Monica Ponce de Leon


Dean and Eliel Saarinen Collegiate Professor of Architecture and Urban Planning

Principal, Monica Ponce de Leon Studio

Monica Ponce de Leon, AIA, was appointed Dean and Eliel Saarinen Collegiate Professor of Architecture and Urban Planning of University of Michigan’s Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning in September, 2008. In 1991, she co-founded Office dA and in 2011 launched her own design practice; Monica Ponce de Leon Studio. Dean Ponce de Leon received a Bachelor of Architecture degree in 1989 from the University of Miami and a Master of Architecture in Urban Design degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Design in 1991. She joined the Harvard Graduate School of Design faculty in 1996, where she was a Professor of Architecture and the Director of the Digital Lab. She has also held teaching appointments at Northeastern University, the Southern California Institute of Architecture, Rhode Island School of Design and Georgia Institute of Technology among others. She has received honors from the Architectural League of New York (Young Architects Award, 1997, and Emerging Voices, 2003) the American Academy of Arts and Letters (Award in Architecture, 2002), the Smithsonian Institution’s Cooper- Hewitt National Design Museum (National Design Award in Architecture, 2007), and the United States Artists (Target Fellows in Architecture and Design, 2007). Her practice has received over 60 design awards including the AIA’s Institute Honor Award for Architecture (Macallen Building, 2010), Honor Award for Design Excellence, AIA New York Chapter (200 West Street Project Team (including Office dA), 2010), Wallpaper Design Awards Best New Restaurant (Banq, 2009), the AIA/LA Design Award (Helios House, 2007), the AIA/ALA Library Building Award (Fleet Library at RISD, 2007), the AIA/Committee on the Environment’s Top Ten Green Projects (Macallen Building, 2008), five I.D Magazine Annual Design Review Awards and eight Progressive Architecture Awards.


Donald Schmitt
Don Schmitt-00039

Donald Schmitt is a graduate of the University of Toronto School of Architecture where he received the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada Medal.

His experience as an architect includes academic, healthcare and research facilities with a focus on sustainable design. Significant projects include the master plan and building at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology, Symphony Hall, Detroit and the Bahen Centre for Information Technology at the University of Toronto. More recently he has completed the Gilgan Centre for Research and Learning at SickKids Hospital, Allard Hall Law School, University of British Columbia, the Global Innovation Exchange Building at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario and the Regent Park Arts and Culture Centre in Toronto.

Currently he is working on the transformations of the Government Conference Centre and National Arts Centre, both in Ottawa, the new campus and buildings of the Emily Carr University of Art and Design in Vancouver and Dennison Hall at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. A Fellow of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada and a member of the American Institute of Architects, Mr. Schmitt and his firm have won over 200 design awards including six Governor General’s Awards.

He is the Founding Chair of the Public Art Commission for the City of Toronto for which he was awarded the Civic Medal. He was a member of the Advisory Committee on Planning Design and Real Estate for the National Capital Commission, Ottawa for 12 years, and is a member of the Waterfront Toronto Design Review Panel and the University of Toronto Design Review Panel.

He is a member of the Canadian Art Foundation Advisory Committee and is an academician with the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts.


Drew Sinclair



Drew is a licensed architect and urban designer and a Principal of regionalArchitects, rePlan and planningAlliance. His work focuses on the design of housing, community facilities, and master plans that meet the needs of rapidly expanding communities. Drew was the lead architect for rePlan’s housing and community plans for the Oyu Tolgoi Mine new town in Mongolia as well as a 5,000 hectare housing and university campus master plan in Novosibirsk, Russia. Drew led regionalArchitects’ Athletes’ Village Master Plan for the 2015 Pan and Parapan American Games and continues to lead the firm’s housing and institutional building practice areas. He has managed a wide range of residential, institutional, and mixed-use projects, including the 300,000 sq.m. 675 Progress Avenue redevelopment in Toronto, two student residences for Ryerson University, the KACST Photonics Laboratory Building in Riyadh, the Thompson Industrial Skills and Trades Training Centre, and the Victory Soya Mills Silo Master Plan for Toronto’s waterfront. Drew is also leading a number of significant facility design or facility renewal projects for faith-based communities throughout the Greater Toronto Area.Drew is a recipient of the Canada Council’s Prix de Rome for Emerging Practitioners and a past recipient of the Canadian Association of Geographers award. He is a graduate of McGill University (BA Hons. Geography and International Development) and holds a Masters of Architecture degree from the University of Toronto, where he won the Reisman Gold Medal in Design. Drew is a member of the City of Vaughan’s Design Review Panel, an at-large member of the Toronto Society of Architects Executive Council. Drew is also an adjunct faculty member at the University of Toronto Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design. In 2007, Drew co-founded Twenty + Change, the biennial exhibition dedicated to emerging Canadian architectural and urban design practice, along with Meg Graham and Andre D’Elia of superkül.


Kathy Velikov, AIA, OAA


Kathy Velikov is Principal of the practice RVTR and Assistant Professor of Architecture at the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of Michigan, where she teaches design studio, thesis and material systems. Her teaching and practice explore experimentation in the agency of architecture and urban design within the context of dynamic ecological systems, infrastructures, materially and technologically mediated environments and emerging social organizations. The work ranges in scale from that of the regional territory and the city, to high performance buildings, to full-scale installation-based prototypes that explore responsive and kinetic envelopes that mediate energy, atmosphere and social space. These operational scales are tied together through a methodology that entails an ecological approach; one that assembles around each project a multiplicity of agents, forces and contexts and actively uses these multivalent and sometimes contradictory agents to drive new potentials for the work. Her design and writing has been published and exhibited widely, and her practice, RVTR, has received numerous awards, including a Royal Architectural Institute of Canada Award of Excellence for Innovation in The Practice of Architecture, an R&D Award from Architecture Magazine, the Professional Prix de Rome in Architecture from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Architectural League of New York Prize for Young Architects + Designers. Their most recent project is an exhibition and forthcoming book of speculative urban research entitled Infra Eco Logi Urbanism.