Designing the Future

Posted on Updated on

Shout out to Chris Adamkowski who knows a thing or two about future proofing in the age of Artificial Intelligence. He was the keynote speaker at this year’s CSC Building Expo, on Wednesday, February 28th at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

Chris is the Head of Industry at Google and manages a high performance team dedicated to Government, Travel, and Tourism clients in Canada. He dropped by our display of the 2017 Design Competition winning entries from Conestoga College and was introduced to the unique Maker Space Hub at http://catalyst-137.com/.

Folk & Sons(1)

We hope to see more of him in Waterloo Region!

cscdesignchallenge.ca

to Trudy with Love

Posted on Updated on

Remembering Trudy Beaulne

Trudy Beaulne passed away suddenly on Friday, January 5, 2018 at the age of 63. She was an activist who genuinely loved her community, her neighbourhood and her mission. She worked tirelessly to advocate for those suffering, especially from the effects of poverty, physical disabilities and mental illness.  She was the Executive Director of the Social Development Centre Waterloo Region, formerly known as K-W Social Planning Council.  I met her sometime in the mid nineties and she was a big fan of my vision to use primary schools as the central community hub of neighbourhoods. This was a radical idea at the time and met with strong resistance.  Her loving heart and strong, tenacious personality set the example that I needed to draw from to navigate through the many obstacles to come.  Innovative partnerships were formed with Toastmasters, Katimavik, the Food Bank, Region of Waterloo Public Health & the WCDSB to provide lunch hour and after-school programming at Smithson Public School in Kitchener as part of a pilot project to explore the school/community hub model. The project had a huge positive impact on the children who benefited the most, but was ultimately shot down. The seed was planted, but the ground proved infertile. Trudy’s guidance gave me the courage to plant anyways, no matter what the outcome.

This video is a collection of photos taken during the Festival of Neighbourhoods Celebration & Awards Ceremony at City Hall. Trudy “hired” me as the event photographer from 1997 to 1999. These photos were doubles of my prints uncovered on Valentine’s Day in a shoe box and scanned yesterday afternoon to create this slideshow.

The soundtrack “How I Got to Memphis” is one of my favourite songs by Soulstack, recorded live off the floor at the Boathouse in Kitchener on December 9th, 2017

Like Soulstack on facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/Soulstack/

Trudy’s signature…

Anti-Poverty Activist – Stood Up For Others

“take care of each other”

Festival of Neighbourhoods

 

A Glimpse of Patagonia

Posted on Updated on

#thefluffybeaver

The Fluffy Beaver returns to K-town!

Discover Patagonia and the delightful aroma of Fresh Ground  

February 17th from 11AM to 1PM

Jessica Rose is a French self taught photographer and illustrator and has been for the past 15 years. Depending where she finds herself (her husband moves around a lot and she likes to follow), or where her life’s at, inspiration comes along to animate her camera or pencils. She’s currently working on a comic book and has a few projects up her sleeve.

Check out her work here :
Pictures : https://fineartamerica.com/profiles/jessica-rose.html
Blog and Tarot Game (stories on the illustrations and rules) : http://www.thefluffybeaver.com/
Tarot Game shop : http://www.thefluffybeaver.etsy.com/
Instagram : jessikrose
Commissions and information : jessicarose@thefluffybeaver.com

Coming soon! a virtual shop on society6.com 

fluffybeaver

The fluffy beaver returns to K-town in August.  Watch for a sighting near you!

Ground Hog Day in DTK

Posted on Updated on

Students & faculty from the Ryerson School of Interior Design enjoyed a tour of 48 Ontario Street in Kitchener on Friday, February 2nd. This is the school’s fourth visit to Waterloo Region to experience the local culture and study the architectural, economic and demographic forces on significant properties of historical/cultural influence.  Their research will inform this year’s case study of the former Bell Telephone Co. building turned Royal Canadian Legion Branch 50, otherwise known as “the Legion”.

Statement of Cultural Heritage Value for 48 Ontario Street North

Glenn Smith joined the tour to get reacquainted with the building where back in 1986 he launched an outrageous experiment as a concert promoter and introduced such talented blues artists as Buddy Guy and Mel Brown from (mostly) New Orleans, Detroit and the Chicago area to a new audience in Kitchener-Waterloo.   Legendary performances and Sold-Out shows at the Legion Dance Hall begins the story of Kitchener’s love affair with the Blues.  Who remembers that Colin James played there when he was just 18?!  If the walls could talk…

Watch for more about Glenn and Kitchener’s blues roots starting with the soon-to-be-released live interview with Martin de Groot at the Commons Studio

DTK_Tour GroupShot2

Sunshine & Frigid temperatures set the stage for a twist on the urban legend of Groundhog Day at Kitchener City Centre.  Far from the predictable news from Willie, here is proof that Waterloo Region is not stuck in Groundhog day with this candid snapshot of genuine multi-sectorial collaboration.  Shout out to our esteemed community leaders Martin de Groot, Raj Saini MP Taymoore Balbaa, Cathie Schneider, Tammy Lawrence, Councillor Sarah Marsh, James Howe, and Glenn Smith.

