OAA Announces G. Randy Roberts Service Award Recipient
The Ontario Association of Architects (OAA) is announcing Dr. Ian Ellingham as the recipient of the 2023 G. Randy Roberts Service Award for exceptional contributions to the membership and profession, particularly his dedication to the Niagara Society of Architects (NSA).
An esteemed mentor, architect, and ambassador for the profession, Dr. Ellingham has been involved in the NSA for more than a decade, serving as its Chair since 2016. During his tenure, he has been active in promoting lifelong education and skills development, and ensuring members had opportunities to connect. He also promotes architecture and the built environment in the Niagara region by assisting with walking tours and encouraging architecture students to participate in NSA activities.
Dr. Ellingham is currently a land economist at the Quartek Group, a full-service integrated design firm based in St. Catharines. His passion for architecture is evident in his multifaceted contributions to both academia and the community. Noteworthy contributions to the built environment include his involvement in the creation of more than 20 social housing projects across the province. Non-profit housing projects with which he has been involved include the non-profit seniors’ centres Suomi-Koti Toronto, Stay at Home in Leaside (SAHIL), and Momiji Seniors Residence in Toronto, as well as Lutheran Homes Niagara in Niagara Falls and Faith Lutheran Villa in St. Catharines.
In addition to his work with the NSA, this year’s Service Awards Jury was particularly impressed by Dr. Ellingham’s extensive collection of publications and writings, which have significantly contributed to the public’s understanding of architecture in the Niagara Region and beyond. His unwavering dedication and fervour for his craft are evident in his ongoing projects, which led the jury to acknowledge his “tireless efforts and exemplary contributions toward the Niagara Society.”
Dr. Ellingham has spent the majority of his architectural career as a non-traditional practitioner, working behind the scenes as a developer with an emphasis on research and academics. An accomplished writer and author, his research focuses on decision-making in the built environment using real option pricing methods, as well as studying human responses to buildings and urban spaces. He has published works such as Whole Life Sustainability (2013), 100+25 Years: OAA Perspectives on a Quarter Century (2014), and Understanding Ugly: Human Response to Buildings in the Environment, Whole Life Sustainability (2020).
“Research is always the way we uncover new ways of doing things and how we move the profession into the future,” he explains. “Education doesn’t end when you pick up your degree or your licence. There’s always another challenge. You’re always learning something. Architecture is a constant learning process. This is actually one of the delightful parts of architecture—it’s one of the reasons why people stay in it forever.”
Dr. Ellingham holds a Bachelor of Architecture from Carleton University and an MBA from the University of Western Ontario (now Western University). He later attended the University of Cambridge, earning a Master of Philosophy in Land Economy and a PhD from the Martin Centre for Architectural and Urban Studies. He has played a crucial role in mentoring doctoral students in land economy at the University of Cambridge and is affiliated with its Cambridge Architectural Research.
A member of the Association of Ontario Land Economists and the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC), serving on its Syllabus Program, Dr. Ellingham’s career in architecture also includes several accomplishments working with the OAA, including chairing its now-sunset Perspectives magazine committee for more than a decade and previously sitting on the Public Information and Awards Committee throughout the 1990s.
The G. Randy Roberts Service Award, named in honour of the late 2005 OAA president, will be presented to Dr. Ellingham on Thursday, June 22 at a special event at Science North’s Vale Cavern in Sudbury that also celebrates the selections of the SHIFT2023 Health and Architecture Challenge. The event is part of the OAA’s Conference, “Designing for Dignity.”
For more information about the OAA and the G. Randy Roberts Service Award, visit http://www.oaa.on.ca. Previous winners can also be seen online.