ResiliencebyDesign Lab Open House

On Tuesday, April 17, 2018, the ResiliencebyDesign Lab held our Open House event at the Royal Roads University Library. THANK YOU to everyone who came and helped make the event such a success! The event kicked off the ResiliencebyDesign Lab exhibit ,which will run in the Library until June 8th.

People attending the ResiliencebyDesign (RbD) Open House were able to explore the creative and impactful research the RbD team has been engaged in –  reading the panel displays hung around the room describing each of the RbD’s projects as well as exploring the research student associates of the lab have undertaken. The RbD team were on hand, and guests were able to chat with them about their experiences working with youth affected by disasters and climate change, and working to enhance the resilience of their communities.


Guests were treated to live music from Willi and Genoveve Whiston of Fort McMurray. Willi worked with the RbD on their Youth Voices Rising project, which is focusing on how youth can contribute to the rebuilding of the Wood Buffalo community after the devastating forest fire in 2016. Willi, as the Creative Director of The District Recording Studio in Fort McMurray, worked with local youth aged 14-24, to write and produce original songs in response to the #YouthVoicesWB campaign question; What would you do to make your community a better place? Eight original songs were produced as part of this process – all of them featured on the @YouthVoicesWB social media platforms and at a #YouthVoicesWB Talent Showcase in November.

Following Dr. Cheryl Heykoop’s acknowledgment of the traditional territories on which RRU stand, Dr. Michael Young, School Director of SHS and Dr. Brigitte Harris Dean of the Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences shared some words of introduction tand welcome. This was followed by a creative mettisage-style introduction of the RbD team. Kicked off by Robin Cox, the Director of the RbD Lab, with each team member celebrating what inspires them about the work of the RbD.

One of the highlights of  the event was the moving performance by Willi and Genoveve’s of their original song, “Change,” (written for the  #YouthVoicesWB campaign) inspired by watching the Fort McMurray community rebuild after the fire. You can hear the song here:

The spirit of community was highlighted with Willi and Genoveve joining the RbD even from Wood Buffalo, and the reminder that while the Lab’s work reaches communities globally, the underlying vision of collaboration, resilience, and the importance of listening and telling our stories, connects us all and will continue to make this work so meaningful.


The exhibit includes 20 short videos, all produced by RbD lab team members or the youth with whom they work; some of the lab’s academic publications; , a graphic mural showcasing the Lab’s vision and values; and a weird and wonderful abstract 3D dandelion sculpture which represents the lab’s goal of seeding ideas and change through research.

During the open house, and for the duration of the exhibit, guests can join in the creative fun by responding to a question about the vision for education in the 21st Century on paper feathers that will be posted to form angel wings on the wall – an idea borrowed from the YVR project in Fort McMurray. So come and check out the exhibit, share your response (feather) and take a selfie to post on social media, using the tag: @resiliencebydesignlab.


Please visit our exhibit in the Royal Roads University Library any time during it’s opening hours until June 8th.