As Project Co-Manager, Lead Researcher & Assistant Editor of EXTRACTION, Christopher Alton is a PhD Student in Geography and Planning at the University of Toronto supported by the Joseph-Armand Bombardier SSHRC Doctoral Scholarship. Originally from Edmonton, Alberta, his work explores conceptions of territory while examining the impact of resource extraction on urbanization and planning. As a recent Fellow of the Harvard Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, and Associate in the Spatial Ethnography Lab, Alton holds a Degree in Urban and Regional Planning from Ryerson University in Toronto and a Master’s Degree in Design Studies with Distinction from the Harvard Graduate School of Design. His work on the Lower Athabasca Region has recently been presented at the Phyllis Lambert Seminar Geographies of Exploitation organized by Alessandra Ponte from Université de Montréal.
As Project Co-Manager and Lead Design Researcher of EXTRACTION, Zannah Matson is a landscape designer, researcher, and urbanist. Originally from Sharbot Lake in Ontario, her work focuses on the risks and relationships between prolonged conflict and urbanism within contemporary contexts. Matson holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Peace and Conflict Studies from the University of Toronto and a Master in Landscape Architecture from the Harvard Graduate School of Design. With involvement in governmental and non-governmental organizations, Matson’s managerial and research experience ranges from design of urban landscapes with Public Work to data research and analysis with the Canadian Urban Institute and the University of Toronto Sustainability Office. She is the recipient of numerous research awards, including the Fulbright Graduate Student Scholarship and the University of Toronto John H. Moss Scholarship.
As Co-Editor for EXTRACTION, Nina-Marie Lister is Graduate Program Director and Associate Professor in Urban + Regional Planning at Ryerson University where she founded and directs the Ecological Design Lab. From 2010-2014 Lister was Visiting Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design. A Registered Professional Planner (MCIP, RPP) trained in ecosystem ecology and urban planning, she is the founding principal of PLANDFORM a creative studio practice exploring the relationship between landscape, ecology, and urbanism. She is co-editor of Projective Ecologies (ACTAR Press and Harvard GSD, 2014) and The Ecosystem Approach: Complexity, Uncertainty, and Managing for Sustainability (Columbia University Press, 2008) and author of more than 40 professional practice and scholarly publications including recent contributions to Is Landscape...? Essays on the Identity of Landscape (Routledge, 2015), Ecological Urbanism (Harvard University with Lars Müller Publishers, 2010) and Large Parks (Princeton Architectural Press 2008, winner of the J.B. Jackson Book Prize). In recognition of the impact of her work, Lister was named an honourary member of the American Society of Landscape Architects.
As Architect & Exhibition Designer for EXTRACTION, RVTR is led by Geoffrey Thün, Kathy Velikov and Colin Ripley. Founded in 2007, RVTR operates simultaneously as a professional architectural practice and as an academic design-research platform to explore the agency of architecture and urban design within the context of dynamic ecological systems, infrastructures, energies, materially and technologically mediated environments and emerging social organizations. The work of RVTR has been published and exhibited widely, and has been recognized through numerous awards including the Canada Council’s Professional Prix de Rome in Architecture (2009), the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada’s Award of Excellence for Innovation in The Practice of Architecture (2011), an Architecture Magazine R&D Award, an Architizer A+ Award, an OAA Award of Excellence, and the Architectural League of New York Prize for Young Architects + Designers (2008). A monograph of RVTR’s speculative urban research entitled Infra Eco Logi Urbanism, A Project for the Great Lakes Megaregion was published by Park Books / University of Chicago Press in 2015. The accompanying solo exhibition has traveled to the Centre de Design de l’UQAM in Montreal, the Paul Crocker Gallery in Toronto, Yale School of Architecture Gallery in New Haven, the University of Michigan’s Liberty Gallery in Ann Arbor and the Ewing Gallery at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
Hume Atelier is a luxury custom jewellery firm based in Vancouver, Canada. Founded in 2008 by Kevin Hume and Genevieve Ennis, Hume Atelier collaborates on design and works extensively in international mining policy, with a focus on eliminating conflict minerals and supporting artisanal miners. Founded in 2008, Hume Atelier is committed to supporting artisanal miners and works extensively in international policy, education and social venture to build sustainable peace-based economies. Since 2006, Genevieve and Kevin have consulted on the development and launch of Fairtrade Fairmined gold. They have collaborated with the US State Department and the US Agency for International Development, and have presented on artisanal mining at the World Bank, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and the United Nations. Kevin and Genevieve have worked with miners, government, community leaders and professors in South America and Africa, and have taught ethical sourcing in design at the Pratt institute and the Rhode Island School of Design. Genevieve has also taught at the University of British Columbia since 2006 and Kaospilot in Denmark since 2011. Kevin is the principal goldsmith and gemologist of Hume Atelier.
