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Spring 2021 graduation awards
May 25, 2021
This award is given to outstanding students in the graduating class who have demonstrated academic excellence.
Jyah consistently explored rich ideas of space and materials in all of his work, revealing designs that were simultaneously rigorous in thought and inspiring in form. He also explored a multitude of inventive 2D and 3D media that reinforced the conceptual underpinnings of his projects, imbuing his drawings and models with a deeply passionate spirit.
Lukas Ewing, Jyah Flam, Di (Kerrty) Guo, Xiaofeng He, Matias Kubacsek, Tarnjeet Lalh, Emma Ng, Abbey Roskos, Leonore Wong-Wiley, Carter Worthen, Jiajie Yang, Mei Zhuo Zhang
These students have achieved an 85% or higher average during the last academic year.
Di (Kertty) Guo
This award is given to a student who has demonstrated excellence in the design process, conceptual design, and design resolution.
Throughout her time at SALA, Kertty's design work has been of a consistently high caliber. Her work showcases an immense curiosity for the built environment and those who dwell within it. Her design proposals and evocative drawings provide delight and invite her audience to consider new ways of being. Careful and considered, playful and inventive; whether designing a house for a friend or a monument to decay, Kertty's work demonstrates a sensitivity to the relationship between space, form, and inhabitation that is needed of designers today.
This prize is given in recognition of a student(s) who made an outstanding contribution to the learning environment in ENDS.
Jenny Lee served as her class representative as a 3rd year student, and the ENDS Society President as a 4th year student. The ENDS Society is the student group that represents, advocates, and foster community among students in the undergraduate program. Throughout the pandemic, Jenny acted as a fantastic communicator between her student group and the Student Executive Committee (SEC) as well as the leadership at SALA. She worked on creative ways to check in on her classmates, create community, and to promote health and wellness at a time when we all needed it the most. Jenny’s presence and contribution to her cohort will be gratefully remembered.
The $1000 Landscape Architecture Program Award is given to an outstanding student. This award is considered Head of the Class.
Grace’s passion for design, public space, and Venezuela grounds her commitment to landscape architecture. Her thesis, focused on the relationship between structural violence and public space in Caracas, is one illustration of her dedication. Through her thesis, Grace revealed herself to be ambitious and aspirational, and perhaps most importantly, filled with care and hope. Her ability to design from multiple perspectives to address social and political questions reflects her confidence to lead in meaningful ways. Grace’s belief in people, community, and the power to public space to enact lasting social change is inspiring and much needed within landscape architecture.
The British Columbia Society of Landscape Architects provides the Dr. John Wesley Neill Prize to the outstanding graduating student in Landscape Architecture. The award recognizes that student who has demonstrated a high level of academic achievement, leadership ability and commitment to ideals of the profession and includes a $1,000 stipend. While the travel stipend can be used for any travel project it is suggested for attendance at the annual meeting of the International Society of Arboriculture ISA (held in a North American city in August of each year). The award honours the founder of the program in Landscape Architecture at UBC.
Duncan Chambers is this year’s recipient of this $1,000 travel stipend. Throughout his time in the Masters of Landscape Architecture program, Duncan has been a leader among his peers, advocating for them and serving and leading as a teaching assistant, while maintaining high overall academic performance. His graduation project dealt with the values of social justice and environmental education.
Preference for a student who has demonstrated excellent hand sketching in studio work and has shown a keen interest in plants and their Latin origins.
It is with great pleasure that we award the Carolyn Donnelly Book Prize to Gary Baker. Gary has demonstrated with passion and persistence to learn hand drawing in his final year in the MLA program and realized not only the power and effectiveness of hand drawing for communication, but also demonstrated to use hand drawing as a analysis, thinking, design as well as representational tool. Through his refined drawing skills of trees in his GP, he not only elevated his deep understanding of plants and their names but also their relationship to a healthier, healing and therapeutic environment for animals, people and society at large. Most importantly Gary understood that hand drawing can be learned through practice and that this skill will now elevate his design process in his future career.
