Matt Davis is a Principal and Founding Partner of DesignAgency, a global design studio operating out of offices in Canada, the US and Europe. DesignAgency was founded in Toronto in 1998 by Davis along with his long-time friends Allen Chan and Anwar Mekhayech, to apply their diverse talents and expertise towards creating relevant and impactful design experiences. Over the years their mission has remained strong while adapting to a range of consumer tastes, technologies and markets, and broadening their focus from interior design to a variety of sectors and disciplines. DesignAgency's work has led to numerous awards and accolades from Fast Company, Architectural Record, The New York Times and countless others. A landscape architect by training, Matt has a knack for drawing out the uniqueness of environments to create intriguing spaces. His passion for connections has led to signature collaborations with other artists and designers, and meaningful relationships between brands, operators and investors — helping to bring great projects and partnerships to life.
Some of Matt’s best known projects include Generator Barcelona — the first flagship for a brand based on affordable accommodation that lead to a cultural shift in perception about hostels, and a transformation in the industry; Lena Restaurant and The Broadview Hotel, both of which transformed heritage structures into two of Toronto’s most beautiful hospitality destinations. In 2018 he helped Hilton launch “Motto by Hilton”, a new and affordable lifestyle hotel concept that gives guests much freedom and flexibility to design their own stay. Matt is currently working on new landscape hotels including Irth in Prince Edward County, and Costa Elena in Costa Rica.
Matt Davis received his Bachelors in Landscape Architecture from the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design at the University of Toronto. Read More
Barbara Bestor, FAIA is founding principal of Bestor Architecture. Since 1995, Bestor Architecture has actively redefined Los Angeles architecture with a practice that rigorously engages the city through design, art, and urbanism. Increasingly, the firm applies L.A.’s lessons to national undertakings. She explores the architectural form through experiments in spatial arrangements, graphics, and color, which is evident in her projects from custom residences to headquarters for international companies. Her varied and progressive body of work connects with people on many levels, often outside the boundaries traditionally delineated for architecture. She believes that good design creates an engaged urban life and embraces the ‘strange beauty’ that enhances everyday life experience.She received her undergraduate degree at Harvard University, studied at the Architecture Association in London and received a MARCH at SCI-Arc. She is the author of Bohemian Modern, Living in Silver Lake. Read More
Associate Professor Steven Fong received both a professional architecture degree and a Master’s degree from Cornell University. He has taught studios at Cornell University, Rice University, Syracuse University and University of Virginia; and held a Baker-Nord fellowship at Case Western Reserve University. He is a research partner in the Toronto studio of Khoury Levit Fong. His academic work has focussed on topical urban issues. He has worked with Neptis Foundation on its regional growth papers, and held a Graham Foundation grant for studying the Great Lakes cities’ waterfronts. Current work explores the intersection of entrepreneurship and urbanism.