Fall 2016 / Winter 2017. Librarians will assist students with research, using academic writing guides, copyright inquiries, and more. The digital library provides students with access to all Library Learning Commons digital resources.

St. James Campus Library
A large Library Learning Commons (LLC) is available at the St. James campus main building at 200 King St. East (a quick 5 minutes walk from the School of Design building). For the full LLC services please visit: http://www.georgebrown.ca/llc/
See also the GBC “Library Learning Commons at a Glance” video.

Be Professional

The IDS cohort is an integral part of the IwB ongoing research and work. The group operates within a professional open space work environment that is inline with contemporary interior design trends of many design and architecture studios.

Buzz Room

School of Design buzzroom

The Buzz Room is the IwB shared boardroom / meeting space. It is available for staff and students of the IDS for special meetings. The room can facilitate up to 12 people and is equipped with a computer and a large screen TV in addition to a conference audio system. Students may use this room for client meeting or video conferencing.

Break Rooms


Students have access to two break rooms for small group work. The rooms can facilitate up to 8 people comfortably. Each room is equipped with both a white board and digital smart board. These rooms are usually used for collaborative brainstorming sessions.


plotterIDS Students have access to the IwB printing facility that includes both colour and b&w printing, large plotter printing, as well as in-house vinyl printing. These resources are provided to encourage the students to execute all their work to the highest quality as well as to allow a hands-on, professional-level experience producing presentations and exhibitions.


teaIDS students have access to a kitchen and dining space that is shared with three other post-grad student programs at the School of Design. This space gives IDS students the opportunity to share meals, socialize with each other, and network with other post-grad peers. The kitchen features a fridge, microwave, dishes, and a dining table.

Be Productive

The school provides the IDS students with a wide range of tools and technology to support productivity and exploration.



Students have access to computers anywhere on campus, in the studio, classrooms, and labs. There is a mixture of Mac Pro Towers and Cylinder fast processing desktop computers. The IDS studio computers support both Apple OSX and Microsoft Windows environments. Students have access to a large range of professional software including:


  • Adobe Creative Cloud Suite (including Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, etc).
  • Office 365 (including Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Onedrive, etc).
  • iWork Suite (including Pages, Numbers, and Keynote).
  • AutoCAD
  • ArcGIS
  • Google SketchUp Pro


wifiAll students have access to a high speed network of WiFi across all college facilities. Students use their personal credentials and can log in multiple devices including personal devices.

Loan Program

In addition to the resources at the School of Design, all students have access to a large arsenal of digital equipment to support their work. This is done through the college Library Learning Commons. Some of these items are:

  • Projectors
  • Digital Cameras
  • Voice Recorders
  • Presentation Pointers
  • Portable DVD players
  • Laptops
  • iPads – 7 day loan
  • Wireless Mac keyboard
  • Wireless Mac mice
  • Mini tripods
  • Various adaptor cables for your phone and other wireless devices


materialsStudents have access to office supplies as well as prototyping materials at the IwB studio. These materials are used in the production of projects, collaborative brainstorming sessions, charrettes, and more. Students are encouraged to visualise their ideas and projects in a variety of ways including through physical prototypes. For instance, using the IwB materials and the production spaces at the School of Design, students produce small scale architectural models.

Production Room

The production room provides students with tools for small-scale printing such as: letterpress, bookbinding, fabric printing, button making, etc. The production room also houses a professional paper cutter, making possible in-house design, printing and cutting of all of the students’ final work.

Maker Lab

Brand new at the School of Design, and in development for the 2016-17 school year, is a maker lab that will include access to 3D printing and other fabrication tools. In the future, the maker lab may also include access to laser cutting.

Be Well

Creativity is a process that takes time. It is important to give our mind the time to process new ideas. We can use this time to balance the stress of hard work and take care of our bodies. The college offers a list of opportunities for healthy breaks.

Be Active

fitnessThe St. James Campus fitness and recreation facility is located on the main campus building at 200 King St. East. This is a quick 5 minute walk away from the IwB studio. There students can access a well equipped gym and enjoy a variety of fitness classes. In addition, students can join sports groups for competitive tournaments. For full fitness and recreation information and schedules visit: http://www.georgebrown.ca/athletics/

The IN Store at the School of Design organises extra curricular workshops for students that include yoga. These workshops are held at the School of Design and provides students with an opportunity for an active break on site. Follow the IN Store for more information at: https://www.facebook.com/designgbc/

Eat Healthy

foodsquareLooking for a freshly cooked meal on budget? The George Brown College Chef School is just across the street from the School of Design. Both the store and Café offer a variety of on budget lunch and snacks made by the staff and students of the school. For more information: visit: http://www.georgebrown.ca/hca/the-cafe/


loungeStudents can tune out at any of the school lounges available throughout the building. Additionally the school is in close proximity to city parks such as Saint James Park.


cityThe School of Design is located in a unique urban location. It is at the heart of Toronto, the cultural capital of Canada and one of the most multicultural cities in the world. The streets and neighbourhoods surrounding the School of Design offer an amazing opportunity for exploration of art and design business and cultural centres, as well as for self discovery.

Students can explore the city’s arts, cultural events, and cuisines. The school is located on the east side of downtown Toronto steps away from the Distillery District, St. Lawrence Market and old Toronto, which includes the furniture design district of King St. East.

The School of Design is part of the college’s St. James Campus and closely located to the college’s new Waterfront Campus, which offers students many resources, including a rooftop garden with a stunning view of lake Ontario, all under 15 minutes walk. The brand new college student residence, called The George, is located in the Canary District (previously the Pan-Am athletes village),also a short walk away .

Visit the following resources to help you discover events, places, and food to explore in the city:

Photo credits:
Marc Cramer
Shing Leung
Guy Matorin

Video credits:
Shing Leung
Michael Nguyen