Michael Piper is an architect, urban designer, Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto, John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design, and principal at dub studios. His design research focuses on the relationship between urban design and urban planning, with particular attention to the suburbs.
Piper is the organizer of the Project Suburb Research Group at the Daniels Faculty. Also through the faculty, he co-hosted the After Empirical Urbanism symposium with Richard Sommer in 2015, and will be co-editor of a forthcoming book of the same title. His writing and design has been featured at the Rotterdam Architecture Biennale, 30/60/90 and Monu. He was awarded a SSHRC connection grant in 2015, and the Lefevre Fellowship at Ohio State University in 2011.
Piper’s design practice and scholarship explores pragmatic alternatives to existing urban planning policy and real estate practices with the aim of producing civic urban form and space. Dub studios has been invited to prepare planning studies / design proposals for different public entities. The firm was commissioned by New York City’s Department of Transportation to design and build modular street games for the NYC Plaza Program (2016). Dub was also invited to submit a design proposal for the Middle City Passages workshop, on behalf of Metrolinx, the regional transit authority in Toronto (2015). Additionally, it was one of four firms invited to submit designs for the Parking Plus Design Challenge, sponsored by the Long Island Index, and completed on behalf of the Mayor’s office for the suburban town of Patchouge (2014). This more recent work builds on ideas explored in several related design competitions and commissions. As principal of Dub studios, Piper was the project manager and lead designer for two large scale urban design commissions for the center of downtown Durham, NC (2005-2010). The two projects consisted of 8 blocks over 10 acres and with a total floor area of 900,000 sqft.
Piper has also taught at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, Columbia University, Syracuse University, and was the 2010-11 Lefevre Fellow at the Ohio State University. He received a MArch from Harvard’s Graduate School of Design and a BS in Architecture from Georgia Tech.