A $1,800 prize has been endowed by Durante Kreuk Limited for a student in the Master of Landscape Architecture program who has achieved the highest degree of design excellence in the graduation project. The prize is made on the recommendation of the School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture.
Through his graduate project, Mason Lam has demonstrated that design research can, on the one hand, suggest compelling and specific spatial solutions – such as planting strategies or maintenance regimes. And on the other hand, design research can engage complex theoretical and conceptual challenges – such as decolonizing design and exploring the aesthetics of a more just model of practice. Mason has continuously proven himself to be a talented, passionate and patient designer. He is a most deserving winner of the Durante Kreuk Prize.
Scholarship of $950 endowed by Professors William Marsh and Douglas Paterson for students in the Landscape Architecture Program, with preference for those demonstrating an interest in or whose graduation project focuses on the concerns of rural and small town communities in British Columbia.
Sahar is graduating as a consistently hard-working, determined, outspoken and engaged designer. She has developed a passionate mode of representation that combines with a true conceptual rigour. Sahar’s thesis project focused on British Columbia’s Mount Polley mine, located north of Williams Lake and an eight-hour drive north of Vancouver. In 2014 a tailings dam breach at the mine became one of Canada’s worst environmental disasters, the effects of which are still felt by local communities. Sahar’s design work sought to address the ongoing legacy of this destruction.
Duncan Chambers, Lee Patola, Nathan Ross
A major book or series of books is presented to the student who best demonstrates a commitment to fellow students and to the ethics of the design studio environment.
Duncan Chambers: Throughout his time in the Masters of Landscape architecture program, Duncan has been a leader among his peers, advocating for them and serving and leading as a teaching assistant, while maintaining high overall academic performance. His graduation project dealt with the values of social justice and environmental education.
Lee Patola: Lee has been a true role model and creative leader for the MARCLA program. She has excelled in courses and studios in both the MLA and MARCH programs. Not afraid to take risks, Lee approaches every design studio as an opportunity to explore new modes of representation, including drawing, model making, weaving and animation. She is an effective collaborator and has played a pivotal role in faculty-led research projects. Thank you brining innovation and sustained leadership to SALA—we look forward to following your career unfold in the years to come!
Nathan Ross: Nathan Ross exemplifies a commitment to fellow students and to the ethics of the design studio. He is outgoing, friendly, optimistic, collegial and helpful. He has very fluid and diverse interests and talents in landscape design, which provided both inspiration and assistance to his colleagues. His enthusiasm for landscape architecture is notable yet he has also challenged the status quo via his work. While this was a theme throughout his MLA program, his graduate project demonstrated this by exploring his long-standing interest in designing the public realm to include transgressive, non-normative people and activities through his passion for skateboarding.
The RAIC Student Medal is made available annually by the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada to a student graduating from a professional degree program in each accredited University School of Architecture in Canada who, in the judgment of the faculty of the respective School, has achieved the highest level of academic excellence and/or has completed the outstanding final design project/thesis for that academic year.
Tom Foster demonstrates the coming together of generosity, humility, and tireless work ethic. He has been a keystone in contributing to the culture of the school while also consistently, raising the bar in the quality and breadth of work produced at SALA. His outstanding and consistent academic excellence is made all the more meaningful by his selfless contributions toward the collective student body, notably this past year as he helped the school transition to online learning. We very much look forward to hearing of Tom’s bright future endeavors.
A medal awarded to the graduating student in Architecture who has shown an ability for leadership, performed willing service for his/her School and demonstrates promise of professional merit through his/her attitude and personality.
Zahra has shown exceptional leadership in the school and has crafted her own path to achieve this. Through non-traditional channels she has led not only the students but the school’s leadership toward a path that is more inclusive and attentive to marginalized viewpoints. As the director of FaFa (For A Feminist Architecture) and an active member of the school’s Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion committee, Zahra has shown that becoming a leader need not mean accepting the status quo. She has demonstrated great potential in her design work and her service contributions to become a future leader in a more equitable profession.
