Design Research Internship

ARC495Y1 F
Coordinator: Pina Petricone
Meeting Section: L0101
Summer 2023
Date: May 8 - June 19, 2023


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 that is intrinsically linked to their ongoing professional activity.

DRIP places 3rd and 4th-year BAAS students in leading Toronto design practices for a period of 6 weeks during the May-June Summer period, beginning May 8th, 2023. During this time, interns will work full-time, four days per week with their employer; while Wednesdays will be reserved for academic activity and attending a weekly seminar with Professor Petricone. DRIP will define for students models of practice, research, and interdisciplinary design, and will also help the participants build connections with members of Toronto's professional community.

Course Details

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

ARC495 Y1 F is a full (1.0) credit course.
Evaluation and final grading is determined by internship performance and employer feedback, contribution and participation in weekly seminar, and quality of final DRIP document.

Wednesday Seminars:
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday; (4 days/week) interns work with their host office. Each Wednesday is reserved for academic activity, including mandatory attendance at the ARC495 seminar Wednesdays, 2pm-5pm for the duration of the internship.

Practitioners are expected to compensate their interns for time worked in the form of a lump sum stipend in the amount of $2,880 at the conclusion of the internship. This assumes a rate of $15.00 per hour, 4 days per week, for the duration of six weeks.

Application Requirements

Applicants must submit a CV, Statement of Interest, and a Portfolio (max. 10MB) all in PDF format. The Design Research Internship Application form can be found here (Please note the form is limited to 1 submission).
The deadline to submit your application is Monday, March 20th, 11:59pm EST.

Please provide a one page CV that includes both curricular and extra-curricular activity.

  • identify software knowledge
  • workshop training
  • additional practical knowledge

The purpose of the CV is to aid in the matching process, previous experience in architecture is by no means required to participate in DRIP.

Statement of Interest:
The expression of interest should be concise and include your areas of interest by addressing the following:

  • motivation for participating in DRIP
  • describe course, studio, or project of highlight while at Daniels
  • identify interest areas of practice

Portfolio: (max. 10MB)
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. Approximately 10pages.

Firm Preference: (optional)
You are invited to rank participating firms in order of preference, which can be helpful in the matching process.

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. Selection is based on: academic consideration, portfolio strength, and DRIP fit.

Important Dates


  • Drip Information Session - March 9
  • Student Application Due - March 20
  • Selection Committee Shortlist - March 27
  • Firms Ranking Due - March 30
  • Students Notified - April 4
  • Student Acceptance Deadline - April 8
  • Final Paperwork Deadline - April 19
  • Internships Begin - May 8


Participating Firms


The work of BORTOLOTTO Design spans several sectors, from educational, institutional, commercial to residential and each sector consists of a diverse portfolio of typologies within it. The Design Research Internship project will provide the intern the opportunity to work closely with the founding president, Tania Bortolotto and one of the firms’ principals to locate, analyze, evaluate, and document a series of construction details and as-built project photographs into a comprehensive library catalogue. 


macroSPACE is a parallel design-build and prefabrication enterprise 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. 


ERA Architects specializes in retrofits 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. The 2023 Daniels Design Research Internship offered at ERA will introduce the intern to projects of varying scales and focuses, including research on cultural heritage and its intersection with buildings, spaces, landscapes, communities, and conservation frameworks.


Farrow Partners engages in and depends on research at many scales and is offering two Design Research Internship projects that will support two book projects. The first book, “Constructing Health: The neurological, psychological, and emotional benefits of enriched environments” is 230 pages, 60,000 words, with 260 diagrams or photographs, and will be published the summer of 2023. The task will be to help support the production of final materials for this publication. The second book, “Under the Wing: Jerusalem’s Mass Timber ‘Butterfly’ Cancer Centre” is the early stages of development. The second task will be to support the team on developing documentation for this publication, on the Middle East’s largest mass timber project, known as the Butterfly, recently completed. Publication late 2023. 

gh3* INC.

gh3* is offering an internship which engages Carbon Sequestration and Zero Carbon Paths with a focus on how a landscape approach can address and influence the design. We understand that the planting and “re-integration” of nature in an urban context create many health and environmental benefits for its inhabitants and that more planting provided will not only contribute to the reduction of urban heat and GHGs but take us on a path towards a more sustainable City.  To provide impact on the design of our constructed environment the goal is to establish a knowledge base with general principles that can be referenced and applied to the design process of landscapes for the studio. 


This study will explore the criteria, design principles, documentation, and drawings for mega-sites such as Vaughan Metropolitan Centre, Square One Redevelopment, Yorkdale Master Plan and others. The student will meet with the design architect each week to discuss the particulars of the project, the design rationale, and strategies necessary to integrate the site into the surrounding context. From there, a series of diagrammatic and graphic representations of the elements that combine to classify the project as a mega-site will be developed. Each diagram will be built using a consistent graphic language and will distill complex components into a legible conceptual document which captures the key elements of each project. 


