Winner of the 2023 Maxwell Taylor Prize

Feb 3, 2023

Cameron Penney, a Master of Architecture student at the Azrieli School of Architecture & Urbanism, is the recipient of the 2023 Maxwell Taylor Prize.


The annual award goes to students in their final year of the Master of Architecture program whose thesis work reflects rigor and excellence in research and design, emphasizing building technology.


Penney, who is in his third year of the MArch 1 program, also holds a BA in Biology from Carleton University. He will receive $3,000.


His thesis speculates on the role that BioRock can play in repairing Toronto’s crumbling land and water-based infrastructure.


“This is a very exciting project and demonstrates great promise for future work,” said the jury, comprised of three alumni. “The project embraces interdisciplinarity in very productive ways toward nature-based solutions.”


A bequest from the estate of the late Mabel Leona Taylor endowed the award in 1998.

Toronto’s Terrestrial Reefs: BioRock’s Infrastructural Biogeochemical Futures

Advisor: Associate Professor Lisa Moffitt


This thesis explores the potential of the self-growing concrete alternative known as BioRock, an underutilized material with various applications relating to repair, prefab, and transitionary spaces. These applications can help relieve cities, like Toronto, from various infrastructural and environmental issues, informing new design proposals for future urbanization. BioRock subscribes to the merger of biotechnology, nature-based solutions, and architecture across scales of the micro technical, meso environmental, and macro speculative.



Andy Bako is an intern architect and UX/UI designer based in Toronto. He holds a Master of Architecture from the Harvard Graduate School of Design with Distinction and a Bachelor of Architectural Studies from Carleton University. Bako received the Harvard GSD 2019 Digital Design Prize for his master’s thesis project, Normal House. He has experience working on large commercial projects, including Phase 1 of the CIBC Square Master Plan, located in downtown Toronto. As a UX designer, Bako developed a digital platform for the Greater Toronto Art 2021 exhibition, featured at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Toronto. He also co-designed the platform GTA360. His work has been featured in publications and exhibitions, including Kooz/Arch, SuckerPUNCHdaily, and the Hot Air Gallery in New York. Bako contributed to the Countryside: The Future exhibition held at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City from 2020-2021.


Benoit Maranda is a 2013 graduate of the Bachelor of Architectural Studies program at Carleton University and holds a master’s in architecture from the Harvard Graduate School of Design (2019). He has worked in architecture firms in Canada, China, and the United States, including Hobin Architecture in Ottawa and Kieran Timberlake in Philadelphia. He has been deeply involved in academic research, contributing to the Carleton Research and Innovation in Sustainable Energy (C-Rise) house and a GSD exhibit on housing economics: From Machine of Production to Product: The American House. Maranda’s work focuses on affordable housing, emergent forms of co-living and passionately advocates for zoning reform.


Aliza Sovani co-founded LILI Media & Design Lab, an environmentally focused multimedia production company and climate research lab intersecting environmental science, journalism, and design. She is an executive producer for Lion Bridge, a documentary film in co-production with the United States National Wildlife Federation. It documents the race to save Los Angeles’ dwindling mountain lion population and comments on the global implications of building the world’s largest wildlife crossing. Sovani is a registered landscape architect in Canada and France and previously contributed to urban environmental planning policy development and implementation as part of the Toulouse Ville Rose, Ville Verte 2019 Urban Plan for the City of Toulouse, France. She completed a master’s in landscape architecture with advanced placement at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design and obtained a bachelor’s degree in architecture from Carleton University.