Category: Studio Y

Studio Y – (“Why?”)

Q: What is the maximum amount of people to ever be in the studio simultaneously?

Q: How high is the success rate of studio members getting a full time employment in a company?

Q: How dos the studio maintain itself? Is it a government organization?

Summary:Studio Y is an interesting place located in MaRS building for people aspiring for opportunities, rich with ideas and innovations. The place itself is a comfy studio with pillow-seats and chairs forming a circle, where all the studio members gather and discuss projects and ideas, share thoughts and experiences and collaborate. Studio has interesting group division procedures where certain members pitch their idea and the remaining members disperse themselves into groups based on how members resonate with certain ideas. During our visit to Studio Y we were treated as members. We were taught the basic procedures of interacting within this environment, like clicking when our views resona+ed with the view of the speaker, and separated into groups based on people’s interests.  In teams we discussed various ideas that were important to us and then on return to the room we talked about our ideas with the entire community. Studio Y provides many opportunities for students to cooperate with larger companies and opens a window for inexperienced students fresh from universities to get a job at one of the companies.

Reflection: The overall experience of visiting Studio Y was pretty interesting. I was slightly disoriented at first at how friendly everyone was and how the conversations got picked up pretty quickly, however the overall experience was amazing. I joined a group which was discussing education in video games and it was quite the experience, sharing thoughts and with people interested in the same topic. I brought up the example of physics in video games such as in Half Life and Portal, where the knowledge of physics required to solve puzzles could potentially be a applied to real life. In general it was a good experience and I would definitely remember Studio Y.

Studio Y – March 13


Our second stop inside the MaRS building was Studio Y, where young people can apply for a 8-moth fellowship to learn about techniques useful for building leadership skills, entrepreneurship and many other types of skills. Reading about Studio Y made me wonder a few things, and those were my questions:

  • What specific qualities and abilities Studio Y’s members work on?
  • Aside from discussions, are there any other ways for the members to participate and develop their skills?
  • What do you classify as ‘innovation’ when it comes to game design?


Studio Y is located on a very nice room that looks a lot more informal and diverse than what we had seen from the MaRS building. We were greeted by some of the studio’s members, who introduced themselves and explained to us how the studio worked, and what are its objectives. We were then invited to participate in a session of discussion of varied topics, some proposed by the present studio’s members and others raised by some of us. Each person could pick one of the proposed topics to discuss, which resulted in small groups discussing varied subjects (for example, games narratives, the future of tech, games in education, inclusion and technologies, and others). The person who proposed the discussion topic also needed to pick a location for their group, including different corners of the room, the kitchen, and the food court. I decided to join the games in education discussion (located in the food court) with other four people. We discussed how often games are “dumbed down” to be used as instruments of education, which ends up creating a negative label for educational games in general, even though there are some good games of this type out there. It was also mentioned how there seems to be a lot of educational games for children but not nearly as many for teenagers or young adults, which reinforces games being “dumbed down” as children’s play and being necessarily easy and about simple topics. This prompted us to discuss about possible solutions to make educational games just as appealing as most common games. Once time was up, we returned to Studio Y’s room and each group gave feedback about their discussion, and nice discussion outcomes were rewarded with finger snapping.



The nicest thing I noticed about Studio Y is that there’s a lot of freedom for participants to choose what they want to do and discuss, which promotes more honest and vivid discussions. The environment itself is also very welcoming and strangely cozy, giving the meeting a much more personal rather than professional feeling. I think this kind of atmosphere can be very positive for idea generation and innovation in general. The studio seems to explore and reinforce everything that most OCAD students seek, especially with the heavy focus on innovation. The idea of being able to pick a topic to discuss from scratch instead of discussing previously defined ideas (as it happens in most “discussion circles”) is very refreshing and particularly useful for brainstorming, and I feel I could have participated a bit more if I wasn’t shy. Regardless, even for shy people such as myself, I think the studio provides a very positive environment for idea generation and learning in general.



(Inside Studio Y – Community Gather and Discussion)


  1. StudioY cohorts 25 new people each year. How are these 25 people chosen?
  2. After the fellowship, people can choose to pursue one of the following three categories: Education, Enterpreneurship, and employment. Do you have any successful cohorts that have graduated this program without going into one of these three categories, and have applied the skills? (Successful meaning stable living or good career).
  3. Who are the supports of the Studio Y program? Are any of those companies related to what Studio Y is trying to achieve?


When the class arrived at Studio Y, our host, Hilary Predko, greeted us at the door. She first explained to the group about what Studio Y is about, and then asked every one in the room for 6-8 possible topics to talk about. The different topics included techno-cyber inclusion, community business structures, story telling and the truth/false of stories, how tech plays into varying abilities, educational segregation, the future of digital component in teaching, and how games, mechanics and narration unite together. After the topics were chosen, people got to choose which topic they wanted to talk about and relocated to different locations in order to talk more about the subject. The subject I participated in was educational segregation. Speaking about the topic, we were able to define the possible problems of the educational system. We determined that in most schools, school systems believe their educational system is “perfect”, and enforces students to take classes according to that structure. We also discussed about the possible changes to this system and how students over certain ages should be able to choose what is best for them. All of the groups later reconvened at Studio Y and discussed the various topics as a larger group.

Personal Reflections:

Studio Y’s open space environment has proven to be a very communicative setting. The weekly group meetings to discuss various topics open up many ways of thinking and interaction. I was especially thrilled to hear about all of the different topics to talk about, such as the story telling, game making, and education. Joining in on the education segregation topic, I believe that it is true that students are sometimes guided too tightly within the parameters of the school system. From primary school to high school, the plan for some schools has not reached its strong point. In my past experience of schooling, I clearly remember that I was forced to learn the same level of math in each year in different grades. This idea of enforcing math at a lower level but multiple times made me realize I have wasted quite a bit of time to do certain subjects I have already mastered. School systems also don’t offer electives early on, which puts stress in students to figure out what path they want to take in the four years of high school. During middle school, the teachers chose students they want to keep when they taught a higher grade, manipulating the education system. This act segregated students from the teachers’ “favourites” to the ones teachers are less interested in. Students feel enough stress as is trying to learn, fit in, and be students. The problems listed here are not all of the possible problems, but it would be great if education system for primary to high schools would change for the better.

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