Border Town Design Jam

photo courtesy of

One of our dear friends (and Homework presenter), Tim Maly, from the great city of Toronto is hosting an event continuing off of the work he did with the Border Town Design Studio last year.

Here’s the details, if you’re in the area (and here’s more detailed information):


From Friday March 2, 2012 to Saturday March 3, teams of clever people will get together to solve a User Experience problem relating to border towns. Would you like to be one of them?

Border Town Design Jam (#btdj)
Using border towns as a point of entry, we’ll approach political geography as a design problem. This design jam will take place over 1 day (and a half), from March 2 to 3, 2012. Tickets are now available on Eventbrite. This event is presented in collaboration with ThingTank Lab.

Interested in seeing and hearing the results of this jam? We’re opening up our final show and tell to the general public – get your free tickets to attend here!


The topic and design challenge will be revealed at the kickoff party on Friday March 2, 2012, 6PM. However, here’s a hint:  ”Everyone must pass”

About Design Jams
Design Jams are one-or-two-day design sessions, during which people team up to solve engaging User Experience (UX) challenges. Learn more about Design Jams. 

Who should attend Design Jams
Anyone really – Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) & Design Students, Interaction Designers, UX Researchers, Information Architects, UI Designers, Web Designers, Graphic Designers, Hardware Hackers, Policy Nerds, Developers + more… The day aims to improve collaboration skills and help attendees learn and practice various UX techniques including but not limited to Research, Brainstorming, Sketching, Wireframing and Prototyping.

What happens at a Design Jam?
Attendees sign up in advance. Upon arrival they assign themselves to teams based on the skills they could contribute and what they’d like to learn. Teams are then presented a design challenge that they tackle by doing research, sketching, guerrilla testing and other UX techniques. They are encouraged to share their process and ideas halfway through enabling them to get feedback from other teams as well as other mentors in attendance during the day. The day concludes with final presentations to the entire group. Outcomes could take the form of sketches, storyboards, a video or even a prototype – whatever communicates the idea best.

What happens to the ideas we come up with?
All output materials will be shared on the Border Town and ThingTank Lab websites, and teams will be asked to compose a blog post about their design process and ideas.

To facilitate the free exchange of ideas, all outputs, visualizations and other contributions made during the day must be contributed under the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license. This basically means anyone can use ideas generated at the Design Jam, as long as they credit the original authors.


Feel free to contact any of the following with questions and queries.

From Border Town design studio (@dividedcities)
Emily Horne @birdlord & Tim Maly @doingitwrong

From ThingTank Lab (@thingtankTO)
Marie-Eve Belanger @wrongposture

ATTC Calgary: Projecting New Narratives of a City

Our work on ATTC Calgary with Truck Gallery’s CAMPER Urban Discovery project continued with a couple day’s break from events, allowing to focus on planning the remainder of our residency activities and starting work on our publication.

Tuesday night was our projection event around the edge of Central Memorial Park — an impeccably well-manicured green space in the middle of a downtown neighbourhood, and a welcomed surprise. A few logistical concerns aside (like having to connect seven extension cords to reach the edge of the park), we had a pretty ideal spot. A blank light-cemete wall always makes for a good projection screen.

The projections themselves were a series of text-based statements articulating of a set of narratives around Calgary that were originally based on the responses to our fill-in-the-blank statements and eventually moving on to real-time feedback and participation from those community members in attendance.

Continue reading “ATTC Calgary: Projecting New Narratives of a City”

Artists-in-Residence Announced for Homework!

We are very pleased to announce the following artists in residence for our upcoming Homework: Infrastructures & Collaboration in Social Practices project.

These artists were selected from over 120 applicants and represent an incredibly diverse range of practices, interests, and backgrounds:

We’ll be announcing our keynotes and conference participants soon, followed by further details on the entire project in the coming weeks. In the meantime, you should consider registering to attend the conference (ps. it’s free).

HOMEWORK: Infrastructures & Collaboration in Social Practices is four-day residency, two-day conference, and collaboratively-written publication aimed at generating conversation around the following:

  • alternative infrastructures,
  • radical collaboration,
  • social practice,
  • art implicated in social change,
  • neighbourhood-level activities,
  • city-wide imaginations,
  • site-specific curiosities,
  • tactical resistance,
  • new models for art education and research.

