May 8-9, 2024

Join the BSI's summit and help develop forward-thinking solutions around smart sustainability based on societal and planetary challenges.

BSI Summer International Charrette

Exploratory design for the climate crisis
Jun 19, 2023
Jun 23, 2023
3 Lower Jarvis St. Toronto


From June 19th to June 23rd, the Brookfield Sustainability Institute hosted a charrette to explore three different design challenges - Rethinking the Sustainable “Design” Goals, Tackling the Sargassum Issue, and EcoVisions - Building creatively sustainable solutions. The Rethinking the Sustainable Design Goals (SDGs) project engaged students in reimagining the SDGs and devising innovative and practical solutions to effectively address future challenges. In parallel, the Tackling the Sargassum initiative identified top priorities and sustainable solutions for addressing the Sargassum issue, a brown macroalgae/seaweed problem. Additionally, the EcoVisions project inspired students to envision a sustainable future through experimental design, aiming to promote a more sustainable world. 

Each of these projects focused on design thinking, innovation and exploration, global collaboration, as well as sustainability and resilience.

What are the Streams?

Ways of Sharing

• The relationship between Working & Learning

• Themes: harmonization of work and learning practices, eco-friendly workspaces, sustainable learning methodologies

• Facilitator: Eric Meerkamper
• Case Study: FireNtegra

In a world facing sustainability challenges, the relationship between work and learning needs a paradigm shift. Traditional models contribute to environmental strain, and there’s a pressing need for sustainable innovations that harmonize work and learning practices.

This Stream will explore sustainable innovations in learning and work.

Determine how cutting-edge practices can provide solutions to the environmental impact of traditional approaches. From eco-friendly workspaces to sustainable learning methodologies,we’ll delve into transformative solutions that shape a greener future.

• The relationship between Health & Wellness

• Themes: holistic approaches to healthcare, mental well-being, community resilience, and inclusive care strategies

• Facilitator: Jane Cooke-Lauder
• Case Study: SourceFarm

Exploring novel ways of caring for individuals and communities.

In our fast-paced world, health challenges abound, impacting both individuals and communities. The traditional approaches to healthcare often fall short in addressing the holistic well-being of individuals, leaving communities vulnerable to various health-related issues.

This Stream will explore innovative solutions in the realm of Health & Wellness.

We’ll lead discussions on holistic approaches to healthcare, mental well-being, community resilience, and inclusive care strategies. We’ll delve into the latest advancements, compassionate strategies, and collaborative initiatives that contribute to healthier societies.

Ways of Caring

Ways of Living

• The relationship between Housing & Community

• Themes: redefine urban living, infrastructure development,and housing design

• Facilitator: Kristina Verner
• Case Study: Eglinton West

Our current living practices and infrastructure often contribute to environmental degradation and urban challenges.

Traditional approaches to housing and infrastructure can be unsustainable, posing threats to both the well-being of individuals and the health of the planet.

This Stream will explore cutting-edge solutions and sustainable practices that redefine urban living, infrastructure development, and housing design. We’ll envision and create a blueprint for tomorrow’s living spaces where comfort and environmental harmony coexist.

Key Insights

  • Sargassum floats on the surface of the ocean that provides important habitats for marine organisms but is excessively blooming which is impacting coastal areas
  • Art and design installations can transform physical spaces to promote sustainability and foster positive change
  • 17 SDG’s lack proper feasibility
  • Physical and social issues need to be considered to effectively address the future challenges for new generations


As a result of this workshop, the three participating teams developed the following solutions for sustainable future:

Tackling the Sargassum Challenge

Team 1 used a holistic approach to develop five viable smart sustainable solutions to address the Sargassum issues on an environmental, social and economic level. By collecting case studies, precedents and best practices, they derived valuable lessons and identified potential threats to success in implementing solutions. Their end goal was to develop a design brief for 5 key projects that could guide a future charrette.


Team 2 explored the intersection of art, sustainability and technology to develop innovative solutions and create interventions that promote smart sustainability. They aimed to design and prototype an art installation that is interactive, engaging and inspiring people to adopt smart sustainable behaviors in their daily lives. As a result, they developed an immersive live performance with interactive storytelling, utilizing various pieces of technology.


Rethinking the Global Sustainable “Design” Goals

Team 3 focused on reimagining the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to effectively address the evolving challenges of the future by emphasizing the role of design in finding innovative and practical solutions and exploring multi-scale and multi-level considerations. Throughout the workshop, they set more realistic objectives and indicators to assess the newly envisioned SDGs frameworks. Finally, based on the local neighborhood on the Toronto Harbour, they designed an urban development that could demonstrate the new, human-centered SDG framework.

Don't hesitate to join us on this insightful journey towards a brighter future.

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