MArch 2021: Design Distinction and Leadership Excellence awards

Master of Architecture Leadership Excellence Award

Fiki Falola is the recipient of the 2021 Master of Architecture Leadership Excellence Award. The award goes to a graduating student who has demonstrated continued service excellence and commitment to the school over the duration of their graduate studies.

Master of Architecture Thesis Design Distinction Award


The Azrieli School of Architecture & Urbanism has awarded a Master of Architecture Thesis Distinction Award to the following six students: Shannon Clark, Catherine McBain, Camille Ringrose, Rehab Salama, Kristine Prochnau, and Kimberley Wint.


The $1,000 awards go to deserving students on the basis of excellence in their thesis design work, as noted during their defenses by their committee and upon a nomination by their thesis supervisors.


In addition, two students received an Honourable Mention: Laura Clark and Greg Juneau.  See work by all recipients below.

Shannon Clark

Thesis Title: Post-Pandemia at the Poissonerie Shanahan: An account of sick cities and their remedies

Thesis Supervisor: Associate Professor Ozayr Saloojee


Synopsis: An epidemic is not simply biological but rather a spatial phenomenon that mutates sociopolitical constructions. The fears associated with the metaphors of disease have landscaped the city as though we are looking at “the section of a fibrous tumor,” to quote Frank Lloyd Wright in When Democracy Builds. The setting is the fictional Poissonerie Shanahan in Montreal’s Jean-Talon Market as envisioned by Nicholas Dickner’s Nikolski. Fiction is used as a tool to understand the intersections of architecture, urbanism, and public health. The story of four sick cities is then told to exercise our empathetic intelligence in the face of a global crisis that has rapidly spatialized blame. 

Catherine McBain

Thesis Title: De-Colonial Intersections of Conservation and Healing: The Indian Residential School System

Thesis Supervisor: Assistant Professor Natalia Escobar Castrillon


Synopsis: This thesis explores the spatial conditions related to the territorial and architectural practices pertaining to the Indian Residential Schools (IRS) in “Canada.” The project alludes to illustrative futures whereby the conservation of landscapes, architecture, and territories means designing encounters for healing and critical reflection. Proposed as a series of frictional embodied experiences, the encounters subvert the IRS memory, interrogating its socio-spatial hierarchies. The project explores three former residential schools, intentionally reconnecting spatial fragments, reclaiming territories, and subverting existing architectures. The encounters ultimately suggest ontological connections with erased cultural landscapes while challenging current hegemonic conservation practices.

Camille Ringrose

Thesis Title: Through Thick and Thin // Story Space on Rannoch Moor

Thesis Supervisor: Associate Professor Ozayr Saloojee


Synopsis: This thesis proposes a compilation of fictional narratives that reflect on the moor as ground, unstable terrain, burial, and wetness. It offers alternative ways of knowing through literature, folklore, and storytelling as a multiverse method of world-building. Can we use stories to design with precision – not as an act of probing for answers, newness, or novelty, but as a form of watching and waiting? Storytelling suggests a movement to look not to the past or the future but to the deepness of the conditions surrounding us, weaving together a more complex tapestry towards recuperation and resilience.

Rehab Salama

Thesis Title: Āyat al-Qāhirah: Cairo’s Cosmic Realms and Earthly Realities 

Thesis Supervisors: Associate Professors Ozayr Saloojee and Johan Voordouw.


Synopsis: Āyat al-Qāhirah explores Cairo’s sacred architecture as a mediator where the human, the landscape, and the cosmos collide and coalesce. The project analyzes how architecture and architectural representation can become a bridge between the earthly and the cosmic. The thesis proposes a conceptual network of thresholds between the sacred and every day that serve as registers for the visible and the invisible. They connect the seen and unseen, the sensible and unintelligible, the physical and metaphysical, the quotidian and divine. The work aims to manifest the hidden orders imposed on the material world through motions of the cosmos and earth.

Kristine Prochnau

Thesis Title: Apertures, Reflections, Light

Thesis Supervisor: Associate Professor Inderbir Riar


Synopsis: Apertures, Reflections, Light investigates the social, economic, and ecological complexities intertwined within the expansion of the urban boundary of Ottawa in the specific context of the suburb of Barrhaven. The architecture seeks to unearth questions, shortcomings, and hopes in current and future visions of suburbia. Connecting with pockets of wilderness, the Apparatus sits within the landscape. Spaces of darkness and spaces of light – seen as places of natural phenomena – not only shift visitors’ gaze but also move their souls. Culminating in a photogrammetric chamber, the architecture of the Apparatus hopes to re-frame the viewer’s relationship to their everyday surroundings.

Kimberley Wint

Thesis Title: Preserving the Heartbeat of Trench Town: A Vision for Urban Renewal

Thesis Advisor: Associate Professor Benjamin Gianni


Synopsis: In the heart of Jamaica’s capital, Kingston, the inner-city Trench Town neighbourhood is plagued with crime, historic political corruption and urban decay — posing challenges for sustainable urban development. As the island has continued to urbanize, an insufficient supply of adequate and affordable housing, most notably for low-income households has made squatting commonplace. Through an in-depth analysis of the historical, political, cultural and architectural context of Trench Town, this thesis proposes a series of interventions to promote a higher standard of living. Increasing the supply and quality of housing, as well as accommodating informal economic activity can be a catalyst for community change.

Laura Clark

Thesis Title: Indexing Memory: Archiving the Everyday and Representing Bestowed Significance

Thesis Advisor: Assistant Professor Piper Bernbaum


Abstract: This thesis explores the formation and recollection of memory by creating an archive, indexing 10 architectural elements of the everyday. Memory has three sites: a place where it is formed, a place where it is recalled, and the path of travel in which it is transported, the human brain. A global phenomenon, memory is sited and remembered in mundane or contradictory places from its formation. How do we attribute value to sites of recollection? How do we represent memory? The resulting archive of this work accentuates how everyday architectures are potential sites of bestowed significance and are not merely mundane elements of the built environment.

Greg Juneau
Thesis Title: Blue Junction: improving Spatial Experience Through Ecological Water Management at Carleton University
Thesis Supervisors: Paul Kariouk and Jerry Hacker


Synopsis: Our relationship to water has resulted in strategies that largely conceal water from our daily experience. At Carleton University, this camouflaging is in full effect: extensive impermeable surfaces and buried stormwater drains allow unimpeded surface runoff into the Rideau River. At the same time, sewers send untreated sewage directly into Ottawa’s strained sewage network. In response, this thesis explores how implementing ecological water management systems for both stormwater and wastewater at Carleton University, seen as the responsible path forward, can be entwined with architectural experience to reverse what is the secret life of wastewater and improve human relationships and attitudes towards water management.