As Fabricator for EXTRACTION, Steven Beites is an Assistant Professor at Laurentian University’s School of Architecture and Principal of Beites & Co., an integrated design/fabrication studio working at the intersection of art and architecture. Through a series of awarded national and international competitions, the studio has gained extensive experience with government and institutional projects, culminating in a series of high profile commissions across Canada. The work explores the integration of emergent design and robotic technologies to deliver projects that are culturally engaging yet innovative in methodology and material process.
As Local Architectural Consultants for EXTRACTION, M+B studio is led by Daniela Iride Murgia and Troels Bruun in Venice. With expertise in architecture, interior design, art and illustration, with training in Denmark and Italy, Bruun & Murgia have been working in Venice with a focus on restoration projects, often within the framework of the Venice Bienniale. Since the formation of the office in 1999, the studio has been undertaking a wide scope of work associated the design, production, and implementation of major exhibitions and installations have been designed and programmed, independently and in collaboration with a range of international artists, architects and curators. M+B also undertakes the permanent maintenance and restoration of pavilions at the Giardini, Biennale di Venezia including the nations of Denmark, Austria, Canada and Greece.
As Communications Consultant for EXTRACTION, Kelsey Blackwell will contribute to the development of graphic communication across the project. Studio:Blackwell was set up in 2006 as a studio design practice focused on the planning, design and production of creative projects across disciplines. Its small scale allows for close collaboration with clients, engaging in a considered process to transform content into meaningful visual communications outcomes. Blackwell worked as a designer and creative lead at leading multidisciplinary studios, including Pentagram Design in London, and Bruce Mau Design in Toronto, with work taking the form of design for communication, organizational systems, processes, environments, brand strategies and experiences. Past and ongoing projects include British Museum, Gagosian Gallery, The Grand Egyptian Museum, David Zwirner Gallery, Ryerson Image Centre, the Art Gallery of Ontario, Art Toronto, ARC Solutions, Ryerson University Urban + Regional Planning, the Experimental Media & Performing Arts Centre at Rensselaer, Gotham Chamber Opera, Rizzoli Publishing, Phaidon, and MIT Press.
As Photographer and Filmmaker with EXTRACTION, Michael Awad is an architect, artist, and urbanist based in Toronto. With a wide range of experimental photography, from time-lapse cinematography to large-scale urban photography, Awad’s work has been recognized internationally. His work has been featured in solo and group exhibitions including The Entire City Project at the Royal Ontario Museum and Nicholas Metivier Gallery, Goethe Institute, Art Gallery of Ontario, Power Plant, Chicago Cultural Centre, and the Venice Architecture Biennale. His artwork is part of public and private collections including the Art Gallery of Ontario's permanent collection, the Pearson International Airport and the Department of External Affairs. As an award winning designer, he is the Co-Chair of InterAccess and Co-Founder of Toronto Media Arts Centre.
