Ryerson University student project Nora House case study by Shuning Xie

Ryerson University spotlights 10 student interior and design projects

Dezeen School Shows: a housing prototype that addresses urban density challenges and a lighting sculpture that represents comfort and safety are included in Dezeen's latest school show by students at Ryerson University.

Also featured is a design that celebrates LGBTQ2+ history using colour theory and a petri dish project informed by the work of artist Yayoi Kusama.


Ryerson University

School: The Creative School, School of Interior Design
Exhibition: Un/filtered
Courses: Interior Design Studio, Design Dynamics Studio, Communications
Tutors: Jonathon Anderson, Nadia Cannataro, Stephanie Davidson, Catherine Dowling, Marti Gallucci, Joel Hunking, Adam Kolodziej, Christine Leu, Ashley Rumsey, Stanley Sun and Linda Zhang

School statement:

"Our school creates meaningful spaces that support human activity. Sustainability, global relevance, economic exigencies and emerging technologies all work to shape our approach to interior design.

"With a careful understanding of human context, cultural practices and research, our projects engage students to investigate human values and needs at all levels of this programme.

"This year's exhibition called Un/filtered welcomes you to put aside your perception of perfection and embrace the reality of the design process. We believe that a focus on transparency allows us to value a diverse range of perspectives."


A picture of people visiting a mosque in Toronto by Nassila Oudahmane

Toronto Mosque by Nassila Oudahmane

"This design-forward mosque and community centre aims to address internal and external challenges, including police-reported hate crimes, gender inequality and stereotypes faced by Muslims in Toronto.

"The design stimulates interaction, connection and social discourse amongst Muslims and non-Muslims, while presenting true Islamic values.

"Rather than aiming to attain a specific outer appearance, this project's process embraces an atypical programme balancing community and spirituality. By readapting mosque programming in a Canadian context, the hidden harmony that connects souls, nature, and spirituality shines.

"This stitches the gaps between Muslims and non-Muslims, as well as Muslims and their spirituality, and is designed to foster change within communities."

Student: Nassila Oudahmane
Course: Interior Design Studio VII
Tutors: Marti Gallucci, Joel Hunking, Ashley Rumsey and Stanley Sun
Contact: LinkedIn


Shift by Grace Robertson

Shift by Grace Robertson

"The need for cycling vendors was the best way to accommodate the current economic climate and pique enough interest to entice shoppers to venture to leave the safety of their homes in a pandemic.

"With custom display furniture, endless configurations can be created to accommodate pop-up vendors for a dynamic space worth revisiting.

"The display furniture pieces compose a puzzle and can be shifted around for display configurations, seating, and platforms and packed away for an open area. The mixture of playful and structured pieces allows for a completely customisable retail experience."

Student: Grace Robertson
Course: Interior Design Studio III
Tutor: Stephanie Davidson
Contact: LinkedIn


MOVE Laneway by Nicolas Burbano Diaz

MOVE Laneway by Nicolas Burbano Diaz

"The MOVE laneway house is a prototype that addresses the challenges faced in increasing urban density through an expandable house structure, which incorporates multi-functional systems to create flexible micro-living spaces.

"A key objective was to offer people the option to live in a smaller footprint that is 52 square meters when contracted or a total of 77 square meters when expanded.

"Beyond the benefits of laneway density, the MOVE prototype offers the choice to downsize the housing footprint when and as desired."

Student: Nicolas Burbano Diaz
Course: Interior Design Studio II
Tutor: Jonathon Anderson
Contact: LinkedIn


Nest by Jacqueline Hung and Pansy Wong

Nest by Jacqueline Hung and Pansy Wong

"Inspired by the soft and warm characteristics of felt, Nest represents comfort, safety and home. The sculpture twists, wraps, and intertwines with itself, forming a cavity in the middle that glows with light.

"From hand sketches to paper models, we made dozens of prototypes, searching for a form that embodied the feeling of home.

