The KMD1001 class has partnered with the City of Toronto to provide experiences that compliment their academic work and opportunities, and to build their professional networks. Co-taught by Dr Steve Szigeti and Ryan Kealey, the class has carried out a project envisioning applications that can be built using the City’s open day. The class and its partnership with the city has been positively received by the students and city representatives. “A real strength of the KMD program is the interdisciplinary quality of the classes,” said Szigeti. “We wanted to push that by providing students with a connection to their city, and to a problem that crosses disciplines.” Representatives from the City of Toronto’s Open Data portal have met with the class, who have been tasked with addressing a societal relevant design problem. “How can open data be used to improve citizenship engagement.” Through a series of workshops and lectures, students have evaluated open data sets, and developed low-fidelity prototypes. On Thursday November 28th students presented their work at Toronto City Hall to the KMDI instructors, the KMDI Director, and a number of staff from the City of Toronto, including Rob Meikle, the CIO for the City of Toronto . In addition to providing a vision for the city, the class is building important skills for the students. “By focusing on a single design challenge, we are able to take the students through design steps that they will encounter in their professional and academic careers,” adds Kealey. “We see KMD1001 as a model for experiential learning, providing our graduate students with the tools they need in a competitive work environment.”
The work of students drawn from the faculties of information, engineering, education, computer science, landscape architecture was on display in City Hall, and will once again be on display at the KMD end of year celebrations at Hart House the evening of December 11, 2013.