As Regional Architect with EXTRACTION, Alessandra Lai’s work emphasizes urban regeneration strategies with local dimensions and environmental complexities. As Advisor for several regional and municipal authorities in the field of Strategic Landscape Regional Planning across Italy, she leads a range of participatory processes and manages a host of online communications and community interactions. With a Master’s degree in Civil Engineering, Lai also obtained her PhD in Architecture & Construction from the Department of Architecture in Alghero (SS), Italy. With collaborators in Chican and Catalonia, her previous work has focused on the evolving and entangled relationships between cities and their countrysides. She is a past contributor to the Future City Lab Research Project in collaboration with Transsolar (Stuttgart) and Ryerson University (Toronto). In addition to this research, Lai has published several articles and essays focusing on these interrelated themes of spatial dynamics across a range of urban, regional, and territorial scales.
As Design Researcher for EXTRACTION, Sam Gillis is a visual researcher, cartographic designer, and urbanist. Raised in Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Gillis has applied an interest in socially performative design and democratized urban processes to his work as a spatial geographic researcher in the service of international aid organization Development and Peace and heritage preservation societies in Nova Scotia, and was most recently a Publications Researcher for the upcoming OPSYS title Ecologies of Power. He has attended Harvard College, where he holds a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture, and taken courses at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, studying ecological urbanism, informal and vernacular architecture, and critical cartography.
As Publication Coordinator and Image Editor for EXTRACTION, Jane Zhang is an interdisciplinary design researcher pursuing a Master’s of Design Studies in Urbanism, Landscape, Ecology at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. Trained as a journalist and youth educator for over seven years, her work has focused on a range of topics related to environment and culture, in Canada, France, and Hong Kong. More recently, she worked on an experimental philanthropic project to build multi-regional networks of urban innovation across North America, and a business strategy for British Columbia’s clean technology sector. Jane holds a Bachelor of Arts and Science in Sustainability, Science, and Society with a minor in English Literature from McGill University.
As film editor, videographer, and audio engineer with EXTRACTION, Jacob Moginot is a passionate video and audio artist based in Boston Massachusetts. Jacob holds an MS in biochemistry from Universitat Leipzig and currently works on oncology therapeutics, specifically researching design implementation of delivery systems. He aligns these interests and influences through work with multi-scalar visual imaging, optical physics, and data-process and programming. Jacob is involved with a variety of audiovisual projects from private enterprises to academic interests.
As Architectural Designer and Web Engineer for EXTRACTION, Hamed Bukhamseen is a graduate of the Harvard University Graduate School of Design where he earned a Master of Architecture in Urban Design. With a Bachelor of Architecture and Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Rhode Island School of Design, he was awarded the Architecture Alumni Travel Award where he undertook studies and interventions on public water infrastructure. He has worked internationally within the US, Germany and Kuwait on various architectural and artistic projects. Aimed primarily at the merger of interests in art and architecture across the urban realm, his multimedia work has been published extensively and exhibited in Cambridge, Rome, Venice, and Dublin.
As Commissioner of EXTRACTON, Catherine Crowston is Executive Director and Chief Curator of the Art Gallery of Alberta (AGA). From 1994 to 1999, Crowston was the Director and Curator of the Walter Phillips Gallery at The Banff Centre and Editor of the Walter Phillips Gallery Editions, and was Assistant Curator at the Art Gallery of York University, Toronto (1986 to 1994). In addition to her work at the AGA, Crowston has taught at the University of Alberta and currently serves on the McEwan University Fine Arts Advisory Board. She also served as Vice-Chair of the City of Edmonton Public Art Committee (2008-2012); was a founding member of the University of Alberta’s Festival of Ideas and was both an Editor and Chair of the Board of Directors of Fuse Magazine (1989-1995). In 2002, Crowston served as the Canadian Commissioner for the Sydney Biennale of Contemporary Art and was awarded the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts Medal for Outstanding Achievement in the Visual Arts that same year. In 2005, she received the City of Edmonton Salute to Excellence Award and in 2015 was inducted into the City of Edmonton Cultural Hall of Fame.
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