“The ultimate purpose of architecture is community.”
Brian MacKay Lyons (2017)

Architecture is always built in a particular place with unique geographic and cultural characteristics. Canada is particularly well-suited to advocate for design practices that sympathetically and creatively respond to interdependent conditions of a place: to topography, weather patterns, microclimates, natural and animal habitats, soil and water conditions, local resources, available infrastructure, regional history, cultural heritage, laws and customs,histories, and more. Canada covers a vast and heterogeneous landscape. It is comprised of many localities, each with unique geographic and cultural contexts.

Architecture participates in environmental and human ecosystems that pre-exist construction and extend far beyond the footprint of any building. Considering the wisdom of Indigenous placemaking in design education and practice is one way to support reconciliation and respond to global challenges related to climate change and atural resource depletion.

Context and Scale

Good architecture enhances people’s connection with place. Design impacts communities of all sizes and locations, from dense urban metropolises and their aggregations of diverse neighbourhoods to sparsely populated towns and remote settlements. Developing appropriate architecture requires listening to locals, learning from regional circumstances, and collaborating with other professionals in the creation of the built environment

Sharp Centre, OCAD

​Alsop Architects Ltd. in joint venture with Robbie/Young + Wright Architects

Shai Gill

Land and Resources

Canada covers an awe-inspiringly vast and heterogeneous terrain,rich with natural resources crucial to industry and traditional ways of life. This formidable terrain is equally vulnerable, with endangered wildlife and resources. The Canadian landscape is also saturated with spiritual significance and long histories of use by Indigenous Peoples. Designing in relation to place involves creative responses to inspiring geography and local materials, but also deep respect for natural and human ecosystems

Cabot Links Lodge

​Susan Fitzgerald, FBM Architeture

Greg Richardson

Cultural Heritage and Vitality

Architecture is an integral component of Canadian culture. Like music, art, theatre, and poetry, architecture is a medium of artistic expression; yet, it is unique in being rooted to a particular place.Cultural landmarks, like the totems of Haida Gwaii and grain silos of the prairies, symbolize ways of life for local communities. Cultural values are embodied in architecture via local materials, unique building techniques, ornamental details, and craft. Preserving architectural heritage conserves a record of a community’s cultural values over time. Preservation goes hand-in-hand with support for the ongoing evolution of a culture. Canada’s multicultural populations are sources of social strength, vibrancy and creativity.Canada’s diverse First Nations Peoples are vital and definitive agents of this cultural richness.

Kentville Library

Lisa Tondino, Houdinidesign Architects

Janet Kimber

Forging Community

Architecture gives shape to the physical environment, which in turn, shapes social experience. City scapes and landscapes provide a framework for social engagement, influencing daily routines as well as civic celebrations and community events, such as festivals,processions and peaceful protest. The configuration of the built environment exerts a tacit influence on human behaviour, having a significant impact on communities over time and their living traditions.

Hope Blooms Community Greenhouse

George Cotaras & Matthew Jarsky, FBM Architecture - Interior Design

Andi Lo