6Place Toronto

is a McLuhan Centre for Culture and Technology research/working group project investigating significant urban spaces in Toronto where Media and Infrastructure intersect with Architecture and Public Space. From the Portlands to South Etobicoke, these are contested, iconic, dormant places, currently subject to major speculation and diverse visions for the city of the  future. This project investigates urban history, networks, image, building stock, landscape, infrastructure, data and meta-data. Engaging faculty and students in Architecture, Urbanism, Information, Art History, Politics, Anthropology, Media and the Visual Arts, 6PTo’s methods of documentation and dissemination include mapping, lens- and drone-based imaging, drawing, stratography, archival and media research, walks, talks, workshops and seminars. Each of the six investigations is a pilot for an interdisciplinary, layered urbanism and civic broadcast, ultimately testing the potential of Public Space in the North American Metropolis.  6PTo is also supported by U of T’s School of Cities and by the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design.


1/6 Portlands/Monument
2/6 Water/Data
3/6 Work/Inventory
4/6 Creek/Fort/Burial
5/6 Islands/Bubbles
6/6 Landfill/Publics

About | Land AcknowledgementCredits |  




Working Group Members & Guests Speakers


Jamie Allen

Jamie Allen, Senior Researcher at the Critical Media Lab in Basel, Switzerland and Canada Research Chair in Infrastructure, Media & Communications at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. His PhD, under the supervision of Siegfried Zielinski and Avital Ronell, was awarded in 2015 (summa cum laude) by the European Graduate School. He is co-founder of the media, art and philosophy journal continentcontinent.cc. At NSCAD, he is developing the Institute of Departments and Organisations, seeking to reroute artistic research, collaborative energies and conceptual, extra-disciplinary knowledge practices.

Petros Babasikas (Lead Convener)
Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream, John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design, University of Toronto

Petros Babasikas is an architect, writer and educator. His work explores connections among architecture, storytelling, media and public space. He is founder of Drifting City studio, based in Athens, Greece. Petros’ ongoing research (apart from 6PTo) includes “Urban/Commoning,” a DIY urbanism project in Mediterranean Cities, and The Tourists, a series of multimedia exhibitions and publications on the intersection of Global Migrations and Tourism. His design projects include Catch the Light, a public space project for the Athens Olympics; Kapnergati Square Area & Park in Kavala, Greece; ELIKA Gallery in Athens; Drip, a pavilion for the London Olympics; Rock, a sonic garden for the Santozeum Museum; and the Webby Award-winning webpage and interactive garden dreamgrove.org. His essays on public space, crisis landscapes, the Mediterranean Metropolis and photography have been published in 6 languages. Petros is co-curator and coordinator of the Depression Era Project, a collective documentary/storytelling experiment on the urban and social landscape of the Greek Crisis. He is associate member of the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences and vice-chair of UWC Greece. He holds a BA in Architecture and Comparative Literature from Columbia University and an MArch from Princeton University.

Heba Mostafa
Assistant Professor in Islamic Art & Architecture, History of Art / Graduate Department of Art, University of Toronto

Heba Mostafa received her doctorate from Cambridge University’s Department of Architecture in 2012, where she also taught courses on Islamic art and architecture. She previously held positions at the American University in Cairo and the Arab Academy for Science and Technology. She holds a B.Sc. in Architectural Engineering from Cairo University (2001) and an MA in Islamic Art and Architecture (2006) from the American University in Cairo. Between 2012 and 2014 she was the Sultan Post Doctoral Teaching Fellow/ Visiting Assistant Professor at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies and the Department of Art History at the University of California, Berkeley, in the areas of History of Islamic Art, Architecture, and Urbanism. Between 2015-2016 she was a postdoctoral research fellow at the Kunsthistorisches Institute in Florence where she explored the role of narrative in shaping sacred space in early Islam. Between 2014-2017 she was Assistant Professor of Islamic Art, Architecture and Urbanism at the Kress Foundation Department of Art History at the University of Kansas. Her research focuses on the early development of Islamic architecture with an emphasis on the interaction between the political and religious in the articulation of early Islamic authority within the mosque, palace and shrine. In her pedagogy she engages architecture through the lens of urban history, integrates architectural and cultural history within urban contexts, and explores narrative as well as historical approaches at various scales, from objects and buildings to public spaces, routes and land formations, looking at the contemporary city as a palimpsest.

