Winners of the 2024 Azrieli Thesis Support Grant

By Maria Cook

January 17, 2024



Fourteen students in the professional master’s program in the Azrieli School of Architecture & Urbanism have received a 2024 Azrieli Thesis Support Grant.


The grants recognize the promise of future work as expressed in the Colloquium 2 Reflective Document submitted in December and a grant application. The document reflects the student’s master’s thesis as presented at Colloquium 2, providing details on the thesis position and approach to design research as evidenced through drawings, photographs, images, and writing.


Six students received $1,000 grants. Eight students received grants of $500. The grants support expenses associated with furthering thesis projects in the winter semester.


See the projects below.

Against the Elements: Reconceiving Libraries as a Place of Refuge

Student: Nupur Agrawal ($1,000)

Supervisor: Assistant Professor Suzy Harris-Brandts

Description: The library typology has significantly transformed over the past half century, evolving into multifunctional spaces beyond traditional repositories. Libraries have also become important spaces of daytime refuge for those experiencing homelessness, especially during extreme weather events. Exploring these intricacies in Ottawa’s Lowertown, this thesis proposes a new library typology for an infill site — one better serving the needs of our entire community amid the housing and climate crisis.

Designing for Well-being: Combating Seasonal Depression in Carleton Architecture Students During Winter Months

Student: Dani Berno ($500)

Supervisor: Professor Anne Bordeleau

Description: This thesis explores the realm of mental health among Carleton Architecture students, spotlighting the challenging environment of the Architecture Building. The focus is on the impact of harsh winters on students’ mental well-being as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a particular concern during these gloomy months. The study proposes design interventions across three scales — body, furniture, and space — addressing light, auditory, visual, and tactile elements. 

Leave no [further] trace: Exploring environmental remediation through cyclical cabin structures

Student: Kimberly Casemore ($1,000)

Supervisor: Associate Professor Sheryl Boyle

Description: This thesis explores how the cyclical building and disassembly of a cabin typology can be used to remediate industrial sites in the Canadian Rockies. There is a great overlap between areas of recreation and resource extraction in the backcountry, and so I would like to utilize landscapes that have already suffered significant human impacts to fulfill personal desires to be outdoors.

Forget Me Not: Defending the Right to Place

Reimagining livability through the lens of dementia and placemaking in Newtonbrook West

Student: Caitlin Chin ($1,000)

Supervisor: Assistant Professor Natalia Escobar Castrillón

Description: Through the exploration of speculative dementia-friendly neighbourhood interventions, this thesis explores how we can protect people’s rights to their community and home. This thesis is grounded in personal experience of a loved one, intergenerational memory, and examining the built world as barriers. What if the neighborhood could adapt so those with dementia did not have to be displaced? 

(A)temporal Architecture: Urban Meditation Spaces for the Church of Montreal

Student: Sara Cipolla ($500)

Supervisor: Professor Anne Bordeleau

Description: Biblical meditation consists of actively thinking through studying the Bible, praying over it, and asking God to understand it by His Spirit. As such, it aspires to dampen the busyness of life and focus on eternity. Set across Montreal, the project explores the scales of the city and the Christian, speculating architectural interventions suitable for biblical meditation through mapping, biblical interpretations, and architectural analyses.

[Re]Shaping Transparencies

Student: Derek Clouâtre ($1,000)

Supervisor: Associate Professor Lisa Moffitt

Description: This thesis explores possible reuse strategies of float glass using the kiln forming techniques of draping, slumping, and fusing. A series of tests investigate material manipulations of single kiln-firings to produce individual units with aggregable potentials. The work is situated in relation to a wider body of contemporary glasswork, sitting somewhere between artistic glass, architectural glass, and functional glazing systems. 

