News & Events

Bringing unique perspectives together: How DIALOG started

March 18, 2020

“New DIALOG for leading design firms.” Originally released on September 15, 2010. 

Today begins a new era for a group of leading Canadian architecture, engineering, interior design, planning and urban design firms as they adopt a new name for their recent merger. Cohos Evamy, Hotson Bakker Boniface Haden, Mole White Associates, and Office for Urbanism will now be known collectively as DIALOG.

The new name recognizes a shared vision to create something unique in our industry. “We believe the most effective way to design and plan for our increasingly complex world is to use a highly collaborative approach, one that brings unique perspectives together, bridges traditional boundaries, and engages clients and their communities. Today we’re putting a name to this shared vision,” said firm managing principal Tom Sutherland.

When asked about moving beyond the original names, firm chair, Doug McConnell observed that, “We’re looking to the future. Our new name speaks to a vital national professional practice built upon a multidisciplinary approach committed to collaborative design”.

Clients who have grown accustomed to each founding firm’s high quality of work can rest easy. Sutherland added, “Our names may have changed, but our values, our principles, and our commitment to excellence remain the same. We’re still focused on doing great work and being a force for positive change for our clients, their communities, and the environment we all share.”

The name DIALOG conveys the firm’s uniquely collaborative approach founded upon engagement of clients and communities by multidisciplinary teams of architects, engineers, interior designers, planners, and graphic artists in an interactive planning and design process. It is an approach that has garnered international recognition for the firm’s outstanding contributions to the public realm and the design of cities.

We’re still focused on doing great work and being a force for positive change for our clients, their communities, and the environment we all share.

—Tom Sutherland

Calgary managing principal, Rob Adamson, underscored the fit of the new name, “Dialogue is the language of collaboration. It’s central to how we work and increasingly important to the world in general. We all need to work together to find the best solutions to the issues at hand.” Toronto principal Jennifer Keesmaat indicated that, “the creation of DIALOG presents an endless range of new opportunities for truly creative collaboration amongst diverse yet like-minded professionals. We’re very enthusiastic about the creative potential.”

In a world of increasing challenges in the way Canadians live, move and work, DIALOG is well positioned to be a strong voice for innovative thinking and sustainable leadership – a discussion that can only benefit from the collaboration of people with unique perspectives and skills. “There’s a lot of change afoot in how we’re building our communities,” noted Vancouver principal Joost Bakker. “On the one hand there’s a desire for greater open public engagement while on the other, a shift to a more concentrated and intense building process be it with Design-Build or P3 initiatives. As DIALOG we are able to seamlessly span and integrate this breadth.”

DIALOG has a track record of award-winning design excellence. Founded by the merged firms of Cohos Evamy + Hotson Bakker Boniface Haden + Mole White Associates + Office for Urbanism, DIALOG is committed to the practice of sustainable design with a focus on the success of clients and communities. Working from studios in Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver, DIALOG credits its strength to its outstanding multidisciplinary teams who deliver a collaborative approach to the provision of exceptional architectural, engineering, interior design, planning and urban design services.