We are pleased to announce that that the animation Natural Heritage Watershed Restoration Produced for the Mount Pleasant Landowners Group, Brampton, Ontario won an Imagina 2011 Award For Territory Management Urbanism & Landscape. Imagina is an annual conference on computer graphics held in Monte-Carlo, Monaco. Aimed at recognizing market leaders this conference showcases emerging talent and rewards innovators.Read More
West Donlands: Future site of the 2015 Pan Am games, A new vision for Downsview Park, and Regent Park Redevelopment representing 100s of acres of urban masterplanning, have all been developed as detailed 3d models to more effectively discuss these futures.Read More
Cicada helps the fundraising efforts of The Hospital for Sick Children, Rotman School of Management, Bridgepoint Hospital, Ronald McDonald House Toronto, and YWCA Elm Centre. Representing more than half a billion dollars in campaign efforts Cicada is a proud contributor to healthcare in Ontario.Read More
Cicada Design Inc. collaborated with Diamond+Schmitt Architects to visualize winning designs entered into two international competitions.Read More
Several projects for which Cicada produced visualizations are now under construction.Read More
Cicada has produced a number of videos and still images to support bid proposals for public-private partnership (P3) construction.Read More
FIG. 1 Mt. Pleasant Transit Hub
Cicada Design was approached by the principal planning consultant for the Mount Pleasant Landowners Group, Malone Given Parsons, to provide an accurate visualization through animation and still images of the the Mount Pleasant Secondary Plan.
In particular, the focus was on the restoration of the Fletcher's Creek Natural Heritage System (NHS) that included publicly accessible valley lands and watercourse corridors, woodlands, wetlands, and environmental buffers created through the plan's policies. These natural landscape areas collectively become the spine for the development of surrounding land areas. We were asked to provide an accurate visual summary of the proposal providing a sense of scale and realistic landscape as envisioned by the urban, ecological and landscape consultants. The resulting design visualization allowed stakeholders, city council and the public a comprehensive and accessible insight into this approach to responsible and sustainable growth for the region.
FIG. 2 Seasonal water level changes
Through intensive work with the client team, we developed a strategy to summarize several years of planning in a three-minute animated presentation. Large scale aerial views provided orientation and an overview of the plan, while detail views placed the plan in context on a human scale. Motion Graphics were used independently and in conjunction with 3D rendered shots to depict the underlying planning concepts and regional transit organization.
The production of the video posed a significant challenge in handling the large amount of data common to schemes of this size. A series of storyboard drafts of the presentation played a key role in structuring the themes and accommodating consultant ideas throughout the process. As 3D elements were developed the storyboard gave way to wireframe previews of the presentation and were posted on a collaborative website to afford consultant comment and notes on an ad-hoc basis.
The success of the presentation is measured by the success of the scheme, which was approved as the Mount Pleasant Secondary Plan by Brampton City Council.
FIG. 3 Mt. Pleasant Village public squareBack to top
FIG. 1 Bridgepoint Health outdoor treatment space
Since 2008, Cicada has produced a number of videos and still images to support bid proposals for public-private partnership (P3) construction.
The first of this series of P3 bid support projects began when Cicada Design was approached by the principal Design Consultant, Diamond+Schmitt Architects, to provide an accurate visualization Bridgepoint Health, a new 680,000 square foot hospital designed for treating individuals with complex chronic diseases. A competitive bid team made up of Plenary Health, PCL Constructors, and Johnson Controls submitted a proposal to design, build, finance, and maintain the new facility for 30 years after completion. This proposal was selected by the Ministry of Health and Infrastructure Ontario over two other proponents.
The animation and stills directed the selection panel's attention to key features of the scheme while providing realism, detail, and a true sense of how the major spaces of the new facility would work. Aerial views provided a comprehensive overview of the campus, including a landscape and gardens designed to connect the facility to the surrounding neighbourhood. These views also highlighted buildings that make up the complex care centre. The animation also laid out the plan for the phased demolition of existing buildings on-site and construction of the new hospital. 2D and 3D motion graphics served to demonstrate compliance to required patient circulation and space programming. Highly detailed interiors depicting the public spaces and care areas rounded out the presentation.
FIG. 2 Bridgepoint Health landscaping and connection to existing community
In response to the successful summary of a complex project provided by this video, the Ministry of Health has requested video presentations as a requirement for other project proposal calls. Cicada Design has continued to work and build a successful track record with a number of clients on other P3 projects throughout the province. These bid teams have included notable firms such as Canon Design Kasian Architecture, and WZMH Architects, while the projects have represented some key pieces in building Ontario's future infrastructure: the redevelopment of Women's College Hospital in Toronto, the new St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton West 5th Street Campus, courthouses in Waterloo and Belleville, and new mental health care facilities in London and St. Thomas.Back to top
FIG. 1 Opening Sequence
The Rotman School of Management fundraising video is designed to depict the school's new addition and to introduce the increased program capabilities the new building will provide A review of the school's course and communication material revealed a unique business education program.
At Rotman, students are taught to make cross disciplinary connections with other business and streams of study, diagramming their business design processes and broadly conceiving of new ways of doing business. The video had to communicate how engaging architectural design paired with Rotman's innovative approach to teaching business will be critical to the school's future success. In reference to the diagram-based process taught at Rotman, we developed a set of abstract diagram graphics to serve as a motif throughout the video, beginning with an introduction of the reasoning behind the expansion (Fig. 1).
