People

Directors

Jason S. Johnson
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Bachelor of Architecture – Ball State University, Muncie USA
Master of Architecture and Urbanism – Architectural Association, London UK

Jason Johnson has practiced and taught architecture in North and South America and Europe. He is a founding partner of the Laboratory for Integrative Design at the University of Calgary and has exhibited design work related to research in the areas of responsive architecture, generative design, digital fabrication and integrated techniques. Mr. Johnson maintains a design research practice called Minus Architecture Studio in Calgary where he lives with his wife and three sons.

Alicia Nahmad Vazquez

M.Arch – AADRL, UK
Phd in Human-Robot Collaborative Design – Cardiff University, UK

Alicia Nahmad Vazquez is the founder of Architecture Extrapolated (R-Ex). For the past 5 years she has been a studio master at the Architectural Associational Design Research Laboratory (DRL) master’s program. As a research-based practising architect, Alicia explores materials and digital design and fabrication technologies along with the digitization of building trades and the wisdom of traditional building cultures. Her projects include the construction of award-winning ‘Knit-Candela’ and diverse collaborations with practice and academic institutions.

She holds a PhD in human-robot collaborative (HRC) design from Cardiff University and a MArch from the AADRL. Alicia previously worked on developing design tools for practices like Populous and Zaha Hadid Architects. Alicia has also been an Artist-In-Residence at Autodesk Pier 9 where she focuses on developing novel designer-machine collaborative architectural design processes. Through the use of machine learning she enabled robot, material and designer to be creative partners. 

Alicia has taught and lectured extensively in Latin America and Europe.  Her work has been published and presented at various events including AD, UK Construction Week, TxA, IJAC, IASS, Acadia 2010 – 2019, London Festival of Architecture, Worlds Architects Congress and different digital based media. She has also taught design-fabrication workshops and delivered lectures on related topics at institutions such as UNAM Mexico, IAAC Barcelona, KADK Copenhagen, Tec de Monterrey Mexico, Belas Artes Sao Paulo, PUC Rio de Janeiro, Hunan University Changsha, AA visiting school Brazil, India and China. Alicia has been an invited critic at various institutions in the US, Mexico and UK.

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Joshua M. Taron
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Bachelor of Architecture – University of California, Berkeley
Master of Architecture – Southern California Institute of Architecture

Joshua M. Taron is an Associate Professor of architecture at the University of Calgary Faculty of Environmental Design where he is co-director of the Laboratory for Integrative Design (LID). His current research focuses on new efficiencies and aesthetic effects made possible through digitally prefabricated architecture. This work is done in partnership with a variety of disciplines such as computer science, structural engineering and city planning. The work has been published internationally and orients itself toward finding new ways of revitalizing and sustaining the already-built environment.

Taron is also Principal of Synthetiques, an award-winning research+design+build outfit focusing on the hybrid ecologies afforded through the interface of computational and physical economies across multiple scales.

Director of Fabrication

guyGuy Gardner
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BFA – AUArts
M.Arch | M.EDes – University of Calgary

Guy Gardner is a Robotics Specialist and Instructor in Building Science and Computational Design at the University of Calgary School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape. His design research explores the intersections of technology, art and architecture, with a focus of design-build and learning through making. He has extensive experience in digital design and fabrication and has collaborated on a variety of residential, public space design and community art projects in Alberta.

Director of Good Times

Rusty Gardner

B.Ark – PUP University

Rusty Gardner is a Cuteness Specialist and Instructor in Woof Development and Technology at the University of Calgary School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape. His design research explores how to be a very good boy, (which has seen widely acclaimed success) with a focus on cuddles and nap times. He has extensive experience in sitting and fetching and has collaborated on a variety of  morale boosting projects in Alberta.

Co-Founders

Branko Kolarevic
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DDEs, MDedS – Harvard University USA
Dipl. Ing. Arch – University of Belgrade

Branko Kolarevic was a Founding Director of the Laboratory for Integrative Design. In 2019 he left the University of Calgary to take the position of Dean of the College of Architecture and Design at the New Jersey Institute of Technology.  Branko was the Chair in Integrated Design and co-director of the Laboratory for Integrative Design (LID) at the University of Calgary. Prior to his appointment at the University of Calgary, he was the Irving Distinguished Visiting Professor at Ball State University in Indiana. He has taught architecture at several universities in North America, most recently at the University of Pennsylvania, and in Asia, in Hong Kong. He has lectured worldwide on the use of digital technologies in design and production and has authored, edited or co-edited several books, including the recently published “Manufacturing Material Effects: Rethinking Design and Making in Architecture” (with Kevin Klinger), “Performative Architecture: Beyond Instrumentality” (with Ali Malkawi) and “Architecture in the Digital Age: Design and Manufacturing.” He is the past president of the Association for Computer Aided Design in Architecture (ACADIA) and is the recipient of the ACADIA 2007 Award for Innovative Research and the 2015 ACADIA Society Award of Excellence. He holds doctoral and master’s degrees in design from Harvard University and a diploma engineer in architecture degree from the University of Belgrade in the former Yugoslavia.

