The autumn issue of U of T Magazine asks, "How can we make our neighbourhoods more affordable, more sustainable — and more fun?" In addition to articles that highlight how U of T experts and alumni are addressing affordable housing, accessibility, and sustainability, the issue includes a profile of Daniels alumnus Claude Cormier (BLA 1986), one of Canada's best known landscape architects.
Writes Jason McBride:
His firm, Claude Cormier et Associés, is as celebrated for the originality and whimsy of its work as it is for its resourcefulness. That work, ranging from pocket parks to innovative installations, is spread across Ontario and Quebec and, more recently, Chicago and Houston: places such as Sugar Beach, with its bubblegum-pink umbrellas, and the surprisingly lush gardens of Evergreen Brick Works. In some cases, these creations are subtle; others are as pleasantly in-your-face as a wedding cake. A graduate of U of T and Guelph and Harvard universities, Cormier opened his Montreal-based firm in 1995 and currently has 50 different projects on the go.
Cormier has designed many of Toronto's most engaging, most talked about, and perhaps most instagrammed public spaces, including Berczy Park in St. Lawrence Market, where he is pictured, above.
"Cities are for living in, but they're also for having fun and shedding the stress of our daily lives," he tells McBride. "I dare you to walk by this park without being drawn in with a smile on your face."
Cormier received a Bachelor’s degree in Landscape Architecture from the Daniels Faculty in 1986 and went on to receive a Master’s degree in History and Theory of Design from Harvard in 1994. Since establishing Claude Cormier + Associés, he has received numerous awards, including the Knight of the Ordre National du Quebec, and Emerging Voices award from the Architectural League of New York and the Médaille de l’Université de Montreal. Claude was listed among 14 international designers advancing the design field by Fast Company magazine in 2007 and last year, he was invited by Phaidon Press to be featured in a publication as one of the top 30 Landscape architects in the world.
Also featured in the Autumn issue:
Drew Sinclair (March 2007) is included in an article on affordable housing ("The cities we need are affordable," page 19 - 21) for his work on a project based in Hamilton that will make it possible for condo units to be expanded to accommodate a growing family or downsized as an owner's needs change over time.
The Daniels Faculty's Green Roof Innovation Testing Laboratory (GRIT Lab) is featured in an article about sustainability ("The cities we need are sustainable," page 30- 37) among other projects at U of T that are researching how cities can better respond and adapt to climate change.
Photos, top, by Jaime Hogge