07.06.24 - More than 300 students across all disciplines represented in Faculty’s 2023/24 End of Year Show

Currently on display across all three floors of the Daniels Building at 1 Spadina Crescent, the 2023/24 End of Year Show spotlights student work from each of the degree programs at the Daniels Faculty, including graduate and undergraduate studies in Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Forestry, Urban Design and Visual Studies.

On view until the end of June, the annual exhibition this year encompasses “three-dimensional, two-dimensional, audio and digital projects,” say Brandon Bergem and Jeffrey Garcia, co-curators of the 2023/24 Show.

Both are sessional lecturers at the Faculty as well as the co-founders of the interdisciplinary design practice Office In Search Of (OISO).

“Our best approximation,” they say, “is that 300-plus students are represented [in the show], with contributions ranging from…a four-foot-by-four-foot orthographic drawing [and] a collection of gifs on a monitor [to] a three-foot-long section drawing and a handcrafted wooden lounge chair.”

According to the curators, the selection and organization of the vast body of student submissions was based largely on two guiding principles.

“The first was how to celebrate the immense collective creative output produced by students at the Faculty and not focus on individual students or prioritize any course or program. The second was how to best represent the projects optimally without compromising the integrity of the work.”

For example, they say, “students in the Forestry program produce exceptional research, and Visual Studies students often display work in formats that require different consideration than what we are accustomed to in studio reviews.”

As a whole, the exhibition offers a comprehensive and revealing survey of the wide-ranging yet synergistic study taking place at the school right now.

Still, say Bergem and Garcia, how to exhibit the breadth of this work presented no small challenge.

“The layout of an entire exhibition catalogue was spread across every pin-up panel in the main-floor hallway. In the second-floor hallway, each pin-up panel was dedicated to specific drawing types (site plans, sections, elevations, etc.), then covered in a wallpaper of black and white drawings from students’ projects, assembled like puzzle pieces. 

“On the second floor, we devised a continuous 16-foot strip composed of collages and renderings that were mounted on the walls in one of the rooms that projected into the space by wrapping around the columns. In another, tree-based objects like mallets, chairs and a memorial sculpture were staged like a tableau in the centre of the room, with research graphics attached to the walls.

“In a room on the third floor, most of the 2D material was suspended rather than pinned to the walls and the 3D objects were placed on a clustered field of plinths and light tables.”

Through these various entry points, visitors are consequently invited “to discern the themes based on commonalities and differences—for example, how can design be used as a method to advocate for biodiversity and the prevention of environmental degradation? How can the intersection of urbanism, architecture and social equity be used to inspire a higher quality of living? [And] how can the concept of a building site transcend physical location to be inclusive of cultural, historical and ecological influences?"

At the same time, questions based on medium and methodology—such as the effectiveness of orthographic drawings in communicating design intent and organization or the degree to which unconventional two- and three-dimensional forms challenge expectations of how design is interpreted—are also posed in the show.

The End of Year Show in its current building-wide incarnation will be on view at 1 Spadina until the end of June. A curated selection will then be installed in the Larry Wayne Richards Gallery and the Commons until early September. 

The Daniels Building is open to the public from 8:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. every weekday, with fob access only on Saturdays and Sundays.

All photographs by Adrian Yu + Office In Search Of