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10CE - Activist Architecture: York University’s New Student Centre

23 May 2018 4:00 PM - 5:30 PM



1.5 ConEd Learning Hours
1.5 AIA CES LU

The presentation focuses on a series of narratives around the making of York University’s New Student Centre (YUNSC): bold design as a tool for engagement, radically innovative user consultation and design team and client collaboration. Design Principal Andrew King, FRAIC, and the YUNSC Executive Director Siva Vimalachandran, both heavily involved in the process, will be presenting in a conversational, copiously illustrated and animated discussion.

Design as a narrative: From proposal to user experience, the project is framed around a very clear design methodology devised to communicate its intent clearly to a large audience, engender support through student-based design drivers and maintain a strong participation to support all phases of design and production.

Symbiotic engagement: From project proposal forward, the project is based on an innovative, extensive engagement of a very politically active student body. The presentation will frame the intent, tools and scope of this continuous engagement. The deep design team/client collaboration will be clearly articulated, along with the communication tools and methodologies.

Delivering a collective vision: YUNSC developed an innovative, robust and thorough program for dissemination, interactive engagement and information dissemination, developed collectively with the design team and YUNSC leadership, framing all phases of the work from concept design through to the current construction phase. The presentation will frame the strategic development of these techniques and their influence on its success.

Learning Objectives

    1. Understand design excellence methodologies. (From proposal to user experience, the project is framed around a very clear design methodology devised to communicate its intent clearly to a large audience, engender support through student-based design drivers and maintain a strong parti to support all phases of design and production. These will be clearly framed and illustrated in the presentation.)
    2. Understand community engagement and user participation. (From proposal to its lifespan, the project is based on an extremely extensive engagement of a very politically active student body. The presentation will frame the intent, tools and scope of this continuous engagement, and frame its fundamental relationship to the design process.)
    3. Understand consultant/client collaboration. (The project demanded a very collaborative and structured relationship between the design team and the new student centre leadership team. The presentation will clearly articulate the communication tools and methodologies, and how this structure framed the project design and delivery.)
    4. Understand dissemination and follow-through. (The project enjoys a robust and thorough program for dissemination and project follow-through, from concept design through to the current construction phase. Interactive #D panoramas for student use, a deep portfolio of marketing through independent graphic language, swag, digital tools, 24/7 webcams and presentations: the presentation will frame the strategic development of these techniques and their influence on its success.)

Speakers

Andrew King, FRAIC, Prix de Rome, and Siva Vimalachandran, BA (Hons)

Andrew King has evolved an interdisciplinary practice model that merges speculative small practice, large firm design leadership and academic research. He has been heavily recognized, with awards including the Canada Council for the Arts Prix de Rome, two Canadian Architect Awards of Excellence and two AIA Progressive Architecture (P/A) Awards of Excellence. Andrew co-leads the lemayLAB in Montreal, and has held visiting professorships at McGill, Carleton and Copenhagen’s Danish Royal Academy of Art. He has lectured and exhibited internationally, including the Iceland School of Design, the Tate Gallery, La Sapienza University in Rome, New York University, the Design Exchange and the Walter Philips Gallery.

Siva Vimalachandran was elected to the York University Student Centre Board of Directors in 2009 and subsequently elected as chair until 2013. He led the New Student Centre project from its embryonic stage into a formal agreement between York and YUSC. From 2011 to 2012, Siva was elected as Vice President Equity. In October 2013, Siva executed the referendum campaign to authorize the collection of the student levy to fund the design, construction, financing and operation of the New Student Centre. In 2014, he was appointed as chair of the User Committee of design direction, and he currently oversees the strategic planning and execution of human resources, public relations, communications, stakeholder management, and organizational development for YUSC.