On Thursday, April 18, the Daniels Faculty was pleased to welcome the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, the Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, to One Spadina to meet with students and faculty, and attend some thesis reviews.
Dean Richard Sommer, together with Master of Architecture student James Bird, brought Her Honour to the Graduate Design Studio, to meet Associate Professor Mason White see some student work.
White shared details on his experiences teaching and conducting design research in the arctic — the subject of the exhibition he curated with his design practice Lateral Office for Canadian Pavillion at the Venice Biennale in 2014. Titled Arctic Adaptations: Nunavut at 15, the exhibition was honoured with a “Special Mention” by the Biennale jury.
Her Honour also met first year MArch student Stephen Caddy, and second year MArch students Raymond Garrioch and Nassim Sani, who showed her some of their recent work.
Afterwards, she sat in on Nicholas Ager's Master of Architecture final thesis review presentation. Titled The Common School, Ager's project proposed a design for a new primary public school that encourages cross-generational discourse and intersectional programming in a underserved Chicago neighbourhood.
Associate Professor Liat Margolis also met with the Lieutenant Governor to share some of the initiatives she has undertaken to engage Indigenous youth in architecture, landscape architecture, and urban design. Margolis spoke of the success of the youth employment and mentorship program launched last summer in collaboration with the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority and the Native Canadian Centre of Toronto. Now called Nikibii Dawadinna Giiway (which means Flooded Valley Healing in Anishinaabemowin, Manitoulin dialect), the program returns again this summer and is currently recruiting applicants.
Later, Margolis introduced Her Honour to Master of Landscape Architecture student Devin Tepleski before the presentation of his final thesis: New Ground, Healing Wounds: The Mnemonics of Landscape Scars at Giant Mine, Yellowknife, NT.
"Inclusion, creativity, & design are all central to the work @UofTDaniels," wrote Her Honour on twitter following the visit, "amazing to see how future architects are tackling issues as diverse as public schools in Chicago & mine reclamation in the NWT, all while drawing inspiration from the process of Indigenous reconciliation."
Photos by Harry Choi