PhD in Architecture Program Graduates: Miquel Reina Ortiz, Maryam Mirsepassi and Brynne Campbell

February 13, 2024


Meet the 2023 graduates of the Azrieli School of Architecture & Urbanism’s PhD in Architecture program.

Miquel Reina Ortiz

PhD Advisory Committee


Supervisor: Dr. Mariana Esponda, Assoc. Prof., Coordinator Architectural Conservation and Sustainability, ASAU, Carleton University

Co-Supervisor: Dr. Mario Santana Quintero, Professor, Architectural Conservation and Sustainability Engineering, Carleton University,

Co-Supervisor: Dr. Stephen Fai, Professor, Director CIMS, Co-Chair PhD Architecture, ASAU, Carleton University

Advisor: Dr. Federica Goffi, Professor, Co-Chair PhD Architecture, ASAU, Carleton University

Miquel Reina Ortiz earned his PhD in Architecture (2015-2023) at the Azrieli School of Architecture & Urbanism (ASAU) at Carleton University with a dissertation titled: The Role of the Detail in the Historic City: The Inter-details of Barcelona Ciutat Vella, in 2023. His research concerns the relationship between different scales of intervention within the context of the Historic City.


The story of the city is the story of its parts — its neighborhoods, its blocks, its buildings, its bricks-and-mortar, its inhabitants. I examine the city as more than the sum of its parts, considering the relationship between the scales of the urban fabric, building and construction detail. The detail, in this context, is the focus: an assemblage of components, tangible and intangible, whose relationships continuously change being essential to preserving the spirit of place.

In particular, I examine the historic city of Barcelona and present its most characteristic tectonic element, the volta de maó de pla (tile vault or Catalan vault), as an inter-detail to discuss how it plays an essential part in its conservation and maintenance. Fine- grained details are essential to determine how the cycle of recovery and renewal can be balanced in the context of the whole, harmoniously contained in its parts—the city is in the details.

About Miquel Reina Ortiz

Miquel Reina Ortiz is an adjunct professor in the Faculté de l’Aménagement of the Faculty of Environmental Design at the Université de Montréal. He also teaches heritage documentation courses as a guest professor at the Master of Monuments Restoration at the UPC in Barcelona. He has collaborated with Carleton Immersive Media Studio (CIMS) in the documentation of World Heritage Sites and the development of new digital workflows applied to heritage conservation. His research concerns the relationship between different scales of intervention within the context of the historic city. He is an ICOMOS International Scientific Committee on Historic Cities, Towns and Villages (CIVVIH) associate member.


Before studying at Carleton Ortiz studied architecture at ETSABarcelona (UPC), where he graduated with honours in 2011, and holds a MSc in Restoration and Rehabilitation at ETSABarcelona (UPC). His professional experience in the architecture studio Ravetllat-Ribas Barcelona (2008-2015) focused on adaptive reuse projects, and as a licensed architect, he designed public space, housing, interiors, and competitions. Publications


Dr. Miquel Reina Ortiz has been Favorite Faculty member for the 2021-2022 academic year at the Azrieli School of Architecture & Urbanism.

Maryam Mirsepassi

PhD Advisory Committee


Supervisor: Dr. Stephen Fai, Director CIMS, Professor Co-Chair, PhD Architecture, ASAU, CU

Advisor: Dr. Federica Goffi, Professor, Co-Chair PhD Architecture, ASAU, Carleton University

Advisor: Dr. Hooman Koliji, Associate Clinical Professor, Executive Committee Member, School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, University of Maryland, reACT ThinkTank

Maryam Mirsepassi graduated with a PhD in Architecture from the Azrieli School of Architecture & Urbanism in 2023 with a dissertation titled: The Imaginal Garden: Imagination and the Persian Garden in the Mystical Philosophy of Shahab Al-Din Suhrawardi.


Her dissertation aims to determine the ideas that informed the design of Persian gardens and their elements. This could help contemporary architects and landscape designers better understand the reasoning behind their designs and subsequently arrive at meaningful and eternal works.


Her research areas include theories of imagination, the imaginal world, Persian gardens, miniatures, and architecture, specifically in 16th-century Iran.



Over the past several decades, many of the gardens and parks in Iran have been affected by a lack of attention to their design and details. One reason for this flaw is an absence of awareness of the role of the notion of imagination in Persian gardens. This dissertation investigates the relationship between the Persian garden and the imaginal world of Shahab al-Din Suhrawardi (1154-1191), a 12th-century Persian philosopher. He describes the imaginal world as between the immaterial and material and between light and darkness. He refers to the imaginal world in his works, specifically in his Persian treatises, where he uses the elements of the Persian garden to portray this world.

The research studies these elements and explores the symbols and metaphors he uses to reveal his philosophical thoughts. This dissertation also investigates the elements of the Persian garden in the three arts of literature, miniatures, and gardens.

About Maryam Mirsepassi

Maryam Mirsepassi is an intern architect with the Ontario Association of Architects, a project manager, and a landscape designer. Mirsepassi was born and grew up in Tehran, Iran. She received a Bachelor of Architecture from Tehran University and a Master of Landscape Architecture from Shahid Beheshti University in Tehran.

Dr. Brynne Campbell graduated from the PhD program in 2022. She is currently working with Routledge on a book based on her dissertation, titled “Marketing Architecture in Canada: 1955–1985 to Present.” Brynne is the marketing director at Figurr Architects Collective, an architecture firm based in Montreal and Ottawa.

Campbell has presented papers on marketing in architecture and the architect’s image. She was the co- organizer of POP // CAN // CRIT (Popular Topics, Canadian Context, Critical Questions). The national architecture symposium, which took place between 2016 and 2019, served as a resource, educational tool, and opportunity to share experiences and ideas related to architecture. POP // CAN // CRIT focused on contemporary topics for the profession within a Canadian context.

On Wednesday, February 14, from 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Pit, Architecture Building, Carleton University PhD in Architecture Recent Graduates: Brynne Campbell, Maryam Mirsepassi, and Miquel Reina Ortiz will give a lecture on their work.


Everyone is invited!

About the PhD in Architecture

The PhD in Architecture program at the Azrieli School of Architecture & Urbanism is an innovative, comprehensive doctoral program that fuses research with critical practice in architecture through the combined exploration of a dissertation and an epistemic object, which is uniquely defined in relation to the research.


The program’s exceptionally talented and thoughtful students undertake original, speculative, and experimental research. Doctoral projects draw on the interrelated reflective aspects of architecture, design, and material processes. The PhD students explore a range of media that support their investigations, including film, drawing, modeling, and mapping.


The PhD rigorously prepares graduates for academic and professional fields.


The PhD Program in Architecture helps form reflective practitioners and critical thinkers who will contribute to both practice and academia, challenging current and dominant understandings of architecture practice and pedagogy and contributing to the renewal of architectural knowledge.