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Staging Sheppard

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Toronto, Ontario, Canada



Client / Date of Completion:
IVAM & Middle City Passages with Metrolinx / 2015


Project Team:
The Open Workshop & Surface Design Inc.
Neeraj Bhatia, Geoff Di Girolamo, Cesar Lopez, Shawn Komlos with/ Blake Stevenson

Competition Finalist

Staging Sheppard is an urban design proposal that examines the path between a residential environment and a proposed light-rail transit route. This proposal utilizes three systems — Intelligent Surfaces, Infrastructural Furniture, and Stagings — to organize the right of way. These systems range from the strategic to the tactical, permanent to temporal, hardware to software. Acting symbiotically, each system allows for extreme flexibility within a highly structured framework. Intelligent surfaces operate as the hardware of the scheme. Embedded with micro-diffused infrastructures, the material, dimensional, and technological qualities of these surfaces acts as a framework to organize the right of way. Infrastructural furniture acts as a platform to interface between the strategic and tactical. Stagings are easily deployable, cheap, diffused forms of urban events motivated by the local community. These act as softwares that are installed within a given hardware and its platform. We therefore propose an iterative form of urbanism wherein the local community’s engagement with the software determines its success and potential permanence. This staged occupation of the right of way does not need to wait until the LRT is complete. It can begin into construction to allow for safe public occupation of the right of way and reorient culture to walking. Construction sites often have large areas of land that are land-locked, or sitting empty – while inaccessible to the public. We ask — how can the local communities safely occupy these zones for temporal uses? We envision this as a way of orienting people to the street while empowering them to co-exist and benefit from the transformations occurring around them.