Brendan Buchanan Dee, Thomas Foster, Amanda Nalli, Lee Patola
An Honour Roll designation is available annually by the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada to a maximum of four (4) individual students, from the top ten percent of the graduating class in the professional degree program. The designees shall receive honour roll certificates from the RAIC, in addition to the top student who shall also receive the RAIC Student Medal
A prize endowed by friends and family in memory of Vaughn Berg to recognize a student in the School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture whose thesis project expands beyond the realm of the discipline of architecture and embraces allied disciplines and related practices in arts in a forward-looking, innovative, and constructive manner. This was an attitude Vaughn exemplified in both his studies and his career.
Riley Baechler’s thesis, Almost Familiar, offered an alternative process for incorporating built historical context into contemporary architectural design. Throughout his thesis, Riley worked with local and virtual collaborators to develop, modify, and program a series of custom digital pen plotters. These ubiquitous tools were deployed to interpret Gastown’s Heritage Design Guidelines through the act of drawing. The resulting proposal plumbed the potential of both historical codes and machine logic to generate an “extra-contextual” infill building that was both familiar and wholly novel. Riley’s thesis offers a poignant and optimistic example of the potential architecture that can be generated by those who openly explore the limits of both rules and tools. An added note: Riley has been a remarkable student and a mainstay of our school for his entire time at SALA. We congratulate Riley on his accomplishments and look forward to celebrating his future successes. Congratulations Riley!
A prize endowed by friends and former students of Henry Elder, Director of the School of Architecture from 1961 to 1975, to recognize his inspirational and humanistic qualities which brought a spirit of enquiry and joy in the study of architecture. The prize is awarded to a student demonstrating those qualities.
Arnold's graduation project explored what it means to be relegated to a room during Covid times. Within the space of his basement room he uncovered a universe of beautiful, strange, and uncanny conditions, creating an essay on how the imagination can be deployed to both inhabit and escape a space of absolute confinement. Using tropes of model-making and photography (foundational design methods of architecture) the resultant work truly expressed kind of joyous madness; imbued with a deeply humanistic understanding of how cycles of time, repetition of actions affect our experience of space.
A book prize in recognition of a student who, in the opinion of the faculty, has made a contribution to the learning environment in Architecture.
From time-to-time, a student arrives at SALA who engages the program in a truly deep and meaningful way. Patrick Birch is one of those students. Patrick went to India with SALA’s Study Abroad program. He was a major contributor to the publication “Room”, and took a gap year to study at the AA. He did all of this while excelling in his studies. His graduate project reflected a sensitivity to place and culture on the West Coast that mirrored much of his engagement with students and faculty during his time at the School. His thesis, conspicuously titled “Against the Ultimate Spinach”, placed a lens on BC’s Hornby Island and its history as an arts commune that grew and piqued in the 1970s. Patrick proposed a renewed arts community for the island. It would provide a contemporary organizational and land-use structure for incentivizing new artists to arrive and settle, but rely on an unstructured design and construction process that would allow the artists to grow and establish themselves in the spirit of previous generations.
Ze Ke Kan
The SALA Architecture Design Award is given to a student who demonstrates exceptional potential in contemporary architectural design.
This award gestures towards Zeke’s intellectual depth and curiosity. During his time at SALA, he has consistently demonstrated a strong sense of self and intent. His projects have often celebrated the material and aesthetic dimension of architecture, but also, its more elusive wonders and delights. This appreciation for the ineffable speaks to Zeke’s courage as a maturing and thoughtful designer.
A $2,000 prize and accompanying medal are offered annually by the Architectural Institute of British Columbia to an outstanding graduating Master of Architecture student who has demonstrated academic excellence in design and who holds the promise of making a contribution to the profession of Architecture. Candidates must be Canadian citizens or permanent residents. Preference will be given to members of the Architectural Institute of British Columbia. The AIBC provides a range of regulatory and outreach programs to the public and its members, including the Student Affiliate program which supports the next generation of architects. The prize is made on the recommendation of the School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture.