Charles Stankievech
Director, Visual Studies & Assistant Professor, John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design, University of Toronto

Charles Stankievech is a Canadian artist whose research has explored issues such as the notion of “fieldwork” in the embedded landscape, the military industrial complex, and the history of technology.  His diverse body of work has been shown internationally at the Louisiana Museum, Copenhagen; Palais de Tokyo, Paris; Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin; MassMoca, Massachussetts; Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal; Canadian Centre for Architecture; and the Venice Architecture and SITE Santa Fe Biennales.  His lectures for Documenta 13 and the 8th Berlin Biennale were as much performance as pedagogy while his writing has been published in academic journals by MIT and Princeton Architectural Press.  His idiosyncratic and obsessively researched curatorial projects include Magnetic Norths at the Leonard & Bina Ellen Gallery, Concordia University and CounterIntelligence at the Justina M. Barnicke Gallery, University of Toronto.  From 2010-2011 (and again currently from 2014-15) he was hired as a private contractor for the Department of National Defence where he conducted independent research in intelligence operations under the rubric of the CFAP.  He was a founding faculty member of the Yukon School of Visual Arts in Dawson City, Canada.  Since 2011, he has been co-director of the art and theory press K. Verlag in Berlin.  Studio Stankievech: www.stankievech.net

Mark Sterling
Director, Master of Urban Design, John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design, University of Toronto

Mark Sterling is an architect, planner, urban designer and educator – Director of the Master of Urban Design program at the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture Landscape and Design. His consulting firm, Acronym Urban Design and Planning, consults with developers and institutional clients making their way through the complexities of the City of Toronto’s approvals process. Mark is the former Director of Architecture and Urban Design for the City of Toronto and is a member of the City of Mississauga’s Urban Design Review Panel.


1/6 Portlands/Monument
Nicholas de Monchaux is Professor of Architecture and Urban Design at UC Berkeley, where he serves as Director of the Berkeley Center for New Media, as well as a partner in the Oakland-based architecture practice modem. He is the author of Spacesuit: Fashioning Apollo (MIT Press, 2011) and Local Code: 3,659 Proposals about Data, Design, and the Nature of Cities (Princeton Architectural Press, 2016). His work has been exhibited at the Venice Architecture Biennale, the Lisbon Architecture Triennial, The Storefront for Art and Architecture, SFMOMA, and the Chicago MCA. He is a Fellow of the American Academy in Rome.

2/6 Water/Data
Beth Coleman is Associate Professor of Experimental Digital Media at the University of Waterloo where she directs the City as Platform Lab. Her work focuses on smart technology, big data, and civic engagement. Her practice engages research methods and artistic inquiry towards the creation of public, civic, and poetic works. She is the co-founder of SoundLab Cultural Alchemy, an internationally acclaimed multimedia art and sound platform. She had published the monograph Hello Avatar (MIT Press) along with numerous research articles. Her research affiliations include executive committee member of the UWaterloo Games Institute, Berkman Center for Internet & Society, Harvard University, and expert consultant for the European Commission Digital Futures. She is a founding member of the Microsoft Research Fellow Social Media Collective.

Shannon Mattern is a Professor of Anthropology at The New School for Social Research. Her writing and teaching focus on archives, libraries, and other media spaces; media infrastructures; spatial epistemologies; and mediated sensation and exhibition. She is the author of The New Downtown Library: Designing with Communities, Deep Mapping the Media City, and Code and Clay, Data and Dirt: Five Thousand Years of Urban Media, all published by University of Minnesota Press. In addition to writing dozens of articles and book chapters, she also contributes a regular long-form column about urban data and mediated infrastructures to Places, a journal focusing on architecture, urbanism, and landscape, and she collaborates on public design and interactive projects and exhibitions. You can find her at wordsinspace.net.

