Building Black Success Through Design 2023

About BBSD

Building Black Success Through Design (BBSD) is a 12-week mentorship program offered through the Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design at the University of Toronto. This program is for Black high school students who are interested in Architecture and Design. The goal of the program is to inspire Black students to pursue excellence and innovation within design industries and academia, enhancing diversity within the field and therefore building Black success through design. 

About the Project

The 2023 program will have two cohorts, one online and in-person. Each cohort will consist of one Black university mentor to three mentees per working group. Both programs will guide mentees through each step of the design process, with a series of lessons and workshops that introduce the concepts, tools and methods used in the architecture and design industries. Participants will finish the program with a collection of written and design work that could be included in an admissions portfolio to various post-secondary programs. The program will conclude with a showcase of the outstanding design achievement and emerging talent of young designers that have come through our program. 

BBSD Schedule

The BBSD Mentorship program is a 12-week mentorship program that creates community and connections with Black students interested in design. Participants will attend weekly lessons and participate in workshops and activities with their mentors. Two cohorts will allow for students to be fully online or attend in-person meetings at the Daniels faculty. Two sessions – Wednesday meetings will be held collectively online for the two groups to share ideas while Saturday meetings are online or in-person for the respective cohort.  

BBSD Sessions will run from January 18, 2023, through April 15, 2023, on the following days: 

Wednesdays (6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.) – All cohorts Online 

Saturdays (11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.) – In-person / Online (depending on cohort registration) 

BBSD Cohorts

Cohort 1 – Design for Belonging - Online  

This course will focus on 3 major themes; observation, representation and reflection. Throughout the program students will develop designs (sketches, drawings, collages) and a written reflection based on their observations of a public space, and ideas encompassing belonging and community. 

Students will be sent a design kit with the required materials to develop drawings for this course. We will be using Zoom for all meetings.


Wednesdays (6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.) – Online  
Saturdays (11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.) – Online 

Cohort 2 – Design for Belonging - In-Person 

This course will focus on 3 major themes; observation, representation and reflection. Throughout the program, students will create preliminary designs (sketches, drawings, sketch models) and develop a physical model and a written reflection addressing community and belonging within a public space.  

Students will attend sessions at the Daniels Faculty Building (1 Spadina Crescent, Toronto, ON) where they will have access to design materials and laptops. For the Wednesday sessions, we will be using Zoom. 


Wednesdays (6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.) – Online  
Saturdays (11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.) – In-Person  

Please note:

This program requires access to a computer, phone or any device which can photograph and/or scan. There will be Wi-Fi throughout the duration of the program. Please let our team know of any potential accessibility needs within your application or through email and we will accommodate them on a case-by-case basis. 

Eligibility & Application

APPLY HERE!  - DEADLINE EXTENSION - January 11th, 2023

Please note that completing this application does not guarantee registration.

This program is FREE and for Black high school students (Grades 9 – 12) who are interested in Architecture and /or Visual Design. 

The program capacity is 36 students with a maximum ratio of 3 mentees per mentor. This small group environment facilitates personalized learning, peer engagement, and direct skill and knowledge transfer. 

To apply to this program, applicants will be required to submit the following: 

  • Applicant information forms 
  • A short paragraph (250 words max) explaining your interest in this program and why you would like to participate in this mentorship program. Applications detailing commitment to self-empowerment, technical skill, knowledge building, and community engagement will be given priority. 
  • Select a preferred Cohort: 
    • Design for Belonging Online  
    • Design for Belonging In-Person 

Please indicate your interest in the program, relevant past projects and experience, and the desired impact that you hope to attain from the skills and knowledge acquired during this program. While this is a competitive program, we also want students to enjoy the learning experience and be empowered by the experience and opportunity to engage with peers and impact.  

Successful applicants can expect to be emailed directly with further instructions after January 11th, 2023. 


About the BBSD Development Team

This program is supported by the Access Program University Funds (APUF), the Daniels Faculty, and Black Students in Design. 

For more information about the program, please contact: