What does it mean to bring people together at a time when we must all stay apart?
The Toronto Society of Architects was founded on building networks that encourage members to meet face to face. With lockdowns bringing the digital future into the now, the association has found new ways to best serve its constituents without gathering.
Over the past few months, there has been an impressive amount of activity on their website, with a vital go-to source for helping the A+D community navigate countless professional and personal changes relating to COVID-19. Here are three ways TSA has made the pandemic a bit easier while working from home.
Since February, TSA has focused its energy on virtual projects while its members work from home. Photo by Doublespace Photography
On March 17, Premier Doug Ford enacted a State of Emergency in Ontario. That same day the society released its Pandemic Preparedness resource page with a crowd-sourced list of primary sources related to building, including critical information on government relief programs and essential service updates.
There are now over 60 links directing visitors to more finely tuned financial and legal matters and tips on managing remote teams, both physically and emotionally. One link via Perkins + Will even provides a downloadable template for constructing an ergonomically correct laptop-stand out of cardboard. As the crisis continues, the page is continually refreshed with recommendations to address such ongoing challenges as reopening offices or how to deal with construction costs and delays.
TSA is keeping it members up-to-date with its online Pandemic Preparedness page listing vital information as it relates to all aspects of architecture during COVID-19. Photo by Scott Norsworthy
For years TSA’s popular architect-led building tours have enabled the public to meet local architects to see Toronto through the perspective of those who have designed some of the city's best public buildings. This year, TSA postponed the annual event, and in its place created a more intimate offshoot program featuring residential projects.
Using Instagram livestream, one local architect takes viewers through the house they have designed and built. Architect Joey Giaimo launched the program with a tour of his blue-clad Mississauga home called South House.
The tours have been so well-received TSA has decided to make it a permanent program. On Thursday, July 23, at 12noon, Christine Lolley, co-founding Principal of Solares Architecture with her partner architect Tom Knezic will take viewers on a walk-through of Solares House.
South House, designed and owned by architect and heritage conservationist Joey Giaimo, was the first project to be featured as part of TSA’s Home Tour series posted on Instagram. Photo by Doublespace Photography
Climate Action Questionnaire
TSA hasn't neglected its commitment to climate change. In collaboration with Architects Declare, it launched the Climate Action Questionnaire to help identify tools, strategies, resources and knowledge gaps within the community to better inform a shared action plan. The questionnaire is open to all practices in Canada and closes on July 31, 2020, at midnight.
Until July 31, the Climate Action Questionnaire is available to all architects across Canada. Photo courtesy TSA