Regent Park Revitalization Project

The Project in one sentence:

We created a "Kinder-surprise" cultural T-Shirt that can be easily and cheaply reproduced by the sewing circle for extra income.

Project R is a school project 

in synchronization with the 

revitalize project of Regent Park 

in the Greater Toronto Area. 

Our mission is to design a soft-good that can be easily duplicated and sold to increase the income of the members of the sewing circle.

Client: The Regent Park Sewing Circle , Me to We, OCADU


The sewing circle of Regent Park are mainly women with children. It is culturally inappropriate to work outside of the household. But the client wish to earn some extra income on their spare time to sustain the family.


Using silk-screen printing techniques on reclaimed white t-shirts from the local salvation army (which was overflowing with t-shirts) we can create T-shirt templates in bulk. We then hand-sew traditional patterned fabric onto the insides. 

Since no two fabric is the same, and sewing techniques are also different, each T-shirt is unique. Cutting along the dotted line for the customer reveals the unique cultural pattern and the proceeds goes directly back to the sewer.

This was a period where brands of stitched pattern (such as KENZO) was very popular. 

Details of the Project

Regent Park

Back in late 1940's, the Toronto government started a public housing project now known as Regent Park. 

"Regent Park's residential dwellings, prior to the ongoing redevelopment, were entirely social housing, and covered all of the 69 acres (280,000 m²) which comprise the community."

These public housing was originally designed to bring change to the area which was originally Toronto’s historic slums district from the 1900's. 

"Although Regent Park had been designed to alleviate the area's substandard housing, crime, and social problems, these issues soon reemerged."

The people of Regent Park

//Regent Park的人

The area soon became run-down and ill regulated due to a lack of infrastructures and stores when it was first built. In the 1960’s to 1970’s the immigration tide filled the area with residences from the Caribbean, China, and Southeast Asia changing its ethnic composition until today.

"According to the 2006 census for census tract 0030.00, Regent Park had a high visible minority population."

How do we help.


The percentage of population in low income is 46%. Well below the city's average of 19%. The project aims to change that.

Target : 

increase the income of low income minorities with children.

Createa system and design that can be carried out in multiple poverty regions. 

•Work from home 

•Reasonable working hours :because time to care for children

•Steady income

•Lowc ost of production

The core of Project R

//Project R的内核

Project R targets the high to mid end souvenir industry in Toronto. Designing simple fashion statements that can be purchased to support local community. Products should be appealing to the general working population and simple to make.

Product Development:


After the first round of presentation,the class concluded that the T-shirt idea is the best. The idea is to have traditional patterned fabric sewn underneath the triangle of Project R. Once the user buys the T-shirt, they get to “open” it like a kinder surprise. By cutting open the project R triangle along the dotted line and revealing the secret cultural pattern.  There would be a card (in between the pocket between the fabric and the T-shirt) explaining the cultural influence behind this piece of chosen fabric. Or simply a card explaining the culture and the reason for this project.


Bus shelter Ad

The bus shelter ad that was also a part of the campaign. 

The triangular cutout on the ad changes as it is viewed from different angles, indicating the uniqueness of each T-shirt.

Project R

"What R do you stand for?"

Designers are Answers
- Howeson Lu-

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