We’d like to take the opportunity to introduce you to one of our Honorable mention winners for our “Toronto Affordable Housing Challenge” competition – Margot De Man, Sarah Ives, Mark Grimsrud and Ron Noble from Canada!

Honorable mention from Canada

Design + Build + Grow (DBG) is an innovative design collective consisting of students from the Department of Architectural Science at Ryerson University. DBG was founded in Toronto in 2013 by Margot de Man, Mark Grimsrud, Sarah Ives, Ron Noble and Ziju Xian. We have since been collaborating internationally between Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, The Netherlands and China.

Brief information about the projects that you/your company have been involved with. For instance, what scale have you focused on/preferred, any significant projects where the company/ individuals have been involved?

DBG specializes in urban agriculture and reclaimed materials. Our first project, Garnish was a food cart for The Stop’s Night Market 2014.. This project reused and adapted plastic water bottles as modular self watering planters which were fastened to the frame of the cart, as a way of promoting the practice of cultivating, processing and distributing food in an urban setting. Garnish was awarded Best in Show by Designlines Magazine and a Sustainable Design Award. Our second project, Loop, was a hydroponic garden that used a peristaltic pump attached to a bicycle wheel to recycle nutrient rich water for plants to grow without the traditional use of soil. It was exhibited at the Gladstone Hotel as part of Grow Op 2016. DBG has participated in numerous international design competitions and small scale design builds such as our most recent Patio TO design for Union Restaurant in Toronto.

What does architecture mean to you and what is the role of an architect in your society?

Our intention as architectural designers is to challenge the meaning of building for today's sensitive urban environments. With a focus on affordability, sustainability, and food security we hope to cultivate positive change for our local communities.

Why do you participate in architecture competitions?

We participate in competitions as a way of exploring ideas that are interesting to us. And to expand our knowledge by exploring  new perspectives that inform  our future built environments.

What advice would you give to individuals who struggle to decide whether it would be beneficial for them to participate in architecture competitions?

If the topic is inspiring to you then it can't hurt to participate. You will enjoy the process and even expand your knowledge in a wide range of research and design topics.

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