What are U of C’s Environmental Design students up to?

MP |

mC:t    2015.03.28


The University of Calgary’s Faculty of Environmental Design is consistently involved in exciting and innovative new projects. These current projects are built around an integrative concept that will engage design students and encourage collaborative efforts through learning, creating, and researching various topics of interest.


These students are the next generation of designers to potentially influence, inspire, and leave their mark on the Calgary architectural industry and the city of Calgary itself.  It is, therefore, of interest to explore what they are learning now, where they find their ideas, and what is influencing their education. How is their curriculum functioning to prepare them for their futures? What thoughts, creative projects, and future directions define the next generation of EVDS students?


I spoke to three design students from EVDS – one from each year of the architecture program – to learn about their projects and what they are producing this term.  This post will showcase some of the current problems presented to students and will describe their responses, critical thoughts and interpretations, creative problem solving strategies, and models of potential solutions. The post will offer a well-rounded glimpse by including summaries of studio platforms as well as collections of student work created so far this term.


Stay tuned next week for what the Masters of Planning students in EVDS are up to!



Brady Horner – Masters of Architecture ( Foundation Year)

Studio overview: Studio II

The question of how to reside in the city has been a challenge, if not the most pressing one, facing modern architecture throughout its history as cities have continued to grow, intensify and transform.   This studio begins with the assertion that the choices in forms of residential modes of living currently presented to us are both insufficient and unimaginative – posing a real threat to the future of architecture, cities and their inhabitants.   In response to the problem, the studio proposes an alternative in the form of a radical redistricting of the city in an effort to wake architecture from its slumber – reimagining its possible futures.  Within these districts, new hybrid modes of dwelling are explored.  Each studio section operates within its own district of a provided master plan and design focus.

My studio group lead by Jessie Andjelic of Spectacle , is focused on live/work relationships and the fostering of innovation through design.  We redistricted the Southeast district of the downtown into an innovation district that revitalizes the existing infrastructure (Symbiotes), utilizes underutilized lots for redevelopment (Incubators) and turns the focus back onto the human experience with the inclusion of a green belt (the Swath).

Specifics about your project:

My studio project is concerned with the challenge of designing a live/work condition that promotes the exploration and growth of innovation; in whatever means you interpret the term.   My aim is to create an environment for innovation based on family, collaboration, and community.  This is reflected in my building by a transparent main floor to encourage the transparency of work, a monolithic unified façade that provides privacy for living and a shared interior courtyard that acts as the backyard for the residents. An important aspect of the design is the bleeding of the live/work aspects of life into one entity and the encouragement of just being and following ones true calling.

Quick reflection:

Upon reflection, this studio has surfaced questions in regards to how the built environment is a major influence on all aspects of life. It has been an interesting challenge considering both residential and commercial programming in relation to one another, especially the issue of proximity and the amount of overlap between the two.  How close is the relationship? And how does this inform space?






 Byron Marks & Mark Hosford –  Masters of Architecture (M1) 

Studio overview: Studio IV

The studio objective is a hands on class where we design a medium (2000sqm) building incorporating all elements of architecture; such as, structure and corresponding material sizing, developing an environmental control system (HVAC) and a building envelope for the building. These aspects include detailing technical drawings that illustrate how these elements relate to and work with each other.

Our class studio project this year it to design a building in the neighborhood of Sunnyside, Calgary, that relates to communication.

Specifics about your project:

Our project is centre of “Empowered Communication”. We are creating a building that provides a platform to enable change in the community. The concept is that inspirational leaders from the community (locally and internationally) would host workshop, give lectures and provide hands on activities, all with the goal of empowering the local Calgary community.

Quick reflection:

Architecture is a continually developing process, it is something that is much more than a finished building. It is quality design, quality thought and understand of how people and the urban landscape interact with one another.








Jamie McFadyen – Master of Architecture (M2)

Studio overview: Senior Research Studio VI

Funerary Places is a senior research studio that is grappling with the creation of architectural and landscape elements that support events associated with the passage from life to death in an existing ‘open’ urban space.

Specifics about your project:

14th Street Cemetery is about creating a park that accommodates the recreational use of the surrounding communities and more importantly an area that respects the process of healing and bereaving; an area that supports the central themes of time, place and memory.

Quick reflection:

Lessons from Fred Valentine (studio sessional) include:

–       Create a cohesive language between the landscape and architectural elements.

–       Create a clear procession though landscape and architectural elements – entrance, body, exit.

–       Understand that each procession has a range of intensity in its volume and scale.












Next: Bringing ‘Fun’ Design into Calgary
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