News about PhD graduates and soon to be graduates

May 14, 2024

The PhD in Architecture program at the Azrieli School of Architecture and Urbanism at Carleton University rigorously prepares graduates for academic and professional fields. Since the inception of the doctoral program in architecture at Carleton University several PhD graduates and PhD candidates have received teaching appointments or post-doc positions in schools of architecture in Canada, Italy, Japan and the United States, while others have returned to practice.


We are pleased to offer this update on the recent graduates and soon to be graduates of the PhD program.


An update on the summer research work of current students in the PhD program in architecture will be offered at the end of the summer!

Rana Abughannam joined the School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture at the University of British Columbia as an Assistant Professor in August 2023. Read the SALA announcement here. A registered architect in Palestine and Jordan, she recently defended her PhD dissertation titled “The counter-colonial: The Agency of Architectural Rehabilitation as a Form of Resistance in Hebron, Palestine.” Her research explores spatial counter-colonial tactics exemplified in indigenous, bottom-up, and constant practices of resistance against ongoing colonial projects, emphasizing the agency of architectural rehabilitation as a form of resistance. She recently co-edited Architectures of HidingCrafting Concealment | Omission | Deception | Erasure | Silence with Émélie Desrochers-Turgeon, Pallavi Swaranjali, and Federica Goffi, a publication that delves into the responsibilities of architects in shaping the built environment, examining processes of concealing and unconcealing narratives and imaginaries in architectural spaces.

Cover of The Canadian Architect’s first issue, photo by Panda Associates, November-December 1955. Photo Credit:Canadian Architect Magazine, “The cover of The Canadian Architect’s first issue, showing the editorial offices of parentcompany Hugh C. MacLean Publications, designed by Weir & Cripps. Permission granted by Canadian Architectmagazine. Photo by Panda Associates,”
Photo Credit:

Dr. Brynne Campbell earned her doctorate in November 2022. Her dissertation, “Marketing Architecture in Canada: Exploring the Architecture Profession’s Understanding and Use of Marketing: 1955 – 1985 to Present,” explores the Canadian architecture profession’s historical use and understanding of marketing, as discussed through professional journals and resources written for and by architects. Her research takes a multi-method research approach to explore the questions and issues of marketing architecture in Canada. Emphasis is placed on The Canadian Architect magazine as a critical voice for the profession in Canada. She has presented her research globally and recently presented at the Ontario Association of Architects (OAA) conference in 2023. Dr. Campbell is currently working with Routledge on a book based on her dissertation. Dr. Campbell is the marketing director at Figurr Architects Collective, a medium-sized architecture firm with offices in Montreal and Ottawa. She is passionate about architectural storytelling and helping architects communicate the value of their work. She has been actively involved in national programs, projects, and education for the architecture profession.

The Dominion Observatory with the Standardization Building to the left, the transit house to the right and the Central Experimental Farm in the foreground. Library and Archives Canada, R214-2895-8-E, RG48, RG48-B Box 228.

After teaching as a contract instructor at Université du Québec à Montréal and Carleton University, Émélie Desrochers-Turgeon transitioned into an Assistant Professor role at Dalhousie School of Architecture in Halifax. There, she teaches architectural history and studio while working on her research on architectural and environmental histories, settler colonialism, and extractivism. Émélie co-edited the book “Architectures of Hiding: Crafting Concealment | Omission | Deception | Erasure | Silence,” alongside Rana Abughannam, Pallavi Swaranjali, and Federica Goffi, published earlier this year by Routledge. She is involved in projects with the Beyond Extraction collective and recently launched a colouring book. She will be defending her doctoral dissertation, titled “Land, Science and Architecture: Politics of Scale in 1856–1939 Ottawa” in August 2024.

