Presented by Linda Zhang, Assistant Professor at Ryerson’s School of Interior Design (RSID) at the Faculty of Communication and Design (FCAD), along with a class of fourth-year RSID students, this immersive and interactive project seeks to identify Chinatown’s future heritage(s) through the affects produced by interior architecture, lived experience, collective storytelling, atmosphere, and memory. Through a conceptual digital exhibition, we seek to uncover untold stories and build a collective, intersectional vision for the future heritage(s) of Toronto’s Chinatowns.
Each of the projects featured in ChinaTOwn explores what marginalized communities have known for some time—namely, that all that is written is not necessarily all that is, and what is remembered extends far beyond what is recorded. ChinaTOwn tells the forgotten stories, willful omissions, and accumulation of silences that exist beyond Toronto’s official heritage definition of its Chinatown neighbourhoods. The project aims to put personal stories and individual memory in conversation with state-sanctioned narratives.
Join us for the exhibition launch event to hear from the artist and designers themselves and delve deeper into the histories and ideas behind their projects.
Special thanks to community donors: Linda Chu and John Donald
MEMORY IN SUSPENSION
Jenna Buchwitz (she/her) is a fourth-year design student at Ryerson. She is interested in integrating art, design, and technology through her work inside school and beyond. Originally from Calgary, Alberta, she came to Toronto in 2016 to pursue interior design. Jenna was awarded the RSID Chair’s Citation for Creativity in 2017.
Soon Chul Park (he/his) is a fourth year studying interior design at Ryerson University. He originally studied Mechanical Engineering at the University of Waterloo but switched programs wanting to be in design related field. Born in South Korea, immigrated to Canada in 2003.
Sally Park (she/her) is a fourth year student at Ryerson School of Interior Design. She’s a visual art and fashion enthusiast, her curiosity towards one of her elective courses she took during high school has brought her to this program and she wishes to continue with her studies as well as her career experience to specialize in exhibit and commercial design.
Duyen Nguyen (she/her) loves to design and always finds herself trying new processes of creating and fabricating, from embroidery to furniture to interiors. She is currently studying her fourth year at Ryerson’s School of Interior Design, however, will continue to be inspired by a wide array of different ways of working.
Maria Tevyants (she/her) is a fourth-year interior design student at Ryerson. Her interests lie in more than just interior design – she is also passionate about architecture, graphic design, and photography, and believes that these disciplines work together often. Maria received the RHSA Media Arts Award in 2016 for showing promise in the preceding subjects.
Joanne John (she/her) is a fourth-year student at Ryerson University. Her passion in the fields of interior and graphic design have largely influenced the way she thinks and sees the world. Her work ethos is founded on designing spaces inspired by people, their interactions and creating a community culture.
Katherine Fazari (she/her) is studying for her final year of Interior Design at Ryerson University. Her interests in the design field include interior design, furniture design, art, and architure. She takes inspiration from observing the environment she surrounds that helped create inspiration for past and present projects.
Victoria Ruccella (she/her) is currently completing her final year in the Interior Design Program at Ryerson University. Her passion for design stems from an interest in creating unique spaces that blend both aesthetics and function, while further exploring the creation of designs in graphics and material art.
SPIRITS OF CHINATOWN
Tammy Ou (she/her) is a fourth-year interior design student at Ryerson University. Tammy has always been passionate about visual art, design and architecture. She has a background in classical piano as well, and has worked to develop all these passions together.
Sandy Zhao (she/her) is currently a fourth-year student at Ryerson University. With her interest in exploring galleries of art and design and the limitless freedom of creativity she has decided to pursue her studies in interior design.
Jasmenica Filice (she/her) is currently completing her final year in the Interior Design Program at Ryerson University. With an intuitive eye for perspective, her background in design is not limited to interiors and extends further into establishing creative ideas.
Nicole Tetelbaum (she/her) is at the prospect of designing after completing her final year at Ryerson School of Interior Design. Her skills and creativity go beyond the idea of minimalistic interior spaces to modifying outside the norms. As long as she can remember, Nicole has been inspired to articulate a unity between humans, nature and architecture.
