Elsa Lam is editor-in-chief of Canadian Architect magazine. She was the 2012 winner of the Phyllis Lambert Prize for writing in architecture, awarded for her doctoral dissertation “Wilderness Nation: Building Canada’s Railway Landscapes, 1885-1929,” completed at Columbia University in the City of New York under the supervision of Kenneth Frampton and Vittoria di Palma. The dissertation explores the role of Canada's railway hotels, western national parks and other railway-sponsored buildings and landscapes in forging a sense of national identity.
Elsa studied architectural history at McGill University and architectural design at the University of Waterloo. She has written extensively for architecture magazines, as well as collaborating on the editing and writing of several books on design history. Previous to her role at Canadian Architect, she worked with the Canadian Centre for Architecture in Montreal. She is co-editor of the forthcoming book Canadian Modern Architecture, 1967-2017, to be co-published by Princeton Architectural Press and Canadian Architect in Fall 2019.