Dezeen Magazine

University of Toronto presents 14 architecture, landscape and design projects

Dezeen School Shows: a project that explores how architecture can reconstruct landscapes and another that examines how green space be added to low-income areas are included in Dezeen's latest school show by students at the University of Toronto.

Also included is a type of air purification infrastructure that aims to tackle air pollution in China and a study into safely decommissioning nuclear-generating facilities along the shorelines of Canada's great lakes.

University of Toronto

Institution: University of Toronto
School: Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design
Course: Master of Architecture, Master of Forest Conservation, Master of Landscape Architecture, Master of Urban Design and Master of Visual Studies
Tutors: Wei-Han, Vivian Lee, Lina Ghotmeh, John Shnier, Professor Mason White, Kelly Doran, Petros Babasikas, Danijela Puric-Mladenovic, Sally Krigstin, Kymberley Snarr, Liat Margolis, Luis Jacob and Zach Blas.

School statement:

"The Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design at the University of Toronto offers graduate programmes in architecture, landscape architecture, urban design, forestry and visual studies. It also offers unique undergraduate progammes that use architectural studies and visual studies as a lens through which students may pursue a broad, liberal arts-based education.

"Its mission is to educate students, prepare professional and cultivate scholars who will play a leading role in creating more culturally engaged, ecologically sustainable, socially just and artfully conceived environments.

"The greater Toronto region serves as a dynamic laboratory for both its students and faculty, while the University of Toronto, which year after year ranks among the top universities in the world, provides a wealth of knowledge and expertise that they can draw from.

"Like Toronto, Daniels students and faculty are incredibly cosmopolitan in sensibility, hailing from every part of the world, with their work crossing all sorts of geographic and cultural boundaries. The city's multicultural networks and international connections make the Daniels Faculty a powerful place to start a career.

"The growth of the school's programmes and faculty ranks has occasioned the building of a new home for the Daniels Faculty at One Spadina Crescent, one of Toronto’s most historic sites.

"Completed in 2018, the transformation of this iconic building has doubled the size of our previous facilities and created a new and unprecedented district for education, research, and public outreach on architecture, urbanism, and the visual arts at the University of Toronto."

A graphic illustration of industrial Chinese buildings

Airpocalypse by Chenyi Xu

"The word 'airpocalypse' was first used in China in 2013 to describe the levels of toxic smog in the country.

"Typically, nearly one million people die from air pollution in the country every year. As China's largest city, Shanghai, in particular, has serious air pollution problems.

"Over the next 50 years, air pollution will become Shanghai's most serious problem.

"This thesis discusses the possibility of developing a new type of air purification infrastructure that integrates itself within architectural space and the urban environment to become an essential component of the evolving city."

Student: Chenyi Xu
Master of Architecture
Wei-Han and Vivian Lee

An architectural drawing of people walking around a building

Mosaic Moments of Time, Space and Demands by Cheuk (Yoyo) Tang

"The post-traumatic landscape is not a solidified object.

"It is rather a mosaic moment in time, which wanders between the past and the future, constantly evolving around unexpectancies.

"This project proposes to assist the rehabilitation in Beirut with the reuse of scaffolding, which has long existed within the cityscape due to wars.

"The structure is designed to provide maximum flexibility in accommodating various degrees and phases of needs, building restoration and a collective recovery process. It transforms and adapts in time, reintroducing hope, vibrancy and a sense of belonging to catastrophes."

Student: Cheuk (Yoyo) Tang
Master of Architecture
Lina Ghotmeh

A photograph of people looking at drawings

Expanded Drawing as Thesis by Erika Ulrich

"Cinema and architecture are collapsed in a temporal and spatial overlap and we call this phenomenon Expanded.

"This work explores the dichotomy between notational and conceptual drawing and harnesses tools of projection and conductivity to devise an expanded drawing as thesis."

Student: Erika Ulrich
Master of Architecture
John Shnier

A ghostly render of people sitting in a kitchen

Process House – Se Kue – Xanete/t Ante: Creating a Process to Address the Horrific Housing Crisis in Canada's First Nations Reservations by James Bird

"The focus of this final thesis is the creation of a methodology using the Dene and Nehiyawak languages as entry points into examining form.

"This process examines Indigenous linguistic morphemes and places these as entry points into understanding Indigenous ways of knowing domestic space.

"This thesis disrupts the colonial form for home that was created in the 'Indian Act policies' and places design practice back into the traditional way of activating the 'Se Kue' – Spirit House."

Student: James Bird
Master of Architecture
Professor Mason White
Instagram: @denesulinebird

A bird's eye view of a urban landscape

Homes in Willowdale: A New Way of Densifying Neighbourhoods by Jue Wang

"This thesis project looks at a sample block in Toronto's Willowdale area to experiment with adding density not only as a response to density growth, but also to address the issue of climate change.

"The project proposes to maintain the smaller developments along Yonge Street, distributing density across the neighbourhood by building multiplex housing.

"Building smaller-scale housing with high density is more carbon-efficient, as low-carbon materials are more available and building components are more easily recycled and reused.

"If the existing bungalows can be transformed, the same density as new condominiums can be achieved without building a single new tower."

Student: Jue Wan
Master of Architecture
Kelly Doran

A graph that examines: Urban Forest Stewardship Potential for Social Housing Sites in Toronto by James Marcucci

Urban Forest Stewardship Potential for Social Housing Sites in Toronto by James Marcucci

"Marcucci's project outlines how social housing complexes can be spaces for urban forest stewardship.

"The project asks: how can more green space be protected and injected into low-income areas of big cities such as Toronto? There is a measurable inequality of urban tree-canopy cover in Toronto neighbourhoods that are directly related to median household incomes.

