Founding faculty members hired at Laurentian University’s School of Architecture

The first faculty appointments at the new Laurentian University School of Architecture are now in place, with the hiring of six “outstanding” professors, according to Laurentian Architecture’s Founding Director, Dr. Terrance Galvin.

“We couldn’t have hoped for a better team of people to launch our charter class in September,” said Galvin. “Each of these candidates, individually, is very strong. But the combination of the six, with their diverse backgrounds and complementary skills and interests, will create a truly dynamic and inspiring team at Laurentian Architecture. I am just delighted to have this group in place,” he said.

The six new faculty are beginning their work with Laurentian over the next few months. They will be moving to Sudbury from Toronto, Waterloo, Chicago, Montana and Germany. In keeping with the tricultural mandate of the architecture program, the new faculty include one architect of Cree origin and another of Métis origin, along with a third faculty member from Québec will who teach in French.

“This is a crucial step in building the foundation of the new School of Architecture,” said Laurentian

President and Vice-Chancellor Dominic Giroux. “The fact that all six faculty who were offered positions have accepted is evidence of the excitement surrounding the vision for this new program. I extend a warm welcome to our new faculty, who will be instrumental to the success of the Architecture project.

Renovation work at the Elm and Elgin site of Laurentian Architecture will continue over the coming weeks, as the CP Freight Shed and the CP Telegraph Office buildings are re-designed as classroom and faculty office space. That work is expected to be complete in mid-July.

The new faculty members are as follows.

Mark Baechler holds a Bachelor of Architectural Studies and a Master of Architecture professional degree from Carleton University in Ottawa. Since 1999, he has practiced with the award-winning firm of Teeple Architects Inc. in Toronto, and has been an invited design studio teacher at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design, and in the second and third year undergraduate design studios at Carleton University School of Architecture. His areas of expertise include drawing, model-building and sculpture. Mark is a registered architect with the Ontario Association of Architects (OAA).

Kenneth (Jake) Chakasim holds a Master of Architecture professional degree from Ryerson University and a Civil Engineering Technology Diploma from Lakehead University in Thunder Bay. In 2008, he assisted in the installation of 41° to 66° Architecture in Canada: Region, Culture, Tectonics at the Venice Biennale’s international architecture exhibition. Jake has cultivated an interdisciplinary approach to architecture, and most recently has worked as housing policy analyst with the Ontario Federation of Indian Friendship Centres (OFIFC) in Toronto.

David Fortin holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Saskatchewan, a professional Master of Architecture from the University of Calgary and a PhD in Architecture from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. Upon graduation, David worked for Eleven Eleven Architecture/MDB Design Group in Calgary and since 2008, has been an Assistant Professor of Architecture at Montana State University (MSU) in Bozeman, Montana. Recent work includes the design-build of a straw bale potato storage building in Kenya. David is a Registered Architect with the Alberta Association of Architects as well as a LEED-accredited professional.

Tammy Gaber holds Bachelor degrees in Environmental Studies and Architecture from the University of Waterloo, and a Master of Architectural Engineering and a Doctorate of Philosophy from Cairo University. She has taught design, theory and building sciences at the British University in Egypt, the American University in Cairo, and the MISR International University in Cairo. Tammy comes to LU from the University of Waterloo in Southern Ontario where she was an Adjunct Assistant Professor in Architecture. She is a licensed architect with the Egyptian Society of Engineers.

Randall Kober holds a Bachelor of Arts (History) from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Master of Architecture from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Randall has taught at both the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) in Chicago and the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), and has been a visiting critic both in Europe and the USA. During the past decades, he has lived and worked in the town of Dinkelsbühl, Germany. Randall has been a principal in the office of ANARCHITECTURES since 2004 where he brings together the skills of carpenter and architect in his constructions and exhibitions.

Kai Mah holds a professional Bachelor of Architecture from McGill University, a Master of Arts in East Asian Studies and a PhD from the McGill School of Architecture. Kai is coming to LU from a position as an Assistant Professor the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), where he was teaching Art History, Theory and Criticism. His dissertation focused on Residential Schools, entitled Sites of Learning: The Architecture of Educational Reform in Toronto (1847-1917). Recent research includes the assimilation of African children in South Africa during apartheid. Kai is a registered architect with the Order of Architects of Québec/Ordre des architectes du Québec (OAQ).

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