Research Lab on Urban Landscapes and Architecture

Lebbeus Woods on Experimental Projects

“There is a more critical reason for experimental projects of different kinds than the practical benefits that may—or may not—result from them. The truth is that most experiments lead nowhere and judged from a strict cost-benefit viewpoint are a waste. However, learning and invention are notoriously inefficient, requiring many failed attempts and dead-ended explorations to find one that is fertile enough to open out onto a rich new landscape of possibilities. If a society is unwilling to tolerate such waste it will stagnate. In today’s world, which is under tremendous pressures of change, a vital and growing society not only tolerates but actively supports experimentation as the only way to transform the difficulties created by change into creative opportunities to enhance and deepen human experience. This is doubly true for the field of architecture which, charged with continuously remaking the world, is at the forefront of this struggle.”


Well stated point by Lebbeus Woods, we cant undermine the validity of innovation that lies within the experimental projects especially in architecture.


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Imagining the Mississippi

30 design ideas to improve the quality of Minneapolis’ riverfront.

Imagine the Mississippi

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Lecture on Landscape and Architecture by Stan Allen

Great lecture by Stan Allen on looking at adaptable architecture and landscape design in a largely urban setting.

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Second Contribution to Spacing blog – Portlands Design Intervention

My second contribution to Spacing blog as part for my summer workshop at OCAD called Cities for People.

Portlands Design Intervention


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Portlands article on Spacing blog

Here is my contribution to Spacing Blog on Portlands neighbourhood as part of summer workshop at OCAD called “Cities for People” taught by Shawn Micaleff.

Portlands article


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Rural Studio – a perfect place for a design student

Environmental Design at OCAD needs that, perhaps as a permanent and affordable fixture.


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Toronto Botanical Garden

Dembroski Centre and the TGB

If we disregard the fact that the Toronto Botanical Gardens lies in between naturally tailored habitat and a cemented parking lot there is high potential for a system that is giving back rather than trampling on natural habitat. The environment is thriving due to the systemic interrelationship between the cistern that collects rainwater that connects back into the irrigation and nourishes the organisms at the surface. This cyclical pattern is an example of eco-effectiveness, acting like the cherry tree in Cradle to Cradle, by enriching the resources that are essential for its survival through a production and waste pattern. TBG is eco-effective in this way because the water collection and distribution method is creating a dynamic living environment for plants, insects and animals.
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It is winter now. The gray tint of the sky blends with the concrete landscape. In such weather, where clouds are the first degree of aperture, concrete structures somewhat loss their presence as thermal mass, and seem much more colder. It all brings me to a place polar opposite of the holiday spirit.

Just yesterday, I talked to a friend from school. She just came back from Dominican Republic. I listened to her compliant about how damn depressing this city sometimes can be, and how she cried after she had returned home. I empathized with her.

However, it is hard to control the entrance of light and the movement of clouds, though I am sure some body somewhere is working on that. Canada’s weather is what it is, and we learn to live with it. Perhaps designers can visualize how a building can look on gray days like today, so that we can feel great even when the weather is not necessarily so.      kl

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Documentary Film making as collaboration and experimentation. The Highrise.

Watch the trailer for this new collaborative documentary film program from the NFB. Then check out  Toronto is one of the ten cities in the world where this film will be made.  The exciting thing about this project is that, unlike most other documentaries, Highrise isn’t about anything in particular.  Rather the stories emerge as the project evolves, depending on the participants.  And the end result need not necessarily be a film either, or even documentary in nature.  Kat Cizek’s previous projects that resulted from her residency at St. Michael’s hospital have spun off websites, videos, facilitated dialogue between pregnant homeless teens and their nurses etc etc.

If you have a story to tell about life in a highrise, or a project to explore our increasingly vertical urban life, then check it out.


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Perspectives for a Conversation about Innovation by Alexander Manu


In this document strategic innovator Alexander Manu who is a professor in OCAD, talks about the power of imagination and an act of suspending habit as keys to creating the future that we desire.  By addressing the current trends in human behaviour and technology and putting the reader in an empowered position, he argues that human desire as a primary element which should be used to ask questions about everything that is around us not to just improve but to reinvent and truly shape “tomorrow.Perspectives4Innovation”

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May 2018
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