1. Teaching and Learning
  2. Human Resources
  3. Student Achievements
  4. Staff Awards and Honours
  5. Research

Teaching and Learning

  • The School continues to lead design education at McGill University. As such, design education intertwined with general education and strategic areas such as management, medicine, engineering, communications, media studies, music, environment and gender studies will be pursued with partner stakeholders throughout 2011-2012.
  • Applications to our programs continue to increase in all programs and McGill continues to be a selective school, attracting top-of-class students. In 2011 we had a record-breaking 63 applicants to our Ph.D. program.
  • Our Study Abroad and exchange programs continue to be important given the current emphasis on global practice.
  • The building science area of the professional program is the focus of the current search.  Some issues have been addressed through strategic adjunct hiring. The Advanced Construction course, for example, was significantly transformed by hiring Maria Mingallon, a structural engineer from the internationally recognized engineering firm Arup. The course engaged advanced digital and fabrication technologies. A pavilion was constructed in 2011. The student design has attracted significant international and local attention.   During fall 2011, the Advanced Construction course focused on real-life design problems on the McGill campus.
  • Prof. Aaron Sprecher's Laboratory on Integrated Prototyping in Hybrid Environments (LIPHE), funded by the Canada Foundation for Innovation, is now operational. This sophisticated digital fabrication laboratory aims at generating transdisciplinary research projects between architects, industrial designers and engineers. LIPHE features high-end equipment such as a unique large-bed, multi-material 3D printer, a large six-axis robotic arm, and CNC plasma cutter.  Sprecher is currently engaged in a series of research projects with Profs. Damiano Pasini (Dept. of Mechanical Engineering) and Jorge Angeles (Centre for Intelligent Machines).  
  • The School of Architecture remains integrally involved in iPLAI, the Institute of the Public Life of Arts and Ideas. Prof. Adams is on the board; Prof. Castro was one of the inaugural Fellows in iPLAI; Prof. Jemtrud has been awarded a fellowship for next year.
  • The School of Architecture remains integrally involved in IGSF, the Institute for Gender, Sexuality and Feminist Studies.  Prof. Adams served as Director in 2011-12; she remains on all major committees and supervises a post-doctoral fellow shared by the two units.
  • The School co-hosted the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture annual conference in March 2011. 
  • The School hosted a SSHRC-funded conference (Jemtrud) entitled “The Virtue of the Virtual” in May 2011.
  • Architecture students appreciated the renovation of the former Architecture Café into “The Cellar”, a student-managed space that sports a large projection screen and bean-bag chairs.
  • 2011 saw the emergence of a new student organization, GASA, the Graduate Association of Students in Architecture.

Human Resources

  • The faculty position to replace Prof. Sheppard was concluded in summer 2011 with the hiring of Prof. Ipek Türeli.
  • A search is ongoing to replace Prof. Pieter Sijpkes.
  • The Gerald Sheff Visiting Design Professorship had a very successful year. The endowment was used to hire Michael Su, an expert in changing architectural technologies, who taught in the M1 studio and the seminar Contemporary Theory 1.  Prof. Su also led a highly memorable trip to New York for graduate students.  In Winter 2011 the endowment supported Paula Meijerink and Philippe Lupien. 
  • Funding for the Planetary Society Visiting Professor in Architecture concluded June 2011. The three-year duration of this position with Dr. Torben Berns was highly successful.   Prof. Berns took on a very high teaching load (19 credits). The intention to secure matching funds to make the Professorship permanent was unsuccessful.
  • The School continues to try to redress, where possible, the gender imbalance in the complement of full-time and part-time teachers. More than one-third of the approximately two dozen adjunct appointments are women, and approximately one-third of the teaching positions in the design studios are held by women. Women are also well-represented in the list of invited critics for design reviews, and on the list of speakers invited to present public lectures. The gender imbalance continues to be a concern for the School.  The hiring of Prof. Türeli brought the number of women on the full-time faculty to two.

