Four new faculty members join the Azrieli School

The Azrieli School of Architecture and Urbanism is delighted to welcome the following four new faculty members.

Piper Bernbaum (@piperb) received her MArch degree from the University of Waterloo. In the last two years, before entering into a tenure-track position, Piper taught as a term appointment assistant professor at the Azrieli School of Architecture & Urbanism in both the undergrad and grad programs. Previously, Piper was an adjunct professor at the University of Waterloo in Cambridge, ON, and in Rome, Italy. Her current research is on the appropriation of urban space through the fictional space of the Jewish Eruv. The work has led Piper to conduct field research and interviews across North America, through Europe and the Middle East, tracing diaspora communities and studying examples of plurality, the multiplicity of space, and symbolic realms.  Piper received the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada’s Student Medal, the Governor General’s Gold Medal for Academic Excellence, and the Canada Council’s Prix de Rome for Emerging Practitioners. Piper has worked in architectural offices globally, such as Atelier Jean Nouvel in Paris, Sauerbruch Hutton in Berlin, and Kohn Pederson Fox Associates in New York City. Focusing more recently on exhibition work in the architectural field, she was the project manager for the University of Waterloo’s submission to the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale. The Evidence Room demonstrated the architectural evidence of Auschwitz and was later exhibited at the Royal Ontario Museum, and the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington DC.  

Dr. Natalia Escobar Castrillón (@natalia_escobar_castrillon) is an assistant professor, architect, and theorist. She holds a PhD in Architecture and a MDes in Critical Conservation from Harvard University, and a MArch from the University of Seville with a stint at Strasbourg’s University. Before Carleton, Natalia taught for four years the core conservation course at the Harvard GSD. She has also taught at Boston University, Chile Catholic University, and São Paulo University. As a licensed architect, she joined ARUP Shanghai, Gordon Murray and Alan Dunlop Architects (Glasgow), and FEM Arquitectura (Barcelona). Her research and teaching interests are in the socio-political dimension of architecture, historiography, and architectural conservation, in particular, in the coalescence of race and gender. Natalia has interviewed and theorized the counter-hegemonic design practices of architects Lina Bo, Lu Wenyu and Wang Shu, and David Chipperfield Architects. Her work has received grants from the Spanish Ministry of Education (TALENTIA), the Jorge Paulo Lemann Foundation, the David Rockefeller Foundation, the São Paulo’s Research Foundation (FAPESP), and the Harvard Asia Center, among others, which allow her to pursue fieldwork in Europe, Latin America, and Asia. She is the founder of the architectural journal Oblique that received the AIA NY Center for Architecture Publications Award. She was also the invited editor of editions ARQ and of Materia Arquitectura issue 11.

Assistant Professor Dr. Suzanne Harris-Brandts (@suzy.hb) completed her PhD in Urban Studies at The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and her Master of Architecture at the University of Waterloo. Previously, she taught at the International Black Sea University, MIT’s School of Architecture & Planning, and the University of Waterloo’s School of Architecture. Suzanne’s research brings together design and the social sciences to explore issues of power, equity, and collective identity in the built environment. It has covered topics as broad spanning as iconic state-building, incentivized urbanism, and conflict and displacement — often foregrounding the role of designer agency. Drawing from her dissertation, Suzanne’s current book project, entitled Constructing the Capital, uncovers the politics of urban development and image-making in Eurasian capital cities. Suzanne is a licensed architect with the Ontario Association of Architects and a certified LEED AP BD+C. She has over a decade of professional experience working at design practices, including in Toronto, Vancouver, London (UK), the West Bank, and Abu Dhabi. Her work has appeared in several international exhibitions and received support from the SSHRC, Graham Foundation, Aga Khan Foundation, and Open Society Foundation, among others. In 2017, Suzanne co-founded Collective Domain, a practice for spatial analysis, urban activism, architecture, and media in the public interest.

Dr. Lisa Moffitt @studio_moffitt joins the Azrieli School as an associate professor. She has a PhD Architecture by Design from the University of Edinburgh, an MArch from the Rhode Island School of Design, and a BA from Washington University in St. Louis. She was Washington University’s Fitzgibbon Scholar; RISD’s AIA Henry Adams Gold Medal Recipient; and received the University of Edinburgh’s David Willis prize for doctoral research. Lisa is formerly Senior Designer at PLANT Architect, Inc., where she worked on the national and international award-winning projects Dublin Grounds of Remembrance and Toronto City Hall Revitalization Project. She is the founder of Studio Moffitt, a design practice with a portfolio of speculative and built work. Her project, the House on Limekiln Line, has been published widely. From 2010 to 2020, Lisa was a tenured academic at the University of Edinburgh, where she taught across the undergraduate and graduate programs and co-founded the student/staff design consultancy ESALA Projects. Lisa’s work is prompted by a deep compulsion to make things – paintings, photographs, buildings, installations, speculative design projects, physical models, and environmental instruments – that question how architecture materially alters, impacts, and constructs new environments in light of climate change. These makings are often paired with teaching or written research, enabling productive exchanges between the two. Her design and research have been published in international journals and books. She is currently completing a book titled Architecture’s Model Environments.