"Non-profits such as Local Enhancement and Appreciation of Forests (LEAF) have identified this issue and are partnering with the City of Toronto to empower Toronto Community Housing tenants to plant and steward trees in their communal green spaces."

Student: James Marcucci
Master of Forest Conservation
Danijela Puric-Mladenovic

A photograph of a green space in Toronto

A Qualitative Matrix Analysis of the Forestry Cooperative Pilot Project Model Developed by the Ontario Woodlot Association Located in Southern Ontario by Shan Shukla

"There are many hectares of red pine plantations that are standing on private land in Southern Ontario. While publicly owned plantations have been effectively managed to the point where they have now transitioned to native, mixed-wood stands, private plantations are aging and require intervention.

"The Ontario Woodlot Association has stepped in to create two pilot projects in Huronia and Fleetwood, structured around one forestry cooperative model to promote plantation management.

"My work evaluated the effectiveness of these pilot projects to determine their ability to provide value to and assist landowners and their land. Special thanks to Paul Robertson and John Pineau."

Student: Shan Shukla
Master of Forest Conservation
Sally Krigstin and Kymberley Snarr

A logo of the city of Toronto

Down by Law: Examining the City of Toronto's Community Aspirations at a District Scale by Agata Mrozowski

"Through the investigation of a 24,000-square-foot fenced off-open space — property of the Toronto District School Board, situated in the Parkdale neighbourhood — this thesis maps the incongruencies between the city's proclaimed aspirations around wellness, food security and open space, community needs, and existing bylaws and policies that contradict the goals set by the City of Toronto.

"As certain bylaws restrict cultural expression and practice within the public realm, and disproportionately target the most marginalized constituents of society, how can landscape architects challenge existing bylaws and design with contextual specificity to advance autonomy, equity, dignity and care within the urban realm?"

Student: Agata Mrozowski
Master of Landscape Architecture
 Liat Margolis

An abstract image of a tree

The Whisperings of Roots: the Story of the Understory, Speculative Futurism Storytelling as Research Methodology by Madison Appleby

"In reaction to the conflict surrounding the Fairy Creek blockade in British Columbia, a story of the future and past was created, told from the perspective of the forest and internet.

"Drawing from tenets of indigenous futurisms and relational accountability, and in response to science fiction's role in colonial discourse, this story intends to redirect technology and extraction to create empathy in a difficult present. Stories in this future were technology, spinning words into meaning and into action.

"The power of a story could shape the trajectory of the future. In this sense, stories were treasured and carefully told."

Student: Madison Appleby
Master of Landscape Architecture
Liat Margolis

A graphic circular design

Seven Generations of Pickering Nuclear by Stefan Herda

"As nuclear generating facilities along the shorelines of the Great Lakes approach the end of their operational lives, the monumental task of their safe decommissioning will take generations.

"This thesis presents a series of interim conditions of Pickering Nuclear Generating Station's landscape, redirecting its role from energy production into a carbon sink.

"Despite the challenges resulting from contamination, the politics of power generation and Ontario's unresolved nuclear waste management timeline, how will a gradient of interventions founded on carbon sequestration, afforestation initiatives and metabolic recycling reimagine and remediate this post-nuclear site as it transforms over decades?"

Student: Stefan Herda
Master of Landscape Architecture

a bird's eye view of a urban landscape

Build In My Back Yard – Assisted Incremental Housing through Small Parcel Residential Infill by Mitali Gupta

"As Toronto's Eglinton Crosstown LRT nears completion, Little Jamaica has seen a surge of development proposals. These lack affordable housing and will push out existing retail and people. With this, the culture, character and identity of the neighborhood face the very real threat of erasure.

"Will riders getting off at the new LRT stops recognize anything about Little Jamaica? This project intends to retain the vibrancy and small-scale fabric of the community while regaining its sense of place.

"BIMBY is a proposal that seeks to redirect and encourage infill growth and density in low-rise residential neighborhoods (the Yellowbelt) while rehabilitating and rezoning to provide additional community amenities and assets."

Student: Mitali Gupta
Master of Urban Design

A photograph of a football with wheels

Everything is fine by Anran Guo

"Anran Guo is a female queer artist currently based in Hamilton and Toronto.

"She grew up in China and came to Canada in 2014. Guo is primarily focused on sculptures and installations.

"Her works are critical and playful, offering layered readings, and are usually in response to political issues and social issues."

Student: Anran Guo
Master of Visual Studies
Luis Jacob

An installation made from sheets of textiles

Infinite Sample Set by Jeremy Laing

"Jeremy Laing makes objects, spaces and situations for embodiment and relation.

"Through the synthesis of craft, conceptual and social modes, their work explores the interrelation and transitional potential of people and things, materials and meanings, and questions the normative logics of who and what matters, is valued, or not."

Student: Jeremy Laing
Course: Master of Visual Studies

An abstract illustration of a tree

Buried Landscapes by Keenan Ngo

"Between Toronto and Lake Simcoe, an indigenous portage route called the Carrying Place Trail was used for thousands of years prior to the arrival of settlers. Urbanism has erased the trail leaving scattered remnants, these fragments are an archipelago of stories.

"How can architecture reclaim urbanism and reconstruct landscapes to uncover history? How do we respect what came before and make connections between people, community and place for a sense of being?

"Four stations acknowledge scars in the land and catalogue techniques for addressing disruptions in the landscape. They are the first of many that begin a process of transformation."

Student: Keenan Ngo
Master of Architecture
Petros Babasikas

Partnership content

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