07.11.23 - Faculty members among international contributors to Drawing for Food initiative

Ja Architecture Studio, the Office of Adrian Phiffer and artist/designer Tom Ngo are among the Faculty-related contributors to this month’s Drawing For Food auction in aid of maintaining healthy food supplies to vulnerable Toronto residents.

“Since the pandemic, homelessness in Toronto has become more visible, but there is a lot of invisible homelessness and food precarity,” say the auction’s organizers. “Drawing for Food leverages the power of architectural drawing and spatial illustration to advocate for the needs of our most vulnerable community members. The auction…solicits drawings from designers and architects in support of social causes,” with the entire proceeds from this month’s going to a Toronto organization, Seeds of Hope, assisting community members experiencing homelessness, precarious housing and food shortages.

“Lots of architecture studio briefs have taken on themes such as affordable housing,” say the auction team leaders, which include assistant professor Adrian Phiffer of the Daniels Faculty, architects Stephanie Davidson and Georg Rafailidis of Davidson Rafailidis and fourth-year TMU student Eira Roberts. “However, this project aims to leverage our architectural work to help vulnerable community members more directly.”

More than two dozen firms and individuals have donated drawings to the auction, including all of the team members above, Daniels Faculty sessional lecturer Tom Ngo (a widely exhibited visual artist and a project architect at Kongats Architects) and Ja Architecture Studio (the Toronto-based practice co-founded by Daniels Faculty assistant professor Behnaz Assadi with architect and alumnus Nima Javidi).

Others on the list of international contributors include Fala Atelier of Portugal, NOMOS of Spain, Drawing Architecture Studio of China and Studio Märkli of Switzerland, to name only a few.

For now, the drawings are viewable as a gallery on the auction’s website. The auction will go live at 9:00 a.m. ET on November 24 and conclude at midnight ET on December 1.

All of the drawings have the same starting price of $100 Canadian and buyers will make their bids on the website. Top bidders will be contacted via e-mail on December 2 and asked to donate their bid amount directly to Seeds of Hope using an online donation portal. Credit cards, Google Pay and PayPal will all be accepted.

Once payments have been processed, each donor will ship the drawing to the buyer. Drawing for Food will act as a go-between, hosting the website, taking any questions from bidders and verifying that bids have been donated so that tax receipts can be issued.

“The hope,” says the organizing team, “is to add to the collection of drawings with a new auction each year,” ideally generating funds for a different organization in Ontario or Western New York.

“A broader aim of this auction project,” team members add, “is to explore ways that architectural drawings can be used for public good. Realizing spatial projects of any scale typically relies on a financial backer: an owner, a client, an entity with a commercial interest, etc. The interests of the moneyed participant drive, or at least influence, the interests of the spatial project. But the instrument of drawing, we argue, is entirely ours. It belongs to us, and as designers we can decide what and how we draw, who we draw for, and who benefits from our work.”

Drawings in banner by 1. Ja Architecture Studio. 2. Office of Adrian Phiffer. 3. Tom Ngo. 4. Fala Atelier. 5. Nathalie Du Pasquier. 6. Kemetic Blue. 7. Studio Märkli. Drawing for Food logo on homepage by Claudia Draghia.