That’s me between Martin and Cathie…two of the few who would never try to shoot down a good idea before it gets a chance to fly:)

For more about the CSC Student Design Challenge, visit the official website here and facebook page here

In the News…

Construction Canada Magazine Jan 9/18

Construction Links Announcement Feb 13th/18

 

 

 

 

 

PM trends in Canada? WePivot (slowly)

Posted on Updated on

 

for rent

Technology is not the new flavour. How do we manage the change process? 

Josh Lipton moderated an insightful panel discussion with industry leaders at the 2017 PM expo Wednesday afternoon.  Here’s my take-away…

Peter Altobelli, VP of Yardi Canada, reflecting on the evolution of commercial leasing, spoke about change management with the confidence that comes from years of steadying the ship.  He discussed the impact of “WeWork” the latest disruptor, completely unforeseeable as a business model in previous decades.  Waves of humiliation rolled over in fear that I probably had no idea what he was talking about.  Then suddenly, aha! I HAD heard about WeWork.  A notice in my inbox from the Meetup Community announcing it had been acquired.  All for We

Robert Plateck, Founder/CEO of SensorSuite  and Building Systems Engineer, Laura Tousley spoke on the importance of open architecture for software integration of legacy systems and future expansion to optimize everything.  I starting thinking building performance like indoor air quality and energy consumption;  tenant information and concierge services, maintenance, security, life safety all connected and operated from a single dashboard.  I imagined systems linked to reporting and remittance functions (like energy benchmarking) informing financial planning and providing intelligence to risk management in real time.

images3

Core readiness for future proofing will include building infrastructure investments in wired, wireless and radio communications.  The importance of cybersecurity and training on the devices and apps that interact with the building cannot be overstated.  I had heard that same warning delivered at an earlier seminar and made a mental note to flag these as barriers to user adoption.   The Buzz in the room agreed.

 

Plan an exist strategy for software use.  Who owns the data? Can you transport all your work to a new platform?  

 

Our panel’s vision of the future extends beyond a fully automated, integrated and even modular building to include smart neighbourhoods, powered by local solar/wind generation.  Energy storage and local demand response are other strategies that have been tested to improve service where power outages are common.  Knowledge will increase in the deployment of battery energy storage for peak shaving and further the clean energy market.

Max Steinman Director of Sales for Landlord Web Solutions reflected on the trend toward marketing running everything at the site level.  3D virtual tours complete with virtual/augmented reality may soon replace the role of the leasing agent.  Having worked with the folks at iGuide, I was somewhat familiar with that reality…slipping into the not too distant future I imagined all of the savings possible (time, fuel, disappointment, not to mention the inconvenience to existing tenants and pets).  Virtual tours would show the space in pristine condition at any hour of the day, provide accurate room dimensions with tools for furniture placement and estimating window coverings, appliance specifications, and more.  One stop collaborative tools for connecting to local utility providers, day care centres, grocery delivery, movers, driverless car pick-up…

ball-563972_1920

What process/analysis can be put in place for a new vender?

 

What specific applications and collaboration tools work with senior housing? Student residences? Family multi-residential? Commercial tenants?

 

Engagement Engagement Engagement

 

Forget Credit Karma, artificial intelligence will predict tenant behaviour and launch  credit check accuracy, employment and personality screening to a new level enabling instant tenant approvals.  Out pops a smart lease, ready for immediate digital endorsement thanks to the advancement of blockchain technology.  Questions about living in the building? Neighbours? There’s a chatbot for that.  Keys?  Yep, fully functional on moving day and you can probably unlock a private storage locker in advance as a signing bonus.  Just hit the send button on the lease to seal the deal.

 

Data driven, experience driven, and tenant driven change are the new forces bearing down on landlords 

 

images2

think mobile

think Millennials

think bed bug registry

The Art of Specifying Stone

Posted on Updated on

Cathie Schneider delivers an insightful and informative talk on the subject of specifying natural stone at this month’s CSC-GV luncheon on October 18th, 2017**Shout out to our venue hosts at the Grand Valley Construction Association who never complain about us leaving a trail of sandwich crumbs on the carpet. You’re the best!

