School of Architecture Initiative @ the University of Saskatchewan

February 24, 2013

As active and interested members of the design community in Saskatchewan, OPEN is excited about the potential for a new school of architecture in Saskatoon, about architecture in the context of Saskatchewan and design in general.

The group driving the University of Saskatchewan School of Architecture initiative have tapped into our enthusiasm and recently asked OPEN to help develop a promotional campaign to generate community interest in the initiative and the three symposia.

We see these symposia and the promotion of the School of Architecture Initiative as an important step in educating the community and sharing the possibilities of what a school of architecture in Saskatchewan can bring.  OPEN is happy to play a role in doing our part as members of the design community in Saskatchewan and is happy to contribute to the online and real-life buzz of the new school of architecture.

We are currently in the process of developing promotional materials in collaboration with the great people at the U of S involved in the School of Architecture Initiative. Many individuals have been hard at work behind the scenes putting in countless hours to help bring the dream of an architecture school to life.  Thank you for allowing us to be a part of this great and very important initiative.

Here is an overview of some of the items we are working on:

Connecting the Collaborators and Community

We have been hard at work preparing a website for the School of Architecture Initiative. The website will act as a hub for the promotion of the school of architecture. It will host information about the future school, including the information pertaining to the symposia, as well as future events and news. We hope to have many and diverse contributors of content. Please visit the website at

Fueling the Excitement

Throughout the event, the use of social media will broadcast the online memories of each symposium as promotional material for the next. Keeping the conversation going in between and after the events will maintain interest and gain attention as the symposia month progresses. Please visit the social media pages for updates at and

Sparking Community Interest

With four series of posters and promotional materials, we hope to attract our target audience in a variety of ways.

The first poster series is tailored specifically to the symposia and offers basic information about the events. The posters, with their vibrant colour scheme, begin with the phrase “architecture is…” Anyone who works in the field of architecture knows how hard it is to define what it is exactly that architects do and make it fit into a single description. Through this campaign, we hope to convey the variety and interdisciplinary nature of the profession while showcasing the particular topics chosen for discussion at the symposia.

Paired with the symposia, we have also developed small informative take-away postcards to provide further information on the speakers’ biographies and information linking one to the website and information about the initiative.


The second series of posters present bold questions that are suited to the longer-term goal of gaining support for the school of architecture. These captivating questions seek to peak the interest of the community and offer a sense of adventure through the exploration for answers.  A QR code on the posters will direct the viewer to the website where they can learn more about the initiative and be presented with the answers to the questions on the posters.

The third series of promotional posters we aptly describe as “architecture guerilla tags”. The tagline at the top of the posters boldly state, “An Architect did this…” By playing off the drawing conventions and annotations that architects use to communicate their designs on paper, we bring these conventions to life by tagging their locations in real physical spaces. The goal is to draw attention to the idea that in one way or another designers and architects have, most likely been involved in the process of translating 2D drawings into 3D physical forms.

For our fourth promotional item we asked ourselves the questions- how can we elicit the attention of one segment of our target audience- students? Our solution was something playful, something exciting and something in social environments…the drink coaster. Through the development of slotted drink coasters that spell out the school of architecture Initiative logo, we hope to encourage students to create their own structures using the drink coasters and to share their unique designs via the website.  So grab a couple of friends and get creative!

We hope that the implementation of these promotional methods will spark community interest and continue to provoke ongoing momentum for the School of Architecture Initiative even after scheduled events have taken place. We have made a conscious effort through our design process to create a consistent brand across all promotional materials in hopes of creating a recognizable calling card for the initiative as a whole.

We look forward to being involved in furthering the conversations surrounding the School of Architecture Initiative at the University of Saskatchewan. We hope to help keep the community informed about topics introduced by the speakers by blogging from the perspective of young practitioners working in Saskatchewan. So stay tuned and we hope you enjoy our work… in the meantime, keep your eyes out for our work and we look forward to seeing you at the symposia!

Blog post and renderings by: OPEN