A standing-room-only crowd at the Arts Centre & Lofts listens to seven talks about the link between design and prosperity.

A standing-room-only crowd at the Arts Centre & Lofts listens to seven talks about the link between design and prosperity.

Architecture, Commerce, and Community: Conversations on Urban Design

On September 12, representatives from Ira McDonald Construction attended a lecture series about the relationship between architecture and a prosperous local economy. The series was hosted by the Ontario Association of Architects in partnership with the Hamilton/Burlington Society of Architects and the Renew Hamilton Project as part of the annual Supercrawl festival.

The seven speakers presented in the PechaKucha format, which limits presentations to 20 slides or images and 20 seconds per image. The standing-room-only event was an engaging look at how architectural design can create both cultural and economic value for communities.

Many themes addressed in the talks are relevant to both the construction process and design process, including sustainability, client-consultant partnership, trust, procurement, and project implementation.

One of the key messages common to all speakers’ presentations was that the development of facilities and infrastructure is an investment in the prosperity of the community, and the up-front commitment of time and resources will pay off for many years to come. We believe that general contractors and construction managers also play an important role when it comes to the implementation of infrastructure planning. As a general contracting firm based in Hamilton, we are excited to work with architects, planners, and communities to help drive the city’s urban revitalization.

Speakers List:

Richard Allen (Director, Renew Hamilton Project)

  • Driving Hamilton’s Future Economy: “People need to love their city.”

Bill Curran (Principal, Thier+Curran Architects)

  • The Power of Design: “Architecture is a product of many forces that exist in a society at that point in time.”

Robert Freedman (Principal, Freedman Urban Solutions)

  • The Value of Urban Design: “Hamilton has a buzz surrounding it. The creative class wants to be here, and great urban design helps cities compete for talent.”

Jeremy Freiburger (Chief Connector and Cultural Strategist, CoBALT CONNECTS)

  • Expressing Neighbourhood Vibrancy: “A neighbourhood’s culture can’t be expressed in absolute numbers, but we can compare attributes to understand what makes a community vibrant.”

Drew Hauser (Principal, McCallum Sather Architects)

  • Renewal: “Knowing your neighbourhood and knowing your client is paramount. Trust is earned and respected.”

Joanne McCallum (Principal, McCallum Sather Architects)

  • Sustainability: “Clients must be engaged in the process to have truly sustainable buildings.”

David Premi (Principal, David Premi Architects)

  • Does Hamilton Have a Supportive Design Culture?: “In the new municipal economy, lifestyle is competitive. A supportive procurement process is essential to good design.”