Coda - CODAworx


Submitted by Lindsay Keir

Client: Ryerson University

Location: Toronto, ON, Canada

Completion date: 2017

Project Team


Kearns Mancini Architects

Kearns Mancini Architects


Kal Mansur


Grant Te Brugge


Coda is a multimedia piece created in collaboration with artist Kal Mansur, Grant Te Brugge and Kearns Mancini Architects. The intent of the piece was for it to be the focal point in the Ryerson English as an Additional Language (REAL) Institute. The piece uses photographic wall covering and cast acrylic sculptures to create an inviting space for the students and faculty alike.


Designed to create a welcoming space for students who are new to Canada and learning English, the project tells the story of Canada through abstract forms and Canadian landscape imagery.
The wall graphics behind Kal Mansur’s piece Coda depicts the Canadian landscape through the seasons. Kearns Mancini Architects worked closely on the concept and execution with photographer Grant Te Brugge. The images entitled “Transitions” follows the seasonal transformations of the Canadian forest.
Overlaid on the graphic are the cast acrylic sculptures called “Coda”. Coda is defined as “the concluding passage of a piece or movement, typically forming an addition to a basic structure.” Coda depicts the journey that new students face in moving to Canada and learning a new language. Each word is represented by an acrylic sculpture that is an abstracted form of Canadian symbolism. These words are placed on a grid, communicating the underlying form of language. It is a visual representation of the struggles that students at the REAL Institute face every day in their journey of discovery.


Coda was commissioned by Ryerson University specifically for the REAL. Through a highly collaborative process, Kearns Mancini Architects created the concept and vision for the space to ensure Ryerson’s vision and goals for the space were achieved.
The vision celebrates Canada's multiculturalism while providing a warm and welcoming space for international students to learn English. Through a rigorous conceptualization process, the landscape photographs were decided upon and Kal Mansur was commissioned to create the acrylic structures in addition to the wall covering.
The larger team collaborated on the design from conception to completion stage. Once the piece was created, the team met again on site to review and locate the art. A large focus was placed on the integration of the sculptural elements on site. Special attention was paid to ensure that the project was highly visible but did not impede the corridors.
Through thoughtful collaboration and design all members of the team were able to complete a cohesive design adhering to the vision for the REAL Institute.

Additional Information

Ryerson fully embraced the idea of exploring artwork in the project as a way to enhance experience of both it’s students and it’s staff. From the feasibility stage through to the project’s completion, Ryerson was enthusiastically engaged in finding a suitable artist to bring their vision to life. This project’s success is largely due to the collaborative effort of all involved.