Ryerson’s department of architectural science presented its annual collaborative project last week. This was the first year it was featured as an exhibit in the Toronto Design Offsite Festival.

The non-profit design festival, which took place around the city between Jan. 18 and Jan. 24, transformed Toronto into an elaborate design hub and invited Ryerson to participate.

Ryerson’s exhibit in the festival, The 2016 Collaborative Exercise: Water, was displayed in the Architecture Building on campus. It studied the human relationship with water and its importance to life on earth.

Recycled cardboard, cotton balls, paper accents and plastic water bottles were some of the materials incorporated in the models. Each piece of work was displayed in front of detailed sketches and floor plans. These plans presented an in-depth look into the creative process the students underwent to produce their final products. They included original photographs, maps, sketches and other inspirations.

“What I find the most engaging about the collaborative exercise is that it engages years one through four, and that’s something you don’t get in a lot of other programs,” said Antone Frisina, a graduate architecture student and the project administrator for the exhibit.

George Kapelos, a Ryerson professor of architectural science, organized and developed the exhibit.

“Every winter at the start of the term we run this collaborative exercise,” Kapelos said. “The entire department assembles before the rest of the university goes into session and we spend time addressing a subject that’s interesting or important.”

Daniel Carey, a fourth-year student, was one of the participants whose work was on display. “This is the first time for many of the students to actually have their work put on exhibition,” he said. “It is a very rewarding feeling.”

Carey received an award for best interaction with water from the architecture department for his model. He has participated in the departmental project every year since he started at Ryerson’s architecture program.

“It’s interesting to see the evolution of my contribution — going from not knowing what to do first year to leading the design in my fourth and final year,” he said. “The objective of this project is to challenge students to step outside of their boundaries while providing them the work environment to gain valuable knowledge from their peers.”

Kapelos attributes much of the exhibit’s success to the partnership among students.

“I think it’s a great event and it raises the profile of design, of architecture and of what we’re doing at Ryerson,” he said.

Other student exhibits are displayed at the Paul H. Cocker Gallery, open weekdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. in Ryerson’s Architecture Building.

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