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Are you curious about the buildings that make up our communities? Ever wondered what they’re made of, how they’re used, or why they look the way they do?

Architecturally Speaking is a podcast presented by the Ontario Association of Architects and hosted by Ryan Schwartz,  an architect with nearly a decade of experience working across Canada in the public and private sectors. His recent work has focused on all aspects of residential projects at a variety of scales, and he is also active in the adjacent fields of architectural media and photography. 

Whether you're an aspiring architect or just fascinated by the built environment, this show is for you. If you’re an OAA member, be sure to share the podcast with friends, family, or clients who might be interested in learning more about architecture and those who practise it.

In each episode, we pull back the curtain on this expansive and ancient vocation. Together, we discover the latest trends that are revolutionizing the profession, and dive into the minds of industry leaders to understand how they shape the world around us. We’ll also tackle complex issues to reveal how architecture impacts our lives each and every day. From urban skyscrapers to tiny dwellings, join us and learn more about the spaces where we live, work, and play.   

Architecturally Speaking is accessible on all major podcast platforms, including Buzzsprout, YouTube, Spotify, Amazon, and Apple.

Subscribe now to Architecturally Speaking on YouTube or wherever you get your podcasts.



Season 1

Episode 1: “Sustainable Architecture: Insights & Tips for Greener Homes”

Air Date:November 1, 2023

Guest(s):Karl Van Es

In the inaugural episode of Architecturally Speaking, host Ryan Schwartz interviews architect Karl Van Es about sustainability in the built environment. Karl, who works at BDP Quadrangle, discusses practising architecture for a large global company, and how being part of the green team at the Toronto-headquartered BDP Quadrangle allows him to contribute to solving global environmental challenges. Tune in to learn more about sustainable design and tips to make your home a greener one!

For additional resources on sustainability in architecture, visit the OAA's Climate Action page.

Guest Bio:

Karl Van Es, OAA, is a Senior Architect and Associate at BDP Quadrangle. A certified Passive House Consultant and former member of the OAA’s Sustainable Built Environments Committee (SBEC), Karl is passionate advocate for sustainable design and has extensive experience in single-family and multi-unit residential developments. He is a member of the studio’s internal Green Team and champions the research, development and implementation of green design strategies across BDP Quadrangle’s wide range of projects.

Episode 2: “Becoming an Architect – Many Paths, One Profession”

Air Date: November 1, 2023

Guest(s):  Vineetha Sivathasan and Joël León

In this episode of Architecturally Speaking, host Ryan Schwartz engages in conversation with Vineetha Sivathasan and Joël León—two newly licensed architects who delve into the process of joining the profession, shedding light on the pathways to licensure as outlined on the OAA’s Becoming an Architect page. Tune in as we unravel the transformative journey of architectural pursuits and its impact on daily life.

Guest Bios:

Joël León, OAA, is an architect, researcher, and community builder whose career has been shaped by a strong interest in public policy, placemaking, and the critical dialogue between the architectural profession and the public. Believing that everyone should be engaged in shaping their built environment, his work strives to remove barriers of participation while engaging users and the public throughout the design process in a meaningful and empathetic way. Never one to say no to an interesting opportunity, Joël’s diverse portfolio comprises a variety of residential, commercial and small institutional projects, including renovations, additions and new builds, as well as exhibitions, articles, tours, and other unconventional publication formats focused on making architectural discussions accessible to all. 

In 2023, Joël co-founded Make Good Projects, a young Toronto-based architectural practice committed to affordability, co-creation, sustainability, and the public good. In addition to this role, Joël is the Executive Director of the Toronto Society of Architects, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the promotion of architecture in the Greater Toronto Area. 

Vineetha Sivathasan, OAA, is a licensed Architect in Ontario, currently working at RAW Design Inc. She has accumulated a diverse set of experiences through her work at Superkül Inc., Kohn Partnership Architects, the Ontario Association of Architects (OAA), the Textile Museum of Canada, and the Art Museum at the University of Toronto.

She believes that giving back in some form is essential for professional and personal growth and, as such, she is an Executive Committee member of BEAT (Building Equality in Architecture Toronto), which is an independent organization dedicated to supporting equality and diversity in the field of architecture. In September 2020, the Toronto Society of Architects selected her Master’s thesis film, Per-Formation, as part of its Short Film Showcase. Additionally, her India ink and line painting, centred on female empowerment and their role in South Asian society, was part of the Colours of South Asia 2020 virtual exhibition and DesignTO 2022.