 Vera Parlac
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Diploma Engineer in Architecture – University of Belgrade
Master of Architecture – University of Southern California Los Angeles, UCLA

Vera Parlac was a Founding Director of the LID. In 2019 she accepted a position at the New Jersey Institute of Technology. Vera Parlac is a registered architect in Pennsylvania, U.S. and an assistant professor at the Faculty of Environmental Design at the University of Calgary. Vera’s current design and research is focused on responsive material systems and informed by contemporary models in biology, material science research, and mechatronic systems. Prior to her appointment in Calgary, she taught design and other subjects at several universities in North America, most recently at Temple University, and in Asia, in Hong Kong. Vera has worked in architectural firms in Philadelphia, Toronto, Boston, Miami, and Los Angeles including Carlos Zapata Design Studio and Kieran Timberlake Associates.

Collaborators

Since 2011 the Laboratory for Integrative Design has worked with collaborators from all over the world on projects that leverage computational and material techniques.  These collaborators bring their research agendas to a variety of projects and collaborate with us in the development new techniques and workflows for the production of prototypes and projects at various scales.

Mariana Ibanez is an architect in Argentina, and Associate Professor of Architecture at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, where she is part of the Responsive Environments and Artifacts Lab.  Mariana has degrees from the University of Buenos Aires where she had received her Bachelor of Architecture, and a Master of Architecture and Urbanism from the Architectural Association in London.

A graduate of the Design Research Laboratory at the Architectural Association and formerly a designer and project architect for the Office of Zaha Hadid, and a consultant to Gehry Technologies. Simon has taught studios and workshops at MIT, Yale University, and the AA.  Professor Kim’s recent research has been an engagement with electronic devices, dynamic environments and urban space as a continually mediated and perceptual frame. His post-graduate work at MIT was on cybernetics, machines, architecture, and their translated design experiences through interfaces. Simon has presented his research at conferences on Autonomous Agents and MultiAgent Systems, and Cybernetic Science and Systems Research.  Simon is an Assistant Professor at Penn.

Research Assistants

Davin Cheng

Architectural Tech. | B.A. Urban Studies  | M.Arch Candidate

Davin Cheng is a student in the first year of the Master of Architecture program. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Urban Studies from the University of Calgary and a Diploma in Architectural Technology from the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology. His interests involve in modular design and kit-of-parts construction for impactful social architecture. Outside of the lab, he can be found cycling, mixing music, or photographing things he finds amusing.

 

Obinna Ekezie

Bachelor of Science in Architecture | M.Arch Candidate

Obinna Ekezie is a master’s student of architecture at the University of Calgary. He is an architectural designer with about 8 years of professional experience and strong conceptual and analytical design skills. He is proficient in photo-realistic visualizations and very interested in computational architecture and digital fabrication. He has practiced Architecture in Africa and the Middle East with a wide range of professional and private commissions, leading design teams to successful deliveries of several projects (mixed-use, residential, hospitality, and commercial, etc.) Besides creating experiences through spaces and forms, he is passionate about people and cross-cultural/racial interactions. He strives to travel as far as he can, when he can, to discover the unknown. He also loves photography, sports, music, singing and cooking.

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Kim Tse
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B.Arts Hon. | M.Arch | M.EDes Candidate

Kim Tse is a student in the second year of the Masters of Architecture program. He holds a degree in Architectural studies from the University of Toronto and has worked as a studio assistant for Pr. David Lieberman developing modular tea houses based on tatami mat proportions.  His interests lie in the area of parametric design and fabrication. When not in the lab he can be found trying out new recipes at home and trying new activities with friends. He is currently working on projects related to parametric design and digital fabrication. Special skills include model making, parametric design, digital fabrication, and architectural visualization.

jesseJesse Siegle

BFA | M.Arch | M.EDes Candidate

Jesse Siegle is a student currently working towards a Master of Environmental Design. He holds a Master of Architecture from the University of Calgary and a Bachelor of Fine Art from the Alberta University of the Arts. His interests lie in parametric design and integrating new ways of thinking throughout the design process. Outside of the lab he can be found reading, cooking, or hanging out with friends.

