Directed Studies Abroad Toronto: Photo Diary at Dialog

Studies abroad can be lots of fun, as well as an enormous amount of work. We had six weeks to study a site, propose an idea and present it through a graphic representation. On the first day, we met all our mentors as well as the principals of the firm. There was a looming nervousness among the students but we soon connected with each other and we felt very welcomed.

Looking out the office off the tenth floor, it’s a great view from the office. It was nice to see the city just at our door steps. We are also lucky enough to view a construction project that is steps away. The office itself is located at a key public transit intersection, and very convenient to commute.

Dialog organized a meeting with the City of Toronto with Scott. The rail deck park encompasses a footprint of 21 acres. This area, defined by the city, is not the boundary of the project. It is the core that defines the future of the city (the rail deck).

We explored the site and the surrounding area in a field trip to the railway lands west and central. It was a good day to tour, the weather held up and it didn’t rain. It was a little windy, but it was a great walk with Micheal and we discovered many moments as well as Toronto’s connections.

Everyone Couple of months there is a Firm-wide meeting. We where invited to attend the meeting  held at St.Paul’s Anglican Church. Jim, principle, had a great presentation in a very welcoming space of an adaptive reuse building.

In exploring vision and vision statement we had a mind mapping session with Antonio Gomez-pallacio,  The key points that drive a great design are formed by answering “why” three times. This will get into the essence of the project, describing the background (analysis on needs), vision/plan (principles of big moves) and implementation (milestones, indicators, metrics and targets)

The first three weeks in studio everyone worked on  a lot of precedent studies and site analysis. We divided into groups and collected information. We shared information each team found. It has been great collaboration of work and all the students found many interesting things which helping each other to develop our ideas.

The fourth week at dialog and we presentation to the city with the ideas that we have been developing. There were five groups and we had 20 minutes each to present our ideas. It was a great conversation on feasibility and different approaches to address the city’s concerns.

Monday morning are usually meetings with our mentors and the marketing team. While the students and mentors talk about Friday’s critique, pictures of each group are taken. The mentors discuss about our progress and input about the strengths of the project as well as what to expand and improve.  By the end of three weeks each team had a well developed ideas for the master plan.

As our ideas developing (though sketching, model making and digital), we where encouraged to expanded, test and express our ideas through different mediums. Everyone  enjoyed these great brain storming session through sketching and model making.

The last two weeks was the final stretch at designing the rail deck park. Every project had a theme and each person chose an element of interest to further develop their project. The five groups with three team members made great work expressing their interest form their groups master plan.

Last day of presentations at the Dialog office. Everyone is feeling happy and ready to present their project. Everyone has worked extremely hard these past weeks and have produced amazing projects.

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All Photo Credits: Oliver Tang

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