Soft Goods x RPSS

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.

Banner to Bags

This collection is a collaboration with Cityscape Displays, transforming outdoor banners from the Toronto landscape into totes through the process of co-design and upcycling.

Upcoming Exhibition

DesignTO Exhibition

From Theory to Practice: 

A Caring Design Lab

Jan 22(opening night)-

Jan 27 2024

Exhibition | In-Person

Details Here

Our latest innovative soft goods line in collaboration with the Regent Park Sewing Studio reveals design for inclusion beyond products — the co-design methodology. The narrative of this exhibition is created from the on-going observation of the margins and intersections of the fabric of society — observing people’s needs and skills that are often overlooked. This exhibition will explore traditional methods of creating and alternative approaches to design that consider the whole person including human-centred design, design for accessibility and design for care.

Using Format