The Business of Architecture

How do the art of architecture and the art of business come together? How is the subject of business being taught within schools of architecture? What does it mean to practice architecture? What does success mean to the architect? 

POP // CAN // CRIT 2018: The Business of Architecture in Canada will explore these topics and more through a series of panel discussions in a day-long symposium on October 19, 2018 in Vancouver. This is the third national symposium in a series that looks at contemporary topics related to the intersections between the public understanding, education and profession of architecture, specifically within our Canadian context. 

The 2018 symposium will bring together leading architects, academics, media and business strategy personnel to discuss the business of architecture in Canada. Panel discussions will focus on how business topics are being taught in architecture schools in Canada, how the art and business of architecture come together, how architects are finding their niche within the increasingly diluted design and construction industry, as well as how and whether architecture firms are succession planning – and what does that mean for the future of architecture in Canada. 


Symposium Details

Date: Friday, October 19, 2018

Time: 8:30am - 4:30pm

Venue: Simon Fraser University, Djavad Mowafaghian World Art Centre, Room 2555, Vancouver, British Columbia

Full day recordings available through the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada website.

Speakers + Guests


Ema Peter

Ema Peter Photography, architectural photographer

Instagram: @emaphotographi
Twitter: @emapeterphoto


Naomi Kriss

Kriss Communications, principal + founder

Instagram: @Kriss_Comm
Twitter: @Kriss_Comm


Stephen Fai

Azrieli School of Architecture & Urbanism + CIMS, director + associate professor + co-chair of the PhD program

Instagram: @thecimslab
Twitter: @thecimslab


Megan Torza

DTAH, architect + partner

Instagram: @DTAHtoronto
Twitter: @DTAHtoronto


Andrew King

Lemay + McGill School of Architecture, senior partner + design principal + adjunct professor

Instagram: @LemayOnline
Twitter: @LemayOnline


Adele Weder

architectural journalist + critic

Instagram: @adeleweder
Twitter: @AdeleWeder


Darryl Condon

HCMA Architecture + Design, managing principal + architect 



Shirley Blumberg

KPMB Architects, founding partner + architect

Instagram: @kpmb_architects
Twitter: @kpmb_architects


Gregory Henriquez

Henriquez Partners Architects, managing principal

Instagram: @henriquezarch
Twitter: @henriquezarch


Veronica Gillies

Henriquez Partners Architects, architect + director of innovation

Instagram: @henriquezarch
Twitter: @henriquezarch


Toon Dreessen

Dreessen Cardinal Architects, architect + president

Instagram: @architectsdca
Twitter: @architectsdca


Don Ardiel

Royal Architectural Institute of Canada, director of practice support + director of syllabus + architect

Instagram: @RAIC_IRAC
Twitter: @RAIC_IRAC


Susan Gushe

Perkins+Will Canada, managing director + architect

Instagram: @perksinswill_van
Twitter: @perksinswill_van


Andrew Dejneka

Royal Architectural Institute of Canada, intern architect + director representing interns & intern architects

Instagram: @RAIC_IRAC
Twitter: RAIC_IRAC


Inge Roecker

ASIR studio + University of British Columbia School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, architect + associate professor

Instagram: @inge.roecker


Farida Abu-Bakare

HOK, intern architect + associate

Instagram: @HOK_TO
Twitter: HOKNetwork

Panel Topics

Panel 1: Architecture Speak
This panel will delve into the influence and importance of marketing, communications and the media with respect to the business and practices of architecture. The panel will bring together topics discussed in both of the two previous POP // CAN // CRIT symposia, through the lens of architectural business practices. It will ask the question: How do firms find their niche or communicate their worth within the increasingly diluted design and construction industry?

Panel 2: The Art of Business in Architecture
This panel will examine the ‘art of architecture’ and the ‘art of business’ within the practice of architecture in Canada. It will look at how business practices can foster creativity and innovation through “best practices”, how firms structure themselves, succession planning, and the threshold from small firm to mega corp. For, it is not a question of whether architecture is a business or an art, but rather, how can a firm do both simultaneously and successfully.

Panel 3: Women in Architecture / Women in Business
This panel will place focus on the increasing awareness of the gender gap that exists within the architectural profession. It will look at how women have, and are continuing to break the ‘glass ceiling’ metaphorically and in their design work, as well as the systemic causes for this inequality. It will close by suggesting changes that need to take place within the profession in order to overturn such barriers. This panel will also look at how sexism in the field of architecture can begin in the schools of architecture themselves, leading to a “normalization” of the practice later on in ones work life, and what can be done / is being done to change this.

Panel 4: From Education > Internship > Practice
This panel will look at the overlaps and divisions between the study and practice of architecture. It will explore how the business of architecture is currently or not currently being taught within Canadian schools of architecture, and look to suggest areas of growth within the education of professional practice but at a degree and post-degree level.

This panel will also look at the internship process and first years of practice for emerging practitioners. It will question how firms can better foster their staff in these highly developmental years, and look to see how some firms are working to formalize intern support.

Roundtable:   The Future of Architecture Practice
Speakers will be asked to participate in a special roundtable discussion. The aim of this roundtable is to mobilize cross- disciplinary knowledge and research on contemporary architecture and open the conversation to the public.


Post event article available by Ulduz Maschaykh at Spacing Magazine.

Sponsors + Supporters

Presenting Partners

Silver Sponsors

Bronze Sponsors


Media + Promotion


Download the 2018 Symposium Postcard.