A VACANT CHINATOWN EAST
Robert Tin (he/him) is constantly figuring out who he is. Born on a Christmas Eve, Robert explores complicated issues and logically devises solutions in his work. He enjoys the poetry of expressing philosophical ideas in spatial design. He also enjoys munching on wings while watching professional wrestling on TV.
Conan Chan (he/him) recently graduated from Ryerson University School of Interior Design. As an aspiring space designer, he strives to push the boundaries for new perspectives in meaningful space design. Conan was a co-recipient of the 2020 Yabu Pushelburg Award for Innovation in Interior Design, and his latest project, Refold, was presented at the 2021 DesignTO Festival.
Min Xie (she/her) is a fourth-year student at Ryerson University. While inspiration can come to her from anywhere, she is strongly interested in hospitality and residential design. Also, she is colourist, she loves use colour to highlight the space and I do love hand sketching to show the render effect.
Megan Barrientos (she/her) has found her passion to design memorable projects for others and believes that the best ideas are rooted in one’s culture and values. Studying in her final year at Ryerson School of Interior Design, and recipient of many Design Awards throughout her education, Megan works hard to play hard and enjoys her time with the ones she loves
Georgia Barrington (she/her) is a third year mature student at the Ryerson School of Interior Design. She received a BA in English Literature and History from Dalhousie University in 2010 and has worked in various roles in Toronto’s non-profit and cultural sector.
Amy Yan (she/her) is a fourth year student at the Ryerson School of Interior Design. She received the RSID Chair’s Citation for Creativity in 2018.
Reese-Joan Yong (she/her) is in her fourth year of studying Interior Design at Toronto’s Ryerson University. Her eclectic work is guided by her interest in designing real-life and virtual environments that are narrative-based and sensorially engaging. Currently, she is conducting a design research project in partnership with Georgia Barrington, funded by Ryerson’s Creative Technology Lab that explores the hearth and its identity as a domestic symbol.
Margarita Yushina (she/her) is Russian-born fourth year student at Ryerson School of Interior design in Toronto. She is interested in a variety of different design fields and directions. From graphic design to 3D modelling, rendering and animation, she loves to learn the new emerging ways and technologies. Recently, she is heavily interested in Virtual Reality. Margarita already had a chance to work on a variety of design projects and installations. She continues to explore and expand her digital skills, learning design fabrication, and stays active in the design community.
Meimei Yang (she/her) is Chinese-born, third-year student Interior Designer at the Ryerson School of Interior Design, based in Toronto, Canada. Her design ethos is heavily influenced by her cultural heritage and her background in visual arts, while her design process involves (fun)ctional considerations and ideas that tell a story. Meimei continues to expand her creative and digital skill sets in exploring various advanced technical design and manufacturing processes and typologies, in and outside of the academic setting.
Janak Alford (he/him) is a technology ecosystem designer who specializes in developing innovative solutions. Janak integrates his architectural education (M. Arch) with a self-taught expertise in technology to produce engaging and interactive solutions to human problems. Janak is continually developing technologies which are inspired by nature to work in symbiosis with their human counterparts.
Jimmy Tran (he/him) is the Research Technology Officer at the Ryerson University Library Collaboratory. He is also a postdoctoral fellow at the Network-Centric Apply Research Team lab in Computer Science at Ryerson University where continues his research in robotics and computer vision.
Maxim Gertler-Jaffe (he/him) is a filmmaker and artist/researcher currently based in London, UK and Toronto. His focuses include social/political documentaries, essay films, and participatory, inventive, and speculative methods. Maxim was line producer on the Emmy-nominated feature documentary ALL GOVERNMENTS LIE, which screened at film festivals including TIFF and IDFA, had a North American theatrical run, and was broadcast worldwide.
CHINATOWN PROJECT LEAD
Linda Zhang (she/her) is a registered architect and educator. She is an Assistant Professor at Ryerson SID and a principal at Studio Pararaum. She was the 2019 NCECA Multicultural Fellow, the 2017-2018 Syracuse University SOA Boghosian Fellow and a 2017 Fellow at the Berlin Center for Art and Urbanistics.
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ChinaTOwn: Future Heritage(s) of Toronto’s Chinatowns (Exhibition Launch)
4:00PM – 5:00PM EDT