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"How Do I Get a Job?" with Vanessa Fong, Pat Hanson and Gunta Mackars

In this panel discussion, three prominent Toronto design practitioners — Vanessa Fong, Pat Hanson and Gunta Mackars — will speak to the following questions:

    •    What technical skills do you look for in a candidate?
    •    What personal skills do you look for in a candidate?     
    •    What should a candidate never do in an interview?



Vanessa Fong
B.Sc. (Arch) (McGill), M.Arch (McGill), OAA, LEED AP
Vanessa is an Ontario Architect and Principal Architect at VFA, a Toronto studio bringing together diverse individuals with a shared passion for great architecture at a human scale. A graduate of McGill University with over a decade of architectural experience, Vanessa worked at Quadrangle Architects and RAW Design before establishing her own studio in 2014. Vanessa is also the co-founder and co-owner of FOLD, a workshare space for the architecture, landscape and interior design community.
A strong believer in giving back to the community, Vanessa has served for the past four years as a Council member for the Ontario Association of Architects. During the past three years she has also held the position of OAA Vice President Communications, driven by a belief in the architectural community’s obligation to educate the public and decision makers about the value of architecture. Vanessa also sits as board member of the City of Toronto’s Design Industry Advisory Committee.



Pat Hanson
Pat Hanson is a founding partner of gh3, a practice which explores the overlap of architecture, landscape and sustainability. Under Pat’s leader, gh3 has grown steadily since its inception and has won awards from its peers. Most recently, the firm received the Governor General’s Medal in Architecture for the design of June Callwood Park in downtown Toronto.
Pat has directed a number of architecture, urbanism and planning projects which have involved complex programs and extensive public consultation processes, as well as the realization of competition winning designs. She has designed many institutional education projects which bridge beyond architecture into urban design and landscape.
Pat has lectured throughout North America and Europe. She has served as an adjunct studio professor and the University of Toronto and the University of Waterloo. Pat is presently a member of the Waterfront Design Review Panel.


Gunta Mackars
Landscape Architect
Gunta Mackars is a landscape architect with 30 years of experience in landscape architecture, urban design, planning, design for sustainability and land entitlement. She has lived and worked in Canada, Duban and Southern California, exposing her to a broad range of views, attitudes and experiences. She has led design teams on a variety of projects in Canada and the USA, and abroad in the Middle East, Europe, China and Southeast Asia. She is interested in finding ways to ensure balanced, healthy and viable cities for the future.
Gunta is the Vice President Design Excellence at Metrolinx. She has led the Landscape Architecture group in the GTA for Stantec Consulting Ltd. She is the principal and owner at GMLA Design. Gunta is a member of the Urban Land Institute and serves on the design review board for Toronto Community Housing.


This event is a collaboration between Building Equality in Architecture Toronto (BEAT), the Daniels Faculty Committee on Diversity and Equity and the Graduate Architecture, Landscape, and Design Student Union (GALDSU).

Open to Daniels Faculty students. Registration is not required.

Original Post

Earlier Event: March 5
BEAT Talk with Valerie Gow
Later Event: April 6
Dinner with Anne Whiston Spirn