The future of design is collaborative, considered,
and life centred.
The 635-square-foot space—created in partnership between Cadillac Fairview and OCAD University— is an inclusive, design-centered lab that brings together communities that are not otherwise invited to the design table. With our programming, which includes workshops, seminars, exhibitions, retail pop-up shops, and more, we make design accessible to the average person, freeing institutional knowledge from the limited walls of traditional design school.
DESIGNwith democratizes design education by allowing students to participate in creating an alternative economy in which corporations, academia, and community members from diverse backgrounds can come together to share knowledge and skills by making to learn.
We actively research innovative ways to positively impact our society and environment through design.
Our design lab works within a circular economy and promotes material reuse throughout the lab, products lines and community programming.
Designing with corporations, academia and the community to create an equitable design intersection for lasting positive change.
We create space to democratize the learnings of design. Sharing our collective knowledge and skills through design-led programing to empower our communities.
Learn by making
OCAD University Industrial Design Student Competition in Collaboration with Nefab.
A team of experts will lead you in designing a sustainable packaging solution using Nefab's innovative fiber-based materials. Evaluated by industry experts, the winning group will have an internship opportunity to join Nefab in their design innovation lab.
Learn by making
From theory to fabrication the lab aims to empower communities by fostering creative confidence and ideas by learning through making. The creative collective facilitates a variety workshops to teach our community about circular ways of creating by addressing our current linear economy with alternative sustainable methods of making.
Learn about circular design by making your own sneaker prototype.
Group size: 10 Participants
Connect here for group rates.
Participants will gain creative confidence and connect with like-minded community members in learning about the circular economy and sustainable design while making a personalized sneaker prototype. The workshop is guided by a paper pattern that allows the ease of sneaker-making without the high cost of traditional shoe-making. This innovative process was designed to make sneaker design more accessible and environmentally conscious for our community in efforts to actively participate in the circular economy. This process was designed by Nelson Silva, a Toronto-based industrial designer and footwear industry expert.
Participants will learn shoe-making techniques from an industry expert while prototyping using reclaimed leather from the furniture industry and soles provided by our partner Mellow Walk Footwear.
This months recap
What was the mall you grew up going to like?
"We're excited to launch s/mallTALK and invite people to share their stories and memories of the mall," says Michelle Cheung, project lead at Made Manifest Inc. "We want to explore the social and cultural significance of malls and how they have evolved over time as a space for community gathering and connection."
Made Manifest Inc, is a leading boutique service design firm in Toronto and we are thrilled to launch mallTALK, an initiative aimed at capturing people's stories and cherished memories of visiting malls.
Join us as we celebrate the significance of malls in people's lives and explore the many ways they have shaped our communities over time and into the future!
Interested in our insights or couldn't make it? Click here
Co-designed and made locally
Product Line: Soft Goods
From street posts to products.
Using the work of Enzo Mari and the Ishinomaki Laboratory as a departure point, DESIGNwith’s furniture collection is designed for easy assembly using readily available materials. This results in a high degree of modularity and disassembly furthering its participation in the circular economy.
What got us here will not get us there...
DESIGNwith is the outcome of the ongoing pursuit of best practices in participatory design by Ranee Lee, Associate Professor of Industrial Design at OCAD University. In 2015 Lee was confronted with the City of Toronto’s Poverty Reduction Strategy plan, prompting her to question what design can do for those who live in the margins.
How could this discipline help immigrants, members of the community experience homelessness, young people looking to gain valuable skills in a non-collegiate setting— to share in the city’s prosperity through the production of alternative economies.
In an eight-year collaboration with the Toronto Centre for Learning and Development, Lee merged her design class with the Regent Park Sewing Studio to co-design soft good products ready for market. Lee learned that design could produce alternative economies through the discovery and valuation of people’s creative skills.
DESIGNwith is now values-based design lab and a basis of a new way to explore design for social innovation.
Everyone is invited.
The creative collective welcomes people from all disciplines to collaborate in design-led social innovation for a circular economy.
Open by appointment only
DESIGNwith is located in CF Toronto Eaton Centre, one of Canada’s largest and accessible retail shopping centres. The lab is located on the second level of CF Toronto Eaton Centre closest to Canadian Tire, Joeys, and H&M in the Northwest corridor beside the TTC Dundas Station.
Accessible through the Yonge Street entrance by escalator and the Best Buy entrance with both elevators and escalators.