Piper Bernbaum

Assistant Professor


Piper Bernbaum is an Assistant Professor at Carleton University, Ottawa, teaching as a part of the architecture program in both the undergraduate and graduate design programs. Previously, Professor Bernbaum was an adjunct professor at the University of Waterloo, teaching design studio as a part of the undergraduate program in Cambridge, Ontario and in Rome, Italy. Professor Bernbaum received her Bachelor of Architectural Studies (2013) and Masters of Architecture (2016) from the University of Waterloo School of Architecture.

Professor’s Bernbaum’s research is focused on the intersection of law and architecture, with an emphasis on the considerations and constraints of social and spatial plurality in contemporary and historical urban space. Her current research is on the appropriation of urban space through the fictional space of the Jewish Eruv. A continuation of her commended M.Arch thesis, the work has led Professor Bernbaum to conduct field research and interviews across North America, through Europe and the Middle East, tracing diaspora communities and studying examples of plurality, multiplicity of space, and symbolic realms in contemporary urban space.  Professor Bernbaum received the Royal Architecture Institute of Canada’s Student Medal for work on the Eruv, the Governor General’s Gold Medal for Academic Excellence, and the Canada Council’s Prix de Rome for Emerging Practitioners.

Professor Bernbaum has worked in architectural offices globally, such as Atelier Jean Nouvel in Paris, Sauerbruch Hutton in Berlin, and Kohn Pederson Fox Associates in New York City. Focusing more recently on exhibition work in the architectural field, she was a team member of the University of Waterloo’s submission to the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale, The Evidence Room, demonstrating the architectural considerations of Auschwitz, and, following, worked with Musealia Entertainment of San Sebastian, Spain, to design and build models for its upcoming travelling exhibition on the history of Auschwitz, which opened in Madrid in 2017. Continuing the work on The Evidence Room, Professor Bernbaum managed the re-installation of the work in Canada at the Royal Ontario Museum which closed in the fall of 2018.

Professor Bernbaum’s area of interest has always been on the appropriation of space through design, with architecture as an apparatus where people are the constituents and the subjects of making. Her current courses, focused on an intersection of field work and places of otherness, explore the architectures we often overlook within our urban environments, and how we perceive them as the user.


MArch – University of Waterloo