Biz/TechCampus NewsNorthCTI at crossroads of culture, hospitality and tech

ETC StaffOctober 9, 20196 min

Nathaniel Marksman, Biz/Tech Reporter

A mix of state-of-the-art technology, Indigenous culture, and hospitality. This is what the new Barrett Centre for Technology Innovation has to offer.

Noah Webster, an Architectural Technology student and captain of the Humber eSports Counter-Strike: Global Offensive team is fascinated with the new building.

“If you told me that in a year, I would be sitting in the brand-new building with an insanely specked out computer, having this area to practice and play… I would say that you are joking,” he said.

The Barrett CTI space is a second phase in the Humber eSports initiative. (Humber Today)

The Barrett CTI has many innovative technological features, such as smart windows that open and close depending on the temperature inside, and net zero energy which draws power from solar panels on the Humber College parking lot. The building has a green space on the roof which will be used for growing plants and vegetation through research, as well as life labs such as the green screen room which students can use. 

The Barrett CTI pays its respects to the Indigenous land it occupies, with a structure called the Anishinaabeyaadiziwin Miikana which was created to honour and respect Indigenous culture. 

Humber’s hospitality program is also involved with the Barrett CTI. Domestic and international guests who are invited to Humber can stay in one of the three hotel suites on the fourth floor created by Humber students, in case they cannot find an immediate hotel to stay in.

With all the gadgets and infrastructure developed in the Barrett CTI, the institution has become a popular resource centre for faculty and students to bring together their ideas and projects.

Marcin Kedzior, a design and architecture professor (left), discusses a video project with his students in the CTI. (Nathaniel Marksman)

Humber Professor Marcin Kedzior, who teaches in the Bachelor of Design and Architecture Technology programs, instructs a class called visual communication and design. 

Kedzior said the class focuses on current issues by researching ideas and initial exploration for large-format communication projects. 

Students get the opportunity to present a video, which involves them discussing a present-day problem from a design point of view. The video will be presented in the Barrett Centre at the end of the semester in front of senior designers from Facebook, Google, Sidewalk Labs, Indigo and Uber. 

“The Barrett CTI is an unbelievable resource in the way it makes students engage with projects beyond class, allowing them to pursue projects they find relevant and interesting and that connect directly to communities and industry in the city,” he said.

The Barrett CTI is an institution where students get the opportunity use the building to their advantage and bring their ideas to reality. 

“It’s great to see an idea being developed into a real-life project,” said Temu Moore, a project coordinator for the Barrett CTI. He said Humber is always ready to take on new challenges. 

And Neal Mohammed, director of the Centre for Technology Innovation, couldn’t have said it any better than “Humber is moving forward.”