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Photo of Gord Dorrett
Gord Dorrett. Photo by Terry Cluley Photography

The Art of Design

Gord Dorrett is behind support for a “critique room” at U of T’s new Daniels Building

As the executive director and past president of FORREC, a Toronto-based company that designs entertainment experiences around the world, Gord Dorrett (BLA 1981) is used to answering tough questions about his designs from clients. He credits U of T’s Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design for giving him – and many others at his company – the tools to do this well. FORREC has given $100,000 to support a “critique room” at the new Daniels Building.

Gord: Doing critiques is a huge part of any design school. Students present their designs to their professors and fellow students – and often to invited professionals and guests. It’s why designers grow a thick skin. You put your heart and soul up on the wall, and somebody tears it apart. It’s exactly what happens in the outside world. You have to present your work, and you have to be able to back it up. Those of us who grew up in design schools – and that’s many of the staff at FORREC – see the “crit room” as building character – and as a positive forum for constructive feedback.

We feel that the new Daniels Building is going to elevate design and design thinking in Canada. U of T is incredibly fortunate to have it. We believe in it. And we said, “OK, what can we do to help?”

The Daniels Building, which includes the FORREC Crit Room and other critique spaces, opened officially in November 2017.

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