Brigitte Shim is a Professor at the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design at the University of Toronto and a principal at Shim-Sutcliffe Architects. She has been teaching at the Daniels Faculty since 1988, and has overseen core design studios, advanced design studios, thesis studios, and courses in the history and theory of landscape architecture. Born in Kingston, Jamaica, Shim graduated from the University of Waterloo with degrees in Environmental Studies and Architecture.
Shim, along with her partner A. Howard Sutcliffe, formed the architectural design practice Shim-Sutcliffe Architects in 1994. Their critical design practice reflects their shared interest in and passion for the integration and interrelated scales of architecture, landscape, and interior and industrial design. To date, Shim and Sutcliffe have received fourteen Governor General’s Medals and Awards for architecture as well as an American Institute of Architects National Honor Award, among many other professional accolades. Their built work includes projects for non-profit groups as well as public and private clients. Brigitte Shim has lectured on Shim-Sutcliffe’s built work and participated in invited international symposia around the world. Shim-Sutcliffe’s built work has been published in respected architectural publications around the world. Shim-Sutcliffe – The Passage of Time is part of the Documents in Canadian Architecture series published by Dalhousie Architectural Press.
Shim has also served on numerous international, national, and local design juries as an advocate for design excellence, including the 2007 Aga Khan Architecture Award Master jury. She is currently serving on the Aga Khan Architecture Award Steering Committee (2016 – 2018) and has been a field reviewer for the award programme. Shim is currently a member of Waterfront Toronto’s Design Review Committee. She has served on both Canada’s National Capital Commission Architectural Advisory Board and the University of Toronto’s Design Review Committee for over a decade. She was a board member of Build Toronto, the real estate and development corporation created to generate value from the City’s real estate assets (2008 – 2012). She has served as a board member of Mooreland’s Community Services — a local Toronto non-profit charity helping inner city children and youth affected by poverty since 1917 (2003 – 2008) — and Greenwood College School (2009 – 2013). She is a Senior Fellow at Massey College at the University of Toronto and was their College Architect for two decades.
Shim is a Fellow of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (FRAIC), an Honorary Fellow of the American Institute of Architects (Hon FAIA), and an elected member of the Royal Canadian Academy (RCA). She is a registered architect in the Province of Ontario (OAA), the State of Maine, and the State of Hawaii.
In January 2013, Brigitte Shim and her partner Howard Sutcliffe were both awarded the Order of Canada, “for their contributions as architects designing sophisticated structures that represent the best of Canadian design to the world,” along with the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.
Shim was the 2014, 2010, and 2005 Eero Saarinen Visiting Professor at Yale University’s School of Architecture, and both she and Sutcliffe held the 2014 University of Auckland Distinguished Visitors’ Award at the School of Architecture and Planning within the National Institute for Creative Arts and Industries in Auckland New Zealand. In addition, Shim was the William B. and Charlotte Shepherd Davenport Visiting Professor (2008), the Henry Bishop Visiting Chair (2001), and the Visiting Bicentennial Professor in Canadian Studies (2001) at Yale University’s School of Architecture. She also held the invited international visiting professorship at Ecole Polytechnique Federal de Lausanne (2002) and at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design (1996 and 1993). Shim was the Portman Visiting Critic at Georgia Institute of Technology’s College of Design (2016), the Somerville Visiting Lecturer at the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Environmental Design (2013), and the Martell Distinguished Visiting Critic at the University of Buffalo’s School of Architecture and Planning (2006). She was a Visiting Professor for the Thesis Program at McGill University’s School of Architecture (1992), and the Visiting Critics Studio at Carleton University’s School of Architecture (1990).