Undergraduate / pre-professional:
Graduate / Professional:
Mission & values
The mission of the McEwen School of Architecture (MSoA) is, first and foremost, to educate succeeding generations of architects to engage with communities in the design of sustainable buildings within the geographic and cultural context of the North. Through this process of exploration and discovery, the school fosters an ongoing dialogue with its civic and academic community so that ideas about sustainability reflect emerging realities.
Laurentian University’s McEwen School of Architecture (MSoA) address is 85 Elm Street in Sudbury, Ontario. Located at the crossroads of the City of Greater Sudbury in the downtown core, the MSoA marked Canada’s first new architecture curriculum in over 45 years when it opened in 2013. The four architecture buildings that comprise our downtown facility complete an innovative complex that is both intentionally didactic and environmentally sustainable. These buildings are our first teaching tools and their design has influenced the formation of the School’s curriculum.
The philosophy of the MSoA is founded upon pride of place and a culture of caring. We are inspired by the resiliency of northern people and the unique beauty of the northern Ontario landscape. Applying the lessons learned in the North in ways that inform a reciprocal relationship between the local and the global, we place pedagogical emphasis on social engagement, community design, cultural identity, sustainability, Indigenous perspectives, design-build and craft, technology and fabrication and wood construction. The MSoA grounds itself in shared values of RESPECT, INCLUSION and COMMUNITY, reaching beyond Laurentian University’s tricultural mandate (Indigenous, Francophone and Anglophone), further emphasizing diversity and equity as central to our programs.
The study of Architecture generally raises awareness of the holistic and aesthetic nature of the design of the built environment. Laurentian’s Bachelor of Architectural Studies (BAS) undergraduate Program focuses on four main streams: Design, Culture, Technology and Professional Practice. Design Studio courses challenge students’ creativity through the application of practical building solutions for northern climates, taking into account cultural sensitivities, diverse histories and community profiles. Our French, English, Métis, and Anishinabek faculty and student body is unique to Laurentian’s tri-cultural mandate; conducting Design Studios in both French and English. As well, regularly working with Elders-in-residence, Knowledge Carriers, and guests who are First Nations and Métis, provides a further array of cultural and educational perspectives.
The MSoA Design Studio sequence has consistently emphasized the importance of working with material at a 1:1 scale to learn about material properties and potentials. The MSoA also emphasizes the role that communities play in guiding, and inspiring, the design process. We have collectively tried to keep this as a central aspect to our learning experience, as we engage with communities in our region as a priority. The MSoA’s focus on wood as a renewable building material with expanding possibilities in architectural applications has helped establish a unique and particular focus on Wood Design.
Strongly rooted in a Co-operative education model that integrates theory with practice, the first work-term in the BAS Program takes place in industry and related fields, while the second work-term in the BAS Program takes place in an office for architecture or a related design field. The MArch program continues this philosophy with an eight-month long Co-op term in architectural offices locally, nationally, and internationally.
The MSoA’s MArch degree program draws heavily upon the study of northern community needs coupled with an integrated approach to building systems for northern climates. Building with wood, design for climate change and digital fabrication are three areas of study for advanced graduate work, including a final design Thesis. The Program length is two-years, with continued focus on experiential learning through design-build and community-design projects. Design Studio options include ‘Architecture and Craft,’ ‘Indigenous Design’ or ‘Community Building.’ Two terms are devoted to Co-operative education, placing students in design related offices locally, nationally and internationally. Specialized research is presented through research seminars while professional practice is emphasized through Co-operative education and an advanced course in architectural practice. Courses on fabrication further expose students to the relationship between architecture and industry through making. A design Thesis forms the spine of the second year. Design courses (including Thesis) and Co-operative placements are offered in both French and English.