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Douglas Cardinal: Talks with Students

Thu, Feb 25/21 – 6:30pm to 8:00pm


The Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design is pleased to announce that the 2020-21 Frank Gehry International Visiting Chair in Architectural Design is Douglas Cardinal, OC, FRAIC, a renowned Canadian architect known both for his inspiring designs and for his advocacy for the rights and dignity of Indigenous peoples. Cardinal will give a series of four public lectures, in collaboration with the Daniels Faculty, throughout his appointment as Gehry Chair. Read More.

This year’s Frank Gehry International Visiting Chair in Architectural Design, Douglas Cardinal, will hold a conversation with students about architecture and the teaching of architecture. The discussion will cover a number of topics, including: the principles of “organic” architecture, and how they might shape a student’s understanding of architecture; how Indigenous perspectives can be brought into the pedagogy of architecture schools; how schools of architecture can reach a wider community of potential architects; and the essential skills, knowledge, and perspective that a school of architecture should foster through its pedagogy.

James Bird is a member of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation and affiliated with the Northwest Territories Métis Nation. He holds an Honors B.A. comprising two major fields of study: Indigenous Studies and Renaissance Culture. And he is currently completeing a master’s degree in architecture at the University of Toronto. He has also studied in Siena, Italy researching Renaissance culture and Architecture. His current work examines the intersection between Indigenous languages and shape forming – using parametrics and algorithms. This research is to be supported in part by his recent acceptance of Social Science and Humanities Research Council grant [SSHRC] for research in linguistics and architecture in the Dene language. James has received several academic awards – The Prideaux Award for Science and Architecture, University College Merit Award, the Gordon Cressy Award, the Dr. Lillian McGregor Indigenous Award for Excellence and the President’s Award. He has also been made a Fellow at Massey College. James has been equally active outside academia. He is a Member of The Royal Architectural Institute of Canada’s Indigenous Task Force on Architecture. He is also one of the founding members of INDI – Incubator for Northern Design and Innovation. In 2015 he founded “LUNCHBOX” a charity for lunch programs for elementary schools in remote “fly-in” northern communities. Most recently, James was proud to be part of the Canadian team that won the 2018 Venice Architectural Biennale – a team headed by world-renowned Indigenous Architect Douglas Cardinal and 18 other Indigenous architects.

Robert Raynor is a furniture maker, workshop trainer, and second-year Masters of Architecture student at the Daniels Faculty, having completed his HBA with high distinction in Architectural Design & Visual Studies at UofT in 2018. Formerly a drama production set designer during elementary school, he co-curated HEREAFTER, the 2018 undergraduate thesis exhibition at Daniels, and spent four years as a designer and fabricator of furniture and spaces at One Spadina, including the school’s New Circadia exhibition. His interests include architecture’s ecological context, applications of biomimicry, and humanitarian design for underrepresented members of society living on this land. Recently, Robert has been volunteering as a carpenter and strategy team member with Toronto Tiny Shelters, building and maintaining portable, insulated, temporary structures for houseless people in southern Ontario. He is an avid cyclist, and cat dad to a rescue feline named Lumi.

Angela (Yue) Gou is a first year Master of Architecture student who holds a bachelor’s degree specializing in architecture from the John H Daniels Faculty. She has participated as the communications director at the Hart House Art Committee and is currently the student representative for first year architecture students at the Graduate Architecture, Landscape, and Design Student Union (GALDSU). She is the recipient of the John and Myrna Daniels Scholars Award and after graduation she hopes to design and contribute to functional and engaging civic spaces that respects and reflects the needs of the greater community in Toronto.  

Jr Osei Wireko is a second-year Masters of Architecture Student at the Daniels Faculty. He also received his undergraduate degree at the Daniels Faculty pursuing a double major in Architectural History, Theory and Criticism and Architectural Design as well as a minor in Environmental Studies. He sees architecture as a profession in which we can act as stewards of the earth through design. He is also concerned with ways in which we can solve social issues, specifically issues in relation to affordable housing.

Autumn Riggan is a third year student in the Masters of Architecture program at the University of Toronto. She previously graduated with honors from the University of British Columbia, earning a Bachelors of Environmental Design. During her time in Toronto she’s volunteered with Architectural Conservancy Ontario documenting at risk buildings for their online database. Her interest in conservation has inspired an appreciation for Canada’s rich architectural history. Autumn is currently working on her thesis project which questions the line between architecture and landscape. As a designer, Autumn is interested in a future for architecture that is grounded in ecological sensitivity.

Benjamin Chang (he/him) is an interdisciplinary artist and architectural designer based in Tkaronto, Canada. In his practice and research, Benjamin creates experiences – a synthesis of symbolic geometry and human spatial perception in virtual worlds. Burdened by the exploitation of architectural materialization, his practice concentrates on the latent possibilities of Virtual Reality as the platform for new spatial typologies. He believes that consciousness is the fundamental material for creating spaces, while other elements (physical or digital) are volumes, actors, or agents in the shaping of experiences. Benjamin is currently completing his Master of Architecture thesis at the University of Toronto.

About the Frank Gehry International Visiting Chair in Architectural Design

Named in honour of Frank O. Gehry, this endowed chair brings a highly recognized international architect to the Daniels Faculty to deliver a public lecture and enrich the student learning experience each year. Heather Reisman, founder of Indigo Books and Music, and 45 other donors contributed $1 million, matched by U of T, to establish the chair in November 2000. It's named for the Toronto-born designer of the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain; the Experience Music Project in Seattle; and the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles.