Ian Chodikoff shares his thoughts on The Big Idea: Legacy

The Big Idea is a lens. It is a way of seeing. It is a window and a platform for you to explore Harbourfront Centre’s diverse programming.

In our 40th anniversary year at Harbourfront Centre, we are exploring The Big Idea: Legacy. Legacy is the essential contribution of the past that acknowledges the present. It is a magnificent merging of past desire and future promise. In legacy the past and present come together to create fundamental meaning.

Look for the symbol below as you make your way through Harbourfront Centre to see how The Big Idea: Legacy manifests itself in our artists’ work.

Meet Ian Chodikoff

Ian is the founding Director of Fora Strategic Planning, a consultancy focused on researching, developing and applying effective solutions for a healthier and more prosperous urban environment. He’s also participating in Bridgepoint Active Healthcare: The Reinvention Of A Hospital, which is part of our Architecture Exhibition Winter 2014 — open until June 8th. Here are Ian’s thoughts on The Big Idea: Legacy.

What does legacy mean to you?

Einstein purportedly said that civilization is shaped by thought. There is a wonderful connection between thoughts which are transformed into action. I remain hopeful that the most treasured actions that shape our society are full of rich and memorable thinking. This is how I envision a “legacy.”

How does legacy manifest itself in your work?

It is essential to empathize with other humans. I try to imagine how someone might use, reinterpret or otherwise adapt my work in the future. Nobody can truly predict the future but I do my best at predicting how others might draw enjoyment—in some modest way—from my work.

Whose legacy has influenced you?

The mutations of diverse cultural legacies have always fascinated me. K. Anthony Appiah once wrote about the “culture of contamination” which can best be explained as the evolution of kosher Chinese food. When two disparate traditions meet, we create a third legacy. Appiah’s thinking is brilliant for this reason.


What is your Legacy? What does Legacy mean to you? And how have you experienced Legacy at Harbourfront Centre? Tell us how The Big Idea: Legacy has manifested itself in your experience. Tweet us at @HarbourfrontTO to join the conversation.

Keep your eyes peeled for more blog posts, programming and artist interviews highlighting The Big Idea: Legacy throughout our 40th Anniversary Year.