2022 Emerging Architectural Practice Award | Royal Architectural Institute of Canada

2022 Emerging Architectural Practice Award

Modern Office of Design + Architecture
Award Category: 
Emerging Architectural Practice Award

Founded in 2013 by architects Ben Klumper and Dustin Couzens, Modern Office of Design + Architecture (MODA) is a Calgary-based practice working across the fields of architecture, urbanism, landscape and design. 

MODA is committed to advancing an architectural agenda through their built and conceptual work, dedicated research and teaching appointments at Calgary’s SAPL1. They practice along a diverse spectrum of project types and scales, approaching every project with a calculated mix of wonder and seasoned experience. They seek out contemporary issues through which a desire to catalyze the ambiguous gaps between the discipline of architecture and its professional practice figures prominently. MODA demonstrates this through their dedication towards design advocacy, volunteering, committee duties, lecturing, teaching, and the projects undertaken by the studio. While small in scale and approach, the firm feels passionately that ‘design’ should be accessible to all and packaged in a way that isn’t intimidating or elitist. 

MODA’s studio culture embraces the use of advanced software together with various digital fabrication technologies. Two recent projects demonstrating their studio culture would be their winning entry for the 2020 Winnipeg Warming Huts Competition, entitled S(hovel), and ‘Cloud,’ a 25,000 sq.ft interior refurbishment for a local robotics manufacturing firm, ATTAbotics. Both projects not only elevate every day, off-the-shelf materials into architecture, but also demand intense parametric modeling, prototyping and ultimately in-situ fabrication. 

Three of their recent multi-family projects (GROW, SWITCHbloc and VILLAGE) sought to reintroduce soft metrics, and leveraged modular and component-based prefabrication construction technologies. Through these projects, they have explored counter-tactics that allow soft metrics to emerge through innovative design strategies or use of novel construction technologies. 

Jury Comment(s): 

MODA’s broad and inclusive approach to practicing architecture has resulted in a number of important and carefully considered works. They respond to social and environmental crises with thoughtful studies, meticulous material choices and attentive projects that delight us with dynamic forms and enticing spaces. They are leading the way, always embedding sustainability into their exceptional design projects in innovative and creative ways. 

MODA brings an incredible sense of energy and passion to all facets of their practice, whether it be built work, conceptual proposals, teaching, mentoring, or social engagement. They have significantly contributed to the discourse on the impact of architecture, giving their audience hope for a brighter future ahead.

2022 Annual Awards Jury

Click for full version: 
GRow - Exterior wall

PHOTO - Ema Peter Photography

Attabotics HQ - Exterior Building

PHOTO - Britta Kokemor Photography

Attabotics HQ - Interior

PHOTO - Britta Kokemor Photography

Livery - Exterior

PHOTO - Robert Lemermeyer Photo. 

Junction - Exterior

PHOTO - MHB Photo-Graf 


PHOTO - Robert Lemermeyer Photo. 

S(HOVEL) installation


Village - Perspective render