Posts Tagged ‘grOCAD’

Hungry For Change? Join David Suzuki’s Blue Dot Tour @ the LZ October 6th 11-1:30 pm

Food_systems_v2_Join us at the Learning Zone Monday October 6th, 11 – 1:30 pm for Our Food Systems—Are You Hungry for Change? Presenting a film screening of NFB’s  Island Green, documentary about Prince Edward Island’s agricultural industry and organic farming by Millefior Clarkes featuring the poem Feed the Soil by P.E.I. singer, songwriter, poet Tanya Davis along with a Livestream panel discussion with environmental activist David Suzuki, The 100-Mile Diet co-author J.B. MacKinnon and food justice expert Utcha Sawyers.

David Suzuki Foundation’s, thebluedot tour is a country wide movement where communities, neighbours and provinces come together to stand up for the right to access clean water, fresh air and healthy food—the Office of Diversity, Equity and Sustainability Initiatives (ODESI) in collaboration with Faculty, The Learning Zone, Student Union and grOCAD are proud to stand with the bluedot tour.

The bluedot tour presentations is jointly hosted by the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) and Humber College.

Presentation starts at 11:00 am with introductions by Roberto Chiotti, Sustainability Officer, Faculty of Design and Minesh Mandoda, Coordinator, Sustainability Initiatives.

11:15 am – Film Screening of NFB’s Island Green

12:00 pm – Panel Discussion (livestream) featuring David Suzuki, J.B. MacKinnon, Utcha Sawyers

OCAD U’s Student Union’s Hot Lunch Initiative will be providing free food. Food donations will be accepted by the OCAD SU Starving Artist Pantry.

All are welcome.


10 2014

OCAD SEED LIBRARY Branch Launch Party – August 12th, 1-4 pm

Join the Learning Zone August 12th to celebrate the official launch of the OCAD Seed Library Branch.

The OCAD Seed Library has partnered with the Toronto Seed Library (TSL) to make available seeds to grow in your garden, on the balcony, windowsill or any place, for the creative or industrious gardener.

Drop in between 1 – 4 pm to learn what the seed library is about, how to use it and how your contributions will help to sustain a viable future in food security and seed diversity, or come by to browse our seed collection and information on how to harvest and save seeds.

Come and grow with us at the Learning Zone.

OCAD Seel Library Branch Launch; TSL Branch


08 2014

Student Profile: Che-Chi Liu

Che-Chi Liu, grOCAD Windowfarm

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and the art that you create?

I’m in Industrial Design, 2nd year. I would like to explore social issues but I find that I do not have the time to address with my school schedule. I like to look at things really in depth and create solutions not just cosmetic solutions to problems but changing the way we think, the way we see problems and the way we look at the world. There is so much technology in our world to make anything we want but that does not mean we should.

What influenced your decision to major in Industrial Design?

I was always good at working with my hands so after working in the restaurant business, I had the chance to help my friend design the interior of a restaurant and  because finance was tight I needed to come up with creative solutions in order to design something nice without using costly materials. It was really interesting working in that process, it got me into looking through many design magazines.

Designing is fun — it’s almost like a game to come up with a design. When I see a design I try to re-adapt it, create new perimeters and mix-up their methods using new materials, it’s my way of being creative — I don’t see the necessity to be a hundred percent original, it’s a fallacy to think that we can own an original idea.

Where does your inspiration come from? Do you have a current project that you can tell us about?

I really bogged myself down with details, trying to organize things using a systematic approach to design. It’s like what I said before about original ideas, why come up with original ideas that someone else had already had come up with — why waste time and energy, it’s like re-introducing the wheel. I do a lot of background research onto a problem and try to identify the core problem not the perceived problem.

