Humber grads create design project at historic Brick Works

Published in Humber Etc. online on Sept. 21 and in print Sept. 24. 

Two Humber design graduates recreated the Don River out of recycled tires for an installation peice at Evergreen Brick Works.

Jessica Gafic, 26, and Gloria Perez, 29, graduated from Humber’s interior design program last year. Together they won the Ontario Tire Stewardship Student Design Challenge, for the best environmentally friendly design using recycled tire parts.

They designed a rubber pathway  that connects many parts of the Brick Works including the famers market and pavilions.

Photo by Lisa Mayor.

Gloria Perez, left, and Jessica Gafic worked with recycled tire parts.

Inspiration from local river

The path resembles the Don River and incorporates native plants and children’s play areas.

Perez and Gafic’s design, called On the Riverbank, was chosen out of nearly a dozen submissions.

“We both knew the area and thought it would be an interesting thing to take on,” Perez said. “We went through the archives [at the Brick Works] and were inspired by the Don River… it’s a gathering place for plants and animals and we wanted to recreate that.”

“We came out and sat, and took in the use of the site and the needs of the area,” Gafic said. “We wanted to see what it was lacking.”

Filling the void

They said they thought there needed to be an area where kids could play and adults could also enjoy.

Their design includes not only reused tires, but also plants native to the area is a tribute to the Don River.

Bringing it all together

Elise Shelley, a member of the competition steering committee who teaches landscape architecture at the University of Toronto, helped bring the concept and design together.

“My role [was] to see the conceptual ideas that the students generated brought to reality,” Shelley said. “I think given the number of stakeholders in the project and the kinds of challenges that were overcome, it’s turned out to be something amazing.”

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