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Design Research Internship

ARC495Y1 F
Coordinator: Pina Petricone
Meeting Section: L0101
Summer 2022


This course bridges academic knowledge with professional practice and advances for upper level, undergraduate students models of design research. It offers students, in the form of a six-week internship, the opportunity to apply critical research and visual communication skills to focused work within the professional office of a local practitioner. Successful students will be hired to work on a research project defined by the host office and approved by the professor. Interns will work full-time (Monday to Friday) with their employer for the duration of the first summer term, May 9th to June 20th, 2022, with the exception of Wednesday afternoons when they will meet with the professor at the Daniels Faculty. These Wednesday afternoon meetings will allow for group and individual discussions on the various forms of design research as well as the positioning of this work in the broader discipline. Interns will be compensated at a rate of $300 per week for the duration of six weeks. This will balance the academic versus practical aspects of ARC495 as an academic internship.

On June 27th, one week following the six-week internship, students will submit a final research record document. This document, as well as an assessment report by the host office, will contribute to the student's evaluation and final grade.


The Design Research Internship Application form can be found here.

The deadline to submit your application is Tuesday, April 5th, at 12:00pm (noon) EST.

Applicants must submit a CV, a cover letter (250 words max.), and a Portfolio (7-10 pages). Please submit all documents in PDF format.

Portfolio: The design/research portfolio must include visual representation of your design and or research work graphicly well presented. It does not need to include both design and research, just work that best represents your strengths.

Cover Letter: The cover letter should be concise and include an expression of your areas of interest. It may also elaborate areas, if any, of your CV you might want the committee and practitioners to take note of. Optional: If you have any preferences of specific firms on the list, (or type of firm such as: 'landscape/urban scale; small scale; technology; sustainability/low carbon; visual/historical research work' etc.,) please submit a separate pdf noting these in order of preference.

Eligibility: Prerequisite of 1.0 credit ARC 300-level courses. Course will also be open to include 4th year graduated students

Selection Process: A committee of Daniels faculty members will review and assess student applications, including CV, cover letter, and portfolio as well as grades to create a short list of recommended applicants to each participating firm. The final ranking matching students to internships will be made by the firms themselves. At this point, any declared preferences on the part of the applicant will be taken into consideration.

Participating Firms

DENEGRI BESSAI / macroSPACE -Production and Research

macroSPACE is an independent design-build and prefabrication company that has emerged alongside the Denegri Bessai Studio office. The macroSPACE is a prototype for living in the city and other environments. Maria Denegri and Tom Bessai, founding partners, together with the team has developed an imaginative solution to the problem that many home-owners face: the need for additional SPACE for work and/or play. This internship will engage in the on-going research and its documentation that advances macroSPACE’s mandate and test projects.


The proposed research internship at Enns Cummings Office will study and document through drawing, a self-build wood construction system for small scale residential typologies. The research will analyse either a historical self-build precedent or similar contemporary system, and adapt that system for optimum contemporary energy performance, and apply that learning as an alternative constructive method for the building design of an active project in the office currently designed to conventional construction methods.


ERA Architects specializes in the retrofit and adaptive reuse, heritage conservation, new design, planning and landscape architecture as they relate to interwoven existing built places. This work is driven by our core interest in connecting heritage issues to wider considerations of urban design and city building, and to a broader set of cultural values that provide perspective to our work at different scales. The 2022 Daniels Design Research Internship offered at ERA will introduce the intern to projects that focus on decarbonization of the built environment through existing building retrofits; and investigate affordable housing design and housing policy, and the Tower Renewal initiative.


Farrow Partners engages in and depends on research at many scales, and is offering two Design Research Internship projects. The first, Constructing Health Book, will develop content, drawings and diagrams for the publication this fall of a 150-page book titled “Constructing Health: The neurological, psychological, and emotional benefits of enriched environments.” (Number of Interns: three.) The second, Mass Timber Documentation will develop drawings and diagrams to communicate the Middle East’s largest mass timber project, known as the Butterfly, due to be completed in the fall 2022, to be used for an exhibition and publication. (Number of Interns: one)

gh3* INC.

gh3* and Claude Cormier & Associates are currently in the concept phase of a significant new park for the City of Edmonton. At the end of June we will be submitting a “Concept Design Report”, that will bring together the design for the gh3 washroom/park pavilion in collaboration with the park landscape by CC+A. The internship will aid in the research and compilation required for this document and will provide a comprehensive window into the scope and breadth of what is involved in a public landscape + architecture project.


