Thanks for your interest in "Equilibrium"!
Over summer 2018, Toronto will host one of the world’s most celebrated street artists - OKUDA (Spain) to create a new landmark mural entitled Equilibrium, inspired by the community and commissioned especially for Parkside Student Residence’ 23 storey easterly wall.

What follows are initial renderings of the proposed mural and how we arrived at its design!

The work’s title makes reference to the universal balance between nature, humanity and knowledge. The artist has chosen to incorporate a totem as a central foci of the piece; a symbol which has been admired across a diversity of cultures throughout history. The work responds to provided design considerations identified by community stakeholders: diversity, knowledge and nature in its design. It incorporates vibrant colours in a thoughtful way, along with imagery that conjures feelings of positivity and unity. Its intended to connect with the positive and vibrant living environment that Parkside Student Residence seeks to foster where students feel connected to their communities.

STEPS has partnered with the City of Toronto’s StreetARToronto (StART) program alongside Parkside Student Residence property owner Knightstone Capital Management and the project partners: HealthCare of Ontario Pension Plan, Compass Canada, Turner & Townsend, Diamond Schmitt Architects, Crowe Soberman LLP, Single Digits, Foliot Furniture, Canadian Campus Communities, and Dulux Paints to bring vibrancy to the streetscape of Jarvis and Carlton.

The work features an iconic Okuda Kaos Star at its crest. This asymmetrical image draws inspiration from the compass star. The artist feels that no matter where you are, or what you are doing, it is important to have your own reference points to achieve your goals. A declaration of individual freedom and optimism. Freedom taking us back to nature is represented in the form of a dove-like bird (a sign of peace and unity), as well as foliage elements in the Kaos Star, paying homage to neighbouring Allan Gardens.
The featured faces represent various forms of knowledge: wisdom and history (grayscale), as well as research and innovation (brightly coloured). The multi-patterned figures holding up the world not only represent the diversity of cultures presented locally. They also serve as an allegory for shared humanity - we all share similarities that have the ability to unite us, despite the different paths from which we’ve travelled.
The work’s lower sections culminate with another Kaos Star at ground level, rooting the work again in the optimism which drives the personal goals of the student community found within Parkside’s walls.
What do you like about the proposed mural design?
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What (if anything) do you not like, or do you not understand from the description provided?
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How would you currently describe the corner of Carlton and Jarvis?
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How would you like to see the community transform in the years to come?
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How do you feel the mural will impact the area?
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Which describes your relationship to the local community?
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