Episode 3: “The Future of Housing – Laneway and Garden Suites”


Air Date: 
December 1, 2023
Guest(s): Craig Race

In this episode of Architecturally Speaking, host Ryan Schwartz chats with architect Craig Race about housing alternatives beyond traditional single-detached homes, condos, and apartments. Craig, the co-founder of Lanescape and principal at Craig Race Architecture, shares his insights on the laneway and garden suite movement in Toronto and beyond. Tune in to discover how these innovative housing options are reshaping the architecture profession and providing much-needed housing stock in Ontario.

Guest Bio:

Craig Race OAA, LEED AP, CanPHI Passive House Planner, is an enthusiast of creative infill design and development. His career as an architect, advocate, and developer has focused on small-scale, urban housing with an emphasis on environmental and contextual sensitivity. In addition to operating his eponymous architecture firm, Craig is a co-founder of Lanescape, a design-build company and advocacy group that was the lead creator of Toronto's laneway housing policy and now helps homeowners realize rental and multigenerational projects in their backyards. In his spare time, Craig puts his money where his mouth is and develops multi-unit, family-oriented infill housing in Toronto’s established neighbourhoods.

Episode 4: “Designing for All – Accessibility in Architecture”


Air Date: 
January 1, 2024
Guest(s): Daniel Hall and Gregg Papp

In this episode of Architecturally Speaking, host Ryan Schwartz explores the topic of accessibility in the built environment. He is joined by Daniel Hall, a licensed architect and carpenter, and Greg Papp, an architectural technologist specializing in accessibility consulting. Daniel and Greg discuss their work in improving accessibility, green design, and revitalizing old buildings. They also share their personal connection as friends and former colleagues. Tune in to gain insights into the value of accessibility in architecture.

Guest Bios:

Daniel Hall, OAA, is the founding principal of Collaborative Architecture Inc. (now known as Sustainable), a boutique firm focused on affordable low carbon design. As the Director of Design, he is responsible for the overall quality of work and strives to ensure client satisfaction while delivering on a triple-P bottom line – People, Planet, & Prosperity. Daniel’s portfolio spans from the off-grid factory-built miniHome to multi-million-dollar renovations of the heritage designated Peel Art Gallery Museum & Archives complex in Brampton, and low carbon passive-house seniors care residences. His expertise lies in affordable low carbon solutions for new and retrofit housing at all scales for a client base that includes homeowners, non-profit organizations, and small-scale commercial developers. 

Daniel has also contributed significantly towards retrofitting older buildings for better accessibility. His qualifications include OAA Licensed Architect, M.R.A.I.C., LEED AP, and Ontario Licenced Carpenter. He holds a B.Arch and B.E.S. from the University of Waterloo, and also contributes to academic research and teaching at Toronto Metropolitan University School of Architecture.

Gregg Papp, is an architectural technologist whose firm, Design Vision, has been the technological backbone for his many and varied clients since 1997. Aside from establishing and maintaining BIM workstations, Greg is also involved in all phases of projects, leading to building permits and construction documents. He was a member of the AODA Standards Development Committee for the Built Environment and the subsequent Technical Advisory Committee that helped usher in a more inclusive barrier-free Ontario. Greg has consulted on several accessibility audits and has had the pleasure of working with enlightened clients who have proactively retrofitted their office and residential spaces. Greg Papp is an architectural technologist whose firm, Design Vision, has been the technological backbone for his many and varied clients since 1997.

Aside from establishing and maintaining BIM workstations, Greg is also involved in all phases of projects, leading to building permits and construction documents. He was a member of the AODA Standards Development Committee for the Built Environment and the subsequent Technical Advisory Committee that helped usher in a more inclusive barrier-free Ontario. Greg has consulted on several accessibility audits and has had the pleasure of working with enlightened clients who have proactively retrofitted their office and residential spaces. 

Episode 5: “Designing for Dignity – Perspectives on Care & Community”


Air Date: 
February 1, 2024
Guest(s): Dr. Terri Peters, Dr. Tamara Daly, Mike Ladyk, and Nicole Peirce

In this episode, recorded at the 2023 OAA Conference in Sudbury, Ontario, host Ryan Schwartz, architects Mike Ladyk and Nicole Pierce and academics Terri Peters and Tamara Daly explore the topic of long-term care facilities and their impact on residents, their loved ones, and staff. They discuss the importance of co-creating new models for care, community, wellness, and dignity, as well as highlight the need to consider the regulations, policies, and decisions that affect the design and functionality of living and healing spaces.