Amanda is an extraordinary student who no doubt will continue on to make important contributions to our profession. Amanda showed great depth of skills including leadership ability in a vertical studio but went beyond these accomplishments to present one of a handful of truly inspiring thesis presentations as she completed her studies here at SALA. Congratulations Amanda!
The AIA Henry Adams Medal is made available annually by the Architectural Institute of America to an outstanding student in each professional degree program accredited by the Canadian Architectural Certification Board in Canada and the National Architectural Accrediting Board in the United States.
Lee Patola is an outstanding MARCLA student who earned Masters Degrees in both Architecture and Landscape Architecture. She excelled in both programs. Lee is a strong academic and a thoughtful designer who possesses a remarkable ability to think laterally about her design proposals. This skill is matched by an equally impressive aptitude for communicating ideas graphically and materially. Her thesis, The Lawn was Two Feet Tall, explored the potential use, reuse, and remaking of suburbia through narrative and film. The project investigated suburbia’s conflicting identities as a consumer product, a financial investment, and a built environment for living and community. The resulting film uses storytelling as a methodology to question the logics and resilience of Homeowners Association Rules, and the potential of suburbia to thrive using the architectural strategies of reinterpretation, amendment, and retrofit. The promise of her thesis, along with Lee’s impressive production as a student at our school, prompted the faculty to award her the AIA Henry Adams Medal and the Randle and Kathryn Iredale Scholarship in Architecture. Congratulations Lee!
The Judah Shumiatcher Memorial Award in Architecture Award was established by the Shumiatcher Family and friends in memory of Judah Shumiatcher (1928-2019) for outstanding students entering their graduating year in the Master of Architecture program. Preference will be given to students whose designs encourage and inspire human interaction, experience and exchange. Judah (B.Arch. 1966) was a visionary designer who chose to become an architect after meeting Frank Lloyd Wright in New York City. Awarded the Gold Medal of Excellence for his graduating thesis, Judah went on to design unique, human-centric private homes and commercial complexes all over North America. His work reflected his view that the most important element of architecture is the relationship between designed spaces and the people living, working and playing within them.
Katherine's graduation project, set within the agricultural context of Sado, Japan, explored how human interaction, experience and socio-spatial exchange might evolve during the next 100 years. Set against the backdrop of climate change, her exquisitely constructed story and drawings uncovered a deeply empathetic spirit of insight and sensitivity as she traced the evolving landscape, cultural traditions and technologies of this island community. The project was rigorous in structure , yet emotional and delicate in representation. Judah Shumiatcher would have undoubtedly found her project to be extremely beautiful and relevant to our time.
The Merrick Architecture Graduating Prize is made available annually by Merrick Architecture Borowski Sakumoto Fligg to a student graduating from the Master of Architecture Program or the Master of Advanced Studies in Architecture Program, based on his or her achievement in architectural studies.
Brant is one of an emerging group of SALA graduates that fully embrace the potential for the traditionally 'professional' roles to be augmented by embracing the impulses of advocacy within the commercial realm. His thesis project showed immense accomplishment at a level of design intention, but lodged this within a broader instinct to set design within aspirations that apply both locally and globally.
A prize has been endowed by Professor John Gaitanakis in the area of sustainable development. The award is offered to a student in the Master of Architecture program for achievement of a design project emphasizing ecological consideration in the urban environment.
Meredith Yee has distinguished herself as a thoughtful and innovative student who has especially excelled in exploring the relationship between human and non-human species. Her thesis The City as Zoo: Seeking Coexistence Through Architecture offers a radical reimagining of the zoo as our point of contact, or interface, with the animal kingdom. Instead of designing a zoo as a man-made “natural” environment, with “wild” species as its inhabitants, she turned her attention to animals we already live within the urban environment but which we do not necessarily understand as domesticated – rats, ravens and barnacles. Her installations inserted into the city fabric render the citizen aware of the presence of these companion species and their specific relationship with humans. Meredith succeeds in challenging notions of culture and nature, the wild and the domesticated trying to lay foundations for a new environmental ethics based on compassion and understanding of things non-human.