Student Achievements

  • Four third-year McGill Architecture undergraduate students received top awards in the 2011 Lyceum Traveling Fellowship in Architecture competition. Meng Li was awarded first prize (a $12,000 travel prize), Boris Morin-Defoy was awarded third prize (a $1,500 grant), and Stephanie Huss and Sara-Jeanne Jacques-Dagenais were awarded two of four merit awards. The McGill submissions were projects developed in the U3 studio sections of Profs. Howard Davies, Aaron Sprecher, Sinisha Brdar and Matt Fisher.
  • The Martin Eli Weil prize is awarded annually by the SSAC to the student who submits the best essay on the role played by the built environment in Canadian society. The $250 prize and certificate was awarded to McGill M.Arch. (post-professional) graduate Dorothy Stern at the Society's Annual Conference where she was invited to present her essay, "The View from Winnipeg: Thoughts on the Evolution of Canadian Interior Design Education." The winning essay is also to be published by the Society in the Journal.
  • B.Sc.(Arch.) graduate (2011) Yekaterina Artemchuk was awarded first place in the 2010-2011 Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture / American Institute of Steel Construction (ACSA/AISC) Steel Design Student Competition – Open (Category II), Student Design Competition. The award consists of a cash prize of $2500 awarded to the winning student and a $1000 prize awarded to the advisor, Prof. Martin Bressani. The ACSA/AISC competition received 182 design submissions. Ms. Artemchuk's winning submission was entitled Lacing the Gaze: Public Library and Cultural Centre for NDG, Montreal, Canada.
  • Two McGill teams shared first prize in the 17th CCA (Canadian Centre for Architecture) Inter-university Charrette (November 10-13, 2011), Liquid City.  Team 78 (Hydro cosm: Lance Moore, Alexandre Hamel, and Maxime Leclerc) and Team 26 (Down with the Linear Functional: Gabrielle Poirier, Gabrielle Marcoux, Philippe Larocque, and Marc-Antoine Chartier-Primeau), both of McGill, won first prize (ex aequo) in a competition in which a total of 68 teams took part.  Team 72 (Aqua Fest: Baharan Khosravi, Reena Mistry, Sarah Wu Martinez, Tracy Sun, and Seema Fariha), also of McGill, were awarded one of four Honorable Mentions. The contest – organized by the CCA and the École de design of Université du Québec à Montréal, in collaboration with McGill University and Université de Montréal and with the participation of Université Laval, Carleton University, Ryerson University and the University of Toronto – challenged students and interns by inviting them to reflect on issues and problematics in contemporary architecture, on the theme of Liquid City.
  • Recent graduate Adel Albloushi (M.Arch. 2010) won a Special Mention for his project "Reinvention of the Politically Vague" in the inaugural Concours jeune critique MAQ en architecture. The competition is open to all candidates under the age of 35 in the fields of communication, arts and design. It was created by the Maison de l'architecture du Québec (MAQ) to encourage professional practice.

Staff Awards and Honours

  • The team of Annmarie Adams, David Theodore, Ellie Goldenberg, Coralee McLaren, and Patricia McKeever was selected as a finalist in the International Research Project Academy Awards 2011, International Academy for Health and Design, for “Kids in the Atrium: Comparing Architectural Intentions and Children's Experience in a Pediatric Hospital Lobby,” an article published in Social Studies & Medicine.
  • The term of Ricardo Castro’s fellowship in the Institute for the Public Life of Art and Ideas (2009 to 2011) was extended to 2012.
  • David Covo was selected as the President d’Honneur for the Hotel de Glace in Quebec City for the 2011-2012 season.
  • Atelier Big City (Adjunct Professor Howard Davies and alumni Anne Cormier and Randy Cohen) was one of 22 architecture firms from around the world invited to display their method of working at the Raumfinden exhibition at the House of Architecture in Graz.
  • The innovative ice research of Pieter Sijpkes continues to attract mainstream media attention.  In 2011 his laboratory was featured in WIRED magazine and on the Discovery channel.
  • Aaron Sprecher was nominated for a 2011 Outstanding Teaching Award in the Faculty of Engineering.

