Archive for February, 2013


photo: Mike Williams, General Manager of Economic Development & Culture, City of Toronto, cites the many benefits of manufacturing in urban areas.

Vertical Urban Factory, last night’s excellent panel discussion at 401 Richmond, delved into the return of manufacturing to cities. Economic and social benefits include fortifying a solid middle income base, opportunity for local innovation and the creation of spin-off jobs. The talk was sponsored by the Centre for City Ecology in conjunction with an exhibit at the Design Exchange in Toronto. This exhibit has previously been on show in New York and Detroit.

In addition to Mike Williams, the panel included Nina Rappaport, Curator, Vertical Urban Factory and Jason Rehel, Cultural Critic, National Post.

A particularly interesting aspect of this movement that factory owners are attracted by cities with a vibrant workforce, which we can only hope brings an end to the outmoded idea of tax subsidies.

-Sharon VanderKaay



On his HBR blog Michael Schrage observes, “Right answers to wrong questions virtually guarantee failure…Asking “how can we build a better mouse?” in an era of touchscreen and haptic virtuosity is not a recipe for success.”

Schrage’s new book, “Who do you want you customers to become?” raises a question that we as architects have given a lot of thought to over the years. The set of slides above introduces ten  interactive elements that are intended to transform non-designers into champions who demand better, health-causing design.

– Sharon VanderKaay

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