THE  DESIGN COLLECTIVE: building new structures
Building progress doesn’t always start with a floor plan. The sediment can be a mutual motivation to create change, and collaboration is the cement that binds. The beams that held up social structures and colonial influence are examined with a critical lens. Walls are embedded with diverse knowledge and practice. Patriarchal doorways are entered with radical perspective.
For The 204 Design Collective, the roof is not made of wood – it’s a glass ceiling – and they’re smashing it to let the light shine through.
Founded by sisters, Sameera and Saira Abdulrehman, Gaby Perezanta, and Caitlin Brock, 204 references the area code of their hometown - Winnipeg, Manitoba - but the team is a global force. A void in university sparked it all, where they didn’t see their passion, ideas and projects reflected in the curriculum. Seeking representation, opportunities and support, they formed as a collective - exploring cities, politics and culture through environmental design, honing an innovative practice that reflects community needs and values.
With combined backgrounds in business, law, finance, and architecture, the 204 goes beyond the books, cultivating insight from lived experiences. They understand the needs of marginalized communities, and seek to unearth history lessons and narratives long forgotten through spatial change and inter-sectional design. Whether working with music collectives creating space for QTIPOC communities, decolonizing architecture, rebuilding historic monuments, or inviting people to see urban spaces differently, the 204 strives to break down power dynamics, by bridging theory and practice, connecting discourse with action.
The 204 exposes inequality through a new skylight by bringing their own building blocks to the foundation, for the construction process amplifies voices, while engaging with the world. The Collective gets into The Fold with Ola via Google Hangouts to wax poetic on their multidisciplinary/ alternative approach, project repertoire, educational vacations, and supportive work methods.
The  just returned to the London Festival of Architecture to deliver an online design charrette. Engaging with the LFA’s theme on boundaries, they live-streamed a workshop for public participation. This heuristic approach of live streaming a charrette/workshop uses digital space to interrogate institutional boundaries that exist in practicing and studying architecture. Learn more here.
Featured Tracks (both CanCon):
R.E.D. - A Tribe Called Red featuring Narcy
Execute - Tommy Genesis
Off The Grid - people, resources and information The  Digs:
David and Cheyenne Thomas - learn more about this incredible team in ’s Decolonizing Architecture project.
Stephanie Kirkland - Winnipeg-based landscape architect: https://www.stephanielynnkirkland.com
The Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust: http://www.stephenlawrence.org.uk/about-us/
Jaime Black - Winnipeg-based multidisciplinary artist: http://www.redressproject.org
Steam Down - an artist collective, weekly event and music community based in Deptford, South-East London : https://www.steamdown.co.uk/about/
Pussy Palace - a space that prioritises womxn and femmes of colour and other queer, intersex and trans people of colour (QTIPOC): https://www.instagram.com/pxssypalace/
*The group stated an approximate number of registered Indigenous Architects (in the context of...). Upon fact-checking, they discovered an Azure Magazine piece from 2017 that details 15 registered Indigenous Architects - read the article here for more context.
*Jaime Black is a female artist based in Winnipeg - learn more about her work here.
WATCH: The  Design Collective - Hot Take On The Bentway:
1:20: The art piece was a commissioned piece but it was not commissioned by the artist.