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. 


LGA is researching the design history of publicly funded housing and shelters in the City of Toronto for a book we are co-authoring.  One of the starting points is to scour our archives; pull all the relevant projects; develop a matrix for housing typologies, economic and political context, etc.  We need a coherent documentation and cataloguing protocol that captures the material and spatial innovations, innovative funding armatures and, the correlation between a specific economic context and a design/spatial response.  The student will work with a partner and senior staff in creating a taxonomy of housing designed for low economic, underhoused and unhoused communities and in the development of a typology matrix and the criteria for systematic documentation process.  Finally, the student will gain knowledge about both multi-unit and shelter housing designed at a very innovative moment in the delivery of publicly funded housing in Ontario. 

MORIYAMA + TESHIMA ARCHITECTS                                                                               

Moriyama & Teshima is a team of architects, planners and designers collaborating with visionary clients to build inspiring and enduring spaces that transform communities and reinforce civic identity. We believe that context underlies the spirit of every project. The Intern will work with a multidisciplinary MTA team to assemble research and develop visualisations for a series of on-going public projects. This work will also be organized in a final presentation document. 

OFFICE OU                                                                                               

Our office has been engaged in the Passive House building standard for a number of years, which has been rapidly gaining acceptance in North America as a reliable methodology to achieve buildings with little or no (operational) energy use and carbon emissions. However, as standards grow more stringent, the tools available for evaluating designs with respect to energy use still lag behind the rapid pace of project development. Office Ou proposes to engage a student intern in the task of designing and implementing a software project bridging between the popular 3D modeling software Sketchup, and the advanced two-dimensional heat-transfer analysis software THERM by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL). Our objective is to greatly simplify the workflow of testing building assemblies for thermal bridges, a task of fundamental importance in many low-energy building projects. This project will require a student with some programming knowledge, and strong skills in the area of UX design. 

PUBLIC WORK                                                                                                               

PUBLIC WORK is dedicated to the design of the public realm in cities with a particular focus on Toronto. Much of our work takes a critical 'second look’ at the terrain of our city in search of impactful design interventions that might revitalize the parks, public spaces and infrastructures that already exist and sometimes inventing new kinds of collective spaces in less conventional places able to support public life. The 2023 Daniels Design Research Internship offered at PUBLIC WORK will introduce the intern to select current projects in the studio which reflect an optimistic re-assessment of place, participating in further investigations into creative ways to uncover the hidden capacity of sites for transformative social and civic impact, potential to enhance community identity, connectivity, and meaningful access to nature. This is design research suited to candidates with particular interest in the changing nature of urban public spaces and new sustainable design approaches including adaptive re-use of infrastructure and materials. 


The Daniels Design Research intern will have the opportunity to work on a design research project at Saucier + Perrotte Architects in Toronto. The defined research project will engage in the firm’s diverse portfolio of projects and will study a range of design activity and phases. The candidate will be exposed to the studio practice and will work with the S+P team to prepare drawings, catalogue research, and prepare a document of the research based on critical aspects of a range of projects. 


Superkül is seeking to leverage its extensive background in housing across all scales to explore new modes of housing and innovative strategies for implementation within Toronto. As part of a housing research initiative at Superkül, the Daniels Design Research Internship Candidate will have the opportunity to investigate alternative housing typologies within the Toronto urban context. The candidate will build an understanding of existing policy and/or economic frameworks in the city that inhibit diversity of multi-unit residential building types and seek opportunities within this context to propose more innovative and affordable housing models.  


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 and critical design, research at Teeple occurs during every phase of a project. The intern will be instrumental in also documenting this research as a foundation for future work. 


The Daniels Design Research Internship candidate(s) will have the opportunity to work with 3d-printing as a vehicle for representing conceptual intent across various ongoing projects. This research will focus on solid modeling techniques and the exploration of material properties to convey diagrammatic principles through solidity, transparency, and various pattern making techniques associated with the additive process of 3d-printing. The distillation of complex drawings and models into concise and provocative representational artifacts is the core intent of this internship.


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. 


ZAS Architects engages in projects that explore the potential for high performance design parallel to zero carbon standards. The Toronto and Region Conservation Authority Headquarters, scheduled to open this Fall, is designed as a living laboratory for developers, researchers, professionals, and students that will contribute to the uptake of improved methods and technologies that demonstrate zero carbon features and green infrastructure restoration. The DRIP intern will work closely with founding partner Paul Stevens to develop and document a sustainability research study of the Toronto Region Conservation Authority Headquarters and have the opportunity to engage in the design of its dissemination strategy.