IZ People: Luke Anderson

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The charming yet particularly humble Luke Anderson is embarking on a year of personal change. A structural engineer since he graduated in 2002, Luke has always been a natural problem solver, so when faced with issues of accessibility, especially to smaller businesses around Toronto, the StopGap Ramp Project was born.
Initially a project that he developed in his spare time, the demand and importance of the purpose built, brightly painted wooden ramps became all too apparent through not just the immediate problems they solved, but also the dialogue they created around the human right of equal access.
As part of the ‘Agents For Change Program’, Luke has taken a huge leap from his regular 9-5 and is now dedicating himself full-time to StopGap from his brand new desk at the Center for Social Innovation.
“When you expose yourself to change, you open the door to opportunity.” He explained. “To change, you have to overcome a fear of the unknown. When you expose yourself to new things you become a more enriched person. ”
Away from his not for profit endeavors, Luke is an outdoorsy kind of guy. He spent a lot of his youth on or around bicycles and has since become the proud owner of a super cool Vintage VW van that he camps in during the warmer months of the year.
His personal style reflects his friendly and easy going personality, peppering his generally smart casual wardrobe with unusual prints and fun accent pieces.
Relentless energy and charisma are sure to see his dedication to a barrier-free society pay off in a distinctly Luke Anderson kind of way.
We took a look into a few of his style highlights.
1. IZ Adaptive Jeans
“These are life savers. I’ve had them for about four years now and they’re some seriously sweet pants. I actually came to find IZ Adaptive through my ramp project working in the area where the studio is located. I’d never been there before then and I’m so glad I found them. Struggling with other pants is not the way it has to be. They improved my quality of life, they look better than any other jeans and they gave me new found self confidence.”

2. 2014 Access Equity Human Rights Award
“Recently StopGap was honored with this award that celebrates contributors to equality. It’s so nice that the city is recognizing our work as a good thing, but what do you do with something like that? I keep it in my living room. It creates conversation.”

3. Sunglasses
“My Panda sunglasses are awesome.. They’re made from Bamboo, which is really cool. I like the way they’ve been crafted and I appreciate the classic design. They’re something a little different but the brand is eco friendly and that really speaks to my green aesthetic. This pair came from a buddy’s shop that sadly isn’t around anymore.”
4. Bow tie
“Classic! Timeless! I Love it. I think really, not enough people wear them. They’ve recently become a solid part of my wardrobe. This one in particular is from Harry Rosen. I saw it, I instantly liked the pattern and the softness of the material and had to have it.“

5.  Valve from 1973 Volkswagen Camper Van
“These things are notorious for breaking down and needing to be replaced. I love my car. This broken valve just looks cool. I keep it on a shelf in my house because it’s a bit of a conversation piece too.”

6. Bike tools
“I have a deep rooted history with bikes. I’ve enjoyed working on bikes since I was a kid- Changed my first flat at six or seven. I used to really love working with hands. Unfortunately, I’m unable to do it now but can use that knowledge to teach people how to fix bikes themselves. In summer I’m a volunteer mechanic at ‘Bike Pirates’. It’s so much fun.  I really struggled for a long time with what to do with the knowledge and passion for bikes, so I really love that opportunity. The tools I keep around my house are to help friends. They come around, we have dinner and I help them fix their bikes.”

7. Los Angeles Dodgers cap
“This is simple.. I don't really care for the dodgers, but the cap has my initials! I have a few of these actually. The pictured one was a gift from a friend of mine. It’s a very summery print. I obviously Wear it with my mankini, to the beach, around the house, to work.. everywhere.”
8. Engineering ring
“I got this ring when I graduated and have worn it every day since. The idea is to wear it on your working hand. It’s to constantly remind you of your due diligence to hold paramount the safety, health and welfare of the public.”

9. Stencil for branding StopGap Ramps
“They’re part of my life by default, I have bunches of them lying around the house. These are great. They’re laser cut and easily mailed out to each individual community ramp project. The stencils are an important part because it’s such an easy way for people to learn more – it directs them right to the website. They’re a key part of awareness raising”