JENNIFER DAVIS, BAS, M.Arch, MRAIC, LGA Architectural Partners, Toronto
When the RAIC Foundationís College of Fellows awarded the 2019 Centennial Fund to me, I was grateful to be recognized for my career achievements as an Intern Architect.
Since the pandemic hit, Iíve witnessed the contributions our profession can make from our kitchen tables, basement offices, and makeshift standing desks. Iíve continued to build my career at Toronto-based LGA Architectural Partners, leading a re-cladding project for two apartment towers owned by Toronto Community Housing Corp. New windows and insulation for 4100 and 4110 Lawrence Ave East will improve energy efficiency and comfort for over 350 low-income families. Working closely with TCHC, our team has innovated new ways to engage tenants through online surveys and feedback sessions that potentially improve access for people with mobility issues or childcare commitments. Other recent projects Iíve worked on at LGA include a womenís shelter and an addition to a residence for Indigenous seniors. Itís been rewarding to improve affordable and supportive housing in an era when weíve collectively rediscovered the importance of a healthy home environment.
It has been a great experience to teach the next generation of young architects as a Sessional Lecturer at University of Toronto. In its second year of development, ARC112: Architecture + Engineering is an undergraduate course that gives integrated teams of architecture and engineering students opportunities to work on design projects for real clients such as Teeple Architects (Toronto, ON), Nine Yards Studio (Charlottetown, PEI) and Woodford Architects (St. Johnís, NL). Fostering connections between a global student body, industry, and different disciplines can be a messy process, but the students learned each othersí terminology and appreciated how diverse teams can produce great design!.
Being mother to a toddler, Iíve been privileged to work continuously through the COVID-19 chaos: my professional successes are supported by grandparent-run daycare during lockdown and the Early Childhood Educators who work at our childcare centres. It is eye-opening to see how the architectural profession, the AEC industry, and society more broadly are built on a foundation of essential care work. Iíve developed a new point of view on the schools, childcare centres, seniors housing and shelters that are central to LGA Architectural Partnersí portfolio, now seeing them as infrastructure projects that are as important as roads and bridges. As we build our post-COVID communities, our profession will be bolstered by recognizing our interdependencies and collaborating to provide inclusive architecture that is designed for the full range of people in our society.
Please consider a monthly donation to help us expand our offerings to students, interns and young professionals. Donations can be made through the RAIC Foundation website at raicf.ca under the Donate tab. For more information about the RAIC Foundation and other ways in which you can become involved, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jim Taggart FRAIC