Benjamin Gianni

Benjamin Gianni teaches courses on housing and urban history. He leads the housing studio in the 4th year of the BAS program and coordinates the school’s urbanism major. His research interests focus on housing and urban development. In particular, Public housing constructed in the decades following the Second World War in Europe and North America, and its redevelopment from the 1990s onward; Urbanization, suburbanization ,and the study of large-scale housing ensembles in contemporary China, questioning the legacy of modernism and its transposition to different cultural and temporal contexts; Redevelopment of informal settlements in China, India, and Africa, using design as a form of research to explore adaptable, culturally resonant, and market-friendly approaches to redevelopment. Gianni is currently finishing a book on pre-Second World War suburbanization in Pittsburgh, PA. He is a former director of both the Azrieli School of Architecture & Urbanism and the School of Information Technology at Carleton University.


Ioana Teodorescu

Ioana Teodorescu is an architectural historian, teacher and artist whose interests and expertise span surprisingly varied fields. She has trained as an architect in her native Bucharest, and holds graduate degrees from Universities of Cambridge (MPhil 1998) and McGill (PhD 2013). Her specialties are Canadian postwar housing and Byzantine iconography. Throughout her career, Dr Teodorescu has contributed research for national exhibitions in federal museums in Ottawa, and she has taught in Canada, England and Romania. Her courses covered architectural history, psychology of the built environment, research methods, technical drawing and perspective, graphic presentation, with studios in housing and hospitality interior design. In 2012, her doctoral thesis was awarded the UQAM “Phyllis Lambert Prize” for best dissertation in Canadian architectural history. She was interviewed by CBC radio and the Ottawa Citizen on her research which focused on the changes in Canadian house design since WWII, as shown in architect-designed plans published in CMHC catalogues during 1950-70s and built as such, or adapted, by builders and homeowners across the country. Dr Teodorescu argues these houses form a valuable architectural mass as they are the expression of a mix of intentional and spontaneous strategies which helped develop, as well as still influence, the current Canadian society. 



Stephen Willis

Stephen Willis joined Stantec in August 2022 as the Discipline Lead for Planning in Canada.  Steve is a Registered Professional Planner and a Professional Land Economist with over 30 years professional experience in consulting and in the various public sector roles. He specializes in building consensus for complex projects involving approvals from multiple agencies. Over the course of his career, he has specialized in the planning and redevelopment of lands for public agencies. Steve recently completed a role as General Manager of Planning, Real Estate and Economic Development for the City of Ottawa.  As the organization’s chief Planner, he oversaw policy planning, transportation planning, environmental planning and development approvals.  He led the completion of a new Official Plan, which involved significant effort in growth management decisions.  Steve was previously also responsible for the Infrastructure Services group which was responsible for design and construction of municipal projects, asset management and infrastructure planning.  He has many years’ experience presenting land use and infrastructure issues to the public and he has extensive experience appearing before Councils.


Carla Staresina

Carla joined CMHC in 1998 and worked in a variety of roles in both CMHC’s Prairies and Atlantic offices. In 2013, she moved to Ottawa to take on the role of Director of Community Development and was appointed Vice-President Affordable Housing in January 2015.  Carla also took on the role of Diversity and Inclusion Champion for CMHC in 2016. In 2019, Carla moved to her current role VP, Risk Management, Strategy and Products. Carla has a vast breadth of knowledge on the housing industry across all housing types and all segments of the Canadian landscape. She is truly grateful for a career where she has the opportunity to make a difference in helping Canadians meet their housing needs.


Patricia Roset-Zuppa

Patricia Roset-Zuppa is Vice-President, Policy at the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). She joined CMHC in 2009 and has held various positions in strategic policy coordination, housing finance policy and federal/provincial/territorial relations. Patricia played a lead role in the development of Canada’s first ever National Housing Strategy that is aimed to build inclusive communities with housing that meets the needs of Canadians and that they can afford. Prior to joining CMHC, Patricia worked in residential real estate, affordable housing policy and applied urban research in Canada and the United States. She holds a Ph.D. in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Florida, an MBA from the Schulich School of Business at York University, and Masters in Geography from Utrecht University in the Netherlands where she was born and raised. She is an immigrant to Canada and proud Canadian and Dutch dual citizen. She has a passion for urban design and a love for exploring cities and cultures around the world. She currently lives in Ottawa with her husband and two children. 

