Ruth Bastedo is Director, Business Development at Social Media Group. Follow @rutbas
Last week, I was very pleased to attend the opening event for Rotman School of Management’s new building. Wow. I have to say, I loved it. I encourage you to take a couple of minutes and check out the “tour” of the building on the KPMB web site.
In the spirit of full disclosure, I have done quite a bit of work with Rotman’s Initiative for Women in Business over the last several years, so I do have an innate bias- but I knew relatively little about the project. Most of my discussions had been focused on how the construction and the move were impacting everyone in the Rotman community. I think it was worth it.
The space feels modern, relevant and, dare I say it, imaginative. A shocking pink stairway is the central feature of the building. Love it or hate it, it makes a statement, and although I haven’t quite figured out the direction of the statement- I like it.
Designed by Canadian firm Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects, the building is a thrilling example of exceptional Canadian design that in my mind, reflects the best version of the Toronto business culture. It is cosmopolitan, global in vantage point, connected, but for the most part, still nestled within traditional structures. The design of the building is very respectful of the existing architecture within the campus of the University of Toronto. I feel this is actually very reflective of the role digital media plays within the traditional business world.
Fittingly, the day after the tour, I attended a spirited debate at the new facility between Canada’s Don Tapscott and US based digital media commentator Andrew Keen, who was in town to talk about his new book “Digital Vertigo: How To-day’s Social Revolution is Dividing, Diminishing and Disorienting Us”.
The setting was absolutely perfect for a discussion about how social media was going to end the world. Gazing out from the Zen-like event space on to the leafy trees of St. George Street, I just had to think that surely, that can’t be so…