FIG. 2 Travelling through spaces and levels
During the 3D animated sequences, the circle/dotted lines motif continues as a navigation tool, allowing the viewer to orient him- or herself within the building at any point during the video. Animated movement of the motif reinforces the movement of the camera as it travels through the building.
FIG. 3 Travelling outside and inside
The key to making these graphics an effective addition to the video was to keep them clear and simple, while staying within the structure outlined by the other graphics in the video. The opening and closing sequences provide bookend reference points for the viewer, while the navigation graphics maintain continuity and a sense of the whole design.
FIG. 4 Closing SequenceBack to top
We have a strong base of expertise in the visualization and lighting simulation of complex architectural spaces and structures, and in telling stories of all shapes, sizes, colours, and textures.
Cicada Design tells compelling stories about complex projects, ranging from large-scale urban design to minutely detailed furniture. Our work is used to explain project process and proposals during their planning stages, to communicate and contribute to the design process, and to provide finished presentations for marketing, fund-raising, competitions, planning permissions and press coverage. Our clients use our products to provide clarity and textured nuance in telling the story of their projects.
We work in a studio environment drawing on the collective skills of a group of talented architects, designers, technologists, 3D and 2D artists, and video production professionals.
Clients benefit from the studio’s strategic thinking and in-depth understanding of architecture and visual communications.
We have established a 10 year record of developing and maintaining strong alliances with clients that have a substantial presence in architectural practice and urban design, and our work has appeared in numerous publications.
Cicada is always looking towards inventing and applying itself to a diversity of visualization issues across boundaries of design disciplines. We have the resources to demonstrate new ways to visualize complex projects in architecture, engineering and other areas.
Michael Starr FOUNDER AND PARTNER
Mike earned his BES (84)and BArch (Hons 86) degrees at the University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario and became a registered architect in 1992. Having worked as a practising architect through the recession of the early 1990s, Mike became involved in architectural visualization as he worked on contract with a number of Toronto architectural firms and with the developers of the software program 'Lightscape' to create some of the first really high quality 3D renderings. He continues to manage the company's approach to innovative use of 3D BIM-parametric design, compositing and rendering software. He also functions as a general manager of the company together with Dalibor. Mike is an avid swimmer and SCUBA diver, with a Naui Divemaster rating and 280 dives to his credit.
Dalibor Cizek FOUNDER AND PARTNER
After earning a Dipl. Ing. Architect degree from the Faculty of Architecture at the University of Zagreb, Croatia, Dalibor moved to Canada in 1987 to work with Diamond+Schmitt Architects Inc. as an architectural designer and project team member on a variety of institutional and large scale public projects. Dalibor founded Cicada Design with Michael Starr in 2000. He has built outstanding experience in the industry, leading the studio on a wide variety of high-profile landmark projects in Canada and internationally, and working closely with architectural practices and developers. To keep his competitive edge sharp outside of work, Dalibor is an active tennis and soccer player and a passionate skier.
Ilya Floussov sometimes likes to call himself an artist and other times a designer. Ilya earned his Bachelor of Design at the Ontario College of Art and Design in 2005. There he acquired a particular interest in technology mediated interaction, human workspace dynamics and woodworking. With Cicada since 2005, he has worked on technically complex and highly detailed 3D design and production related projects. Whether at work, at home, on a bicycle or at a bar, you'll find him pushing the envelope of innovation – thinking outside of the box and generally taking things to the next level.
Jon Neilon's passionate eye for detail stems from an education in Architectural Technology at The Sheridan Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning (2005 Hons). Since starting with Cicada in 2005 he has created a role for himself managing some of the most complex projects the firm handles, producing still and animated work with skill and passion. Perhaps his aptitude for stick handling many projects in the office stems from his personal life in which he enjoys goaltending chores for various teams and sometimes playing in charity hockey tournaments.
Having earned his MArch degree at the University of Waterloo (2008 Hons), Jonah has worked at Cicada since 2008 as a storyboard and concept designer, 3D modeller and animator, and music composer. Previous work in a range of Canadian architectural practices, on interactive sculpture installations, and in music and video productions have all supported his growing interest in finding new ways to interpret built and imagined environments. Jonah feels visualization can play a transformative role in the design and development of architecture, acting as a tool for previewing and evaluating design and, in turn, becoming an integral part of our connected environments, be they virtual, constructed or living.
Xiaoyue (Cathy) earned a Bachelor's degree in Architectural Engineering from the University of North China (1982), Zhengzhou then moved on to earn a professional certificate in Photoshop and 3D Studio from the Chinese Central Academy of Craft Art (1996). After moving to Canada in 2003, Cathy earned an honours certificate in 3D for design and architecture at Humber College. Her role at Cicada includes work on still and animated projects, with a focus on interior lighting and materials. She loves travel and yoga, and enjoys classical music.
We always look forward to hearing from talented artists and technologists with a keen interest in visualisation and storytelling.
If you have an exceptional portfolio and are keen to develop your career we'd love to hear from you. You must have a good range of skills and techniques in 3DS Max, rendering plugins, Photoshop, and reading architectural drawings. Other technical areas of interest include compositing with Fusion and After Effects, motion graphic design and immersive VR systems.
We can offer you a great place to work, a culture of learning and the opportunity to be involved in projects from start to finish. If you have a keen attention to detail and enjoy solving problems, we welcome your application. All applicants must be eligible to work in Canada and based within reasonable distance from our office in the Toronto West End. No agencies please.
Please email your CV and examples of your work to