Facilitated by Broken City LabHOMEWORK calls on artists, scholars, writers, thinkers, and doers interested in any of the above to join us in Windsor, Ontario on October 21 and October 22, 2011.

Homework: Infrastructures & Collaboration in Social Practices is generously supported by the Ontario Arts Council, the University of Windsor’s School of Visual Arts, and our community partner the Art Gallery of Windsor.

City Counseling (Session #1)

Last night, in front of city hall, we had a conversation about the ways we want to shape our city.

In the midst of rising tensions around existing city services and new infrastructures, there seems to be a renewed wish for not just more public dialogue with the city, but a dialogue based on transparency and vision.

We haven’t been seeing that kind of dialogue, so we thought we might try to have our own.

Continue reading “City Counseling (Session #1)”


Imagine a marathon of idea sharing. Now imagine this marathon was held on the roof of a skyscraper in Los Angeles. This is basically the idea behind Postopolis. “It is a public five-day session of near-continuous conversation curated by some of the world’s most prominent bloggers from the fields of architecture, art, urbanism, landscape, music and design.” What if we were able to host an event of this size on a Windsor roof? I think the unconventional location of an event like this probably breaks people out of familiarity and keeps their minds thinking creatively. For this reason, I think more creative events should be held in odd locations.

Via We Make Money, Not Art

Sites of Apology / Sites of Hope

The details: Sunday, February 28, 2010 (1pm) at 362 California Ave, Windsor

As part of the Broken City Lab: Save the City project, and to better understand the city and its rich and failed history, Broken City Lab researchers will host an open community event on Sunday, February 28, 2010 at 1pm to map and invent two distinct community tours—Sites of Apology and Sites of Hope.

Throughout the first part of the event, Broken City Lab will lead community participants in brainstorming the numerous sites deemed to be worthy of apology—these could include failed strip malls, roads without sidewalks, or former auto factories—along with the numerous sites that give community participants hope for the city—these could include an especially great bike trail, sites of architectural significance, or places that can be imagined as being easily improved.

Immediately following the creation of these lists, Broken City Lab will set out to demarcate and officially designate each Site of Apology and Site of Hope. At each site, a short ceremony will be held and community members are welcomed to come along to help recognize each and every site.

A map demarcating each of the designated Sites of Apology and Sites of Hope will be made available online to encourage the ongoing investigation of these sites by community members.

Broken City Lab: Save the City is generously supported by the Ontario Arts Council.

Public Realm at Propeller Centre for the Visual Arts

On Thursday, January 21st at the Propeller Centre for the Visual Arts in Toronto, we’ll be doing a projection performance that examines the language and ideas surrounding public space, intervention, urban surfaces, and city infrastructures. As part of Propeller’s Public Realm exhibition, we will curate a text-based list of ideas, statements, and questions, that address the concerns embedded in our practice and that appear to be at the heart of the exhibition itself.

We will ask for the participation of those in attendance, along with other momentary collaborators through tools such as Twitter and SMS, for submissions during the duration of the performance. The projection itself will consist of white text and will be projected onto the façade of a nearby building. Photographic documentation of the projection will be installed in the gallery space afterwards.

Public Realm opens on January 20th and runs to January 31st, 2010.

Save the City: Listen to the City

The details: Sunday, January 24, 2010 (8pm) at Phog Lounge (157 University Ave W, Windsor)

As part of the Broken City Lab: Save the City project, Broken City Lab researchers will facilitate a community workshop to brainstorm, uncover, and share personal histories of Windsor, inviting a range of community members to participate in the process. The workshop will begin with a discussion about the importance in personal histories alongside official histories of a city, and then lead to the opportunity for community participants to share their own stories about Windsor.

Throughout this part of workshop, we are going to help you to record one another’s stories on portable MP3 audio recorders and encourage the retelling of stories throughout the workshop. After the workshop, the recorded audio stories will be uploaded to the Broken City Lab website and offered for streaming and downloading. As well, a copy of the edited collection of the stories will be donated to the Windsor Archives.

We think that the best way to start understanding this city is to hear the stories from the people who live here.

With that in mind, we’re going to ask you two questions about the city:

What brought you here? and Why are you still here?

See you on the 24th!!!!

Broken City Lab: Save the City is generously supported by the Ontario Arts Council.