Katie Graham joined the Bachelor of Media Production and Design (BMPD) faculty in the School of Journalism & Communications, Carleton University, Ottawa, in 2019 as an instructor. The unique degree created through a collaboration between the Journalism program and the School of Information Technology focuses on how new and emerging digital tools can be used for fact-based storytelling. The program connects to Katie’s research on digital storytelling in architecture, in which she incorporates her experience and knowledge into the curriculum on visual communications, digital media, and storytelling topics. In the 2023-24 academic year, Katie acted as interim program director, where she focused on creating a strong sense of community for the BMPD students. She has won multiple teaching awards, including the Teaching and Learning Services’ “Excellence in Blended and Online Teaching Award” in 2021 and the Faculty of Public Affairs’ “Teaching Excellence Award” in 2024. Katie continues to collaborate with her former PhD classmates, including organizing a webinar series in 2022 with Dr. Pallavi Swaranjali called “Negotiating Digital Space in Culturally Significant Storytelling.” When she is not busy with her role as faculty, Katie continues to work on her PhD dissertation, focusing on virtual reality storytelling of space and architecture.

Exemplification of the concept of digital documentation for cultural heritage knowledge.

Davide Mezzino is Associate Professor (Tenured Teacher) at the Department of Humanities, IULM University, Milan, Italy. He holds a Ph.D. in Architecture, from Carleton University, Ottawa and a Doctorate in Cultural Heritage, obtained at the Politecnico di Torino. Since 2023, he is in charge of one of the three research units of the Project of Significant National Interest (PRIN) “”. In 2022, he received an expert contract at the EUROPEAN COMMISSION – Research Executive Agency (REA) for the evaluation of projects submitted to the HORIZON calls. From 2018 to 2021, at the Fondazione Museo delle Antichità Egizie di Torino, he worked as Digital Expert for the development of new paradigms for the management and dissemination of cultural heritage, through digital techniques and tools. From 2014 to 2017, at the Carleton lmmersive Media Studio (CIMS), Ottawa, he developed advanced skills and abilities in the field of three-dimensional surveying and modeling, as well as skills in the use of cataloguing and management systems for built heritage at the architectural and urban scale. Within CIMS he has also conducted field research projects in Bahrain, Canada, Morocco, Mexico, and Myanmar. Since 2013, qualified to practice as an Architect in Italy and in the European Union. Since 2010, he carried out research and training activities at Universities, Foundations, Companies and Institutions in Italy and abroad (Carleton University, Università di Genova, Università degli Studi di Torino, Università Telematica Internazionale UniNettuno, Universidad de Guadalajara, Politecnico di Torino, Politecnico di Milano, Scuola di Amministrazione Aziendale-SAA, Yangon Technolgical University, Fondazione CRT, Fondazione Giovanni Goria, Fondazione Paolo Ferraris s.r.l., URBIT s.r.l., Fondazione Scuola dei Beni e delle Attività Culturali, Fondazione Sicilia, Istituto Superiore sui Sistemi Territoriali per l’Innovazione-SiTI; United Nations System Staff College).

Analytical drawing by Isabel Potworowski of the Kolumba museum in Cologne, showing pre-war historical layers of the St. Kolumba church in white and post-war layers, including Zumthor’s Kolumba museum, in black

Isabel Potworowski is a PhD Candidate at Carleton University’s Azrieli School of Architecture and Urbanism (ASAU) (2020-present). She completed her Bachelor’s in Architecture at McGill University (2011), her professional Master’s in Architecture at TU Delft (2015) and obtained a Master’s in Architectural History + Theory at McGill (2020). In the Netherlands, she worked at Barcode Architects, the International New Town Institute, and Mecanoo Architecten. At the ASAU, in her role as a coordinator of CR|PT|C (Carleton Research | Practice of Teaching | Collaborative), Isabel co-convened the Agora II international symposium (Un)Common Precedents with Dr. Federica Goffi and fellow PhD candidate Kristin Washco and is currently co-editing a book based on the symposium, forthcoming in 2025 with Routledge. Her doctoral research examines the role of representation practices in the design of architecture that reinforce a sense of place and foster experiences of contemplative reflection and spirituality. It focuses on the design process of Atelier Zumthor and their use of physical models and drawings – conceptual synaesthetic drawings, large site models, and material prototypes – to create evocative material atmospheres with a spiritual dimension. Starting in August 2024, she will begin a new position as Assistant Professor of Architecture at the University of Cincinnati College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning. Isabel’s broader research interests revolve around the architectural design process, materiality, atmosphere, spirituality, and the life of urban spaces.

