Category Archives: The Fourth Wall

Fourth Wall is coming down: Saturday tours

The  ‘Fourth Wall’ exhibit, is closing down on January 31st.

The exhibit, which has been up at the UrbanSpace Gallery for three months, proposes 36 simple recommendations for democratic renewal, exploring ways to make local politics more inclusive, accessible and participatory.

For those who would like a guided “walk-thru” of the exhibit, I’ll be hosting three tours on Saturday January 28th at noon, 2pm, and 4pm.

The exhibit is at 401 Richmond Street (at Spadina) on the main floor, beside SWIPE bookstore.

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Transforming City Hall, with Paul.

17 recommendations going to City Hall this week

It’s been three months since I launched the ‘Fourth Wall’ exhibit, exploring ways to make local politics more inclusive, accessible and participatory.

The response has been overwhelming, with hundreds of people attending the gallery including student groups, City staff, City Councillors, journalists, the mayor of Calgary, and my mom.

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“Is there a map?” • Recommendation #34

(The Fourth Wall exhibit has 36 recommendations.  Over the next few weeks, I’ll highlight a few of them….)

Recommendation # 34:  “Better signage and outreach/education materials should be created in our City Hall lobby.”

If a citizen walked into City Hall today looking for some information about our local democracy, they could be excused for thinking they were in the wrong place.  The main floor of 100 Queen Street West is currently configured primarily as a kiosk for developers and an information centre for tourists.

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Let’s get City Hall online • Recommendation # 35

(The Fourth Wall exhibit has 36 recommendations.  Over the next few weeks, I’ll highlight a few of them….)


Recommendation # 35:
Free and open Wi-fi should be immediately installed at City Hall and all Civic Centres.

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Five Weeks at Fourth Wall • Adapting to the life of a tour guide (photo gallery)


It’s been just over a month since the Fourth Wall exhibit launched at the Urban Space Gallery, and I can’t tell you how inspired and amazed I am by the public response.  I knew that a handful of municipal geeks would be into it, and some long-time urban activists… but I didn’t expect a non-stop flow of students, civil servants, politicians, journalists, etc.

I’ve been leading tours through the exhibit, almost daily.  And each group brings with them a different point of view and different suggestions/questions.  And no matter what their age, or background, or career, they all seem genuinely interested in the subject matter – even the students who are forced to be there!

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The Fourth Wall • Transforming City Hall

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Call for Submissions • How would YOU design a public notice?

Submission from Iva Jericevic. Click for larger image.

~ DESIGNERS: Public call for submissions! ~

Deadline: October 7
(details below)

Last year I delivered a TED talk about civic engagement, where I attempted to redefine the word apathy as a “complex web of cultural barriers that perpetuates disengagement”, rather than some kind of incurable internal syndrome.

One message in my presentation was that our local governments could do a much much better job promoting civic engagement and public participation in the decision-making process.

I pointed out that Toronto’s public consultation notices look like this:

click for larger image

Then I suggested that Nike would look pretty silly if they used the same approach for their ads:

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