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Nicolas Hamel
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B.Eng | M.Arch | M.EDes Candidate

Nicolas Hamel is a student in the second year of the Master of Architecture program.  He holds a degree in Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering from the University of Calgary and has worked as a Mechanical designer.  His interests lie in the area of modular design and how it can be a tool for recontextualizing existing infrastructures. When not in the lab, he can be found working on his VW Van, shooting film photography or bouldering at the climbing gym.  He is currently working on projects related to the walkability of cities and how urban installations can affect the definition of a street.  Special skills include: parametric design, digital fabrication, drafting and modeling making.

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Matt Walker

B.A. Urban Studies | M.Arch | M.EDes Candidate

Matt is a student beginning the Master of Environmental Design program. He holds a Master of Architecture and a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Calgary and has worked in hands-on architectural fabrication for the last two years. He is interested in the role of digital fabrication and its relationship to material effects and behaviors, and how these digital tools can bring about new ways of interpreting this relationship. With suitable experience working with various materials, digital fabrication, and modular design, Matt is looking to find new ways in which to bridge the gap between the digital realm and the pragmatic constraints and performances found in architecture. When not in the lab, Matt can be found fishing, snowboarding, and reading.

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Darryl Pollock

B.Des | M.Arch Candidate

Darryl Pollock is beginning her final year of the Master of Architecture Program at The University of Calgary. She holds a Bachelor of Design with a major in photography from the Alberta University for the Arts, as well as a Diploma in Photojournalism from the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology. Darryl has taught various photography workshops through the Calgary Board of Education Artist Residency Program, but has also worked as a reporter, creative director, photographer and business owner. Her current design interests lie in exploring architecture as a psychological and physical control tool and how this integrates with parametric design. When she is not in the lab she enjoys hiking and petting cats.

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Brennan Black

B.A. English Literature | RSE Carpenter | M.Arch Candidate

Brennan Black is entering his final year of the Master of Architecture Program. He is from Edmonton, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and his Red Seal as a Journeyman Carpenter. His interests are broad but galvanize around the potential that biomimetic architecture holds to catalyze regenerative physical and social landscapes. Brennan has deep roots in skateboarding and after 24 years of pushing wood, he still finds it endlessly fascinating. He is happiest spending time outdoors with his wife and son.

ioanaIoana Palade

B.A. Human Geography | M.Arch Candidate

Ioana Palade is a student in the first year of the Master of Architecture program. She holds an IB Diploma and B.A. in Human Geography with a focus on land use planning and urban design from Simon Fraser University. Having worked in various architecture, planning, and interior design firms on and off since 2011, Ioana’s area of interest has gradually shifted to formalism and psychological/human experience, particularly in the residential scheme. If she’s not shooting lifestyle photography or training with her dog, you’ll find her in the garage working on her automotive projects, or off-road, putting them to the test.

Recent Alumni

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Education: B.Comm. | M.Arch | M.EDes

Kristen Forward is a student in the final year of the Master of Architecture program. She holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Victoria and has worked as an insurance broker, project accountant, as well as provided support for wealth management. Her interests lie in the area of systematic interfacing between multiple design tools and designers. When not in the lab, she can be found dancing, playing with food, exploring green spaces, or supporting local business ventures. She is currently working on projects related to developing infrastructural efficiencies by codifying architectural design tools. Special skills include: parametric design, digital fabrication, data visualization, and model making.

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Education: B.Arch | M.Arch | M.EDes

Seyi Arole is a student in the final year of the Master of Architecture program. He holds a degree in Architecture from Caleb University and has worked as a research assistant with the LID since summer 2016. His interests lie in the area of design and fabrication, When not in the lab he can be found playing his saxophone.

hayden

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Education: BCmm | M.Arch | M.EDes

Profile: Hayden Pattullo is a student in the final year of the Master of Architecture program.  He holds a Bachelor of Communication and Mixed Media degree in Information Design from Mount Royal University, and has worked as a graphic designer, web designer, and photographer.  His interests lie in the area of affect and experientially-driven architecture and design. When not in the lab, Hayden can be found doing freelance photography, snowboarding, mountain biking, and cooking. He is currently working on projects primarily relating to digital fabrication and parametric design. Special skills include architectural visualization, diagramming, imaging, and modelmaking.

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Education: B.FA | M.Arch

Profile: Piotr Tomanek is a student starting his second year of the Masters of Architecture Program at EVDS. He holds a degree from the Alberta College of Art + Design majoring in drawing, as well as an Architectural Technologist diploma from the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology. His interests include urban interventions through the lens of digital design and fabrication. When not in the lab he can be found hiking, snowboarding in the winter, or mixing records. Special Skills include: model making, aerosol painting, drafting.

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Education: B.Sci Civil Engineering | M.Arch

Charlene Karl is a student starting in her second year of the Masters of Architecture Program at EVDS. She holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Alberta in Civil Engineering and has worked as a Project Coordinator and Land Development Engineer throughout Alberta and Saskatchewan. Her interests include experiential architecture and design. When not in the lab she enjoys travelling, hiking, stand-up paddle boarding, and spending time with her family, friends, and dog.

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Education: B.F.A | M.Arch

Christopher Green is beginning his final year of the Master of Architecture program at the University of Calgary. His B.F.A specialized in set, lighting and sound design for theatre at the University of Victoria. Working on a number of productions as both a designer and technician eventually led to a passion in architecture–a discipline that can bridge a diverse range of interests. More specifically, he became interested in the opportunities of digital design and exploring unconventional modes of fabrication. In his spare time, he enjoys playing piano, listening to great musicians, and designing mostly functional furniture.

Education: B.Arch. | M.Arch

Karan Sharma is a student in the final year of the Master of Architecture program.  He holds a Bachelor of Architecture degree from India and also worked on many digital design build projects with cardboard,foam and aluminium. His interests lie in the area of robotic fabrication, generative design, and AI design techniques. He is currently working on projects primarily relating to digital fabrication and parametric design.

DK PROFPIC

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Education: B.A. Urban Studies | M.Arch candidate

Danielle Kim is a student in their final year of a Bachelor of Arts in Urban Studies, with a minor in Architectural Studies. Her interests lie in emergent form finding using digital fabrication and software technologies. Outside of the lab, she enjoys discovering new music, thrifting and exercising outdoors.

Killingsworth

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Education: BA Urban and Regional Planning | M.Arch Candidate

Madisen Killingsworth is a student starting her second year of the Master of Architecture program. She holds a degree in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Alberta and a diploma in Architectural Technology from the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology. Madisen is interested in exploring architecture’s ability to activate public spaces and in turn promote social interactions and sense of place. Outside of the lab Madisen enjoys playing soccer and exploring local microbreweries and cafes.

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Education: BFA | M.Arch Candidate

Sara Rennie is in her final year of the Master of Architecture program. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts with a major in drawing from Alberta College of Art + Design. She has exhibited as half of the “Natural Real Supreme” collaborative duo, has interned at the New Gallery and had a residency at Arts Commons. She is interested in augmented reality, digital design and architectural theory. When she is not in the lab she enjoys reading, spending time with family, friends and her dog.

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Education: B.A. Hon. Architectural Design | M.Arch Candidate

Alex Wilton is a student in the final year of the Master of Architecture program.  He holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Toronto, and has worked as a junior architect for Northgrave Architects Incorporated before moving to Calgary.  His interests lie in utilizing digital techniques to explore new methods of fabrication. When not in the lab he can be found bouldering in the gym, cycling, or developing film from his Pentax K1000.  He is currently working on projects related to the development of coding techniques that will influence an array of fabrication techniques and methodologies. Special skills include drafting, model making, diagramming, as well as 3D modelling dynamic structures that explore form through specific parameters.

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Education: B.A. Hon. Architectural Design | M.Arch Candidate

Ivan Au is a student in the final year of the Master of Architecture program.  He holds a Bachelor of Design from the University of Alberta and has worked as an industrial designer, graphic designer and photographer. His interests lie in the field of experiential and user-centered architecture and design. When not in the lab he can be found skiing, reading, and attempting to be a chef. He is currently working on projects related to developing infrastructural efficiencies by codifying architectural design tools. Special skills include: parametric design, digital fabrication, model making and architectural visualization.

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Education: BFA | M.Arch Candidate

JP Hammill is a student in the second year of the Master of Architecture program.  He holds a degree in Fine Arts from NSCAD University and has exhibited in Nova Scotia, Toronto, Switzerland, and Venice. His interests lie in the area of digital fabrication, generative design, and digital techniques. When not in the lab he can be found climbing or skiing in the mountains. He is currently working on projects related to parametric design, coding, robotics, and digital fabrication. Special skills: Colour theory, parametric design, architectural visualization, animation, Robotic coding, and digital design.

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Education: BA UBST [Distinction] | M.Arch | Architectural Tech. [Hon]

With eight years of combined educational and professional experience in the architectural world, I have been involved in projects in a variety of conceptual styles, scales, budgets, and construction techniques. Projects include new build flagship retail stores, a renovation/infill of the historic landmark Maple Leaf Gardens, a high-end home renovation, and multiple medium and large scale commercial projects. My involvement in projects extends from the design team, to the creation of construction drawing sets, to site inspections and reports. Recently, my experience has expanded to the exciting world of digital fabrication research and design as part of the team at the LID.

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Education: BA Communications Studies [Distinction] | M.Arch

With five years experience working with a general contracting company, I have been involved with the financial tracking and reporting of a number of residential projects, ranging from small scale renovations to large-scale custom homes. I joined the LID in the summer of 2015 and have leveraged my previous experience towards a project management role on the 2015 Beakerhead Project (The Ministers) and the Light Shells Workshop, while also serving as part of the design and fabrication team for these projects and the RAIC Pavilion. My recent experience includes work with a focus on digital fabrication, design, and research.

Mehdi-LID

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Education: Master of Architecture – University of Tehran, Iran  | Bachelor of Architectural Engineering – IAU Tehran Central Branch, Iran

Profile:  Mehdi Einifar is a PhD student at the University of Calgary, Faculty of Environmental Design, supervised by Branko Kolarevic. His current research focuses on the topic of ‘transforming architecture’. His topics of interest include: time and change in architecture, sustainable architecture, flexible architecture, and adaptive architecture. Mehdi is a registered architect in Tehran, Iran and has worked for architectural firms in Tehran and Calgary. He has experience in teaching architectural design studios and theory courses in Iran and has been a teaching assistant for a design studio at the University of Calgary.

Peyman Poostchi

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Education: Bachelor of Architectural Engineering – Azad University of Central Tehran Branch, Iran | Master of Arts in Architecture and Performative Design (APD) – Städelschule (SAC), Frankfurt Germany

Peyman Poostchi is a Ph.D. student and Research Assistant at the I-Lab, Human-Centered Design for Creativity & Curiosity, in University of Calgary. He finished the post-graduate Master of Arts in Architecture degree at the Städelschule (SAC), Frankfurt, with a thesis in the Architecture and Performative Design (APD) specialization in 2013. Peyman finished his Bachelor’s in Architectural Engineering from Azad University of Central Tehran Branch, Iran in 2011. Since then he has practiced architecture in offices in Iran and Germany. His current academic interests lie in the digital fabrication of knit natural fiber composite (NFC) surfaces for architectural applications.

Farzan-LID

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Education: PhD student – University of Calgary, Canada | M.Arch. – Islamic Azad University, Iran | B.Arch. – Islamic Azad University, Iran

Profile: Farzan is a PhD student in Computational Media Design graduate program, studying virtual reality and hybrid spaces. His work integrates different fields of knowledge such as experience design, game design and neuropsychology into architecture. Prior to coming to University of Calgary, he spent five years in a large architectural firm of Iran as a registered architect. Besides his PhD studies, he is the current director of Gallery FM at University of Calgary.

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Jennifer is an MSc student in the Computational Media Design program.

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Education: M.Arch | BA UBST | Architectural Tech. [Hon]

Cody Kupper is a graduated M.Arch Student from the University of Calgary. Through his post-secondary career, he has developed a background in building systems, technology and the urban realm. This knowledge has been expanded upon within his current studies and has developed into an interest in material effects enabled by the use of digital fabrication techniques. The use of digital fabrication has become an important aspect within the workflow of his projects, providing an invaluable resource for discovery and investigation. Cody looks to delve further into this field of interest through the end of his M.Arch and into his professional career.

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Education: M.Arch | BFA Jewellery + Metals

Stephen Holman is a graduated Master’s of Architecture student in the faculty of Environmental Design at the University of Calgary. Previously Stephen attained a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts, in Jewellery and Metalwork, at the Alberta College of Art and Design. Shortly before the end of that program, Stephen became preoccupied with the disciplinary ramifications of digital modes of fabrication on traditional handcrafts. Since then this interest has expanded out to technology (defined broadly) and its ramifications on humanity (also defined broadly.) As it stands now, the primary permutation of this interest is in the production of devices to remove agency from humanity.

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Education: MArch | MEDes