Dezeen Magazine

Watch a live talk on Canadian design with Leslie Jen, David Fortin and Andrew King

Dezeen teamed up with architecture and design firm Lemay to host a live talk exploring Canadian design.

The talk discussed the different elements that make up Canadian design identity and aesthetics, touching on themes such as the importance of nature, community engagement, and placemaking. 

The speakers also discussed the role of indigenous design practices in shaping contemporary Canadian design.

Appearing on the panel was Leslie Jen, director of marketing at Toronto-based practice Superkül, together with David Fortin, associate professor at the McEwen School of Architecture, and Andrew King, chief design officer at Lemay.

The talk was moderated by Dezeen's founder and editor-in-chief Marcus Fairs.

Leslie Jen
Leslie Jen, a fellow of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada joined the panel

Jen currently acts as the director of marketing at Toronto-based architecture firm Superkül. She previously worked as the associate editor of Canadian Architect magazine for over 11 years, in which she contributed work on architecture and urbanism in Canada.

Jen is a Fellow of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada and also sits on the Board of Directors of the DesignTO Festival. In her recently released book titled Canadian Architecture: Evolving a Cultural Identity, Jen analysed 33 Canadian architecture practices and their work.

David Fortin
Also joining the talk was architect and associate professor at the McEwen School of Architecture, David Fortin

Fortin is a professional architect and associate professor at the McEwen School of Architecture. Fortin has taught architectural design history and theory in the UK, USA and Canada.

A citizen of the Métis Nation of Ontario, Fortin was the first indigenous person to direct a school of architecture in Canada. Fortin also works to foster and promote indigenous Canadian design through various programmes, with roles including inaugural associate director of the Maamwizing Indigenous Research Institute and member of the RAIC Indigenous Task Force.

Fortin also acted as co-curator for UNCEDED: Voices of the Land, a collective of indigenous architects who represented Canada at the 2018 Venice Biennale.

Andrew King
Lemay's chief design officer Andrew King also joined the panel

King is chief design officer at Lemay. He also acts as the leader of fieldwork for Lemay's in-house design and innovation lab.

King is the professor in practice at McGill School of Architecture, where he works with art and architecture methodologies. During his time at Lemay, King has led the conceptual design for projects including the Place des Montréalaises, Oratoire St. Joseph, and the York University Student Centre.

He has won numerous awards for his work,  including the Canada Council for the Arts Prix de Rome, four Canadian Architect Awards of Excellence and two AIA Progressive Architecture (P/A) Awards of Excellence.

Partnership content

This talk was produced by Dezeen for Lemay as part of a partnership. Find out more about Dezeen's partnership content here.