Supported by the Ontario Trillium Foundation, our collaboration with the Toronto Centre for Learning and Development's Regent Park Sewing Studio (RPSS) has grown into a strong partnership since 2015. On a weekly basis, we participate in collaborative design sessions, where we transform industry by-products into marketable soft goods. 

Notably, this collaboration has resulted in four members from the Regent Park Sewing Studio securing sustainable employment opportunities. These creative collective members play integral roles in the design and production processes, extending their impact by assisting in instructing community workshops.

Designing with

as a way to imagine how might we approach design for social innovation differently to achieve different results in the community, perhaps toward a more equitable one.

The idea emerged back in 2015 when the City of Toronto's Poverty Reduction Strategy was published, prompting the questions about who exactly was included when it talked about the grand idea of prosperity for all. Recognizing both a problem and an opportunity, the vision emerged to establish an alternative economy, allowing others to partake in prosperity. Design became the tool to empower marginalized communities, leveraging specific skills to craft marketable goods.

The collaboration with OCAD University Industrial design students and the Regent Park Sewing Studio marked a pivotal moment, revealing the relationship between students and the women sewists, burring the lines between teaching and learning. This was the start of using a design studio classroom as a living lab to explore true experientiial learning outside of the university. The years of co-designing were the start of the iterative design process that eventually led to the creation of what DESIGNwith is today.

From street posts to a product line:
A collection in collaboration with Cityscape Displays and The Power Plant to transform marketing waste into one-of-a-kind totes, pouches, and wallets.

Read more here.

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