Published on: 4/17/2013 2:01:23 PM Print | Font Sizes:  Normal Text Large Text

Laurentian hires six architecture faculty members


By: Northern Ontario Business staff

Six faculty members hired for Laurentian University’s new School of Architecture in Sudbury will start their work in the next few months.

“We couldn’t have hoped for a better team of people to launch our charter class in September,” founding director Terrance Galvin said in a news release. “Each of these candidates, individually, is very strong. But the combination of the six, with their diverse backgrounds and complementary skills and interests, will create a truly dynamic and inspiring team at Laurentian Architecture. I am just delighted to have this group in place.”

The new faculty members will be moving to Sudbury from Toronto, Waterloo, Chicago, Montana and Germany. In keeping with the tricultural mandate of the architecture program, the new faculty includes one architect of Cree origin, another of Métis origin, and one from Québec, who will teach in French.

Renovation work at the school’s downtown site is expected to be complete in mid-July.

About Laurentian Architecture’s new faculty:

Mark Baechler holds a bachelor of architectural studies degree and a master of architecture professional degree from Carleton University in Ottawa. Since 1999, Mark has practised with the award-winning firm of Teeple Architect Inc. in Toronto. Baechler has been an invited design studio teacher at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design, and in the second and third year undergraduate design studios at Carleton University School of Architecture. His areas of expertise include drawing, model building and sculpture. Baechler is a registered architect with the Ontario Association of Architects (OAA).

Kenneth (Jake) Chakasim holds a master of architecture professional degree from Ryerson University and a civil engineering technology diploma from Lakehead University in Thunder Bay. In 2008, Chakasim assisted in the installation of 41° to 66° Architecture in Canada: Region, Culture, Tectonics at the Venice Biennale’s international architecture exhibition. Chakasim has cultivated an inter-disciplinary approach to architecture. Most recently, he has worked as housing policy analyst with the Ontario Federation of Indian Friendship Centres (OFIFC) in Toronto.

David Fortin holds a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Saskatchewan, a professional master of architecture degree from the University of Calgary and a PhD in architecture from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. Upon graduation, Fortin worked for Eleven Eleven Architecture/MDB Design Group in Calgary. Since 2008, he has been an assistant professor of architecture at Montana State University (MSU) in Bozeman, Montana. Recent work includes the design-build of a straw bale potato storage building in Kenya. Fortin is a registered architect with the Alberta Association of Architects as well as a LEED accredited professional.

Tammy Gaber holds bachelor degrees in environmental studies and architecture from the University of Waterloo, and a master of architectural engineering and a doctorate of philosophy from Cairo University. Gaber has taught design, theory and building sciences at the British University in Egypt, the American University in Cairo, and the MISR International University in Cairo. Gaber comes to LU from the University of Waterloo in Southern Ontario where she was an adjunct assistant professor in architecture. She is a licensed architect with the Egyptian Society of Engineers.

Randall Kober holds a bachelor of arts (history) degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a master of architecture degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Kober has taught at both the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) in Chicago and the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), and has been a visiting critic both in Europe and the USA. During the past decades, he has lived and worked in the town of Dinkelsbühl, Germany. Kober has been a principal in the office of ANARCHITECTURES since 2004. Here he brings together the skills of carpenter and architect in his constructions and exhibitions.

Kai Mah holds a professional bachelor of architecture degree from McGill University, a master of arts degree in east Asian studies and a PhD from the McGill School of Architecture. Mah is coming to LU from a position as an assistant professor the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), where he was teaching art history, theory and criticism. His dissertation, entitled Sites of Learning: The Architecture of Educational Reform in Toronto (1847-1917), focused on residential schools. Recent research includes the assimilation of African children in South Africa during apartheid. Mah is a registered architect with the Order of Architects of Québec/Ordre des architectes du Québec (OAQ). 

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