About the Seniors' Association

The Seniors' Association is an independent, not-for-profit organization affiliated with George Brown College.

The Association has its own Constitution and By-laws and elects a Board of Directors composed of volunteer officers, committee chairs and members-at-large.

The Association offers seniors innovative programs of a cultural, educational, and recreational nature that serve lifelong learning needs and interests. Each winter and fall – a variety of lecture courses are offered and also each spring and fall we have a series called Great Treasures. Courses are usually 10 weeks long

We provide opportunities for voluntary participation in the activities within the Association and for collaboration with community programs.

Each year several scholarships are awarded to students entering second year Gerontology studies and the Nursing Program. We also provide a bursary to mature students in the George Brown Theatre School and the Financial Services School. The recipients are selected by the Faculty. These scholarships and awards are supported by our membership on a continuing basis and are administered by the George Brown Foundation.

Please Note: Cancellation for any course must be received no later than 10 business days prior to the beginning of the course in order to receive a refund. A $10 administrative fee will be charged for each course cancelled.


Great Treasures Starts April 24th 2019.

Registration Opens March 25 at 11:00 AM

Design Movements in the 19th and 20th Centuries

Experience the wonders of Modern Architecture and Design in this globe-trotting journey through the 19th and 20th centuries. Beginning in the mid-1800s, we'll study how brilliant artists, architects and designers responded to the technological innovations of the Machine Age, forging bold new aesthetics and influential cultural movements.

From the Arts and Crafts movement of Victorian England to the European refinement of Art Nouveau and Bauhaus to the futuristic designs of postwar California, we'll trace the evolving relationship between Man and Machine through art, crafts, household furnishings, architecture and urban planning.

April 24 Victorian England and the Industrial Revoluton
The Crystal Palace Exhibition in 1851 was an awesome display of products of the Industrial Revolution in Victorian England. But many critics resisted these mass-produced goods as being inherently shoddy, even morally suspect. This resistance generated an advocacy of the work of craftsmen and artists – houses, buildings, furniture, housewares, etc. We examine the Arts & Crafts movement in England, Canada and the USA, including William Morris, Eden Smith, and Roycroft.

May 1 Machines vs. Men
By the turn of the century this same tension between machines and craftsmen generated design movements in other countries as well: in France and Belgium it was art nouveau; in Scotland, Charles Rennie Mackintosh; in Germany, Jugendstil; and in Vienna, the Wiener Werkstätte.

May 8 Designs for the New age: The USA
At about the same time, in Chicago, four pathbreaking figures were establishing their careers: Louis Sullivan, "Father of American Skyscrapers"; Daniel Burnham and Frederick Law Olmsted, who collaborated on the Chicago World's Fair in 1893; and above all, Frank Lloyd Wright.

May 15 Designs for a New Age:Germany
Early in the 20th Century the German Werkbund strove to produce industrial architecture that incorporated the spirit of the new machine age. Several prominent designers-cum-architects honed their talents here, including Walter Gropius, Le Corbusier, and Mies van der Rohe.

May 22 Post-War Revelation
After World War I the Bauhaus began its legendary career as one of the seminal centres of architecture and design, re-inventing everything from doorknobs to typefaces. In the process it absorbed influences from other post-war movements, such as the De Stijl (Holland) and Constructivism (Soviet Union).

May 29 Fellow Travellers
In France, art déco emerged as a contrast to the Bauhaus style, but one of its initial advocates, Le Corbusier, moved towards Bauhaus tendencies. In Berlin, some remarkable modernist social housing estates were built, setting the tone for urban planning.

June 5 French Art Deco Meets American Skyscrapers
In the US, art déco proved a highly suitable style for the new skyscrapers piercing the New York skyline, especially the Chrysler Building and the Empire State Building. This trend morphed into "Streamline Moderne" during the 1930s.

June 12 Architecture as Ideology
The postwar affluence of the USA in the 1950s produced a bizarre West Coast coffee house architecture known as "Googie architecture". At the same time, the Soviet Bloc hewed to Socialist Realism, such as Stalinallee in Berlin. Perfect examples of Cold War architecture!

June 19 Two Versions of Modern
The International style arrived in America with a bang, in the persons of Mies van der Rohe, Walter Gropius, and Marcel Breuer, all Bauhaus refugees from Nazi Germany. The American Philip Johnson shows close affinities with van der Rohe, in his Glass House. The soaring curves of the TWA Terminal by Eero Saarinen offer a dynamic alternative to Internationalism.

June 26 Now (Almost) Anything Goes
Mix some design aspects that informed "Googie" with International Style and you get Post-Modern! New designers and architects emerge from this roiling mix: Robert Venturi, Daniel Libeskind (the ROM crystal!), and above all, Frank Gehry.

George Brown College Seniors' Association
St. James Campus Room -106
Tel: 416-415-5000 Ext. 2418
P.O. Box 1015 Stn. B Toronto, ON M5T 2T9
senex@georgebrown.ca