Research (Selected)

Annmarie Adams

  • CIHR, Health Care Technology and Place (2009-2015), Peter Coyte, Principal Investigator; Annmarie Adams et al, Co-applicants ($48,750).
  • SSHRC MCRI "Remaining Long-term Residential Care: International Study of Promising Practices," (2010-2017), Principal investigator Pat Armstrong, York University ($35,700).
  • Research grant, William C. Macdonald Chair, 2005-12 ($15,000).

Vikram Bhatt

  • Edible Campus (McGill fund), 2010-2011 ($57,000).
  • “Making the Edible Campus: A Model of Urban Agriculture for Montreal and Beyond – Phase II,” 2011-2012 ($63,700).

Martin Bressani

  • SSHRC, Standard Research Grant (May 2008 to April 2011), “Immersion into Atmosphere,” Professor Martin Bressani, principal, Professor Marc Grignon, co-researcher ($17,500).

 Ricardo Castro

  • Co-applicant in MCRI (SSHRC):  “The Hispanic Baroque: Complexity in the First Atlantic Culture,” Juan Luis Suárez (principal) The University of Western Ontario, 2007-2014 ($12,000).

Avi Friedman

  • FQRNT/MITACS (April 1, 2010 - March 31, 2011), “Digital Platform for Mass Customization of Housing,” A. Friedman (Principal) with A. Sprecher and B. Eid ($12,500).
  • Green Specification Rating System - Interactive Web Application, McGill Sustainability Project Fund, 2010-2011 ($31,800).

 Michael Jemtrud

  • SSHRC Research-Creation grant in the fine arts: Modelling the methodologies of our time, 2011-2014 ($65,900).
  • SSHRC Public Outreach Grants – Innovation, Leadership and Prosperity: “Integrated dissemination forums for architecture and urban design,” 2010-2012 ($64,200).
  • SSHRC  Image, Text, Sound and Technology: “Towards a transdisciplinary approach to challenges in the built world: Developing the virtual charrette to mediate collaboration in Canada and the global context,” 2010-2012 ($12,500).
  • SSHRC Aid to Conferences, 2011-2012 ($6,000).
  • CFI Leaders Opportunity Fund, Facility for Architectural Research in Media and Mediation, 2008-2011 ($128,450).

Nik Luka

  • SSHRC, Public Outreach Grant: Innovation, Leadership and Prosperity (2010-2012): “Integrated Dissemination Forums for Architecture and Urban Design,” M. Jemtrud (Principal), N. Luka, T. Berns ($19,200).
  • FQRSC. Québec 2020 : vers un projet collectif d'aménagement durable (2010-2014). C. Després (Université Laval), PI ($18,000).
  • SSHRC. Making megaprojects work for communities (2007-2012). L. Bornstein, (McGill University), PI ($30,000).

Aaron Sprecher

  • SSHRC, Insight Development Grant (2011-2013), “The Evo DeVO Project - Evolutionary Design, Variations and Optimization: Toward a Symbiosis among Formal Expressions, Structural Engineering, and Manufacturing Processes in Architectural Design.”, co-applicant: Damiano Pasini ($36,250).
  • Mathematics of Information Technology and Complex Systems (2010-2011), New paradigms in generative design systems, PI: Bassem Eid , co-applicants: A. Friedman and A. Sprecher ($4,500).
  • SSHRC, Research Creation Grant in Fine Arts (2011-2014), “Modeling the Methodologies of our Time”, PI: Michael Jemtrud, co-applicant: Aaron Sprecher ($19,760).
  • Canada Foundation for Innovation (2010-2015), Development of a high-end fabrication laboratory including a 6-axis CNC mill and a multi-material SLS system, PI: A. Sprecher ($181,280).

Prof. Annmarie Adams