Architecture affects everyone, every day, in more ways than we know.

Architecture is for people. While buildings are admired for technical and aesthetic qualities, their primary purpose is to accommodate and celebrate human life. Architecture provides safe and suitable settings for people to live, work and play, while shaping daily life in ways that foster social cohesion and cultural vitality, inspire personal and collective imagination, and stimulate wonder and respect for the complex world we must share and sustain. People are not passive users and consumers of the built environment; they are living, breathing, striving and thinking individuals whose diverse backgrounds and capabilities, dreams and desires, actively make Canada what it is. Architecture has the potential to enhance human life on many levels, enabling Canadians to live more socially enjoyable, inspiring and meaningful lives.


Quality of architecture is linked to quality of life. Well designed spaces foster occupants’ physical and psychological health. Built environments with access to daylight, fresh-air and pleasant views improves productivity and reduces employee sick-days, while enhancing emotional and spiritual well-being.

Audain Art Museum

Patkau Architects Inc

James Dow, Patkau Architects Inc


What we build says something about how we live, what we value, and who we are, both individually and as a society. Architecture embodies cultural memory and aspirations. Cultural institutions – such as theatres, libraries, museums, schools, churches, government buildings and parks – become powerful community symbols by cultivating shared values; just as everyday places – like favorite shops, steps and streets – form meaningful settings for cherished private and public experiences.

Gage Park Greenhouse


Ian Mason

Dignity And Social Justice

Architecture affects our sense of self. Where one lives, learns, works and plays becomes intertwined with personal and cultural identity. Places help people feel good, engaged and hopeful; or, conversely, depressed, diminished and demoralized. Good design aims to accommodate everyone with dignity, fostering equity and a sense of belonging. Serious problems, like poverty and prejudice, will never be solved by architecture alone, but good design can improve social well-being.

Canadian War Museum

Moriyama & Teshima Architects in joint venture with Griffiths Rankin Cook Architects

Tom Arban


People possess the power to influence the quality and direction of design in their communities.Informed participation and consent by those who are affected by architectural projects can make buildings better and compel appropriate action and accountability from decision-makers.By fostering genuine inclusion and cultural understanding, architecture and its design processes can become transformative vehicles of social agency and reconciliation. Listening, honesty and openness are essential Indigenous Principles and are equally crucial to any ethical planning and design process.

Fraser Mustard Early Learning Academy

Kohn Shnier architects for the design

Tom Arban