Ryerson’s prestigious FCAD will launch an innovative new Design Solutions course this winter to encourage students from different FCAD schools to address challenges facing the city of Toronto. We caught up with Director of Strategic Planning and Advancement, Brendan Dellandrea, to learn more about this unique educational opportunity.
What’s the “Design Solutions” course?
Ryerson is known for its interdisciplinary, hands-on education, and its mission to serve the needs of society. With Design Solutions, we’re taking this approach to the next level by empowering students to use their communication, creative, and design skills to solve real problems facing the City of Toronto. This course will bring students from across FCAD and the other Ryerson faculties into diverse, multi-disciplinary teams to design interventions that address civic and social issues identified by partners like the City of Toronto, the downtown BIA, and others.
How does this course fit in with Ryerson’s city-building research?
City building is in our DNA. As a university, we animate, inform, and contribute to the city — in terms of policy ideas, leadership, and direct engagement. Design Solutions is the latest in a long legacy of activity at Ryerson that combines teaching, research, and public engagement to improve urban living.
Will this course include any of Ryerson’s city building researchers?
There’s tons of room for involvement here – both in framing the challenges we’re asking our student teams to approach and in measuring the impact of the solutions they design. We’re excited to work with the City Building Institute at Ryerson, its partners, and others across this network to make the most of the opportunities in front of us.
What’s the significance of this course?
This course is inspired by the incredibly innovative and viable prototype projects that have emerged from the so-called “Supercourse” taught by FCAD professors Hossein Rahnama and Richard Lachman and by the smart, creative, and successful interventions and projects that have emerged from Ryerson’s co-curricular Zones – including SocialVentures Zone, the Transmedia Zone, the Fashion Zone, and the Design Fabrication Zone. Ryerson students are passionate about serving societal needs with imagination and invention. We want to further encourage and develop that talent through intentional, multi-disciplinary academic curriculum.
What do you hope this course will lead to?
Uniquely outstanding academic experiences that raise the confidence, skills, and social impact of our students while addressing meaningful challenges in Toronto’s neighbourhoods.
Who will be teaching this course?
We have an incredibly talented faculty of creative problem-solvers and innovators – and we’ll be drawing from those strengths across disciplines to bring this course to life. Both Hossein and Richard have agreed to return as faculty for this course, which is exciting. It’s not too late for others to get on board! We warmly invite your readers to get in touch to discuss how we can work together.