Profile

I was born in Winnipeg, Canada in 1987. From an early age I began to take interest in the natural world around me through frequent trips to the family cottage and farm in Manitoba. My budding interest in the role of design in everyday life led me to study architecture and culminated in a Bachelor of Environmental Design from the University of Manitoba. After some time in the professional world of architecture I am aspiring to continue with Master's studies as a way of expanding on my experiences with theory and design.

My work often searches for a dialogue between technology and nature. Attention to detail and a desire for simplification have resulted in a design perspective that I continue to shape, much like an unfinished portrait. From years of experimentation with electronic circuit design and microcontrollers, I am interested in how technologies that are becoming increasingly available to the everyday designer can enhance our experiences of architecture and nature.

I am an admirer of classical music and have an exhaustive collection of music for the pipe organ. The natural landscape of my home province of Manitoba leads me in search of unique and untouched places, expressed through photography and field recordings.

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Hydrophone 2011 & 2013

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My interest in sound and water led me to build a hydrophone in order to explore the depths of Brereton Lake at the family cottage. I designed the body based on inspiration from early 20th-century diving helmets and used AutoCAD drafting software to create the pieces. Custom gaskets were created by laser-cutting sheet rubber. The interior of the hydrophone had to be filled with vegetable oil (a non-conducting liquid) so as not to create buoyancy.

Two piezo microphones adhered to the interior flat sides of the hydrophone provided stereo recording. A heavy-duty waterproof connector had to be used, and XLR cables carrying the microphone signals formed the tether for the device. A simple op-amp circuit using AD620AN amplified the signals before being fed into a H4 Zoom portable recording device. A .pdf of the schematic can be found here.

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In order to reduce the effect of wind on the tether, I had some friends come with me so we could build a snow wall around the test hole.

The hydrophone was able to hear faint sounds from the water, such as the ice cracking. I recorded a number of unusual sounds that I could not place - numerous thumps, scratches, pops and hums were heard underwater while the world was silent and still above. I envisioned using this information to inform an architecture of silence. Perhaps the stillness, darkness and isolation could serve as the prelude to a space of reflection or meditation.

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Listen to some of the recordings:

Ultrasonic Architecture II (2010)

Final fourth-year project at University of Manitoba
Advisor: Patrick Harrop

I sought to create a formal habitation of space using water as the primary material. Abandoned silos in Montréal, Canada were the chosen site for principal investigation given their proximity to a waterway, the Lachine Canal.

Research into water purification plants led to the design of a system to inhabit the silos and bring the canal into the site. The largest of the four silo spaces houses a filtration system that can convert water taken from the nearby canal. Two large tubes act as slow sand filters. Water passes through a series of striations of sand and rock that helps to remove impurities in the water. The floor shown has a catwalk to access the tubes, in order for visitors to watch as the water slowly makes its way through the system. I imagined large turbines below the ground floor that would provide the immense power needed to convey the water upwards into a central holding tank. At this point, a large water collector on the roof (illustrated as a dashed line in plan view) would transport rainwater to the same tank and reduce the amount required from the canal. The secondary, smaller silos were an open area where water cascaded down from above and kept the walls wet, creating an undulating enclosure around an otherwise banal space. While the outside grounds could serve as a place of play, this interior space was to become a place of disconnection from the exterior world. Only the sounds and texture of water and concrete would penetrate into the experience.

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I explored the notion of an automated system through the use of electronically-controlled water valves that would respond to external inputs. Through work at the Black Box experimental lab at Concordia University in Montréal, Canada, I used Max/MSP (a visual programming language) and wireless XBee microcontrollers to actuate electronic valves. By using vinyl tubing, the system became highly modular and could change as needed in order to pronounce certain phenomena generated by the water. I mapped out the system as I built it, as a means of recording effects that the system produced at different points. In order to create ultrasonic and audible sound, one of the water tubes outputted into a metal bowl. The sound of the water hitting the bowl was echoed through microphones into an octaphonic sound system and gave the sound prominence.

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The final model was an extension of my earlier work, an ultrasonic fountain. In this project, water would be drawn from the canal through a pipeline, filtered, and then outputted into the fountain system. Programmatical intent of creating a public water park served as a reason to re-start the disused site and draw the public into the area.

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PDF Link to the portfolio on this work.

Ultrasonic Architecture I (2009)

Final fourth-year project at University of Manitoba
Advisor: Patrick Harrop

I began by recording devices that emitted invisble ultrasonic sound, which ultimately led to an architectural investigation of this phenomena. The conclusion was a fountain that invited the user to manipulate it in order to discover its hidden properties.

I designed an ‘ultrasonic listener’ which consisted of a microphone capable of receiving ultrasonic sound. The frequencies were then divided by a factor of seven using a CD4024 seven-stage ripple carry binary counter, in order to shift the frequencies into an audible hearing range for humans. A LM386 op-amp served as an amplifier. With this device, I made recordings of sources that emitted ultrasonic sound. I created digital notational drawings, overlaid on top of the things that were creating ultrasonic sound. This allowed for a graphical representation as a means of representing what I was hearing. A high-pressure steam valve created mysterious pips and ticks; a signature of the possible activity inside. The continuous brushing of an old motor created a circular rhythym of low-pitch hums, intensifying and attenuating as the listener moved around the machine.

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Emulating the high-pressure water systems and oscillating motors that I had investigated, I crafted a copper fountain with manual valves that would change the pressure and sound of the water being pumped through it. The outputs of the fountain were crimped and bent in order to shape the streams of water as they exited the fountain. The duality of the fountain in its on and off states served to highlight the monolithic physical structure of the pipes, and the temporality of the sprays of water that were constantly changing. These jets enveloped the shaking pipes and created an evolving form. The observer could use the ultrasonic listening device to investigate different areas of the fountain and hear the ultrasonic sounds.

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True to my method of discovering ultrasonic sound, a user could take one of two ultrasonic listeners, now equipped with loudspeakers, to move around the device and listen to the sounds created by the water. As they opened and closed valves on the fountain, it would shake and the water would spray in different ways, not only emphasizing a temporal architecture created in the moment, but a symphony of sounds, tailored to each user’s experience.

PDF Link to the portfolio on this work.

Video of the fountain:

Subterranean Museum (2009)

Third-year project at University of Manitoba
Advisor: Andrew Lewthwaite

The subterranean museum was a conceptual project that was built under the ruins of an old garage in the Point Douglas area of Winnipeg. It was meant as a means of creating a historical record of the nearby Red River through an architectural intervention. While part of the underground space was treated as an archaeological site and “discovered” as the site was dug out, other parts revealed complex architectures from times past, such as columns, and an old mine shaft.

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The narrative I constructed created the framework of what the site would become.

I have come across a place that has been strangely ignored by the rest of the world, for some time. The space is in suspended chaos - mechanical remnants litter the floor, acting as indicators of a time past.

The first thing I notice are the bricks.

Bricks create the walls, bricks sit piled in a corner, bricks litter the floor. One brick I come across is irregularly-shaped; it has a circular marker on it.
Perhaps a throwback to an earlier age.
“OZARK D.P”
“B 21280”
“M BUTTS MOULDER”
The bricks are an indicator card, something of great utility in the past, yet now they lie in ruins.
What does a brick want to be? What does a brick think it is?
These are the bricks from OZARK D.P B 21280 M BUTTS MOULDER.
That is, 37 10”24.27” N, 94 30”33.46” W.

I can see wrecked boxes, filled with broken switches and dusty fuses.
The fuses are illegible, they almost certainly are not new, by any means. This place was a busy spot for industry, I think.
A long time ago, in another time, large baths inhabited this space, along with winches, heat lamps, and bearings. There were switches that could adjust the bath temperatures, knobs to adjust the heat, and lights to see at night. Perhaps what we cannot see of the past on the surface, lies below. Perhaps there is a subterranean world that existed below the baths of a long time ago.

In a crude attempt to hide the fallacies of the past, colourful graffiti adorns the walls of my space. As a traveller to this time, I do not understand their meaning.

Perhaps the people that inhabit this time can understand its meaning.

The chosen site was an unassuming garage structure. Imagining digging down into the site, I constructed a space replete with signatures of the past which was informed through my explorations of the surface. Although the garage had been unused for decades, I discovered old fuses, bricks and hand tools. Each object was crafted into an experience underground; the bricks inspired forgotten archways and the tools carved out an informative space, where eventually water collected and flooded the space. The entire setup was directed by my own imagination and what I gleaned from the surface. The middle of the space had a well for ground-water to be collected in, and planks created a temporary floor for the visitor to view archaeological remains of time. Striations of clay are visible on the walls, serving as an underground window into the ever-shifting landscape of the riverbed below the surface.

The model was cast in parts, using formwork to hold the plaster that became larger with each step. Cast-in-place LED lighting illuminated the space and created hidden secrets that would only show themselves in the daytime, when daylight would come streaming in through the openings in the ground.

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PDF Link to the portfolio on this work.

Duchamp Theatre (2008)

Third-year project at University of Manitoba
Advisor: Andrew Lewthwaite

“Imagine a world in which people live just one day. Either the rate of heartbeats and breathing is sped up so that an entire lifetime is compressed to the space of one turn of the earth on its axis—or the rotation of the earth is slowed to such a low gear that one complete revolution occupies a whole human lifetime...”
Alan Lightman, Einstein’s Dreams

The text from Einstein’s Dreams facilitated the creation of a qualitative measurement of time in order to begin to develop a working architecture. I focused on the ephemeral qualities of light. I wanted to see if the light could create its own form, rather than building a framework myself. Sketches of light spreading on paper led me to an abstract form, similar to the form of the bride in Marcel Duchamp's work The bride stripped bare by her bachelors, even (1915-1923). In exploring concepts of time registration, I had also been constructing digital VU meters which are commonly used to visualise sound levels. I wanted to use my drawings to create a topography that could work in conjunction with the VU meter lights to reveal and obscure the meter's circuitry, treating the circuitry as the architectural object. I cut out my drawings of light intensities and began the construction of a "Duchamp theatre" that would encompass all the parts of my research.

The Duchamp theatre was a box with a viewing slot on the front. Looking in revealed darkness, until the lights from the VU meter illuminated select areas of the box, giving the viewer an ever-changing and brief view of the contents - namely, the circuit boards of the VU meter and the ephemeral forms of the light patterns layered on top of each other. I meant to draw a comparison to Duchamp's Bride work in a contrasting way. While Duchamp waited eight years for layers of dust to accumulate on the surface of the glass in order to create a permanent signature of time, my Duchamp theatre provided temporal registrations of time that were never the same.

PDF Link to the portfolio on this work.

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Meditation Space (2008)

Second-year project at University of Manitoba
Advisor: Marcella Eaton

Two sites were examined on opposite sides of the University of Manitoba campus. One site would feature an exhibition space, the other a review space. Both sites needed to be independent of the power grid, and could use wind and solar technologies to power anything that needed to be powered.

The review space took its cues from the works of Tadao Ando and Kengo Kuma. The space was a polished concrete monolith with entrances on all four sides. One streetside entrance featured a wheelchair ramp. Four wooden-panel walls served as bisectors in order to divide the space as needed. Larger audiences would keep the walls pushed out, while a small group could seclude themselves in one section with two walls pushed in. A double band of windows ran horizontally around the structure, to allow light to penetrate the space. The polished concrete walls evoked feelings of permanence and confidence.
In order to reduce the weight of the large wooden separating panels, the core of each panel was filled with horizontally-laid cardboard, which served a double purpose of also dampening sound in the space. The panels sat in tracks built into the concrete with wooden rollers fitted in them.
The many doors ensured that other groups in the space would not be disturbed by the coming and going of other students in the space.

Facing onto the banks of the Red River, the exhibition space featured an open-air concept and a style similar to Diller and Scofidio’s Slow House. Constructed of a wooden plank system, the walls of the space were at the same time transparent and enclosing, allowing sunlight and wind to penetrate. The visitor would begin their viewing of works from the top of the bank, and reach the bottom of the space which featured a balcony. Here, the spectacular view of the river could be enjoyed before the visitor continued back up to the exit. On the way back up more works/projects could be viewed, all in natural light. The entire floor is sloped, to allow for proper wheelchair access. A hybrid horizon was created with the infusion of art along the horizontal gaps in the walls. As a horizon can be interpreted as the end of the earth (as far as the eye can see), the final projects displayed were a continuation of this idea. The final project was the conclusion of the original idea. The viewing balcony was intended to draw attention to the most important aspect of the site; the river and the opposite bank served as the main attraction to the site, and acted as a reward for the visitor’s trek from the top of the bank to the bottom.

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Presentation Stand (2010)

Fourth-year project at University of Manitoba
Advisor: Nat Chard

The project team took a trip to my family farm in Silver, Manitoba to find some suitable wood to use and to gain a better understanding of how we would begin to create a viewing mount. The site at the farm featured black ash and spruce trees. Many had recently been felled to make way for new hydro lines. This provided us with an abundance of wood to bring back to Winnipeg and experiment with. Nearby, alpacas were grazing. Immediately we began to look at a method of staying true to nature. In the forest we saw many examples of natural connections happening with trees. Branches would curl beside each other and link together to form a more solid structure. This led us to mimic the connections we saw that were occuring in nature in the hopes of being able to create a set of rules on how to assemble the project.

We used some choice pieces of wood and started positioning it in different ways to see if there were any natural means of displaying a model or hanging a drawing. We were able to use one particular bend in a branch as a seat. Through this simple exercise we started to see how our viewing stand would begin to be assembled. Some of the tools we used included hand spokes, rasps, chisels and saws. The tools helped to highlight different qualities in the wood we used. Bark was subtly displayed in some parts, while large shaved surfaces were present in others. When put together, these different textures helped to achieve an overall harmony in the project. We used saws as a means of removing a large amount of wood quickly. One piece became a “mast” that served to hold up a drawing mount. Apart from wood, we used rawhide lashing as means of uniting pieces together, leather for foot covers and seat covers, and stone for weight and balance.

A triangular assembly served as a horizontal surface for a model or series of models. It was supported by the two major vertical assemblies, and a smaller one at the front. This smaller support was held together with rawhide lashing that was soaked in water. As it dried it would shrink, therefore holding the pieces tightly together. The seat on the right side of the project was covered in leather for comfort. We chose this material in consideration of the site at the farm - cows were the sole inhabitants of the space. Two large pieces of Tyndal limestone act as a counterweight for the heavier section of the tree near the top. By using this piece of wood in the reverse of the way it grew, we illustrated the lightness of the members that touch the floor. The two vertical “masts” served to hold up a horizontally-sliced thin piece of wood. Here, tacks could be pushed into the soft wood to hold up drawings. The rest of the display doubled as a pin board, as tacks can be pushed in almost anywhere.

Through a careful consideration of connections and weight, parts of the project appeared to be floating in mid-air. We positioned the left-most assembly to straddle the vertical and horizontal planes in order to emphasize the lightness of the material and members.

Made in collaboration with James Rubio and Fieldon Eddy.

PDF Link to the portfolio on this work.

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8-channel/Stereo Digital-Analogue Converter (2011-2012)

The aim of this DAC was to provide for both stereo and octaphonic output. Using the latest Buffalo-III DAC module from Twisted Pear Audio, this project also integrates a headphone amplifier for live monitoring. The DAC can accept frequencies up to 384kHz across ABS/EBU, coax, TOSLINK, and USB connections. An Arduino using HiFiDuino-based code will provide for an interface complete with input switching and volume control. I also designed a 2- to 8-channel switching circuit using relays. This project is a work in progress.

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TA.KA.JI.KU.N Lighting Project (2011)

Five LED light modules bear the words "TAKAJI KUN" (たかじくん). Each module's faceplate was designed in AutoCAD, and then produced with a laser cutter and black acrylic. The idea for this project is to interface the modules with an Arduino/XBee wireless system to create a notification device that can signal changes from a wide range of data.

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Millett MAX (2010)

After building a Millett MAX headphone amplifier circuit, I designed a pine and Tyndall stone case to accompany the circuitry, with a unifying theme of using Manitoba materials. The wood is pine from nearby Silver, Manitoba and the Tyndall stone comes from a quarry in Garson, Manitoba.

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pimeta v2 Headphone Amplifier (2010)

Similar to the Millett MAX project, the pimeta v2 headphone amplifier was constructed from a self-assembled kit and cased in a custom-designed metal housing. The faceplates and drill setups were assembled and designed in AutoCAD, and then created using a metal etch process to place text on the plates.

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Attenuator (2010)

The Khozmo Acoustic stepped attenuator circuit is a specialized device used for controlling volume levels. The faceplates for the case were designed in AutoCAD and created using a metal etch process to place text on the plates.

Attenuator Front Attenuator Back Attenuator Inside Attenuator Plans

800 Dovercourt Drive (2011-13)

Value of construction: $27 million
Contractor: Akman Construction Ltd.

800 Dovercourt Drive is a five storey, two-phase apartment complex with underground and above-ground parking. I was involved with drawing creation in AutoCAD, project management, trade coordination, and permit filing. Colours were chosen that spoke to the landscape around the site and the prairies of Manitoba.

Lot size: 130,700 sq. ft.
Building Area: 34,700 sq. ft.
155 suites total
Underground parking: 109 stalls
Surface parking: 129 stalls

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Goodlife Fitness Centre (2011-12)

Located at 1610 Regent Avenue in Winnipeg, Canada, the building is a 25,000 sq. ft. fitness centre with two commercial rental units. My involvement included drawing creation in AutoCAD, project management, trade coordination, and permit filing.

Contractor: Westland Construction Ltd.

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455 Westwood Apartments (2010-12)

455 Westwood Ave., Winnipeg, Canada
Contractor: Central Canadian Structures Ltd.
- 12 storey, 16,050 sq. ft. apartment complex with
surface and parkade parking
- Involved with project management, trade
coordination

Lot size: 146,850 sq. ft.
Building Area: 16,050 sq. ft.
160 suites total
Parking: 234 stalls with parkade

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750 Taché Apartments (2011-12)

750 Taché Ave., Winnipeg, Canada
Developer: Streetside Development Ltd.
- 4 storey, 6,750 sq. ft. apartment complex with
surface and parkade parking
- Involved with project management

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St. Bernadette Church (2011-12)

820 Cottonwood Rd., Winnipeg, Canada
Value of construction: $3.7 million
Developer: Jilmark Construction Ltd.
- Limestone and masonry addition to existing
church

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Other Projects (2010-12)

Polo Park North commercial units
1200 St. James St. commercial units
St. Paul's School Fieldhouse
The Keg Restaurant - St. James
Richmond West MLCC
Steinbach McDonald's
1500 Regent Ave. commercial units
1120 Waverley commercial units
Flin Flon Cambrian Credit Union
Southdale Shapes
Vern's Pizza, 527 London Ave.
WRE Development Ltd. - 28 Queen Elizabeth Way
Miso Restaurant - Harrow St. strip mall redesign
Sobeys North Main
Rivergrove Sobeys
Kildonan Green Sobeys
1086 St. Mary's Rd. - Building face redesign
Ricki's/CLEO/Bootlegger store designs - Polo Park Shopping Centre
Oasis Leisure Centre
Leatherdale House

Hesperides Garden Design (2010)

Taken from the project brief:

"Everyone has a secret. We want people to think about their secrets. Why do we keep them? Three, folded, ephemeral, whispering nymphs grace the garden, waiting, listening, and seducing visitors to speak their secrets.

The nymphs Hesperides were not allowed to interfere with human affairs - at Jardin Metis, they will serve only as a conduit for human sounds. Each nymph will be equipped with a small microphone and a speaker. A visitor, who chooses to speak to a nymph, will have their message quietly whispered by another nymph somewhere in the garden or across Canada in a small garden in Winnipeg.

The garden in Winnipeg will whisper back to Jardin Metis. On occasions the whispers will go unheard, other times listeners will hear and perhaps respond. Responses, however, will find the ears of new listeners due to the configuration of the circuitry. In this way, secrets will be preserved and boundaries of privacy will remain intact."

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