"We wanted to create the effect of a continuous shape that wraps around the lightbulb like a cocoon. The final iteration involved glueing together long, inch-wide strips, which allowed us to mould the felt into more organic and complex shapes than a flat sheet."

Student: Jacqueline Hung and Pansy Wong
Course: Design Dynamics Studio IV
Tutor: Adam Kolodziej


ArQuives Re-located by Katie Zhang

ArQuives Re-located by Katie Zhang

"ArQuives Re-Located is a space that celebrates the history of the LGBTQ2+ community within Canada and aims to provide public access to resources.The design incorporates the ArQuives' version of the rainbow to reinforce their identity throughout the exhibition and office.

"Each room is associated with a different colour as a means of way-finding and helps to create a noticeable boundary when transitioning between each area.

"The colours were chosen to set the tone of each room based on colour theory and the expected activity within the space, as darker colours induce tranquillity while brighter tones encourage conversation and collaboration."

Student: Katie Zhang
Course: Interior Design Studio V
Tutor: Nadia Cannataro
Contact: LinkedIn


Archival Thresholds by Meimei Yang

Archival Thresholds by Meimei Yang

"Archival Thresholds documents and collects the living and architectural heritage of one of Toronto's oldest and largest artscape studios, which ceased to operate as a space for art in March of 2022.

"It proposes a reincarnation of the building's evolving heritage through the making of objects from discarded artefacts of the site."

Student: Meimei Yang
Course: Interior Design Studio VII
Tutor: Catherine Dowling
Contact: LinkedIn


Nora House case study by Shuning Xie

Nora House Case Study by Shuning Xie

"This project seeks to integrate traditional artistic expressions into modern architectural design.

"The power of tradition is fused into the new architecture, and the history and culture become the most important part of the design. Innovation is not only a vision of the future but also an echo of the existing past history."

Student: Shuning Xie
Course: Design Dynamics Studio III, Communications III
Tutors: Jonathon Anderson and Christine Leu


The Enigmatic Yayoi Kusama by Natalie Haniff

The Enigmatic Yayoi Kusama by Natalie Haniff

"The pattern box is influenced by the multitude of points used in Yayoi Kusama's work.

"In Kusama's artistic visions, the patterns around her seemed to be alive. Here the cultured cells are 'alive' but are contained in the petri dish."

Student: Natalie Haniff
Course: Design Dynamics Intro
Tutor: Jonathon Anderson
Contact: LinkedIn


Spoken Form by Wandia Muchiri

Spoken Form by Wandia Muchiri

"Spoken Form is a design method for a clay fabrication workshop with Toronto's Chinatown community. A large part of Chinatown's history lives on via spoken knowledge.

"The proposed design method honours this vocal tradition practised by the community by carrying it on through materiality.

"Recognising the limitations of digital fabrication tools in design, the workshop will have participants manipulate the clay 3D printing process with their own sound, re-introducing the human influence in clay fabrication."

Student: Wandia Muchiri
Course: Interior Design Studio VII
Tutor: Linda Zhang
Contact: LinkedIn


Sacred by Asma Fazal

Sacred by Asma Fazal

"The distinct rise in Islamophobia has forced young Muslims into defensive positions, causing a divide between Muslim and non-Muslim communities.

"Thus, young Muslims should be intellectually equipped and spiritually anchored in a way that empowers them to deal with the discrimination routinely levelled against them and their faith.

"Sacred Muslim Youth Center will provide Muslim youth with a safe space that offers them confidence and frameworks to refute common misconceptions while sharing their faith and culture with others to enhance understanding and create unity."

Student: Asma Fazal
Course: Interior Design Studio VII
Tutors: Marti Gallucci, Joel Hunking, Ashley Rumsey and Stanley Sun
Contact: LinkedIn

Partnership content

This school show is a partnership between Dezeen and Ryerson University. Find out more about Dezeen partnership content here.

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