The study will explore the use of diagrams in communicating an architectural idea across several building types. The student will meet at the beginning of each week with the design architect and discuss the concepts and strategies necessary for the building operation and how it engages with its immediate and wider context. Each diagram will be built using a consistent graphical language (TBD); designed to distill complex components into a legible conceptual diagram which captures the spirit of each project.


The internship will expose students to fabrication and exploration of large architectural models and mock-ups. Students will require to first develop a deeper understanding of geometrically accurate digital modeling and from there to engage in the act of building in the broadest sense. Each model will have the life of its own and student will be the co-authors of the piece.


The Daniels Design Research Internship candidate will have the opportunity to work on a design research project at KPMB among the diverse portfolio of projects and/or KPMB Labs. The candidate will be exposed to a variety of projects and aspects of a project. They will work with a supervisor or a team to prepare drawings, catalogue research, present findings and prepare a document of the research. The candidate may also work directly on a project related to the research topic.


This internship will engage in the tectonic experimentation of off-the-shelf wood siding. We will design through corner and aperture conditions in digital modeling, followed by the construction of a mock up. This student should also have completed shop training at the school as we will be doing some of the woodwork there.


LGA is working with Michael Piper -TUF LAB- on funded research (from the Neptis Foundation) on Yellowbelt intensification strategies in the GTA. The research project will produce a guide book for citizen developers for infill housing in Toronto’s yellow belt neighbourhoods. The guide will create a typological analysis informed by examining “typical” stock with a variety of alternative development models including ADU’s and additions/renovations. Each type will include embodied and operating carbon, urban ecological impacts (in the aggregated model), zoning impacts and a financial pro forma. It’s a great opportunity for an intern to a) understand applied design research activities; and, b) tour examples of missing middle proposals in the city and to participate in monitoring the construction of a project currently in the office.


Do you want to be part of the decarbonization of the built environment industry? SvN is offering a research internship in the design of low carbon buildings and master plans where participants will gain valuable experience using energy and carbon assessment tools as part of an iterative design process. Successful applicants may be involved in climate and climate change visualization, early stage energy modeling software, Life Cycle Analysis tools and sustainable and low carbon material research. This role offers an incredible opportunity to gain a significant understanding of carbon emissions associated with the built environment and contribute to a post-carbon future.


The Internship candidate will have the opportunity to work under the direction of one of the firm’s Principals and closely with Founding Principal, Stephen Teeple to execute a research project closely tied to the design phase of one or more active projects in the office. As a firm known for its innovation, critical design research at Teeple occurs at every phase of a project. The intern will be instrumental in also documenting this research as a foundation for future work.


WAYNE SWADRON STUDIOS is an established, multidisciplinary design studio where architects, interior designers and landscape architects collaborate to create unique and luxurious residences located in magnificent settings, internationally. The internship will engage in the drawing documentation of a series of built projects, as part of a critical, archival collection exhibiting a common thread of material ideas and testing the productive intersection of architecture, landscape architecture, and interior design. The internship will begin with research on drawing typologies in order to settle on a consistent approach for this documentation.


WZMH Architects have been providing innovative design solutions for over six decades on a broad range of projects in Canada and overseas, including Toronto icons such as the CN Tower and RBC Plaza. The Design Research Internship touches on the work done by sparkbird, our research and development lab founded in 2017 to innovate products and concepts that reduce the consumption of materials and energy in architecture. The Intern will work with a multidisciplinary team to assemble research, identify opportunities, develop visualisations, and design a final presentation document.


Our studio has recently begun the process of conceptualizing the creation of a new sports-based school campus for Grades 5-12 students who will enrol in a STEAM based curriculum. STEAM education is an approach to teaching and learning that combines Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math to guide student inquiry, discussion, and problem-solving. This internship will support our interests will include research in this area supporting a design exploration to create active learning spaces with immersive technologies embedded throughout a zero carbon, sustainable campus.