Pallavi Swaranjali

Dr. Pallavi Swaranjali is a full-time faculty in the Bachelor of Interior Design Program, Algonquin College, Ottawa. She has a B.A. in Architecture, M.Design in Industrial Design from India, and a PhD in Architecture from the Azrieli School of Architecture and Urbanism, Carleton University, Ottawa. She is presently an intern architect with the Ontario Association of Architects, Canada. Her research centers on the relationship between architecture and storytelling, looking at non-conventional modes of architectural representation that combine the normative and the fantastical, and the ways in which they meaningfully transform architectural making and experience. Her areas of teaching include residential and corporate studio, senior project, foundations of design as well as the history and theory of design. She is a coordinator of Carleton Research | Practice of Teaching | Collaborative (criptic.org) and one of the founder members of Canadian Centre for Mindful Habitats (mindfulhabitats.ca).



Evan Garfinkel

Evan Garfinkel is the Manager, Land Development at Regional Group, Greater Ottawa Metropolitan Area. 


Gord Lorimer

Since his graduation from Carleton University’s School of Architecture, Mr. Lorimer has participated in a variety of community-focused developments including non-profit housing, churches and outreach centres.  An active participant in the development of office design philosophy, Mr. Lorimer has applied these principles to a range of projects, both institutional and residential. Mr. Lorimer continues to be involved in a variety of mixed-use and residential projects including urban masterplans, multi-storey condominium developments and various renovation and adaptive reuse projects. His professional accomplishments include participation as Project Architect in numerous award-winning urban design and residential projects.


Chris van Popta

Chris is the founding partner and Creative Director of Fineline Perspectives, an end-to-end marketing and communications agency for multifamily developers and operators. He believes that to optimize multifamily occupancy (whether during initial lease-up or when stabilized), your marketing platform must be able to predictably generate and control the flow of qualified customers to your apartments and also allow prospects to tour them from anywhere. Chris’s ability to think creatively combined with his highly technical experience in the world of multifamily marketing has been the driving force behind the marketing platforms that have leased up and continue to operate the properties involved in Canada’s largest multifamily real estate transactions. 

Dan Dixon

Dan Dixon is Senior Vice President, Project Finance and Investor Relations for the Minto Group of Companies. Dan has over 25 years of operating, management and investment experience in the real estate industry and is responsible for the development and execution of Minto’s debt financing strategy for all of its business activities in Canada and the United States. Dan also leads the investor relations function for Minto Apartment REIT, a real estate investment trust traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Dan is a member of the Investment Committee at the Ottawa Community Foundation and is Chair of the Programming Committee for the Ottawa Chapter of the Urban Land Institute. Dan holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics degree from Queen’s University and Masters of Business Administration degree from York University. 

Jennifer Tsao

Jennifer Tsao is a Senior Specialist in CMHC’s Housing Finance Policy team. She launched her career at CMHC in 2017 in Market Insights, where she published forecasts, authored research, and provided commentary on local market trends. She first became interested in housing while working as a co-op Research Associate at Royal LePage’s corporate head office. Jennifer holds a MA in Economics from Queen’s University. 

Joe Berridge

Joe Berridge is an urban planner and city builder who has had an integral role in the development of complex urban planning and regeneration projects in Canada, the U.S., the U.K., Europe and Asia. He has been strategic advisor for the development of the city centres of Manchester, Belfast and Cardiff and for the waterfronts of Toronto, Singapore, Sydney, Cork, London and Governors Island in New York City. He has prepared campus master plans for the University of Manchester and Waterloo, Queen’s and Western in Canada and is now planning the new hub for Toronto Pearson International Airport. Joe teaches at the University of Toronto and is a Senior Fellow at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy.