Aug 28, 2017

SALA welcomes five new faculty members this year

New faculty 2017

From left: Adam Rysanek, Fionn Byrne, David Zielnicki

Adam Rysanek, Assistant Professor, Environmental Systems

Adam joins SALA from ETH Zurich, where he was a senior researcher at the Future Cities Laboratory in Singapore, a joint initiative with Singapore’s National Research Foundation. He holds a PhD in Engineering from the University of Cambridge.

Adam describes himself as “an engineer by training and a building scientist by expertise.” His prior work and interests have concerned “building system design problems that fall at the intersection between energy, emissions, well-being, comfort, and decision-making in the built environment.”

He was attracted to SALA in particular due to its reputation for encouraging students to consider “and respect the harmony between the built and natural environment.”

Adam believes that the challenges for future architects and engineers are “shifting into unchartered territory, conflated by macroeconomic shifts in global urban development trends and the ascendance of Silicon Valley’s impact on building function and form”. He is interested in exploring the research questions that are emerging out of witnessing the “increasing influence of other disciplines and fields on the buildings industry”, from artificial intelligence and data analytics, to human health sciences and public policy.

Adam will be teaching ARCH 513, ARCH 533, and will be leading a seminar course on green building case studies in the Spring.


Fionn Byrne, Assistant Professor, Landscape Architecture

Fionn joins SALA from the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University where he was the 2015-2016 Daniel Urban Kiley Fellow. His research focused on the morality of modern landscape architecture.

“My current work is focused on bringing ethics to the fore in landscape architecture,” Fionn said. “Topics of research include post conflict reconstruction abroad and resource development and extraction in contested remote sites in Canada.”

His work on the Oil Sands has been funded by the Landscape Architecture Canada Foundation and displayed in the Harbourfront Centre Gallery, Toronto.

Fionn has previously worked at the Lateral Office, the Planning Group at HOK, as a full-time instructor at the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design at the University of Toronto, and at the University of Waterloo School of Architecture.


David Zielnicki, Instructor, Landscape Architecture

David also joins SALA from the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University. He received his post-professional Master in Landscape Architecture degree this past May. Previously, he worked as a landscape architect and project leader for West 8 in New York City.

“While at West 8, I was part of the design team for the Governors Island Park & Public Space in New York,” said David. “I was also on the West 8 team developing Longwood Garden’s first physical master plan and subsequently, I worked on the landscape design renovation for Longwood Garden’s historic Main Fountain Garden.”

He’s excited about joining SALA because of the program’s “contemporary interest in interdisciplinary work and design-forward exploration.” In addition, David says that Vancouver offers a lot to emerging landscape architects.

“The combination of incredible natural assets with the unique urban culture of Vancouver is an ideal setting for exploring and pushing landscape architecture.”

David also holds an undergraduate degree in landscape architecture from Cornell University.

He will be teaching LARC 501, LARC 540, and LARC 531 this year.


SALA also welcomes two visiting faculty members

Joseph Watson, from the School of Design at the University of Pennsylvania, is a PhD candidate in the history and theory of architecture. He is going to be teaching in SALA’s revamped history and theory stream. He received an MA in Social Ethics Union Theological Seminary in New York and BArch from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

Thena Tak is a Designer with VJAA in Minneapolis, Minnesota. After completing her professional degree in architecture at Cornell University in 2009, she spent four years working with architectural firms in Boston and New York. She also received a Master of Architecture II, with Distinction, from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design. She previously worked with an architectural firm in Berlin.

SALA welcomes Fionn, David, Adam, Joseph, and Thena, and congratulates Matthew Soules, who is now an Associate Professor.