Cathie Schneider, CTR, the VP of Stonequest Inc. is an accredited speaker with the Marble Institute of America and has been in the stone business for 25 years. She is a member of IDC Canada and the current Chair of the Grand Valley Chapter of Construction Specifications Canada.  Architects, Interior Designers, Specifiers, Distributors, Landscape Architects, Contractors, Construction Managers, LEED Evangelists and ESPECIALLY Building Owners should listen carefully to the podcast recorded at this event, or better yet… reach out to Cathie before planning your next project with natural stone!

Who is Joe?

Joe Ippolito, CTR and VP of Quarry Sales at Arriscraft makes a brief “guest appearance” on the podcast.  We will be sending him a courtesy copy.  Same with Stefanie Hargest of Boehmer’s Block who knows a thing or two about building to LEED Standards.  She gives great hugs too (go to the 1:11 mark on the video).

How do I listen to the podcast?  

Test your Stone IQ here

Fill out the form below for a password to unlock the podcast

AND

we MIGHT even send you the test answers

Cathie Schneider takes us on a stone quest to Rivendell where all the Consultants of Elrond (Design & Construction Team) are thriving under the transformative leadership of the building Frodowner…

she will share the magic word with you if you ask nice (or you could try Stefanie)

**Like the Soundtrack? Special thanks to Mother West Wind’s Animal Friends (recorded at a live performance in 2016 at the End of Summer Festival in Uptown Waterloo)

LINKS:

Interior Designers of Canada

Terrazzo, Tile and Marble Association of Canada

Natural Stone Council

MIA + BSi (Marble Institute of America)

National Building Granite Quarries Association

National Tile Contractors’ Association

 

 

Catalyst Conestoga Co-op

Posted on Updated on

Congratulations to Professors Sarah Turner & Ann Callaghan and Students of Conestoga College’s Bachelor of Interior Design (Honours)

2017 Design Competition Winners

You are all winners

The energy and enthusiasm at The Pines on the evening of May 11th was absolutely infectious.  Design teams from Conestoga College presented their vision for a public gathering space at Catalyst137, the subject building of the 2017 CSC Student Design Competition to an audience of AEC professionals at Connections Cafe, an annual networking event sponsored by the Grand Valley Chapter of Construction Specifications Canada.

The 475,000 sq ft building located at 137 Glasgow Street in Kitchener, historically used for warehousing tires and footwear will soon house the world’s largest maker space campus, a hub for the talent, hardware, engineering services and venture capital support needed to build the next generation of IoT companies.

The theme of the Design Competition, “public collaboration and connection” inspired student designers to create a space that would invite social interaction between building occupants and neighbours of Belmont Village. Interaction with the natural environment added a strong complement to the theme, through various strategies including the use of the Iron Horse Trail for commuting to the site.

Team Two Takes top prize of $2,000! 

IMG_9216Congratulations Team Two:  Thiska Meereboer, Erin Wetzel, Henry Dowling and Mike Latter for winning first place and for making such a great impression on the crowd at Connections Cafe that they voted your work for

The People’s Choice Award

People's Choice Award

Nicely done! 

Second Place winning $1000…

IMG_9220.JPGCongratulations Team Three:  Brooklyn Taylor, Emily Turchi, Maria Van Woundenberg & Han Xie

Third Place winning $500…

IMG_9217.JPGCongratulations Team One : Brianna Dancy, Jandi Gunn, Laura Kular & Tessa MacDonald

Fourth Place awesomeness…..

IMG_9222.JPG
Congratulations Team Four:  Stephanie Moraweitz, Mia Bartels, Gemma Gorkes & Kelsey Elford

The scope of the design competition did not impose budget constraints on the proposals, but the inclusion of specific construction materials and a detailed product specification was required to qualify (view competition documents here) More about the 2017 CSC Student Design Competition here and Connections Cafe here

Construction Canada Announcement here

Catalyst Conestoga Co-op?

The Bachelor of Interior Design (Honours) program has been designed in consultation with the Association of Registered Interior Designers of Ontario (ARIDO) and is on ARIDO’s list of recognized interior design programs.  It provides a unique co-op experience, with a focus on technical competency that stresses the importance of building code compliance, accessibility, sustainability, energy efficiency, building maintenance and operations to inform design intent and provide both aesthetically pleasing and build-able solutions.

Invited guests from the local construction and design community joined event sponsors in rallying around the competing teams while students seized the opportunity to network with industry professionals, welcoming the spontaneous “peer review” of their projects while vying for the “People’s Choice Award” decided by popular vote during the evening.  Take in the action at #connectionscafe2017

Thank-you Community Partners, Catalyst137 and iGuide and members of the Design Competition Team at CSC Grand Valley and CSC Toronto for making it happen…

Slide22

iguide_text

See you next year!