When I Think of Cities ...

July 24, 2017

When I think of cities, I think of home. I've spent my whole life bouncing around from one to another (with a brief stint in US suburbia) so it would make sense that they're one of the main things I've decided to study in university. To me, cities have always housed an ecosystem. An urban ecosystem full of diverse organisms that come to together to make a smorgasbord of ideas, lifestyles, and talents.

During the day, the downtown streets of Toronto remind me of busy worker ants parading to and fro. Instead of lifting items 5000 times their body weight, they struggle to juggle briefcases or purses and Venti-sized Starbucks (or Tim Hortons) drinks. Instead of having their antennae perked up, twitching to read the signals sent to them by their comrades, they're being led around by long dangling headphones attached to their smartphones. Instead of climbing up giant trees, they ride elevators up and down even larger glass buildings.

At night, the urban forest doesn't rest, but as the sky grows darker in the face of the brightening city below, the two seem to switch places as building lights blink like star lights and late night drivers trace new constellations as they weave in and out of city streets, free of daytime traffic.

So, for me, the future of urban design revolves around nature, and the most important aspect of it, building strong, diverse communities. Man-made and nature-made will come together and enhance one another, shaping how residents interact, experience, and think about nature and each other. For example, through the innovative use of living walls in office spaces and university exam centers. The integration of a nature sanctuary into the very fabric of a building and social life, can offer a home away from home, purifying air quality and relieve stress. Thus, creating an inception of nature within a concrete jungle within an even larger global ecosystem, that will help to blur the line between outside and inside, nature's "silence" and the city's "noise", so that it all becomes one.

In the future, I hear a city with an equal amount of birdsong and honking horns. I see a city with more intercity bike lanes than highway lanes. More renewable energy and more thoughtful ways of using resources, like through the recycling of water in greywater systems. I see more open windows than closed doors. I see more vibrant colors and murals in unconventional places and edifices. And just as many real connections as wi-fi connections, allowing people to engage and shape their city online and offline.

This blog post is a part of Design Blogger Competition organized by CGTrader. #designforfuture

For the Savoury Snacker: Sweet and Spicy Mango Salad

July 10, 2017

I love a good salad. Not the kind where there's a bunch of leafy greens piled high, but the really elaborate ones, that are essentially an entire meal in a bowl. The fact that you can have all your food groups in a bowl is pretty amazing to me it's also the reason why sandwiches are so great, they're literally handheld nutritional pyramid (depending on the kind of course, but I digress). Back to the salad, this one came about because...

A) There wasn't any other food food -- as in an actual heatable meal -- in my fridge. (Fun fact: my friend actually described this as a "Pizza Topping Salad".)
B) I was too lazy to actually cook or leave the house, so I made do and actually whipped up something pretty substantial.

It's savory and sweet (my favourite combo) and super simple to make. I hope you enjoy!


  • Romaine lettuce
  • Pepper (I used orange)
  • A small chunk of ginger (grated)
  • 1/2 a mango
  • Green olives
  • Spicy pickled pepper
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Olive oil
  • Maple Syrup

Salad Steps:

  1. Clean, dry and chop the pepper, mango and lettuce and put it in a bowl.
  2. Grate the ginger and place it in the bowl. Cover the bowl and shake it up to disperse the ginger throughout.
  3. Now add the spicy pickled peppers and green olives (sliced or not).
  4. Drizzle a little bit of olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and drizzle even less maple syrup.
  5. Use two forks, and toss to coat, and serve.

06/17: Beats and Bites

July 01, 2017
06/17: Beats and Bites/ Mets et musique

First things first, Happy Canada Day! We've finally hit the big 150!

I'm afraid that his month has few more beats than bites. You can blame that on a specialty blend of summer classes (which were a lot tougher than I thought they would be, but I suppose that's why it is university and not high school), shifts at work and the neverending waves of motivation-stifling heat. So, I essentially made a lot of meals like huevos rancheros, burritos and quesadillas late in the evening, when it was cooler. Then when the time came to take the pictures, we were all too hungry to eat to actually take pictures of them!


But to make it up to you, here are a few photos from Chance the Rapper's Be Encouraged Tour, as well as a few of these months tasty bites (and a few from last months).

06/17: Beats and Bites/ Mets et musique

06/17: Beats and Bites/ Mets et musique

06/17: Beats and Bites/ Mets et musique

06/17: Beats and Bites/ Mets et musique

And last but not least... / Enfin...

06/17: Beats and Bites/ Mets et musique

06/17: Beats and Bites/ Mets et musique

06/17: Beats and Bites/ Mets et musique

06/17: Beats and Bites/ Mets et musique