Institute without Boundaries


The Institute without Boundaries is a unique post-graduate program that combines design thinking with design action. Each year students from different disciplines take on a real-world wicked problem and seek to achieve social, ecological and economic innovation through design intervention. Read about all IwB projects here. 

We are currently accepting applications for the 2013-14 academic year.

To learn more about the IwB click here.

To download the application click here.

How Do I Apply?

 Step One Click here to apply to the program online and follow the instructions there including submitting transcripts and test scores if applicable.

Step Two Download this form, fill in your details and submit the following:

  1. Completed & signed application form
  2. Statement of intent (max 3 pages)
  3. CV or resume
  4. Three (3) reference letters (academic or professional)
  5. Portfolio

We prefer digital applications! Send yours to or send via snailmail to us at: Institute without Boundaries Admissions 230 Richmond St East Toronto, ON M5A 1P4 CANADA

Confused? Check out the FAQ or contact us at

Who Can Apply?

Each year, the Institute selects 8-12 candidates from an international pool of applicants who work together to research, design and realize a significant global project. We are looking for passionate people interested in joining a creative team interested in solving problems for real clients. Students will conceptualize leading-edge ideas and undertake work to bring these concepts to life. Candidates are drawn from a diverse range of backgrounds and educational disciplines. Given the nature of the City Systems Project, we are particularly interested in architects, landscape architects, engineers (civil, structural, mechanical), interior and industrial designers, new media experts, communication specialists, sociologists, cultural anthropologists, political scientists, geographers, social historians, scientists, psychologists, and environmental designers.

Applicants require a post-secondary degree or diploma granted by a recognized institution of higher learning. Under special circumstances, equivalent experience may be considered in lieu of a degree or diploma. 


How long is the program? The program is 9 months long, beginning in September each year and running until approximately the end of the following May.

What is “Interdisciplinary Design Strategy?” When you study at the Institute without Boundaries, you enroll in the ministry-accredited program Interdisciplinary Design Strategy at George Brown College.

How much does it cost?

Tuition for domestic students: $12, 481* CDN

Tuition for international students: $19,500* CDN

*Subject to change each year. Please confirm with admissions. Includes fees.

Your tuition and fees include all tools & materials you need to produce the various projects and exhibits put on the by program during the academic year but does not include expenses such as travel and textbooks. As most years feature some travel for projects, charrettes etc you should budget between $1,000-2,000 for these kind of expenses. Please confirm with admission closer to the intake date for a more accurate estimate of additional costs as they vary from year to year depending on the nature of the project, please contact us to discuss what this might mean for your year.

What is the minimum GPA? There isn’t one — we factor your marks into the decision process, but your portfolio, statement of intent and entrance interview all factor in equally in the admissions process

Can I apply even if I don’t have a design background? Yes! At the IwB we think design is too important to leave to only designers… so each year we make a point of accepting several non-designers into the program. In the past this has included scientists, artists, journalists, urban planners and more. Feel free to get in touch if you’re not sure how your background fits with the program!

If I’m not a designer… what do I put in my portfolio? What we want to see in a non-design portfolio are samples of your work. This can include writing samples, personal art projects you’ve undertaken, photography samples, and anything else you feel represents your interests and accomplishments.

Is there housing available? Unfortunately there is no on-campus housing available. We are always happy to advise prospective students with choosing neighbourhoods however, please contact us at with any such inquiries.

What are the facilities like? The program is currently running in a studio space located within the School of Design at 230 Richmond Street East. It already has the infrastructure, equipment, technology, resources and faculty in place to continue in its current form.

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About the IWB

The Institute without Boundaries is a Toronto-based studio that works towards collaborative design action and seeks to achieve social, ecological and economic innovation. To learn more click here.

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