Institute without Boundaries

Markham Meet COLAB: What is COLAB?

COLAB is an interdisciplinary design solutions unit for Markham.COLAB draws on the resources of the municipality, the dynamism of the private sector and the wisdom of the community to research, design, develop and prototype innovative solutions to 21st century urban challenges. COLAB is a laboratory for interdepartmental collaboration and problem solving within the municipality. Working with diverse stakeholders from the community, business sector and town, COLAB facilitates open communication and engages creative ideation methods to help Markham achieve its strategic
sustainability objectives.

COLAB is not for profit and works on a per-project basis. A core staff of two employees work with stakeholders to identify project directions and source interdisciplinary teams made up of individuals representing the public, private and municipal interests.

COLAB is on site. In order to succeed, COLAB has a physical workspace in Markham where it can collaborate with citizens, municipal staff and private sector stakeholders. COLAB is accessible, located within the Civic Centre and close to key knowledge and decision-making resources. The space is open and inviting, with room for small groups to gather around tables and design facilities that support the creative process.

COLAB is project based. COLAB consults with its stakeholders to identify project opportunities. COLAB takes on projects in the area of sustainable planning for the public realm. COLAB puts the right people on the right projects.

COLAB is ongoing. Great conversations start in collaborative environments. Business hours and online forums are not enough to support the momentum COLAB inspires in its members. COLAB regularly hosts events like charrettes and other community engagement activities to collect insight from participants.

COLAB is online. COLAB online allows for more outreach and immediate feedback. COLAB online is also a resource for current and prospective clients to explore our work. Our online presence also makes us accessible to a global audience.

This is an article from COLAB, the final project of students from the 2011/2012 academic year. To see all the posts related to the project go here. To see a summary of the project go here.
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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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