For a deeper dive into the discussions and key takeaways from this year’s Conference event in Sudbury, visit the 2023 Plenary page on the OAA's website.

Guest Bios:

Terri Peters, PhD, Architect (ARB), WELL AP, is an assistant professor at Toronto Metropolitan University in the Department of Architectural Science where she teaches and supervises graduate students in both the architecture and building science programs. Dr. Peters is a registered architect in the United Kingdom, holds the WELL AP designation, and is a member of the 2021 WELL Concept Advisory for Lighting. Her current research focuses on building performance in health environments, pre- and post-occupancy evaluations, and intersections between architectural quality and inhabitant quality of life in long-term care homes. She is an affiliated researcher at Institut du Savoir Monfort in Ottawa. Dr. Peters has authored and edited numerous publications, including more than 20 peer-reviewed publications about sustainable housing, and her 2021 paper “Biophilic Design Strategies in Long-Term Residential Care Environments for Persons with Dementia” was published in the Journal of Aging and Environment with co-author Dr. Stephen Verderber. She was part of the jury for the OAA’s SHIFT2023 Health and Architecture Challenge.

Tamara Daly
, PhD, is a feminist political economist and health services researcher, and a professor at York University. She is the Director of the York University Centre for Aging Research and Education and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Partnership for Age-Friendly Communities in Communities. Her research focuses on gender and health access and outcomes, improving conditions in long-term residential care, and promoting policies for health equity for older adults and their caregivers. Dr. Daly has authored more than 100 publications and received numerous awards, including the Faculty of Health Dean's Research Award and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and Mental Health Commission of Canada People's Choice Award. She is a frequent media expert on health care topics and speaker at research and policy conferences.

Mike Ladyk, B.Arch., OAA, is a partner at 3rd Line Studio, a Sudbury-based architectural practice, where he has worked since 1995. Over his illustrious 22-year career, Mike has successfully completed numerous projects across a range of sectors, including commercial, industrial, institutional, First Nations, and residential. Notably, Mike was involved in the redesign of the Wikwemikong Elders Lodge on Manitoulin Island, where he worked closely with the Wikwemikong First Nation to create a culturally appropriate design that addressed the community’s needs. In addition to his professional work, Mike is also an active member of several boards, including the Greater Sudbury Development Corporation (GSDC), the United Way Capital Campaign, and the Wavy Lake Campers Association, reflecting his strong commitment to community service.

Nicole Peirce, OAA, BES, M.Arch, MRAIC, is a University of Waterloo Master of Architecture program graduate who previously worked as an intern architect at HOK and KWC Architects on large-scale public renovation projects. In 2010, she founded the design firm Architecture &c. to foster collaboration and communication between clients and contractors. Nicole’s personal experience as a caregiver for her parents led her to focus on creating environments of care and proposing a Person-Centred Architecture that empowers architects to speak for the value of architecture in the spaces of people’s lives. As a mother navigating home-based learning during the pandemic, Nicole continues to research and write on the role of environment in people’s lives.

Now Available! Episode 6: "Immersive Habitats: New Models for Zoo Design"

Air Date:  April 2, 2024
Guest(s): Edward Chan

In the newest episode, host Ryan Schwartz sits down with Edward Chan, partner at Zeidler Architecture, to discuss the unique project of designing the orangutan habitat at the Toronto Zoo.

Edward Chan, a Partner at Zeidler Architecture, boasts 20 years of expertise as a strategic thinker and pivotal leader in project delivery. His proficiency in managing highly complex assignments is demonstrated by his role as a team lead on ventures totalling more than $5 billion. Edward is recognized among his colleagues for his "make it happen" attitude, attributed to his knack for forging strategic partnerships, relentless drive for success, resourcefulness, and his improvisational skills. He leverages his knowledge within the industry by spearheading Zeidler's public sector initiatives, overseeing significant projects like the Mackenzie Vaughan Hospital PDC, the Parliamentary Precinct Block 2 Redevelopment, and the GTAA Transformative Capital Plan.


Do you have questions, comments or suggestions for topics? We would love to hear from you!

Cynthia Mykytyshyn, Public Outreach Specialist

t:  416.449.6898 Ext: 207 

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