Each section of ASC 201 has been allocated a wandering line in the city of Toronto. Students were asked to carry out four tasks in relation to that line for this first project of the winter semester:

  • Walk the line. Spend a few hours in the cold January weather walking the line. Follow the line from beginning to end and then back again. Go with a friend, go back alone. Talk to people. Get a coffee. Document what you find in photographs, sketches, notes, sound recordings.

  • Make an object. Make an assemblage from objects you have collected on your walk. Everything in the assemblage (except glue) must be found on the line. Objects can be purchased, scavenged, found. The assemblage you make should tell us something about the line and should be no larger than 200mmx300mmx300mm high. All objects used in the assemblage should be documented in their original location on the line using photography.

  • Write a story. Write a story about the line. Like all good stories, it should focus on one or more characters you encounter on your walks, and the story should tell us something important you have discovered. The story should take no more than five minutes to tell.

  • Draw it. Using the conventions of architectural drawing, - plan, section, elevation and so on - prepare a single drawing of your assemblage as an occupied structure. In order to do this you will need to consider (among other things) the following: Where is the assemblage to be situated? It should be somewhere along your line. What is the scale of the assemblage? In other words, how big is it? How will people use the structure? What will they do in, on and around it? What needs to be added, beyond the assemblage you have built, in order to allow this occupation?

Life after the move took some getting used to. The cost of a newly purchased home o¬ Logan Avenue, easily attainable by a man and his partner, illustrated the apparent success of his career. Sherane supported him through his recent success, eyes swimming with hope for their cookie-cutter future in a quaint neighbourhood. After settling in, the man decided to explore his foreign neighbourhood. Walking down the bustling street of danforth, an inexplicable uneasiness grew through his skin. Maybe it was the lack of greenery the city provided, or the dullness of winter, but he couldn’t be sure.

The man’s exploratory gaze was suddenly broken by a scroungy grey haired man grabbing him by the shoulders with a cold, white knuckled grip. The homeless man’s ragged ripped clothes shook while exclaiming, “Listen to me, I know!” with a psychotic snarl. Feeling spit spray his face the man shoved the old homeless man o¬ of him, wiped his face and walked on muttering, “Damn crackheads.”

The man carried on down the street, arriving at a large bridge cascading the multilane highway in thin shadows. The highway was anked with a steep inclined forest on either side, it’s peacefulness contrasting the speeding cars. He and Sherane had always loved walks in the forest at their old place; but the view was chopped up by an array of vertical cables spanning the entire length of the bridge. The absurd number felt like they surrounded the man, making the area feel inaccessible, but the man was determined. After crossing the bridge, he meandered through silent backyards to get to the forest. Although the forest was so close to the surrounding houses, it seemed untouched and somehow eerie. As the man trode his own path, he tripped on a surfaced root and fell down a sharp incline. He tumbled down, scraping sticks and crashing through ferns. Narrowly missing a tree, he landed at the bottom of a massive fence through a thicket of bushes. He stood, aching with pain, then peered through a rip in the black covering expanded across the either side of the fence. Inside sat a large, perfectly circular pit with depths unknown. Scanning the area, the man saw workers in bright uorescent vests and black suited men hurrying around the fenced o¬ area. Then, out of the depths of the pit, he saw it. He was dumbfounded, unable to process what lay before him, only able to mutter a meek “What the hell”.

His voice carried through the fence, a concerned expression spreading across the face of one of the black suited men. A swarm of men came hurtling towards him as he ran as fast as he could; soon overcome and tackled. Everything went black.

He awoke, distraught and confused, unaware of how much time had passed. He was surprised to nd himself in his own bed, awoken by the familiar smell of Sherane’s cooking. The man makes his way downstairs to nd out, that according to Sherane, he had “walked home and crashed on the bed right away.'' But the man couldn’t accept it. Instead of going to his rst day of work, the next day he decided to investigate. He set out to visit the ominous site again but was stopped early after discovering suited guards patrolling through the forest. His curiosity and passion superseded their patrol, venturing into the dim forest with his hood up and head down. Sneaking behind trees he approached the fence. Once again, the man saw it and everything fell into place. He knew his knowledge would change the world. Scrambling out while he thought he had the chance, the man skirted the roots of a tree and found himself face to face with a guard.

Again, everything went hazy but when the man opened his eyes this time, he was surrounded by iron bars. Walking up to the cell, a guard struck the bars. “You get one phone call. Make this mistake one more time, no one will ever hear from you again.” He scrambles to call Sherane and begins to ramble about his new found knowledge. Sherane interrupts, “What… What are you talking about-” holding back tears as she continues, “Your company called, they red you. What are we going to do?! Where are you?” Hearing distorted weeping through the phone, the consequences of his curiosity began to sink in. Now unemployed and facing a felony, he left the empty cell. In her despair, Sherane left the man, without an income or a home. He became helpless, surviving on change on the street, kept alive only by the world shattering knowledge he possessed.

Nonetheless, he knows he must inform the people. He grabs a man’s arm on the street.“You have to know. Everyone must know!” But he was pushed to the ground, greeted by a look of disgust. Lying on the cold concrete, the man watched him walk away, muttering “Damn crackheads.”

Toronto Metropolitan Department of  Architectural Science Toronto, CA.