Current version of tiny town Toronto is 40 years old and it was designed by architectures and city planners for their visualization. Later on It was made available for public to enjoy. In this workshop, we were asked to examine various technologies and methods to explore the visualization of data. Our task was to “Reimagine tiny town” while keeping in mind the sustainability, scalability, technology available, materials and changes happening in coming up year.Now this cardboard material tiny town can not be changed easily therefore thinking about all the factors mentioned above, we were to reimagine it.

tiny town image


As a group we were all passionate about sustainable structure. Therefore we decided that we will have a digital aspect to our design. However, if we do that then we totally disconnect the idea of making this tiny town special and unique for people to come visit Toronto. There fore we continue to brainstorm on how to make a physical model appealing, interactive, climate friendly, interchangeable and something which doesn’t cause traffic in the area .

One inspiration was from the movie Big Hero six, where Hiro Tidashi build a microbot which rises from the bottom to the top and forms it into a shape. Basically it is like a children toy "Metal Pin” which changes it shape when something pushes from the bottom.

big hero 6 gif
metal needle art

Idea explained

Basically a square needle like structure which rises and build a portion of the city. This can interchange into multiple regions of Toronto possibly after 10-15 minutes. Ex: midtown to old-town. This solves scalability problem. For sustainability we decided on recycled Acrylic Transparent Thermoplastics material which will allow us to have led inside for lighting purpose. Led will allow us to show data visualization. And if new construction happen then it can adapt a new building easily.

Branding and Modifications

We branded our idea and named it "The Spectrum Toronto". Logo is shown on the far right. Some modification will occur to specific buildings such as CN Tower for round structure. To solve this problem, some specific needles which will have capability to exert out a disk like structure from square as shown in the picture on the right (blue circle with white square). And when the structure is about to change to different region this disk will be pulled back inside the square.

Since this structure is interchangeable, it will also be connected to the real time data and will be able to show moving traffic from google, coloured building for constructions, green for grass, blue for water and can also show results such as election in portions. This is also demonstrated on the image with coloured needles on the table.

toronto spectrum modification

Digital Version

Our digital version will be interactive and placed on the wall so users can click on the area to view the infographic. Also we decided to have a guide (a person) standing next to it with an an iPad which will help people from all ages to enjoy fun facts and qualitative information about Toronto. The infographic below is made by Pero Simic representing an idea how an infographic will look like. This specific infographic explains our project.

Meet The Team

A team of four from different program collabrated for this project. From left to right: Pero Simic (Graphic Designer), Hootan Ghanaatifard (Content Managment), Elizaveta Dolgova (Web Design and Development) and Saher Jawaid (Web Design and Development).

spectrum toronto team
© Saher Jawaid 2020. All rights reserved.