Rachel Cyr

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Rachel Cyr

KPMB Architects

BID

Rachel Cyr joined KPMB Architects as a designer in 2011, and has contributed to a diverse range of the studio’s notable academic, corporate and institutional projects. Her projects have included the offices of Gluskin Sheff & Associates in Toronto and the Fort York Branch Library, as well as the LEED Gold targeted Julis Romo Rabinowitz Building and Louis A. Simpson International Building in the former Frick Chemistry Lab at Princeton University. She is currently the associate-in-charge of the corporate workplace design for a New York City headquarters, and is also actively involved in the renovation of Robertson Hall at Princeton University, and the Bay Adelaide Centre North Tower in Toronto’s Financial District.

Rachel has conducted significant research into workplace design trends which she leverages into KPMB’s interiors mandates. She is a member of KPMB’s Corporate Social Responsibility Steering Committee and is a Founding Executive Committee Member of BEAT (Building Equality in Architecture Toronto).

Maya Desai

Maya Desai

Maya Desai

Moriyama Teshima Architects

M.Arch., OAA

Maya is the Senior Urban Designer at Moriyama Teshima Architects, an Assistant Professor in the Environmental Design and Design for Health programs, and the incoming Chair of Environmental Design at OCAD University. She received a Master of Architecture from the Daniels School of Architecture, Landscape and Design at the University of Toronto, where she was awarded the King Medal for Research and Innovation in Environmental Design. Maya’s approach to urban design is informed by her research interests in the ecological and socio-cultural frameworks of the built and natural environment. She enjoys design projects that prioritize cultural narrative, resilient solutions and collaborative community engagement.

 Maya’s professional work spans a variety of scales, from architectural projects to large-scale master plans, and includes such architectural projects as the Collaborative Health Education Building for Dalhousie University, the Aga Khan Museum, and the Al Seera Museum as well as a number of master plan projects for institutions and clients such as the Qatar Foundation, the University of Lethbridge, Wilfrid-Laurier University, Conestoga College, the Town of Whitby and the Surrey City Development Corporation. 

Jennifer Esposito

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Jennifer Esposito

superkül

OAA, M.Arch II, M.Arch, B.A.S.

Jennifer Esposito is a registered Architect with the Ontario Association of Architects. She graduated with a post-professional Master of Architecture II from Harvard University Graduate School of Design (2012) and previously earned a Master of Architecture (2007) and a Bachelor of Architectural Studies with Highest Distinction (2005) from Carleton University where she was named to the RAIC Honour Roll. She is also a recipient of the Canada Council for the Arts JBC Watkins Award, which enabled her to pursue postgraduate education beyond Canadian borders.

Jennifer has recently moved back to her hometown of Toronto.  Prior to joining the team at superkül, she was an Associate at MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects (Halifax, NS) where she was instrumental in leading the firms proto-urban residential projects.  Additional work experience includes award winning offices across North America including Pin/Taylor Architects (Yellowknife, NT), Brown + Storey Architects (Toronto, ON), LUCE et studio (San Diego, CA), and William Rawn Associate Architects (Boston, MA).  

 Throughout her career, Jennifer has been passionate about teaching and mentorship in the profession.  She has taught at Harvard GSD (Career Discovery Program) as well as Dalhousie University and is currently a Sessional Instructor at the University of Waterloo.  She also volunteers her time as mentor to OAA and NSAA Intern Architects as well as students in the Carleton Alumni Mentorship Program.

Rebecca Lai

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Rebecca Lai

Diamond Schmitt Architects

M.Arch, OAA


Rebecca graduated from the University of Waterloo School of Architecture, Honours Program. Her portfolio of work includes: academic, healthcare, institutional, commercial, residential and transit projects. She recently completed the North York Central Library renovation and is now leading the completion of the Robarts Library Pavilion at the University of Toronto. Her research interests involve resilient design, participatory design, spaces for learning, mixed-use typologies, technology, and responsive architecture. In 2012, she co-founded Summer Design Lab; an interdisciplinary design studio in Toronto. She was also the managing director for the Toronto Center for Entrepreneurial Art and Design and enjoys supporting non-profit work and empowering youth through design thinking, social and environmental stewardship.

As an Executive Committee Member of BEAT, Rebecca oversees the programming and delivery of BEAT Talks which provides the community with access and engagement to events at local firms. She also manages BEAT Workshops for Executive Leadership which is a training and discussion platform for those in senior management.