Daniel Rotsztain is the Urban Geographer, an artist, writer, and cartographer whose work examines our relationship to the places we inhabit. A frequenter of libraries, malls, and strip malls, Daniel's projects seek to understand and support the diverse settings of the city's public life. He is the co-lead of plazaPOPS, a University of Guelph led pilot to assess the potential of creating community-designed public gathering spaces in private strip mall parking lots. The author of All the Libraries Toronto, and A Colourful History Toronto, Daniel's work has also been featured in the Globe and Mail, Spacing Magazine, Toronto Life, and Now Magazine. He is regular columnist for CBC radio’s Here and Now where he discusses day trips exploring the natural beauty and cultural dynamism of Southern Ontario.
Website: TheUrbanGeographer.ca

Bianca Wylie
is an open government advocate with a dual background in technology and public engagement.  She leads work on public sector technology policy for Canada at Dgen Network and is the co-founder of Tech Reset Canada.  Bianca is also a Senior Fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation in the Global Economy program. She worked for several years in the tech sector in operations, infrastructure, corporate training, and product management, most recently at Thomson Reuters. As a facilitator at Swerhun Inc., she designed, delivered and supported public consultation processes for various governments and government agencies. In 2014, Bianca founded the Open Data Institute Toronto.  She is a columnist, guest lecturer, and speaker on open government and public sector technology policy.

3/6 Post/Industrial Fabric
Jesse LeCavalier is an architect, researcher, author and educator – associate professor at the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture Landscape and Design. His book The Rule of Logistics: Walmart and the Architecture of Fulfillment examines the activities of the international retailer to tell a larger story about the ways the logistics industry has developed at different scales and through the emergence of particular technologies. His work has appeared in AD, Cabinet, Public Culture, Places, Art Papers, and Harvard Design Magazine and his essay, “The Restlessness of Objects,” was the recipient of a 2013 Core77 Design Award. LeCavalier’s installation “Architectures of Fulfillment” was part of the 2017 Seoul Biennale for Architecture and Urbanism and his project "Shelf Life" was one of five finalists for the 2018 MoMA PS1 Young Architects Program.

Shawn Micallef is the author of Stroll: Psychogeographic Walking Tours of Toronto and Full Frontal TO (nominated for the 2013 Toronto Book Award), a weekly columnist at the Toronto Star, and a senior editor and co-owner of the independent, Jane Jacobs Prize–winning magazine Spacing. Shawn teaches at the University of Toronto and OCAD University and was a 2011-2012 Canadian Journalism Fellow at University of Toronto’s Massey College. In 2002, while a resident at the Canadian Film Centre’s Media Lab, he co-founded [murmur], the location-based mobile phone documentary project that has spread to over 20 cities globally.

4/6 Creek/Fort Burial
Anita Bakshi is the author of Topographies of Memories: A New Poetics of Commemoration(2017).  She teaches in the Department of Landscape Architecture at Rutgers University and is affiliated with the Cultural Heritage and Preservation Studies (CHAPS) Program. Following several years in architectural practice in Chicago, California and Istanbul, she received her PhD in the History and Theory of Architecture from Cambridge University with the Conflict in Cities Research Programme.

5/6 Islands/Bubbles

6/6 Landfill/Publics


1/6 Portlands/Monument
©Photo by www.stockaerialphotos.com

2/6 Water/Data
©Photo by Timothy Neesam

3/6 Work/Inventory
©Photo by Google Maps

4/6 Creek/Fort/Burial
©Photo by Mike Falkner

5/6 Island/Bubbles
©Photo by Dieter Janssen, Ontario Place 2014.

6/6 Landfill/Publics
©Photo by Wikimedia Commons

Website by Chrissoula Voulgari