Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 48.37
Liaison Jenika Wong
Submission Date Nov. 18, 2014
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

George Brown College
IN-1: Innovation 1

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Luigi Ferrara
Arts and Design
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Title or keywords related to the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:
Interdisciplinary Design Strategy, post-graduate certificate-program, The Institute without Boundaries

A brief description of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome :

The Institute without Boundaries works towards collaborative design action and seeks to achieve social, ecological and economic innovation. The Institute without Boundaries is a 1-year intensive post-graduate certificate-program in Interdisciplinary Design Strategy offered through the George Brown College School of Design to students from diverse professional and academic backgrounds.
At the Institute, we see the designer as a problem solver with the ability to effect positive change for humanity. We are a place where students, teachers, industry and community experts can come together not only as creators and designers, but as ambassadors of hope.We imagine how to live, learn, work, and play together as a global community and seek alternative development patterns and a viable path to a bright future.
Each year, the IwB partners with a real-world organization and develops a Major Project around their complex needs. Students learn skills, do research, create comprehensive proposals and present their work over the course of the academic year– all of which is guided by the demands of their Major Project.
Every Major Project is itself part of larger multi-year projects undertaken by the IwB. The demands put on the students, as well as the quality of their final work are quite high. As such, the amount that students learn in this program is exceptional. This experience prepares them for a variety of jobs in the professional world. Additionally, some or all of their course work at the IwB may be eligible towards a Master’s Degree at partner institutions.

A brief description of any positive measurable outcomes associated with the innovation (if not reported above):

The current project, the Regional Ecologies Project (2013-2017), expands on City Systems to consider urbanization as a regional phenomenon. Unlike cities, which tend to be well-defined entities with legal boundaries and a strong sense of place, city-regions are more nebulous, usually made up of a core city surrounded by suburbs, neighbouring communities and hinterland all contained within a continuous urban area. The IwB's approach considers regions as a whole with the goal of understanding the systems of nature, culture, industry, infrastructure, governance, communication, and finance that support and connect regions locally and globally.
Regional Ecologies Highlights
Year 01: Gateway City - Toronto, New York, Chicago
Year 02: Connecting Divided Places
Year 03: Interstitial Zones
Year 04: Symbiotic Cities
Year 05: Continuous Corridors
The IwB’s previous project, City Systems (2009-13), which recognized that to look at issues of physical and social resilience and sustainability of the environment, it is necessary to look beyond the house to how cities themselves are built. Since the Industrial Era, the rate of urbanization has skyrocketed. The city is everywhere and growing. As the primary human habitat, the city is the site for many 'wicked problems' affecting the lives of most people on the planet. The project examined the city at macro and micro levels, to understand the mechanisms and façades of the urban environment, and explores the past, present, and future of civilization as it relates to urban life. The City Systems Project proposed new ways to live and work in a contemporary city in a resilient way by reimagining the social and physical adaptability of infrastructure that will underpin the renewal of the city of the future.
The partner for the 2012/13 year is the city of Dublin, Ireland. This project will centre on examining the various systems that make up the city and proposing new and innovative sustainable urban practices that build on the existing planning practices in the city of Dublin.
The Partner for the 2013-14 was Chicago, focusing on Activating Resilient Communities and will transform into an exhibit at the Chicago Architecture Foundation. It featured initiatives around urban agriculture, innovation decentralized manufacturing, health and wellness, etc.
Previous projects have included:
i) The Massive Change Project: The Future of Global Design (2003-05) which examined the role of design in addressing social, environmental and economic issues. In many ways, Massive Change was a revival of design theories from the 1960s, which stress the social benefits of design practice.
ii) The World House Project (2006-09), which built upon the research and energy of Massive Change, and confronted the evolution of shelter for coming generations by developing housing systems based on principles of sustainability, accessibility, technological responsiveness and ecological balance. The World House Project developed a three-year research plan broadly looking at the principles of holistic housing and its systems. The research was then applied to several case studies including affordable and flexible housing for the developing region of Costa Rica and suburban revitalization in Toronto.

A letter of affirmation from an individual with relevant expertise:
Which of the following STARS subcategories does the innovation most closely relate to? (Select all that apply up to a maximum of 5):
Yes or No
Curriculum Yes
Research Yes
Campus Engagement ---
Public Engagement Yes
Air & Climate ---
Buildings Yes
Dining Services ---
Energy ---
Grounds ---
Purchasing ---
Transportation ---
Waste ---
Water ---
Coordination, Planning & Governance Yes
Diversity & Affordability ---
Health, Wellbeing & Work ---
Investment ---

Other topic(s) that the innovation relates to that are not listed above:
Sustainable development

The website URL where information about the innovation is available :

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.