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09.20.18 – Daniels Option Studio on Resilient Urbanism in South Florida receives ARCHITECT's Studio Prize

For the second year in a row, a graduate studio from the Daniels Faculty has received ARCHITECT magazine's Studio Prize.

The Studio Prize "recognizes thoughtful, innovative, and ethical studio courses at accredited architecture schools" across Canada and the United States. The Daniels Faculty's Option Studio "Coding Flux: In Pursuit of Resilient Urbanism in South Florida" (LAN 3016) taught by Assistant Professors Fadi Masoud, who coordinated the course, and Elise Shelley is among this year's six winners.

Rayna Syed (standing at right) and Alexandra Lazervski (third from left) present their plans for a southern Florida county that faces flooding challenges, increasing water levels and salt water damage (photo by Harry Choi)

The award-winning studio challenged students to develop design solutions to address increased flooding from rising sea levels and intense storms, such as hurricanes, in South Florida — events that are becoming increasingly common to due climate change.


The responses, which the students presented to Broward County representatives who visited Toronto, ranged from a “freshwater credit” system that incentivizes residents to capture excess rainwater in cisterns on their property to a “flux” zoning code that changes as rising sea levels impact land-use patterns around the county. Yet another proposal considers the county’s western border, which abuts the Everglades wetlands, more as an inland “coast,” with recreational and tourism possibilities, and less as a site solely for real estate development, which might leave the area more vulnerable to sea level rise. Juror Jennifer Yoos, FAIA, lauded the students’ approach to “rethinking how these design processes should be done.”

This was the fourth time Masoud has led a hands-on, pragmatic studio focused on South Florida, and Broward County officials say it was the first time their office had worked with such a studio on planning ideas. They say they welcomed the outside insight, and have begun to incorporate some of the students’ ideas, like flux zoning, into their long-range planning.

U of T News covered the student's work in the studio last year, from the start of the term in September to final reviews.

Students who participated in the award-winning studio include: Chaoyi Cui, Marianne Lafontaine-Chicha, Meikang Li, Niloufar Makaremi, Leslie Norris, Natalie Schiabel, Qiwei Song, Zainab Al Rawi, Meng Bao, Chukun Chen, Mengqi Dai, Jessica Guinto, Tania Hlavenka, Joshua Kirk, Alexandra Lazaervski, Ning Lin, Aidan Loweth, Carlos Portillo, and Rayna Syed.

For more information, visit ARCHITECT's Florida" recently received the Sloan Award, a Studio Prize from Architect magazine.

Image, top, by: Qiwei Song, Meikang Li, and Chaoyi Cui