The Algonquin Studios perhaps best speak to my teaching philosophy as they exemplify all of three of my guiding principles (discovery, community and practice). These courses were developed utilizing well-grounded theories found in experiential and service learning, and referenced specific innovative pedagogical theorists including Ernest Boyer, John Dewey, Paulo Freire, bell hooks, and David A. Kolb. The studios aimed at expanding the design-learning paradigm by way of design activism and social justice.
I initiated a partnership with the Algonquins of Pikwàkanagàn. I secured partnerships with Aboriginal scholars (from U of T, OCADU), chiefs and community leaders. The studios also utilized available technological tools and practitioners. In all cases, students conducted field research – visiting Aboriginal reserves, community centers and museums, and participating in traditional ceremonies and feasts. Students had the opportunity to present their work with me at the Ryerson Faculty conference. I am particularly proud of the scope of this studio’s learning experience as it served the entire second-year interior design population.