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Category Archives: Design and Staging

Toronto condo developer looks to students for inspiration

Design Haus competition invites students to design new College Street condo

Ryan Starr – Toronto Star

Clifford Korman is always on the lookout for new talent.

So the architect behind Design Haus, a new 17-storey condo on College Street just east of Spadina Avenue, is anticipating the innovative ideas from a student design competition put on by the project’s developer, Henry Hung.

President of Shiu Pong Group of Companies, Hung has invited students from Toronto’s colleges and universities to draw up the “perfect urban suite” for his building, which will have 116 condos and 26 rental apartments.

Aspiring architects/designers taking part in the competition must design one of two suites (575 square feet and 900 square feet). Entries will be judged on visual appeal and design principles, with bonus points for innovative and creative solutions to the real-life dilemma: how to make small living spaces work most efficiently.

Design Haus competition
Korman is a big fan of the contest idea. “To get that age group of talent and ability to think outside the box and create a space, and then build a winning solution and showcase their talent — I think it’s just marvellous,” says the partner with Kirkor Architects, who’ll be one of the judges. Korman will be joined by Kelly Cray, a principal with Union31, the firm that designed the building’s interior spaces, along with judges from the University of Toronto, OCAD University, Ryerson University and George Brown College.

There will be three cash prizes for winning entries ($10,000, $5,000 and $3,000), not to mention peer recognition and design industry attention. The deadline is Saturday, Jan. 31, 2015.

“I would have loved to have had this kind of chance when I was a student,” says Cray, a principal at one of the most in-demand design firms in the city.

“We worked on projects in school that were existing spaces, but never a competition where you see it actually come to fruition, or where you got to work with outside professionals and have their input and collaborate.”

Korman notes that students in the competition have the freedom to design the unit however they wish — but within reason; it has to actually function as a living space. “This is an opportunity industry professionals never get,” he says.

Design Haus Condos
Korman points out that roughly half of the staff in his 70-person architectural firm is under age 30. “They think they’re learning from me.” he says, “They don’t know I’m learning from them.”

The Design Haus competition is targeting Toronto students, but it’s open to anyone enrolled at a North American university or college at the time of submission .

To date, there have been more than 100 registrants, according to PB Marketing, the firm working on the promotion of Design Haus.

Cray looks forward to seeing how students tackle the tricky business of suite design. “Having a lot of experience in designing smaller spaces,” he says, “I think it will be neat to see the ideas of someone who hasn’t had a lot of experience working with small spaces.”

Clients expect Cray and his colleagues to approach each project differently, to do something new and dynamic that the market has never seen before. And it can be a big challenge.

“So it’ll be interesting to see what solutions the students are able to come up with,” he says.

Contest rules and regulations are at U of T and mydesignhaus.ca.

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Contact Laurin Jeffrey for more information – 416-388-1960

Laurin Jeffrey is a Toronto real estate agent with Blue Elephant Realty.
He did not write these articles, he just reproduces them here for people who
are interested in Toronto real estate. He does not work for any builders.

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