Persis Lam

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Persis Lam

Diamond Schmitt Architects

M.Arch, OAA

Persis Lam is a Toronto-based architect, born and raised in Vancouver, BC. Her practice is inspired by collaborative and beautiful design rooted by site and community relationships.  Her drive for elegant design solutions to solve real problems stems from a technical and common sense.  She believes each design has a story that is revealed in the final built form.  She graduated with a Diploma of Building Technology at BCIT, Bachelor of Environmental Design and a Master of Architecture from Dalhousie University, where she received the RAIC Ernest Wilby Memorial Scholarship and the Rosetti Scholarship 2005: Havana. Since joining Diamond Schmitt Architects in 2002, Persis has worked on a range of academic, commercial and residential projects, including: the Hudson Condominiums in Toronto; the School of Medicine at Queen’s University; Lethbridge Leisure Centre in Alberta, the Papadakis Integrated Sciences Building at Drexel University in Philadelphia and 505 Richmond Great Hall.

Persis enjoys mentoring in the architecture community, has been a guest critic at University of Waterloo School of Architecture, a speaker at Engineers Without Borders Conference and continues to support collaboration at all levels of the design field. As well as keeping a strong focus on design and project management at Diamond Schmitt Architects, Persis enjoys spending time with her two young children and participates in the office rock band, Thundertrϋss.

Persis is an Executive Committee Member of BEAT and focuses on BEAT Talks which is a small private event at a host architectural firm that showcases their work and the people behind it.

Dimitra Papantonis

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Dimitra Papantonis

Williamson Williamson

M.Arch, OAA


Dimitra received a Master of Architecture from Daniels School of Architecture, Landscape and Design at the University of Toronto, and a Bachelor of Arts with Honours double majoring in Architectural Design and Economics from the University of Toronto.

Her research and interests are in housing, historical development of spaces, and typologies. She has led and worked on a variety of complex projects including residential, commercial, and mixed use. Dimitra has a keen understanding of the city of Toronto’s zoning by-laws and Ontario building code making her adept at shaping buildings that abide by current standards while meeting the needs of the client. Her most recent projects include a mixed commercial residential building, with a focus on multi-generational living, and the second phase of a Midwives Clinic.

As a Founding Executive Committee Member of BEAT, Dimitra has focused on the annual Seminar which provides recent graduates and young professionals exposure to more experienced members in the industry.

Sonia Ramundi

Sonia Ramundi

Williamson Williamson

M. Arch, OAA


Sonia is a registered architect and Senior Associate at Williamson Williamson Inc. Sonia is known for her critical insight and attention to detail and is key to conceptual development within the office. Since joining the team in 2015 she has led various master planning, retail interior, and residential projects, including the office addition above Pilot Coffee’s roastery and flagship location in Toronto. She is currently the project lead on various commercial interior fit-outs and a residence overlooking the Bluffs. Prior to joining Williamson Williamson Inc. Sonia worked in offices in Los Angeles and Toronto as a project designer on various institutional projects as well as award winning high-end interiors and residential projects.

Sonia believes strongly in the importance of mentorship, both inside and outside of the office. As an Executive Member of BEAT (Building Equality in Architecture Toronto) Sonia contributes to the Dinner Series and Annual Leadership Seminar as she sees them as vehicles for promoting networking, mentorship, and therefore retention in the field.

Melanie Rank

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Melanie Rank

Quadrangle Architects

B.Arch., M. Arch, OAA, LEED AP

After pursuing her interests by beginning her studies in Mathematics and Fine Arts, in 1998 Melanie graduated from Carleton University with a Bachelor of Architecture, with High Distinction. In September of 2000, Melanie joined Quadrangle Architects where she currently assumes a key role in developing feasibility studies. She brings a solid understanding of building components into the early planning concept stage, with a focus on business development by inspiring new clients and providing engaging concepts to existing clients. This role affords her the opportunity to concentrate on her keen interest in various scales of site plan development, identifying site opportunities and constraints, analyzing zoning parameters and quantitative analysis in a consistent and sophisticated early design process. In 2006, Melanie became a registered Architect with the OAA and in 2009, obtained LEED AP accreditation.

As a member of the BEAT Executive Committee, Melanie focuses on the planning and organization of the BEAT Dinner Series.

