Royal Architectural Institute of Canada

2012 Governor General’s Medals in Architecture - Jury Members

Joost Bakker is a founding principal of DIALOG, a Canada-wide firm that offers integrated services in architecture, engineering, planning, urban design, interiors and communications at all stages of the building process, and for all building types. The firm nurtures young talent by way of scholarships, prizes and competitions. DIALOG also supports community through a strong tradition of employee volunteerism and fundraising, exemplified by Mr. Bakker’s role as past -president of the Vancouver Heritage Foundation and the Contemporary Art Gallery, and his current involvement on the board of the Dr. Peter Aids Foundation. An artist as well as an architect, Mr. Bakker is a dedicated expert in creating meaningful and memorable public spaces such as Granville Island, Richmond City Hall and the new Canadian Navy Monument.

Siamak Hariri believes that beautifully crafted architecture has the power to endure, transform, and lift the human condition—whether as a house, a school or a temple. As a founding partner of Hariri Pontarini Architects—a Toronto-based firm of 70—Siamak has led the firm’s international, competition-winning designs for the Bahá’í Temple for South America, the Richard Ivey School of Business, the Faculty of Law at the University of Toronto, the Schulich School of Business and the McKinsey & Company Canadian Headquarters. Siamak had taught and lectured internationally, served for seven years on the Toronto Waterfront Design Review Panel, and currently sits on the boards of the Royal Ontario Museum’s Institute of Contemporary Culture, the Toronto ARTS Council, and the Toronto Community Foundation.

Manon Asselin is the co-founder of a small husband and wife practice, Atelier TAG, based in Montreal, and whose output has one of the country’s most consistent track record of high-end accolades for design excellence. Her practice focuses on the experience of space and the capacity of the built environment to engage the imagination. The firm's work is mandated primarily through architectural competitions and consists mainly of public cultural facilities in the greater Montreal area. In recent years, as a Prix de Rome recipient, she travelled the world to meet young architects with similar practices, and discuss how they balance the dual imperatives of creativity and economic survival. In parallel to her practice, she teaches at the University of Montreal’s School of Architecture.

Catherine Slessor is editor of the Architectural Review, the world’s oldest and most renowned global architecture publication. Under her stewardship, AR resolutely distanced itself from the culture of spectacle nurtured by glossy architecture magazines. Its regular contributors Peter Cook, Peter Buchanan, William Curtis and Farshid Moussavi committed to revisit basic assumptions about the making of buildings and cities. They propose relevant and satisfying conceptions as to what architecture is, and does in the world, to ignite debate among professionals and beyond. Canadian buildings are often featured as part of this conversation. AR also administers celebrated award programs for Houses, Emerging Architects and Future Projects.

Alejandro Villareal shares his time between Mexico City and London, UK., as founder of Hierve Diseňeria. The firm’s activities span from visual arts to product design and architecture, with a mostly residential portfolio of low to upper-middle income projects, all in multi-unit, cement block or brick construction. The practice exists to foster creativity and advance social well-being; its designs support the functional needs of users, as well as the more contemplative dimensions of their lives. Most of its design research is aligned with the interests of the 99%: past and current projects include components for owner-built low-income housing and a lamp powered by the flow of water in a standard plumbing system. Recent designs were exhibited at the 2012 Furniture Fair in Milan.

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