An award winning interactive exhibition that showcases and collects data about Ethical Smart Cities.


Playroom T.O. is an exhibition open to the public from January to March 2020 and awarded by DesignTO’s Juror’s Choice for Community Wellbeing. It was produced with the aim to showcase the advances of an explorative research about Ethical Smart Cities.


1 month


_Project Leader
_Exhibition Designer
_Design Researcher


Through the first stage of our research we decided to take a look for precedents and definitions of Smart Cities. We found out that not only the term has been defined differently by authors, private sectors and public institutions. Also most of them are focused on the use of technology rather than human centred approaches. Though our research showed that all cities are smart in different levels, many of the precedents proved that the use of technology for technology’s sake won’t address cities’s challenges but instead create issues that can be associated with social isolation, environmental pollution, data privacy among others.

“An Ethical Smart City has at its centre an engaged & diverse community of people, whose values are represented in the city. The city’s open, transparent, and collaborative systems are intentionally placed to create a sustainable framework for communities to contribute and thrive.”

2019-2020 cohort of the Institute Without Boundaries

The creation of our own Ethical Smart City definition would be the beginning of an equation that would prioritize our Ethical Values, using Smart Technology which addresses a City Challenge. This is how our research transformed into a tool that later was converted into an experiential exhibition.


This process we came with three main objectives:
_To showcase the advance of our research to that moment.
_To encourage participants into choosing their most important values.
_To collect data that can be used for the continuation of our research.
_To achieve these goals we managed to elaborate a set of interactions.

At the entry of the exhibition each participant would grab a Game Card and follow a series of instructions:

1.Pick one sticker from the Ethical wall for the value that is most important to them.
2.Pick one sticker for the Smart wall to choose a technology that they think 3.Toronto will benefit from the most.
4.Spin a Challenge Wheel to get their city challenge.
5.Pick one sticker for the city challenge the participant landed on.
6.Write or draw the ideas that address the city challenge using their chosen smart technology and ethical value on the Game Card.
7.Share their ideas by placing their Game Card on a pegboard.