Our philosophy

A event at Building 21

Explore together

At Building 21, you will step into an undiscovered world, where we investigate the limits of knowledge and explore the unconventional.  

We believe knowledge is better pursued in a tight community that's rich in interdisciplinary perspectives, backgrounds, and interests. We believe in open discussion, collaboration, and debates that spark new ways of thinking. We believe you can do greater work when surrounded by intelligent, passionate, and curious scholars.

Drawing a poster on a the floor with dogs!

Focus on process

You will work for knowledge. You will work for the sake of discovery.

Your project is not an end, it is the means to many ends: that of your intellectual development; that of your community’s intellectual enrichment; that of humanity’s quest to build a better world. That is why process is our main focus: process is the expression of a quest, of a need to find better answers, greater knowledge, to explore the space of possibilities.

We create the conditions to help you do great work. We support you in your own objectives and explorations. We won't tell you how to play your instrument, or teach you how to read music. We guide you in writing your own.

Drawing a poster on a the floor with dogs!

Driven by community

Building 21 is discipline agnostic.

Our goal is for projects to rise through the community and for the community to grow through the projects.

As a Building 21 fellow, you will be asked to actively engage in other fellows’ projects, to enrich them, to solidify them, to make them better. You will be asked to help other fellows push the limits of their creative and analytical endeavours, and to help them chart new paths.

Drawing a poster on a the floor with dogs!


We provide you with support and offer you the path to many different perspectives and ideas. We will encourage you to be bold and creative. But we will not hold your hand. We will create the conditions for your success, but we will not map the path for you. We will also challenge your ideas. Because we care deeply about your project.



Support others. Suggest ideas and thoughts. Enrich them with your perspective. Be present, mentally and physically, be generous, be compassionate. We are a community of scholars. Help us create the community.