News & Events

2024 DIALOG Design Residency in Honour of Tom Sutherland: A Recap

July 8, 2024

In February 2024, the DIALOG Edmonton studio hosted its fifth annual Design Residency, in honour of Tom Sutherland.

Each year, DIALOG funds a design residency program in memory of Tom Sutherland, our former managing Principal who passed away in 2015, who was passionate about investing in young future leaders and making a difference in our communities. Established in Tom’s honour, the Residency is an opportunity for creative young minds to develop their skills and expertise through collaboration with peers and industry professionals to address a design challenge.

The program brought together nine students from eight schools across Canada and the U.S. to address an urban design challenge that explores the physical and social opportunities of the former Remand Centre site in downtown Edmonton.

Former prison and unoccupied Remand Centre site, Edmonton, AB

Over four days, the students crafted a critical narrative and design intervention for the former prison and unoccupied Remand Centre site, which lies adjacent to the former CN rail line, reconnecting the north and south areas of downtown Edmonton and fostering a renewed sense of community connection.

This existing area of Edmonton has been impacted by economic recessions and race-based discrimination, exacerbated by historical socio-economic struggles, high rates of vacant land, and abandoned buildings. The site’s challenges are compounded by the housing and mental health crises in Canada, making it a hotbed for homeless encampments, creating a need for adequate services.

The students suggested the concept of the spine, a connected network that runs through the downtown area and permeates outwards into existing green spaces. The spine – following the former rail line – would create a mosaic of green nodes that connects to the Remand Centre site. They proposed a hub of services for the needs of the community such as social spaces, community services, pre-transitional housing, food sources, vegetation, and public washrooms. Throughout the program, the students gained insights from mentors who provided guidance and a wealth of knowledge to inform their design process.

Thank you to Jasmine Lin, Architecture, California Polytechnic State University; Jim Youk, Public Health, University of Alberta; Jonah Kurylowich, Architecture, Dalhousie University; Kailee Meakin, Landscape Architecture, University of Manitoba; Kaitlyn Vandenbilche, Planning, University of Calgary; Margot Kopache, Landscape Architecture, University of Guelph; Pouya Nazloo, Structural Engineering, University of Alberta; Quenton Whitecalf, Visual Communications, Alberta University of the Arts; and Serra Yildirim, Civil and Mineral Engineering, University of Toronto, for exploring opportunities to revitalize the Remand Centre site and transform this community into a sociable, equitable, and connected space.

We would also like to recognize our judging panel Antonio Gomez-Palacio, Chair, DIALOG; Natalie Lazurco, Director, Transportation Planning & Design, City of Edmonton; Christa Fitzgerald, Deputy Executive Director, Boyle Street Community Services; and Troy Holloway, Director, Building Design and Spatial Technology, Government of Alberta, for sharing their insightful feedback on the students’ design presentation.

Watch this video to learn more about the DIALOG Design Residency: 

In memory of Tom Sutherland DIALOG Design Residency
Read more