Since joining DIALOG, Donna has helped build our practice across the education, arts and culture, post-secondary, and research sectors. A trained biochemist and architect, she collaborates with scientists and engineers, with seminarians and nuns, with actors and musicians, with elders and the deaf community. Donna brings diverse stakeholders across a breadth of project typologies together towards a shared vision that respects their specific technical and social needs while delivering design excellence.
Not only does Donna design spaces that reflect and support their users, but she also designs spaces that creatively influence the way we experience our communities through projects like Edmonton’s Walterdale Bridge and the Mechanized River Valley Access. Her work in education, post-secondary, and research helps redefine our institutions’ culture by making them more inclusive, accessible, and supportive of a broad range of teaching and learning styles. This is seen in her work for the Alberta School for the Deaf, the Donadeo Innovation Centre for Engineering, and the kihew waciston Indigenous Centre. Donna also enriches the way we experience our arts and culture through her design work on projects such as the Royal Alberta Museum, the ATB Financial Arts Barns, the TELUS World of Science Aurora project, and the St. Joseph Seminary. In 2019, her commitment to the arts community was recognized by her induction into the City of Edmonton’s Arts and Culture Hall of Fame. Donna is a Fellow of the Royal Architecture Institute of Canada and a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts.
Donna was a partner at DIALOG for over 20 years. She remains active and fully engaged with design teams and clients on various projects across our studios.
What’s your favourite DIALOG initiative?
I love Aspire. Seeing the work of the past year, the passion we bring to our work and the depth of caring and talent within DIALOG always leaves me hopeful.
What’s your favourite mode of transportation?
My favourite way to experience and navigate a city is to walk it. You see, hear, smell, and feel so much. Walking is when I do my best thinking.
If you were to change your career, what would you do instead?
I have already done that…. my first career was in biochemistry. After working for a couple years, I took some time off and traveled. I fell in love with cities, with beautiful urban environments and with inspiring buildings. So I came back to Canada and enrolled in architecture school. I cannot imagine doing anything else now.
Working at the intersection of education, art, technology and architecture is my greatest joy. There is incredible potential for richness and delight–to connect us to our past and to our future, to our environment and to each other.
Bachelor of Architecture
University of Toronto
Bachelor of Science
University of Alberta