FLDWRK: A new research and design collective from Lemay

08 Jun 2022

Repositioning design as a tool for activism

FLDWRK: A new research and design collective from Lemay

FLDWRK is a new research and design collective which investigates current systemic transitions in society, seeking to improve today’s designs of the modern practice model and its values, while also challenging those of tomorrow.

Created by the trans-disciplinary architecture and design firm, Lemay, the new collection is an open, fluid, and continually evolving studio without borders that brings a radical practice of applied research and theory to address social challenges and injustice through its workshops, teachings, and collaborations.

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Led by Andrew King, with expertise from Director Rob Fiorino, and Research and Design Leads Jeff Ma and Julia Pascutto, FLDWRK was formed from the combination of Lemay’s lemayLAB and King’s academic and design research initiative, AKA.

FLDWRK is designed as activism, taking actions including, but not limited to, redefining societal values, reassessing how finite planetary resources are used, creating circular and sustainable economic and political systems, leveraging new technologies, and reshaping urban identities. In reaching beyond traditional practices by holistically responding to challenges with solutions which revolutionize and reinvent through design, the world’s conventional living environments, public spaces, and urban spaces can be reimagined with dynamic and unexplored avenues, with the aim of benefiting all who use them.

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“My personal manifesto is to evolve FLDWRK’s design practice to respond quickly and fluidly in order to create change for good,” says FLDWRK’s Principal, Andrew King, whose work is focused on the crossroads of research and practice, and whose design responses are driven by the goal of bringing beauty forward in all forms. 

Research in practice

FLDWRK uses applied research and strategic design methodologies to undertake real-world issues ranging from climate change to community space development, creating forward-looking solutions using speculative storytelling. With an approach rooted in critical thinking, and a collaborative process, the collective’s work sees projects as laboratories for exploring, experimenting, prototyping, and testing hypotheses that respond to the constantly evolving contexts of the modern world. In short: The practice is the project.

The collective is currently working within five research lenses, with over a dozen collaborations with universities, foundations, communities, commercial and institutional organizations, journals, and forums for the creation of a positive future.


As a collective of researchers and designers, FLDWRK focuses on the discovery of streams of research which manifest from its engagement with societal issues and crises. During the design process’ charettes, a deepened understanding of cultures, identities, and perspectives can emerge.

As a result, the collective has identified a series of lenses through which they address and explore challenges stemming from societal shifts facing the world today: New Apertures, The Commons, Circular Systems, Digitality, and Urban Metamorphosis. These lenses fuel the collective’s approach and create a common framework for collaborators and partners alike, who aspire to a shared vision for the future, as well as for themselves.

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FLDWRK to Exhibit Research Intersections Between Design and Sensory Experience, Placemaking, and Equity at RAIC 2022 

As the leading voice for excellence in Canada’s built environment, FLDWRK is honoured to be presenting three of its projects at Canada’s prestigious Royal Architectural Institute of Canada’s 2022 Virtual Conference.

SENSORY SPACES – Presented by Andrew King and Catherine Lamarre, Director of the Yvon Lamarre Foundation, this conference explores how applied research can be a tool that can significantly and measurably improve the lives of people facing some form of otherness.

PLACE DES MONTREALAISES 21 WOMEN: recalibrating public space for inclusion and social equity – In this image-rich presentation of an upcoming new urban space, artist Angela Silver will join Andrew King to explore its trans-disciplinary research methodologies, where architecture, art, and landscape architecture converge in a critically driven design process that expanded its conceptual design process.

GENDER INCLUSIVE DESIGN STUDY – Julia Pascutto and Michael Ralph, a researcher at Gould Evans, investigate gender inclusion in learning spaces in order to identify inequitable and marginalized gender patterns, with the goal of cultivating a more comprehensive sense of belonging, inclusion, and equity in the built environment.

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