SP0133: McGill Spaces Project

Status: COMPLETED April 2014 - November 2016

The McGill Spaces Project (MSP) is an enthusiastic student-led group of placemakers who have taken it upon themselves to re-imagine the built environment of McGill’s campus. Their slogan is “‘Transforming Spaces. Connecting People”. The MSP is actively involved in various public space initiatives which explore how physical campus spaces influence our quality of life and contribute to social sustainability. They pride themselves on their role of bringing student and community voices to decision-makers and administration in an effort to shape campus from the bottom-up and middle-out.

Read the full project description

The MSP has a three-pronged approach to space transformation:

  1.  Encourage pop-up placemaking to support use of campus space as a living laboratory, connect people, and encourage new thinking;
  2. Develop learning and research partnerships with faculty, staff, and students to integrate MSP projects into curricula and applied student research, helping to build a greater understanding of McGill's spaces, and;
  3. facilitate permanent space transformations in underused spaces to create places that better support the McGill community.

Since its establishment in 2013, the MSP has initiated and sustained a sizable portfolio of projects. From hosting guerilla placemaking events to engaging in cross-collaborative community-oriented research initiatives, MSP projects and initiatives range across a diverse and colorful spectrum.

PARK(ing) Day is a fan-favorite pop-up, involving the take-over and transformation of two parking spots at the intersection of Milton and University into a temporary community gathering space. In 2014-2015, MSP also conducted a campus-wide public spaces survey (All Up In Yo’ Space) to gather insights from students on common perceptions of space on campus and focal points that could be improved in future projects. Winter 2015 saw the beginning of Operation Brown Building, one of MSP’s most comprehensive projects. It brought together students, staff, faculty, and administration to co-produce building redesigns for the Brown Student Services Building with a graduate level architecture design workshop through student-facilitated community consultations under a proposed budget of $100,000. The final designs are being implemented by the building’s administration as of Summer 2015.

The group consists of driven members who come from all different disciplines at McGill, but share a synergy and desire to improve the spaces within which they live, work, and play. The variety of projects the MSP undertakes are normally developed and led by a subsection of its members, but their successes come as a direct result of the core team’s collective interest in making our campus a place that better supports the needs of our community.


View photos


Construction Pallette Chairs


Popup Placemaking


Operation Brown Building and MSP members with the Redboard


Connect with this project



The McGill Spaces Project


alanxzchen [at] gmail.com (Alan Chen)

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