Students Design Residency in Honour of Tom Sutherland

The Design Residency in Honour of Tom Sutherland is an annual event hosted by a different DIALOG studio each year during Reading Week.

A cohort of students are drawn from various universities and disciplines, selected in consideration of the residency topic and presenting studio. They participate in a three-day workshop to identify and address a community issue, opportunity, or problem for the benefit of the community.

DIALOG facilitates and funds the workshop, providing a variety of internal and external speakers and mentors to help inform the work of the group. Each Residency culminates in a presentation and reception including members of the affected community group/organization and the hosting studio.

About Tom Sutherland

“Tom was passionate about making a difference in our communities and the environment we all share, and established this as a core value of DIALOG’s culture. He was a believer in the importance of investing in our youth. He loved to work in a workshop environment and always led with talent, commitment, and ambition in support of finding the very best solution for our community.”

DIALOG architect and firm managing principal, Tom Sutherland, committed his life to improving the communities we live in. He believed the future of design was interdisciplinary and championed DIALOG’s integrated structure and approach as a catalyst for it.

Tom was born July 17, 1961 in Edmonton, Alberta. While studying architecture, he was awarded the gold medal for highest standing in an undergraduate faculty from both the Bachelor of Environmental Studies program at the University of Manitoba in 1982, and the Master of Architecture program at Harvard University in 1987. He practiced for ten years in Boston and Toronto before returning home where his reputation as a bright, young architect captured the attention of many, including DIALOG.

As an architect, Tom’s influence can be seen around Edmonton and Alberta. His portfolio of work led with a strong but collaborative design hand includes healthcare facilities such as Royal Alexandra Hospital’s Robbins Pavilion, the Kaye Edmonton Clinic, the Grande Prairie Regional Hospital and the Edson Healthcare Centre. Some of his post-secondary educational buildings include Northern Alberta Institute of Technology’s HP and Spartan and Petro-Canada Centres plus NorQuest College’s Singhmar Centre for Learning. Tom was very proud of the role he played in developing Edmonton’s Capital City Downtown Plan; he relished the opportunity to help Edmonton become a great city.

On April 2, 2015, Tom passed away in a tragic accident. His legacy lives on through his family, the joy his designs bring to the community, and DIALOG’s culture and values.

How to apply

There is no application process for the Design Residency. The Steering Committee confirms the universities and disciplines from which the initial cohort will be drawn, and the participating faculty members choose a top student willing to participate.