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Re-think Ontario Place brings out interior design professionals and students

On December 1, 2012, interior designers, architects, landscape architects, industrial designers and graphic designers participated in an Ontario Place design charrette. The event was called “Rethinking Ontario Place” and the goal was to develop a design-led vision for this lakeshore landmark.

The charrette was organized by the Design Industry Advisory Committee (DIAC), the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) and the Martin Prosperity Institute. DIAC has organized a number of design charrettes to bring senior design professionals to the table to address challenges and opportunities in the public realm for the city and the province. ARIDO members Theo West-Parks of Westparks + Associates and Allan Guinan of figure3 as well as one of IDC’s student charrette winners Heather Schaefer of Conestoga College represented the interior design profession.

In the morning, featured speaker Eb Zeidler, the original architect of Ontario Place, spoke to the audience about his original vision for the site and how that vision can be carried into the future. Urban designer Ken Greenberg shared his commissioned, but never implemented, plan to merge Ontario Place and Exhibition Place.

In the afternoon, the designers were divided into breakout groups. Each team included representatives from various design disciplines and other community leaders. The teams were given one of the following themes: Innovation and Research, Sustainability, Ontario’s Place (arts, culture and nature), Transportation and Accessibility, and Community and International Brand Building.

The recommendations that emerged from the design charrette will be presented at Rethinking Ontario Place: Reaction, a  public panel discussion taking place on February 4, 2013, at Innis Town Hall, 6.30 to 9.30 p.m.

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