– The collaborative exercise at Ryerson is an intense, one-week charrette that gathers all the students in the school, 450 students, and all of our faculty and adjunct faculty to gather together to work on one continuous project over four days. – The collaborative exercise is an experiential learning opportunity that allows first through fourth years to work together on a one-week intensive project. It provides the opportunity for the upper years to mentor the younger years while allowing the younger years to be guided through their education. For me it has created an opportunity to build friendships that have lasted a lifetime. – We have focused it typically around subjects that are topical and ethical. This year’s topic is student housing and the lack of student housing, The crisis, really, of student housing that exists in the city of Toronto at the moment and is feeding a study that has been initiated by the four Universities to address the issue of student housing. – It teaches students how to work in large teams to develop unconventional design solutions in response to an issue that our cities are facing right now. It enables upper year students to take on leadership roles and at the same time, it lets students who are just starting out absorb a whole lot of information in a short period of time. – I think what’s really great about this as a project is that it allows students to take ownership of a project and learn how to be leaders. And work together quickly, which is certainly necessary as an architect. This is an opportunity for them to learn how to do it and to learn from one another.