An arcade console-inspired installation, interactive drumming vibrations, large pin-impression walls inviting you to “leave your mark”: these enticing installations are the result of Ryerson University’s ShapeLab design challenge for the King Street Transit Pilot. A collaboration between the university and the City of Toronto, ShapeLab challenges Ryerson students to find innovative solutions to urban issues.
City Councillor Joe Cressy, City Councillor Lucy Troisi and Ryerson University provost and vice-president, academic Michael Benarroch unveiled the final four designs in a ribbon-cutting ceremony at David Pecaut Square on July 10.
“This is an example of how we can build the city up when we all work together,” said Mayor John Tory. “We need to make sure that the busiest surface transit route in Toronto and North America works for everyone. I want to thank Ryerson and City Planning for examining how people use King Street and bringing energy and vibrancy with these installations.”
Over the last four months, Ryerson University students have worked with municipal staff, industry professionals and faculty members to co-create the interactive public space installations. The four designs – Caravanserais, Parcade, Imprint, and Resonance – cultivate a playful and vibrant streetscape for Torontonians.
The finalists were chosen out of 14 competing teams, based on a criteria of accessibility, feasibility and creativity. Each team received $1,000 in prize money and $4,000 to create their designs. The installations encourage people of all ages and abilities to take a moment and engage with the whimsical designs.
The four ShapeLab design installations are in addition to the public spaces already open on King Street, including the “Everyone is King” design build competition winners, public seating areas and the cafe patios operated by King Street businesses.
“The ShapeLab collaboration is a prime example of how experiential learning can help our students develop a strong sense of civic engagement by tackling real-world problems,” said Ryerson University provost and vice-president, academic Michael Benarroch. “Partnerships, like the one we have with the City of Toronto, are integral to turning learning opportunities into realities.”
With two installations located at David Pecaut Square and two at St. James Park, Torontonians are invited to visit the installations throughout the summer. A second ShapeLab design challenge will be launched in Winter 2019, with a focus on resilient cities and underutilized spaces.