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tuf lab


we study current events as they impact the built form of cities, with a particular focus on tough issues such as:


suburbs
property

parking
detached homes malls
regionalism
institutionalism
equity
immigration 
deveopment
subdivisions
modern planning
schools
real estate
policy
ecology
recycling
transit
landscape
architecture
sreets
ethnoburb
ethnic mall
the commons
malls
schools
real estate
policy
institutionalism
ecology
recycling
transit
landscape
architecture
sreets

























Tuf lab explores the tough conditions of contemporary urbanization and how they affect built form. These include parking lots, arterial roads, private property, ethnic malls, single-family homes, walkability in the suburbs, or landscapes of colonial dispossession. These are not often the kinds of things that urban designers or planners look to for inspiration, but rather, they represent the messy realities that challenge some more traditional ideals about cities that scholars and practitioners so often aspire to today. We are not interested in these things because we like them, but rather because they hold so much sway over building production and urban form.

Tuf lab stands for: Toronto Urban Form LAB. 

We are based at the University of Toronto.

We study Toronto extensively, but we also work in other places around the world.


We connect urban planning and design.



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Erica Allen-Kim
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Roberto Damiani is an Italian architect and scholar currently serving as a Lecturer at Daniels, where he teaches courses on visualization and history and theory of urbanism. His scholarly work investigates architecture and urbanism as platforms for public engagement and empowerment. He is the editor of the volume The Architect and the Public: On George Baird's Contribution to Architecture. Some of his articles appear in the journals OASE, San Rocco, and Scapegoat. In Toronto, he is the curator of the series of exhibits and public lectures Italy under Construction, sponsored by the Italian Cultural Institute.

Paul M. Hess is an Associate Professor at the University of Toronto in the Department of Geography and Planning. His researching teaching interests include streets as public space, pedestrian environments and design, suburban form and redevelopment, and planning and design history. Current projects include: changing North American street design practices and the ways they create socially inclusive and exclusive places; examining the effectiveness of planning strategies to retrofit suburban centres and corridors; and the history of planning modernist apartments in the post-war Toronto. His students are involved in studying active transportation and public space topics in diverse settings including Toronto, New York, Moscow, Bangalore, and Mexico City.

Sneha Mandan  is a PhD candidate at the University of Toronto. She is an urban planner, urban designer, and architect who has worked on several urban planning, environmental planning, and urban design projects in the US and India. She is interested in the integration of physical form with social and cultural forces within cities, social justice and equity issues, urban informality, community co-design, and spatial planning pedagogy. Her current research focuses on the influence of ‘integration’ practices on the culture and use of space among immigrant communities in Toronto, and connecting their experiences transnationally to their families ‘back home’. She is a graduate of the Master in City Planning course at MIT, and holds a professional undergraduate degree in Architecture from India.

Michael Piper is an Assistant Professor of urban design and architecture and director of the Master of Urban Design program at the University of Toronto. His research and teaching explore opportunities for speculative thinking within messy, real-life conditions of development and urbanization with the goal of producing new opportunities for collective life. This work foregrounds analysis of built form, development practices, and urban planning policy. Current projects include analysis and design projects for single family homes, proposals for reimagining the subdivision, and analysis of suburban arterial roads.