It’s time to reimagine our classroom spaces.  

You are invited to participate in a research study for Dear Classroom: A speculative look into post-secondary classroom design. Speculative Design, for the purpose of this study can be defined as a design process that is different from most, in which its process is not centered around solving a defined problem through a use of an expert/non-expert power dynamic. Instead, speculative design is used as a tool to prompt dialogue and discussion around alternative futures we may want. This study will explore how the application of speculative design processes to post-secondary classrooms might create more inclusive futures for the next generation of students. More generally, how it can be used as a tool to decolonize classroom spaces.

As a participant, you will be asked to attend a single virtual workshop via Zoom or Microsoft Teams. During this session you will be asked to watch a short film/video and participate in a co-design activity. Participation will take approximately 45 minutes of your time. 

As a participant, you may potentially benefit from this study by way of sharing your voice about alternative futures for the design of post-secondary classroom. For students, this will act as a positive input to the classrooms they are currently experiencing or might experience in the near future. Faculty and staff can use the anonymized findings and methodology from this study in their own research and practices within the institution and potentially for testing the research process as they create better learning environments. This study also adds a unique lens to the body of knowledge regarding post-secondary classroom design.

There are potential, unintended risks to participation due to the topic of post-secondary experiences, particularly given the study explores power and social dynamics in a classroom space. The participant may experience some discomfort related to lived experience with post-secondary education and should discomfort with the topic occur, the participant may withdraw from the study at any point in time. Counselling resources will be listed for participants, including contact information for a psychologist and several help lines in case participants need, or seek support. In addition, there will be an automatic, periodic wellness ‘check-in’ with all participants throughout the various activities and exercises of the study to mitigate any potential risks or concerns.

I’m looking for individuals 18 years of age and older who are located within the Greater Toronto Area to take part in this study. Individuals must be at least one of the following to participate:

  1. A current or recently graduated high school student
  2. A current or graduated post-secondary student
  3. A current or past post-secondary staff or faculty member

If you or anyone you know might be interested in taking part in this study, please forward this email and/or fill out the eligibility form at to receive further details. 

If you have any questions about this study or require further information, please contact the Principal Investigator (Donica Willis) or the Faculty Supervisor (Cheryl Giraudy) using the contact information provided below. This study has been reviewed and received ethics clearance through the Research Ethics Board at OCAD University, approval #2021-02. If you have any comments or concerns, please contact the Research Ethics Office through 

Student Investigator:
Donica Willis,
MDes Candidate
Interdisciplinary Arts, Media & Design
OCAD University

Faculty Supervisor:
Cheryl Giraudy,
Associate Professor
Faculty of Design
OCAD University