The presenter:

Prof. R. Shane Williamson received a Bachelor of Science in Architecture with Highest Honors from the Georgia Institute of Technology  and a Master of Architecture from Harvard University. He is Principal of Williamson Williamson Inc., a Toronto-based architecture and design studio that he founded with his partner, Betsy Williamson, in 2007. Shane is also a tenured Associate Professor and former Director of the Master of Architecture Program at the Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design at the University of Toronto.

Prof. Williamson’s research and creative practice employs advanced digital tools as a means to critically engage traditional modes of construction and tectonic expression. Ongoing research seeks to situate digital fabrication and wood construction in a broader cultural context and link theories of design and technology respective of sustainable building strategies. Over the past decade, his research has been funded by the Canada Foundation for Innovation, the National Research Council of Canada, Networks of Centres of Excellence of Canada, and the Canada Council for the Arts.

The firm:

WILLIAMSONWILLIAMSON is an award winning and internationally recognized architecture practice established in Toronto by Betsy and Shane Williamson in 2007. Their portfolio includes work ranging from master plans to furniture, all of which reflect a careful attention to detail regardless of scale or budget. Accordingly, they take great pride in their working relationships with clients, consultants, contractors, trades, and suppliers respective of their design approach that privileges contextual specificity and sustainable building strategies.

Multi-generational housing represents a growing thread in their work, particularly as families are confronting an increasingly unaffordable housing market in the city core. Readily configurable to allow for evolving and multiple blends of living arrangements, their house designs also recognize the possibilities of intensification latent in the morphology of Toronto’s urban fabric.

WILLIMASONWILLIAMSON practice was founded on research that situates digital fabrication and wood construction in a broader cultural context. As such, they employ advanced digital tools as a means to critically engage traditional modes of construction and tectonic expression. Most recently they have embraced virtual reality platforms as a primary vehicle for design explorations and client engagement.

Their practice has strong ties to both the profession and academia. Betsy is the vice chair of the Waterfront Design Review Panel and co-founder of Building Equality in Architecture (BEA), an organization that promotes equality in the profession through advocacy, mentorship and networking. Shane is a tenured associate professor and former Director of the Master of Architecture Program at the Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design at the University of Toronto. Betsy and Shane are both Fellows of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC), an honour conferred on members singled out for their contribution to research, scholarship, public service or professional standing to the good of architecture.

Their work has been published widely including Architecture, Architectural Record, Azure, Canadian Architect, Domus, Dwell, I.D., and Metropolis and has been exhibited at the National Building Museum, Washington, DC; the Municipal Center for the Arts, New York, NY; Mercer Union, Toronto; Design Exchange, Toronto, ON; I-Space Gallery, Chicago, IL; the Urban Center, New York, NY; and the Corkin Gallery, Toronto, ON.