Let’s Normalize Equity in Design

In Layman’s Terms (A Non-Architect’s Point of View) “Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord.” Romans 12:19 New International Version In thinking about the backlash against efforts to bring about a more equitable world …

Climate Change is Everywhere

Climate change is everywhere, and architecture has a big part to play in making change. Awareness of the built environment, and its role in effecting change is crucial: how we plan our parks, allowing rivers to overflow; how we create sustainable suburban communities and halt the ravage of unchecked #sprawl; how we invest in existing, …

Awards: The Echo Chamber of the Mainstream

In Layman’s Terms (A Non-Architect’s Point of View) It feels like we’re perpetually in awards season. There’s always some group patting themselves on the back. It makes me uncomfortable. When my kids were in grade school the awards were generally pointless so I saw all awards as harmless praise. My opinion has evolved and I …

Accessibility in the Built Environment | CBC Ottawa Morning

On Monday, March 11 2019, the Honorable David Onley former Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, slammed the Province of Ontario for failing to reach accessibility goals. He noted that unnecessary barriers persist in the built environment, and called on architecture schools, and the profession, to take action. The following day, Kenzie McCurdy and I were invited …

Conference Characters

A layman’s view (not an architect) For those of you who have never been to a conference, I would recommend you experience it at least once in your life. To feel the collegiate spirit. To watch people interact as they applaud themselves and their peers is a moment to enjoy. A conference is like a …

The Common Sink: A layman’s view (not an architect)

There’s a concept in economics called the tragedy of the commons which states that without external controls, people will act in their own self-interest to the detriment of the whole. Where we don’t impose guidelines about how to show respect in a given situation, some people will act in their own self-interest to the detriment …

Diving In

Last year we had a unique opportunity and took to chance to dive right in. A local hotel had been having trouble with their pool and had hired an engineering company to do the structural repairs to their pool. In that process, the pool was found to be leaking, causing problems for the hotel ballrooms …

Making intensification work in Ottawa

Making intensification work in Ottawa More people living on less land means less sprawl. However, when poorly designed or located in inappropriate areas, infill development is often accused – with some justification – of degrading the urban landscape and livability of a community. There are basically four levels of density.

LRT – A discussion on Public Interest and P3

The following are the notes used for my address to Ottawa City Council last Wednesday with minor notes for clarity, as well as links for reference to articles and research. This follows on the publication of the Ottawa Citizen Editorial of February 28 2019 “LRT Stage 2 – Is a P3 Model really the right way to …

Long-Term Planning, Not Band-Aid Solutions

The other evening I was driving home and listening to CBC Ottawa’s All in a Day with Alan Neal. He was interviewing Canada’s Auditor General Michael Ferguson on the Phoenix payroll system. When the payroll system was in the beginning stages, the federal government had a budget of $155 million. IBM said that for all …