Vineetha Sivathasan

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Vineetha Sivathasan

Kohn Partnership Architects

M.Arch., B.A (Hons)


Vineetha Sivathasan is a graduate of the Masters of Architecture program from the University of Toronto's John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design. She currently works at Kohn Partnership Architects, where she is continuing her path to become a fully licensed Architect in Ontario.

She believes that giving back in some form is essential for professional and personal growth and as such, she volunteer for a few committees.  She currently sits in as an Interns Committee Member of the Ontario Association of Architects, where they tackle issues pertaining to future architects like herself. When time permits, volunteers with Toronto Society of Architects.

Like most architectural graduates, she found the urge to do more after school and outside of work, through various freelance projects. The scope of these projects include visual, conceptual and 3D representation of clients’ intended ideas for the City of Toronto, and exhibition visualization for various museums in Toronto. As well as, event/exhibition coordination and graphic design for the Ontario Association of Architects’ Intern Committee for their //MOVE Party, an art installation party. Recently, she worked with Esther E. Shipman, an internationally renowned curator, to design and create her brand and website for her new business venture focusing on art, architecture and cultural tourism in Portugal.  She finds that each freelance project has its own challenges and excitements, and at the end of the day, there is always something new to be learned from each one. She finds her career, freelance projects, and volunteer jobs have and is leading the way for her to find inspiration and artistic identity that is an amalgamation of her cultural and individual identity.  

Vineetha is an Executive Committee Member of BEAT and focuses on graphics and communication media, leveraging social networks to further promote BEAT’s programming and mandate.

Safoura Zahedi

Safoura Zahedi

Moriyama Teshima Architects

M.Arch, BID, MRAIC

Safoura is an Architectural Designer at Moriyama & Teshima Architects with experience on a diverse range of projects, including residential, institutional, civic and master planning. She is highly committed to the design community and acts as Awards Coordinator at the DesignTO Festival and Executive Committee member at BEAT (Building Equality in Architecture Toronto), where she co-founded the annual BEAT Forum, devoted to addressing issues of diversity and inclusion in the design and architecture industry. Safoura's independent work has been exhibited at the Design Exchange 3DXL exhibition, DesignTO Festival, and Gladstone Hotel's Come Up To My Room and GrowOp exhibitions.

Fotini Pitoglou

Fotini Pitoglou

KPMB Architects

Dipl. Arch. Eng., M.Arch., TCG, MRAIC

Fotini was first introduced to architecture at a very young age while exploring the ancient ruins around Greece. These early childhood adventures were later followed by mastering the field of Architecture in Greece (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki) and Canada (University of Waterloo). Through her studies, she developed an interest in strategic planning and community building that is now expressed by her research and active volunteerism on social and architecture matters.

 Her work experience varies from project coordination to contract administration on high-rise residential projects and custom traditional houses. She is a licensed Architect in Greece (TCG) and works her way to licensure in Ontario. Currently she is also developing a non-profit organization focused on the impacts of tourism on vulnerable communities, as well is pursuing accreditation as LEED AP.

Ramona Adlakha

Ramona Adlakha

Diamond Schmitt Architects

M.Arch, AIA, LEED GA

Ramona Adlakha lives in Toronto and practices architecture at Diamond Schmitt Architects. She was born in Calcutta, India, speaks five languages and has been lucky enough to call multiple places across the globe her home. Ramona holds a Master of Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania where she received the Alpha Ro Chi Medal for professional merit and the William Melhorn Scholarship in architectural history and theory. Ramona holds a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture, Fine Art and Literary Studies from the University of Toronto where she was the recipient of the Government of Canada’s Millennium Provincial Laureate scholarship awarded for exhibited excellence in community involvement, innovation, and leadership. Ramona has completed architectural study abroad programs at the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London, U.K. and the University of Siena, Italy. She is co-founder of PennDesign Women in Architecture at the University of Pennsylvania and a LEED accredited professional.

Ramona is deeply committed to promoting the visibility and voice of women in design. Ramona’s first book, Women [Re]Build: Stories, Polemics and Futures, co-edited with Franca Trubiano and Ramunė Bartuskaite and published by ORO editions will be available in bookstores worldwide October 2019.

Ramona is an Executive Committee Member of BEAT and focuses on graphics and communication media, developing marketing collateral to further promote BEAT’s programming and mandate.