TSA IDEAS Forum: Deconstruction - TSA

TSA IDEAS Forum: Deconstruction

Organized by DesignTO in partnership with the Toronto Society of Architects, ‘IDEAS Forum: Deconstruction’ features five fast-paced presentations (20 slides shown for 20 seconds each) exploring circular construction in the building industry, including design for disassembly, embodied carbon and sustainability, and material salvage and reuse.

A certificate for 1 hour of OAA ConEd will be issued to registered attendees who request it with their RSVP for the event and sign in to the event.



Ria Al-Ameen, Associate, Giaimo

Alison Creba, Operations Manager, Artscape Wychwood Barns

Felix Heisel, Assistant Professor & Director of the Circular Construction Lab, College of Architecture, Art, and Planning, Cornell University

Susan Ross, Associate Professor & Interim Director, School of Indigenous and Canadian Studies, Carleton University

Rashmi Sirkar, Master of Architecture candidate, University of Toronto



About the Speakers

Ria Al-Ameen (M.Arch CAHP PMP) is an Associate at Giaimo, a Toronto-based architecture firm integrating design, conservation, and sustainability. As a Project Manager and Designer, she has over a decade of international experience in the architecture industry and currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Canadian Association of Heritage Professionals (CAHP). With a focus on leveraging the existing she has overseen various scales of adaptive reuse projects and developed creative solutions for the salvage and reuse of a range of materials, including marble, century-old lumber, and brick.


Alison Creba is the operations manager of Artscape Wychwood Barns, a century-old former streetcar barn, now converted to artist residences, studios and community spaces in Toronto, Canada. She is also the principal investigator at Local Technique – an interdisciplinary speculative research and design studio which explores the cultural and environmental legacies of sites, structures and materials. Often working in collaboration, her writing and interventions operate at the intersection of architectural maintenance, conservation and waste.


Felix Heisel’s scholarship addresses a systematic redesign of the built environment as a material depot of endless use and reconfiguration. Felix is an Assistant Professor and the Director of the Circular Construction Lab at Cornell University’s College of Architecture, Art, and Planning, as well as co-founder and partner of 2hs architects and engineers in Germany. He has received various awards for his work and published widely, including most recently Building Better – Less – Different: Circular Construction and Circular Economy (Birkhäuser, 2022).


Associate Professor Susan Ross is Interim Director of the School of Indigenous and Canadian Studies and holds a cross-appointment to Carleton University’s Azrieli School of Architecture & Urbanism. She teaches graduate and undergraduate courses on the sustainable conservation of the historic urban landscape, with a focus on modern and industrial heritage. Ross is licensed with the Ordre des architectes du Québec (OAQ) and has worked as a registered architect in the private sector in Montreal, Berlin and Ottawa. Before joining Carleton University, she was a senior conservation architect in the federal government. Her current research, which looks at the intersections of heritage, values and waste, has been shared through symposia, a special journal issue, and her Waste Heritage Research blog.


Rashmi Sirkar is a Master of Architecture candidate at the University of Toronto. Her thesis, ‘Why Waste Wood: Resourcify Toronto’s Building Stock’, investigates the potential of creating a circular economy of building materials through the assessment of demolition permits, the modeling and life cycle analysis of stick frame houses, and the policies and practices surrounding deconstruction, salvage and reuse. Her research has been awarded the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada’s Green Building Council Scholarship for Sustainable Design and Research in 2022.



OAA Members

This event is eligible for 1 hour of Structured ConEd. When registering, please check the box that indicates you need to receive the certificate and use your full name as registered with the OAA to ensure your certificate of participation is credited properly. Please also include an email address you check frequently to ensure you receive our certificate in a timely manner.

This event is one of two organized by the TSA as part of DesignTO Festival 2023. Join us on Wednesday, January 25 at 6:30 PM for our Capturing Carbon: Screening and Panel Discussion, where panelists and attendees will reflect on the themes of the film, including the rise of mass timber and what sustainable resource management entails.


About DesignTO

The DesignTO Festival is Canada’s largest annual celebration of design with over 100 exhibitions and events forming Toronto’s design week, January 20–29, 2023.

Going into its 13th year, the Festival transforms Toronto into a hub for creativity, taking art and design out of the studio and into the urban sphere. The Festival brings people together to celebrate contemporary culture, provides opportunities for emerging talent, and engages the community with exceptional and accessible public programming.


Image: House deconstruction on Linden Ave in Collegetown with Felix Heisel (AAP) and students.

Register Here

When January 24, 2023

Duration 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM

Cost Free