A book prize made available to a graduating student for a project that most exhibits creative, poetic talent in a design which, if carried out, would most enrich the environment and inspire the spiritual lives of the people using that environment.
Toilets might not be the most aspirational aspect of architecture, but their status as necessaries is undeniable. Shirley’s project to repurpose a parking garage into public washrooms embraced a creative stance toward this most mundane of hardwares, using the provision of accommodations as a springboard to reimagine the public realm and who has access to participate in it. With added programming to increase activities on the site, Shirley’s project included transportation, community, health, and social and cultural functions to foster social life in this most intimate, and public, program.
Lee Patola, Brendan Buchanan Dee
Established by Kathryn Iredale (1930-2009) in memory of her husband Randle Iredale (1929-2000) for Master of Architecture students in their graduating year. Preference will be given to students whose graduate project has a focus on heritage conservation and/or green buildings. Randle Iredale (B.Arch. 1955) practiced as an architect for forty years. He was instrumental in the redevelopment of False Creek North in downtown Vancouver, and his concept study of the area was used by the provincial government in their bid to host Expo 86. Randle served as a mentor to many accomplished architects and was a pioneer of heritage preservation in British Columbia.
Brendan Buchanan Dee: Brendan’s graduate project, “Design Before Extinction” situated itself at the juxtaposition of the Vancouver Aquarium, Stanley Park, and the Burrard Inlet, three overlapping sites with complex histories and uncertain futures. From the memory of Vancouver’s first European settlers utilizing the midden of Stanley Park’s Squamish ancestors as paving material in the Park, to creating a globally-renowned tourist attraction that popularized the captivity of orcas in the 20th century, these sites have stood as living artifacts of Vancouver’s evolving culture and respect for its indigenous history and its biodiversity. Brendan’s thesis skillfully asked: what will happen to these sites in a climate changed-future, where sea-level rise occurs alongside the emergence of a new post-captivity, extinction-minded culture?
Lee Patola: Lee Patola is an outstanding MARCLA student who earned Masters Degrees in both Architecture and Landscape Architecture. She excelled in both programs. Lee is a strong academic and a thoughtful designer who possesses a remarkable ability to think laterally about her design proposals. This skill is matched by an equally impressive aptitude for communicating ideas graphically and materially. Her thesis, The Lawn was Two Feet Tall, explored the potential use, reuse, and remaking of suburbia through narrative and film. The project investigated suburbia’s conflicting identities as a consumer product, a financial investment, and a built environment for living and community. The resulting film uses storytelling as a methodology to question the logics and resilience of Homeowners Association Rules, and the potential of suburbia to thrive using the architectural strategies of reinterpretation, amendment, and retrofit. The promise of her thesis, along with Lee’s impressive production as a student at our school, prompted the faculty to award her the AIA Henry Adams Medal and the Randle and Kathryn Iredale Scholarship in Architecture. Congratulations Lee!
Julia Booth, Katherine Co, Arnold Jung
Nomination of a minimum of two and a maximum of four students in the final-year of the M.Arch. Awards given for architectural design excellence. Jurors will consider the scheme's response to program, site and geographic and social context and evaluate its physical organization, form, structure, materials and environmental features.
The SALA MASA Award is given to the student with the highest graduating GPA in the MASA program.
Long Dinh distinguished himself in the MASA Program with his ambitiously conceived thesis titled Remaking Place in Little Saigon: A Proposal for the Retention and Evolution of the Identity of an Ethnic Neighbourhood in Vancouver. For his process, Long combined extensive research with sharp and original thinking and design, drawing from the disciplines of urban planning, urban design, and architectural design. The thesis is a must-read for anyone considering the future of ethnic enclaves in Vancouver and beyond. In addition to his work on his excellent MASA Thesis, Long was a hard-working teaching assistant and critic at SALA, contributing greatly to the teaching efforts in the ENDS and BDES Program. He takes a rich and well-developed skill set into his future endeavours in the profession.