I’m not really working on a lot of design projects right now since I’ve started looking into activism such as the Zeitgeist movement. It’s a movement pushing for sustainable resource based economy, a radical nature of problem solving, for example the Toronto Tool Library and a new program called Toronto Time Bank Project. The Toronto Tool Library is a library where you can rent out tools and the Toronto Time Bank Project, where you essentially can barter your skills for other peoples’ skills and do away with the need of currency.

It’s also a world wide activist movement which I like to bring to the attention of Design Faculty and students — a lot of these things are brought up in the Think Tank classes at OCAD. Being in school does not allow you enough time to really learn about these issues in depth.

Do you have favourite tools to work with?

Wood planes. I just love the feeling of a sharp plane skid across wood.

Where are you most productive? Tell us a bit about your creative space.

I like being around creative people.

What is your work process?

I like to bounce off ideas with other people. I don’t think that anybody can work well in a vacuum. It’s interesting to work in a group even though it could be a drag sometimes, but I think that it’s necessary to train yourself to appreciate, negotiate, compromise with other people, it helps you to take other peoples’ critiques of your work which improves your work. We can all benefit from group learning.

Che-Chi Liu and Tom Doughty

What are the most useful skills you have learned at school?

Communication. You can learn other things in school but the most attractive thing and the main reason that I came back to school after working in a restaurant career was that I wanted to learn from people, being with friends and working on a project together really helps with communication skills.

What do you enjoy most about your studies?

Working with my hands, it’s the part I’m good at, spending time in the shop, having the freedom to try things and experiment with materials in the shop it’s like a communal workshop, seeing what people are working on and getting inspired by each other.

What’s your favourite book right now?

The Zeitgeist Movement Defined.

Where is our favourite place to eat around OCAD?

Free lunch every Thursday, which I co-ordinate.

What would be your ideal project?

Building an eco-village with Tom.

Recently, a New York based design group, Terreform ONE (Open Network Ecology) led a series of events at Onsite [at] OCAD U. You were involved with grOCAD hosting the Terrarium Workshop; Bees, Pollinators; Insect Wonders and Regrow your Kitchen scraps Workshop. Tell me about your experience while working on those projects.

I found it interesting to engage with people on a different scale, running a workshop it’s not like talking to one person but a group of people – it was an interesting learning process. It’s a lot like doing a presentation to a group of people, but with a lot to organize, so you need a good team that work and prioritize well together.

Is there anything else you would like to share with us, any final thoughts?

I really like the quote “be the change you want to see in the world” I think we should all go out there and actively change the world for the better!


04 2014

Check out grOCAD’s Aquaponic Windowfarm!


Recently installed into the Learning Zone is grOCAD’s Aquaponic Windowfarm. A self-sustaining eco-system composed of plants and fish using aquaponic technology that recycles fish water and provides nutrients to the plants.

GrOCAD designed and built the Aquaponic Windowfarm, unveiled at Onsite [at] OCAD U Gallery space April 2013. It is part of grOCAD’s commitment to promote awareness and conversation towards the lack of green space in urban environments by transforming OCAD U campus through diverse and innovative methods.


Attached is more information about the Aquaponic Windowfarm and grOCAD.


03 2014

New growth by grOCAD at the Learning Zone


The grOCAD team has been actively gardening at the Windowfarm garden installed in the Learning Zone at 113 McCaul Street. After the successful harvest of basil last summer, grOCAD will be experimenting with a diverse collection of seeds over the fall and winter.


This DIY project is a year-round hydroponic vertical garden allowing the grOCAD community to grow herbs and vegetables using natural window light, organic based plant food, and a water based watering system. The growing containers are made out of recycled plastic bottles, and use clay pellets to support the plants.

Che Chi Liu, one of the members of grOCAD has been collecting and harvesting dried flowers and vegetable seeds from pea shoots, radish, spinach, chives, nasturtium and mystery flowers, germinating these seeds in rockwool cubes.

The windowfarm was first installed in the LZ spring 2012 and we are excited to see the continuing development of the windowfarm project.

Visit grOCAD to discover more about their community.


11 2013

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