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Professor David Covo

McGill University

Montréal, Québec, Canada


David Covo, FRAIC, and Director of the School of Architecture, joined the faculty of McGill’s School of Architecture in 1978 and has taught a variety of courses, including drawing and watercolour sketching, computer-aided design, and design studios at all levels of the professional program. He has maintained a private consulting practice since 1976, working alone and from time to time in partnership with other architects, and has built in Quebec and Ontario. His research activities are related to his teaching and architectural practice; they address housing, drawing and the design process, and the special architectural requirements of the disabled, and have contributed to the development of new courses in these areas.

He worked in Pakistan in 1976 with Architect and Landscape Architect John Schreiber, and in the last dozen years has been active in teaching and research in Mexico and China. In 1991, he spent one month at the Computer-aided Design Research Centre of Tongji University, Shanghai, in connection with a World Bank project organized by the International Advisory Panel, Chinese University Development Project II, Washington, D.C. Between 1992 and 1995, he worked with Professor Vikram Bhatt and McGill’s Minimum Cost Housing Group on the Hua Shi Xie Jie Rehabilitation Project in Beijing, a project funded by CIDA and administered by the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC), and on a research study identifying Canadian Housing Products for the Chinese market, funded by CMHC and the Société d’Habitation du Québec.

With André Casault, he coordinated McGill’s participation in the 1995 CIDA Youth Program in Architecture; this project, also funded by CIDA and administered by the RAIC, included an exchange with Tsinghua University, Beijing, in which a research team of six McGill students spent eight weeks in Beijing working with a group from Tsinghua on a comprehensive survey of traditional courtyard housing. With Bhatt, he also coordinated McGill’s participation in the 1996 CIDA Youth Program in Architecture, a project involving a team of six undergraduate students in field research in Zihuatanejo, Mexico.

He is presently directing McGill’s involvement in a new 4-year teaching and research oriented exchange program, funded by HRDC within the North American Mobility in Education Program. The six consortium partners are UNAM (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Mexico), Tec de Monterrey (Querétaro campus), Virginia Tech, University of Florida, Dalhousie and McGill University, and the research theme addresses issues of urban conservation in historic city centers.

Professor Covo chairs the University’s Architectural Advisory Committee, which reviews all development projects, the Gardens and Grounds Committee, which is responsible for campus planting and landscape design, and the Visual Arts Committee, which curates the university’s art collection and official portraits. He was appointed Director of the School of Architecture in 1996, and was elected to the College of Fellows of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada in 1998. He has also participated as a juror in several recent international architectural competitions, and is completing a two-year term as President of the Canadian Architectural Certification Board (CACB).

Covo, an active sailor, is involved in competition, judging and administration, and between 1996 and 1998 served a two-year term as President of the Canadian Yachting Association, the national governing body for the sport of sailing in Canada. In 1999, he served as Team leader for the Canadian University Sailing Team at the World University Games, Mallorca, Spain, and in 2001, as Assistant Chef de Mission (operations) for Canada, at the World University Games in Beijing.


david [dot] covo [at] mcgill [dot] ca (Email)