Blair Francey, M.A.
Executive Director, Co-Founder
Blair is currently the Senior Design at Trajectory Brands Inc.
In August 2007, Blair established BFdesign, a boutique design agency offering branding, website design, marketing strategy and print design to a variety of organizations from small not-for-profit to large-scale educational institutions, including: Toronto Arts Council and Toronto Arts Foundation, Toronto Fringe Festival, The Chang School of Continuing Education (Ryerson University), Oakville Symphony, Siminovitch Prize in Theatre, Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund, Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts, Glenn Gould Foundation, and Professional Association of Canadian Theatres.
In 2012, Blair graduated with Distinction from Goldsmiths, University of London with a Masters of Arts (Design: Critical Practice). The program allowed him to explore his love of transit, civic-engagement and city-building through the development of two projects in particular; technology and narrative. This exploration culminated in his thesis project, Public Transit: Remixed, a look at designing a holistic transit system from an experiential, as opposed to an infrastructure, standpoint. He was selected as one of four finalists in the Global Engineering Innovation Challenge hosted by the Toronto chapter of Engineers Without Borders in March 2013 where he presented some of his ideas from Public Transit: Remixed to much enthusiasm.
In 2015, Blair and his colleague Jennifer Chan (Exhibit Change) co-founded the Department of Imaginary Affairs. The DIA made its public debut with an independent installation at the 2015 Scotiabank Nuit Blanche titled The East Side Stories.
Blair is also a graduate of the prestigious National Theatre School of Canada’s playwriting program (2004). In 1997 he was the youngest produced playwright at the Rhubarb! Festival at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre. He has also had a selection of monologues and scenes published in an anthology of queer writers, edited by Sky Gilbert.
Jennifer Chan, M. Des, SFI.
Director of Programming, Co-Founder
Jenn has been working with nonprofits and communities for over 10 years guiding design thinking and strategic foresight processes. Jenn believes in facilitating conversations lead by the community to find pain points that drive and ground new ideas.
Jenn brings an eclectic toolkit with her and is best known for her critical lens on social systems, her ability to generate endless possibilities, to find unusual partners to make new ideas viable and sustainable and to lead through inquiry.
Jenn’s thinking was partially shaped by her Bachelors in Architectural Science from Ryerson University, her Masters of Design in Strategic Foresight and Innovation from the Ontario College of Art and Design and her life MBA of running her own design-driven community engagement consultancy since 2007.
Jenn has led multi-stakeholder projects, has presented on foresight, collaboration, education and design at multiple conferences, participated in the design and execution of 3 Nuit Blanche installations, and has designed a game to simulate co-designing public policies and facilitate conversations to generate future-oriented action plans.
Jenn’s greatest inspiration to see change in social systems for future generations is her own two kids.
Program Manager, The Stories of Us
Mathura is a design researcher by nurture, and a storyteller by nature. She holds a BHSc from McMaster University, and three-quarters of a MDes from OCAD University’s Strategic Foresight and Innovation program (#thesisinprogress).
From observing delegations at the World Health Assembly, to spending eight months embedded in The Gambian suburbia, and co-creating an adult summer camp digital detox in Haliburton, Ontario, Mathura’s desire to deeply understand the human experience has been her trusted compass on her winding trajectory to date. She believes in ways of being, doing, and leading that are equal parts soft and fierce, and is excited to experiment with what that might look like in The Stories of Us project.
In her spare time, Mathura is an old soul and enjoys engaging in old soul activities.