This year’s NBA All-Star game brought a spotlight NBA event to Toronto for the first time in history. With it, returned a local success story; The Starters, a group of Ryerson grads who’s podcast evolved into an ESPN show. Back in town, the group recorded an episode in the new Allan Slaight Radio Institute Quadrangle designed for Ryerson.
Knowing the story of these young broadcasters, it’s not hard to think that the internet has changed everything. A personal blog that evolved into a podcast and then a TV show, Starters didn’t follow the trajectory of a traditional media outlet.
But as the team settled into the recording room, it was evident how little things have changed. The technology may have changed, but the human needs of broadcasters have not. We all desire spaces that meet our needs, whether they’re practical or social.
The Allan Slaight Radio Institute achieves that balance of cutting edge tech and practical recording studio needs. Housed in the Rogers Communication Centre (RCC) and designed the space to hold five production suites, the institute doubles as a classroom and functional space for student radio stations.
These five suites surround a central multipurpose space, which can host performances and events. The institute incorporates the latest developments in broadcast radio, including routable digital technology and interconnected cameras for “visual radio”. To encourage experimentation and learning, we tried to expose every aspect of broadcasting, laying the process bare.
We also capitalized on the institute’s immediate adjacency to the RCC’s student-run TV studios and encouraged synergies with the TV production department. We wanted to help realize Dean Falzon’s vision, taking every opportunity to maximize interconnectivity between studios, media, departments and even other universities around the world, encouraging student collaboration, cross-pollination, and creativity.