Reimagining the Role of Vessels: Revitalizing Ships at the End of their Lifespan

Student: Alexis David ($500)

Supervisor: Associate Professor Benjamin Gianni

Description: Over time, society has created various built environments at sea for predetermined amounts of time, and once their time is up, they become discarded: scrapped and torn apart. An opportunity is missed to re-use and re-program these built environments to benefit others. This thesis explores the reimaging of vessels towards the “end of their lives,” specifically cruise ships, with a focus on housing.

Joy as an Act of Resistance

Student: Harrison Lane ($1,000)

Supervisor: Assistant Professor Piper Bernbaum

Description: I am examining joy, specifically as an action of resistance. It’s preceded by the questions: What makes us happy? What is happiness? Can it be manifested physically? How do these physical conjurings of happiness work when the underlying process resists convention? Can all these learnings be neatly wrapped up as a pedagogical approach to architecture, space, and our bodies? That’s a lot of questions and hopefully, with joyful answers to come.

Kindness, Community, Respect: Adaptive Reuse as a Means to Preserve Memory

Student: Alex Larose ($500)

Supervisor: Associate Professor Mariana Esponda 

Description: This thesis will explore how adaptive reuse could change when considering the preservation of intangible values. The Servantes de Jésus Marie Congregation Monastery located on the Ottawa River in Gatineau, Que. will be used as a case study to understand how values can inform adaptive reuse and evolve to meet the needs of modern society.

Preserving the Past, Ensuring the Future: The Adaptive-Reuse of the Maillou House for Sustainable Tourism in Old Quebec

Student: Ashley Mowry ($1,000)

Supervisor: Professor Mario Santana Quintero

Description: The rise in tourism following the 400th-anniversary celebrations of Old Quebec, have pushed residents out of the historic district, leaving significant heritage sites under-utilized. Utilizing heritage conservation practices, this thesis proposes the adaptive-reuse of the Maillou House National Historic Site of Canada to illustrate how adaptive-reuse can be used as a means for sustainable tourism. 

Recipe for Community: Reflecting on Memory, Space and Community Building for Toronto’s Italian Diaspora 

Student: Chiara Muia ($500)

Supervisor: Assistant Professor Piper Bernbaum

Description: Through an examination of familial food practices revolving around food preparation, gathering, and eating, traces of the Italian diaspora in Toronto are uncovered. Reflecting on themes revealed through the process of cooking, small-scale interventions such as ceramic dinnerware sets and tablecloths inform the design of a communal hub. By proposing communal ways of living, this thesis reflects on the notions of cultural preservation, memory, space, and community.

CORE-SS – Canadian Orbital Research Space Station

Student: Ramon Renderos Soto (($500)

Supervisor: Associate Professor Benjamin Gianni

Description: Space is the next frontier for humanity and architecture, and low Earth orbit is the next big commercial market that will enhance lives here on Earth through advanced research in microgravity. CORE-SS is a research facility in low Earth orbit with a program consisting of microbiology cancer research facilities, and earth science laboratories supporting climate change studies and observations. 

Objects, Memory, Trauma, and the Holocaust

Student: Ben Stern ($500)

Supervisor: Assistant Professor Piper Bernbaum

Description: How can architecture preserve the histories, memories, and trauma of the Holocaust? Two narratives inspire research and design: that of my family’s personal history and the broader community of Canadian Holocaust survivors. It explores how architecture can create a space for archiving and displaying artifacts, where objects can be placed to represent a person who has been lost, and a space for those who have lost people to heal.

Hybrid Explorations through Process In-Formation

Student: Ricky Tong ($500)

Supervisor: Associate Professor Manuel A. Báez in consultation with Professor Scott Bucking

Description: How can a form be generated, and its spatial possibilities explored? Concepts can be in-formed by natural processes, by our imaginative capabilities, and state-of-the-art software.  This thesis explores form generation and experiential spatial possibilities through the lens of making. Using physical and digital prototypes of fibrous materials, forms are explored through the collaborative process of tactile experience and the iterative process offered by digital design tools.