A window of the Alferrara ruins breathing more-than-human life in the Gaiteiros Mountains, Portugal.

Dr. Jesse Rafeiro is presently a postdoctoral research fellow at Tokyo College at the University of Tokyo. The college is part of the Institutes for Advanced Studies and acts as an interface connecting the university to international researchers and institutions from a broad range of disciplinary backgrounds. Here he is advancing the lines of investigation he initiated during his doctoral studies at the Azrieli School of Architecture and Urbanism, which were completed in October 2021. Presently, he is merging his expertise in digital architectural heritage and environmental theory to explore and communicate historical “forms-of-life” imbued with ethical significance for the future. These projects, involving lost history in convents and monasteries in Portugal, focus on revealing the intangible histories and ecological principles of places through collaboration with museums, municipalities, historians, and other specialists. This research is situated within an interdisciplinary environment at Tokyo College that provides a lively forum for interdisciplinary dialogue across the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. In the College’s “Sustainability and Society” research group, Jesse also maintains his interest in pedagogy. Alongside his colleagues, he is presently delving into the evolving dynamics of learning amidst varied ecological and social challenges, prompting a critical examination of prevailing learning theories in light of our planet’s environmental degradation.

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

After finishing his PhD, Dr. Jorge Rivera Gutierrez became a father and went back into architecture practice. He currently works at Affleck de la Riva Architectes in Montréal as an architectural designer. He has participated in a variety of projects of different scales and typologies: schools, public libraries, landscape architecture, and restoration of historic buildings.  He has independently continued his research on film and architecture. He has written for Severin Films and is currently curating an exhibit at the Museo Experimental el ECO in Mexico City focused on construction craftspeople and their tools.

Dr. Pallavi Swaranjali is a full-time faculty and Program Coordinator of the Bachelor of Interior Design Program, Algonquin College, Ottawa. She is an Intern Architect with the Ontario Association of Architects, Canada, working on projects like adaptive reuse and affordable housing in Ontario and New Brunswick. Her research centers on the relationship between architecture and storytelling, looking at non-conventional modes of architectural representation that combine the normative and the fantastical, and how they meaningfully transform architectural making and experience. She is the founder Director of Canadian Centre for Mindful Habitats. She has led and participated in several symposia, conferences, exhibitions, publications, and architectural practice, negotiating and probing contemporary issues in pedagogy, practice, and public representation of architecture. She is one of the editors for Architectures of Hiding: Crafting Concealment | Omission | Deception | Erasure | Silence (Routledge 2024) together with Rana Abughannam, Émélie Desrochers-Turgeon and Federica Goffi. She is currently working as editor for Mindful Habitats’ peer-reviewed journal Adda: A Place for Conversations, Volume 1 titled Mindful Conversations: Design and Culture.

“The Sonic Imagination Collage I by Kristin Washco: Peter Zumthor in collaboration with Olga Neuwirth, Peter Conradin Zumthor, and Hélène Binet.”

Kristin Washco recently accepted the position of Assistant Professor (Tenure Track) at Virginia Tech’s 5-year undergraduate accredited architecture program in the School of Architecture (Blacksburg, VA). She has taught at the school since Winter 2023, previously as an Adjunct Assistant Professor and a Visiting Assistant Professor of Practice, offering lecture courses such as Building Materials and Building Analysis, and the History & Theory seminar course Ideas-Concepts-Representations. She also teaches a 3rd year architecture studio and supervises undergraduate and graduate thesis students. Kristin co-convened the Agora II international symposium (Un)Common Precedents with Dr. Federica Goffi and fellow PhD candidate Isabel Potworowski and is currently co-editing a book based on the symposium, forthcoming in 2025 with Routledge. Recently, she presented her paper “Verified in Field: Drawings of Builders” at the 2024 Production Studies Conference at Newcastle University, UK. She plans to defend her dissertation, titled Lingering Atmospheres: Collaborations between Architecture, Craft, Music, Landscapes, and Film in Peter Zumthor’s Gesamtkunstwerks in December 2024.