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06.21.18 – #DanielsGrad18: Christina Poulos

What was the most memorable part of your Master of Urban Design degree?
Constantly being exposed to guest speakers and guest critiques provided great opportunities to hear varying experiences, receive advice, and get exposure to diverse perspectives. Becoming acquainted with these guests, who brought real-life experiences and projects, grounded the studio experience and brought extra realism to each project. This made learning and the design process collaborative, which was incredibly rewarding. 

What inspired your thesis topic?
My thesis was inspired by my life experiences and what I have learned as my time as a student and designer. I grew up in the area where my thesis is located and shopped at the very mall in which my project focuses on. Suburban developments, which are characterized by large areas of singular uses and personal vehicles, are no longer sustainable for the environment, or for the people who reside there. The prioritization of certain land uses and transportation modes has propagated this suburban sprawl. Refocusing suburban futures is necessary, and can be achieved by the intensification of existing community nodes, and synthesizing mixed densities, uses, and public transportation. These changes will encourage the suburbs to evolve to better address contemporary ideologies and quality of life. A suburban mall — in this case Markville Mall — has the capacity to become the connective tissue between transportation services and modes of mobility. By increasing the permeability of this site, and adapting it to better suite daily needs and activities, the suburban mall can evolve into a successful and thriving community node.

What advice would you give to a new student?
I would encourage new students to approach their studies with an eagerness to learn and an open mind to take advantage of every experience studying at Daniels will offer. There is something very inspiring about learning and exploring in an environment with peers and instructors with similar interests and goals. The opportunity to grow as a professional is limitless.

What are your plans after graduation?
I am very much looking forward to starting my career as an Urban Designer at IBI Group in Toronto.

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Convocation for #UofTDaniels students was on June 14. This month we are featuring our graduates, including their work, their memories, and their advice for new students. Follow #DanielsGrad18 for more!