Summary of Project

Founded in 2008, the Laboratory for Integrative Design has focused on the ways in which computational techniques impact the design of architecture and the built environment at all scales. Over the last 5 years, co-directors Jason Johnson and Joshua Taron have focused on pursuing these techniques towards the production of participatory structures that democratize design and making. These structures include design workshops (lamps), public engagement opportunities (public art) and event driven urban installations (Furbaniture). Within each of these structures, the design team leverages their expertise in the areas of digital fabrication, user experience, material systems and assemblies, and adaptability.

This continuing project is supported by an SSHRC Insight Grant ($443,500) secured by Professor Johnson and funding from the VPR’s office for Professor Taron under the Human Dynamics Strategic Funding Initiative.

For the lamp workshop the research team developed a design interface that allowed participants with no design background to customize the design of their own lamp. The underlying software took care of all the assembly and formal parameters to ensure the lamps could be fabricated and assembled.

The public art projects included here engage public participation in the creation of art through the use of crowd-sourced and site specific images that allow for a more open interpretation of cultural artifacts and away from historically problematic power structures.

The Furbaniture project was designed in support of the Walk 21 Conference as a prompt for the public to reimagine ways in which public spaces and streetscapes could be inhabited in open-ended and playful ways.  By making use of a modular series of components, an infinite number of configurations could be explored in a variety of different contexts including City Hall Plaza, the St. Louis Hotel, 1st Street SW in Victoria Park, the courtyard at the Telus Spark Center and the University District.

This program of research is focused on enabling people to play a greater role in the design and adaptation of their built environments while training emerging architects to approach the interface between designers and clients as an entrepreneurial opportunity.

Project Links


Workshop Results

Lamp Project: This project was initially developed in collaboration with IK Studio and Beakerhead. Subsequent research has focused on developing a more robust user interface that allows for a higher degree of customization.

Public Art Projects/Proposals: As part of our ongoing research into techniques for embedding images and objects into larger scale assemblies, we have participated in a number of public art proposals. These proposals expose student researchers to the process of securing design work from municipalities and institutions. We have been named finalists for a number of projects and secured commissions for two others that are now complete and on site.

crown diagram

C-Space Proposal #1


C-Space Proposal #2





Contextual render: Winter Hut urban projection on 1st St. Design by Seyi Arole. Render by Hayden Pattullo

Furbaniture: Furbaniture is an applied instance of integrated infrastructural design where we look for ways in which urban systems can work with rather than against one another.  In the case of Furbaniture, emphasis was placed on using architectural objects to augment both transportation and waste systems informed directly by research produced out of our Integrated Infrastructure for Sustainable Cities funding.

Prefab and Divertability