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Title of Project:

CoLLaboratoire: Living experiments for Climate Change Awareness




Carmela Cucuzzella

Doctorate Students:

Cheryl Gladu

Sherif Goubran

Research Assistants:

Michael Maclean

Pascal Xavier Poirier

Alexis Gosselin

Sora Abdul Saheb

Alice Wei

About the Project

CoLLaboratoire[1]  is a knowledge dissemination initiative, which started on September 2015, in Montreal, Canada. The broad goal of this project is to build a deeper community knowledge and engagement around issues of climate change. This project helps us better understand how the collaborative design of art-architecture installations in the public space can contribute to a critique, deeper understanding and/or embodiment of sustainable urban, professional, community, and even human practices in the long term. Through design experimentation, citizen engagement, exhibition of the ideas and the construction of working prototypes installed in Montreal, these projects are intended to lead to scalable and measurable environmental benefits, such as green energy and food production, water conservation, greater community involvement, etc. It is a project under the auspices of the Concordia University Research Chair Integrated Design, Ecology, and Sustainability for the Built Environment (IDEAS-BE)[2]. This research project is also directly related to the worldwide initiative called Future Earth[3]. Future Earth is a global platform for sustainability research serving as a vehicle for communicating knowledge between sustainability sciences, business leaders, policy makers, and community leaders.  The location of the United Nations Future Earth global secretariat is in Montreal. Montreal, a UNESCO city of Design, with its hybridity of cultures, languages, urban dynamism, and its leading place in the history of sustainability, is a fertile place for such an experiment in sustainable living.

Through this initiative we are planning, designing, and building public space urban installations with the intent of heightening climate change awareness, while also building capacity in citizenry to address issues together. The aim is to successfully make connections between academics, community members, artists, designers, architects, professionals, and business leaders, etc., in order to better address sustainability challenges. This research project has the inherent benefit of communicating the research directly to the community involved, and therefore also acts as an outreach project.

All installations are context sensitive, taking into consideration the concerns of the community in which they are intended. CoLLaboratoire has adopted the urban corridor of Sherbrooke Street, which runs 31km east to west across the city of Montreal in Canada as an organizing principle for all urban interventions and/or installations. This iconic Montreal street runs from the Parc Delphis Delorme and Paroisse Marie-Goretti nature area in the east to just west of Concordia University’s Loyola Campus in Montreal Ouest. Along this corridor we will identify roughly 12 sites or hubs for artistic-architectural installations and interventions. The resulting narrative from the collection of these designs along Sherbrooke Street will be at once, educational, interactive and experiential.

[1] http://www.ideas-be.ca/collaboratoire.html

[2] http://www.ideas-be.ca/

[3] http://www.futureearth.org/

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