Ryerson architects take on Nuit Blanche

Stratatone, Courtesy [R]ed[U]x Lab

Stratatone is one of the [R]ed[U]x Lab’s three installations at this year’s Nuit Blanche. (Courtesy [R]ed[U]x Lab)

Ryerson architecture students are bringing their designs into reality for Nuit Blanche Toronto this weekend.

The [R]ed[U]x Lab, a group of digital fabricators and designers from the department of architectural science, has created three interactive installations for this year’s all-night exhibition, Stratatone, Nova and SOMNIUM.

“The students are able to create cool things beyond the classroom and bring their ideas into reality,” said Vincent Hui, head of the [R]ed[U]x Lab and professor at Ryerson’s department of architectural science.

He added, “Nuit Blanche allows our students [to] engage in the community.”

Stratatone, Courtesy [R]ed[U]x Lab

Stratatone (Courtesy [R]ed[U]x Lab)

Stratatone is a digital-based installation that demonstrates how a message can get distorted over time as it moves from one person to another — like a game of broken telephone.

Nova, meanwhile, puts a digital twist on the traditional funhouse mirror.

SOMNIUM is a floor-to-ceiling installation. Patrons enter the installation under the glow of a dim halo of light.

Nuit Blanche Toronto 2016 isn’t the [R]ed[U]x Lab’s first exhibition. Last year, students from the lab received $20,000 from Subaru to fund Ripple, which was big deal for the [R]ed[U]x Lab, said  Hui.

Unlike students from the fashion school or school of journalism, it’s more difficult for architecture students to build their portfolios or see the outcome of their work, added Hui. In order to create a building or structure, architecture students need licenses, permits and money.

Hui said that the [R]ed[U]x Lab was established in 2011 to get his students some “street cred” through a program that aligns with Ryerson’s dedication to experiential learning.

Stratatone, Courtesy [R]ed[U]x Lab

Stratatone (Courtesy [R]ed[U]x Lab)

Since then, the lab has been creating innovative art installations for the night exhibition, giving architecture students an opportunity to build their portfolios.

The lab allows students to create and see a tangible outcome of those creations.  “The [R]ed[U]x Lab is a vehicle to ensure there’s always a legacy,” said Hui.

And it’s working.

The [R]ed[U]x Lab has an extensive portfolio. Works from past Nuit Blanche participation include Aura, Revitalight, Sine, Stomata and more. The group has also contributed to the Toronto Design Offsite Festival, Come Up to My Room and The Stop’s Night Market.

Stratatone will showcase at Ryerson Artspace at the Gladstone Hotel. Nova and SOMNIUM will both be displayed at 401 Richmond St. during this contemporary art night festival. All events are free.

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