Human Space: Quadrangle launches social impact design consultancy

Toronto-based Quadrangle has announced the launch of its new social impact brand, Human Space. Offering design consulting services for both the public and private sectors, the new brand’s mission is to work with a wide range of stakeholders including architects, facilities managers, construction companies, developers and government bodies to promote equity, wellbeing and social participation within the built environment. Human Space is committed to elevating the human experience through the principles of inclusivity, resilience and connectivity. Human-centred design, research and innovation drive the practice’s approach – one that regards the diversity of its community as a source of strength and richness.

Human Space, Quadrangle
Photo by Brandon Barre.

Lead by Director Jesse Klimitz and Accessibility Practice Lead Lorene Casiez, the team behind Human Space has a solid track record in creating accessible built environments and advising a broad spectrum of businesses on industry best practices. The team has been responsible for consulting on the design of fully accessible projects such as the interiors for the Toronto headquarters of Corus Entertainment and the province-wide ONroute Service Centres. Two projects, the ramped lobby of a commercial building at 100 Broadview Avenue in Toronto, and Quadrangle’s own universally-designed studio, were both recognized with the prestigious International Association of Universal Design (IAUD) Award. Members of the team played a key role as compliance advisors for the Athlete’s Village and four athletic venues of the 2015 Pan Am and Parapan Am Games and were also instrumental in developing the standards of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA).

The group grew out of AccessAbility Advantage – a former joint venture between Quadrangle and March of Dimes Canada – which was established with the goal of helping municipalities, developers and institutions to create accessible built environments. A few of these clients and projects include: The Daniels Corporation’s Accessibility Designed Program, the Daphne Cockwell Health Sciences Complex at Ryerson University, and Joseph Brant Hospital. “Responding to the increased awareness of and demand for inclusive design, we look forward to working with clients and partners to deliver design solutions that consider people first and incorporate broadest perspectives to arrive at better solutions. This includes accessibility, wellness and social integration as essential components at all stages of the design process.” commented Jesse Klimitz.

Human Space will celebrate its inception by sponsoring “The BIG IDeA Challenge”, June 1-2, 2018, an event series hosted by OCADU’s Inclusive Design Research Centre (IDRC). BIG IDeA will bring together businesses, those with lived experience of disability, and the next generation of business leaders to collaboratively advance accessibility innovation in Ontario and create a culture of accessibility, wellbeing and inclusion.

Additionally, Human Space has partnered with the Canadian Urban Institute to develop “AllAccess – Creating Accessible Public Spaces”, an educational program intended to help designers, planners, property owners and others involved in the design and development of public spaces to better implement accessibility standards in their daily practice. This program is an EnAbling Change Project with the Government of Ontario.