Dima Ghazal is a Production Assistant at the LASG where she is engaged in the fabrication and assembly of sculptural installation components. She has contributed to the production of Meander at Tapestry Hall, Cambridge, Threshold at San Jose Airport, and Ocean at Nuit Blanche Toronto. Dima holds a Bachelor of Arts in Architectural Design and Urban Studies from the University of Toronto. She has participated in multiple design-build projects across Canada and is interested in exploring digital craftsmanship and fabrication of temporary structures.
Nathan Shakura designs systems components and manages production at the LASG studio. Nathan is currently completing a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Design at OCAD University. As a designer, he is interested in small scale woodworking and wood construction, and design as a tool for social change.
Ellie Hayden is the Operations Director at the LASG, steering and overseeing grant applications, project leads, LASG partner and studentship relations, and administrative affairs. Before joining the LASG team, Ellie worked for three of Toronto’s Business Improvement Areas where she liaised with local business owners and city officials to orchestrate a series of community-based public art and streetscaping projects. Ellie’s academic background is in Civil Engineering and Sustainable Development, though her passion lies in community engagement with public space. She holds a BASc in Integrated Social Science and Engineering from Lehigh University, and hopes to pursue a Masters degree in Landscape Architecture in the future.
In his past work with the LASG, Nathanael worked mainly on the industrial design of sculpture components as well as their manufacturing. A main area of focus was updating LED light housings and developing robust heat sinking to extend their lifespans. He also worked on redesigning existing stainless steel cutting patterns of sculptural components for use in permanent installations. In particular, Nathanael developed new forming tools which expedited production.
Nathanael completed his Masters of Architecture at the University of Waterloo in 2021, undertaking thesis research that explored how people interact with the things around them and how we can better teach repair, maintenance, and troubleshooting skills, as well as design items that defy planned obsolescence. Through taking things apart, making tools, and unifying both of those activities to make ‘good stuff’, he lays out how we can change modern material culture for the better.
Thesis: Let’s Make Good Stuff: Combatting planned obsolescence and junk by relearning repair, maintenance, and personal agency over the things around us
Mark Francis was responsible for the on-site direction of installations for the LASG/PBSI studio. Along with numerous smaller projects, he carried this responsibility for Amatria at Indiana University, Transforming Space at the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, Noosphere at the Futurium in Berlin, Germany, Radiant Soil in Daejeon, South Korea, and Meander at Tapestry Hall, Cambridge, Ontario. His training includes an M. Arch. degree from UBC and a B. F. A. from York University. He continues to maintain an independent art practice in parallel with his professional work.
Muhammad Tahir Pervaiz served an extended studentship with the LASG during which he produced a thesis that focused on the underlying geometric form-language currently used within studio scaffolds. His thesis Mediation: Resonating Between the Organic and Inorganic at the University of Waterloo School of Architecture includes historical references that expand the context of LASG research-creation. His academic research focused on evolved geometries and form languages, and the relations ‘in-between’ inherent polarities in nature; the organic and the inorganic, conceiving of deep relationships between individual parts and wholes. His work included a focus on the visionary mid-twentieth-century designer Jekabs Zvilna, contributing to LASG coursework and a folio publication, New Geometric Systems: Jekabs Zvilna and Integrative Form-Languages.
Expanding his studies, Tahir became a designer at the LASG. He has contributed to LASG projects Meander, Threshold, and Le Frout. He graduated with distinction from the National College of Art and is a licensed architect in Pakistan under the Pakistan Council of Architects and Town Planners (PCATP).
Mackenzie is a M.Arch candidate at the University College London pursuing a research-based degree at the Bio-Integrated Design Lab. He has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Waterloo School of Architecture and has previously worked at the Living Architecture Systems with contributions to the designs of San Jose International Airport, Meander, Futurium Noosphere, and various competitions. Mackenzie’s research focuses on emergent form-finding, urban ecologies and bio-fabrication.
Mackenzie’s current thesis project at UCL is titled Immanent Metabolisms, an optimistic speculation on future architecture that attempts to shift design thinking to embody intentional ecology. The research rethinks architecture as a series of synthetic organs with active and engaged interiors, where curated material ecologies are designed to have productive roles within their surrounding ecosystem. Membranes are shaped by their environments, so as to ingest and resonate with environmental datasets and CFD analysis.
Current design research focuses on synthetic soils – an urban design project which nurtures many of the microbial specimens that would normally be found in subterranean forest floors (specifically cyanobacteria, earthworms and mycorrhizal fungi). Through the design of object ecologies which absorb and integrate, these micro-environments nurture keystone species, expanding their presence in cities while bridging the divide between the urban and the wild.