DISCUSSING THE MARGINAL exhibit, Urbanspace Gallery, 401 Richmond

In the urban realm, millions of ways of living negotiate in the same space. These are not just interpretations, but more urgently, desires, uses, and formations of publics. The increase in privatized spaces, along with stricter zoning and program, limit the power of genuine public uses. Space as a commodity, fixed zoning and program dictates, infrastructure as efficiency—each of these emerge as contemporary Towers of Babel that limit the language we have to discuss value, use and movement respectively. In each case a dominant language is assumed that flattens urbanity and reduces subjectivity to a single scale and sphere. The marginal is always a space of plurality that resists the imposition of a generalized and homogenous framework on life. Alternate forms of thinking, moving, relating, and living develop in the margins, on the periphery of the dominant city. Common languages emerge in which people exist at various public scales and modes of reality simultaneously.

This exhibit maps marginal spaces in Toronto including surface parking lots and space adjacent to highway, railway and hydro corridors. A series of diagrams examines unexpected scalar relationships between commonplace components of Toronto. This exhibition is simultaneously a map of Toronto's marginal spaces, an abstracted landscape, and most of all a space for Discussing the Marginal. Through a series of discussions, various movements in Toronto including Laneway Project, DeRAIL, Undergardiner, Greenline, and Tower Renewal Project are brought together. These spaces elude conventional ideas about program and call into question stable concepts about a city. The exhibition and discussions also address the problem of how to frame a city in the first place. Perhaps the city is not representable through form and images and is primarily a literary problem or the sound of multiple voices from the margins?

Buildings over 18 meters high in Toronto arranged in a rectangle.

Buildings over 18 meters high in Toronto arranged in a rectangle.

Design Team

Marcin Kedzior, Hilary Bonnell, Rami Dawood, Eliot Callahan, Will Fu, Andrea Norris, Isabel Ochoa, Josh Sam-Cato, and Joshn Silver. 

Featuring a discussion that included Helena Grdadolnik (Director of Workshop Architecture Inc.), Kristina Ljubanovic (AGO), Michelle Senayah (Director of The Laneway Project), Graeme Steward (Tower Renewal), Victoria Taylor and Gelareh Saadatpajouh (====\\DeRAIL).