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The Academy of Design faculty has a strong reputation for instructors who are dedicated professionals and design experts practicing in their fields.


Dan is a managing partner of the Metropolitan Development Company, LLC. Our work has been in Planned Residential Development. Additionally, I have been working as a consultant for 20 years with Spector and Associates Architecture, a firm specializing in sustainable design. We earned status as the USGBC 2006 Legacy project, Colorado USGBC chapter 2006 Exemplary Project and Mayor’s Design Award for Nine 10 Arts, the restoration and conversion of five buildings in the Santa Fe Arts district changing from light industrial use to artist’s lofts, studios and galleries. We won the Stephen H. Hart Award for Historic Preservation from the Colorado History Society for our renovation of the Austin Building; a 102-year-old National Historic Landmark.


Suzanne a Registered Interior Designer, graduated from the University of Waterloo’s School of Architecture. Her personal mandate to support occupant health and environmental sustainability has guided all her projects, which include many commercial and healthcare projects throughout Ontario. Since 1997, she has held senior positions at X-Design Inc, Farrow Partnership Architects, and Murphy Hilgers Architects. In 2002, Suzanne and her husband built their own “green” laneway house in Toronto. The house has been published several times and is the subject of the documentary film “Laneway”. Currently, Suzanne is founder and principal of Vojo MK, a boutique consultancy specializing in sustainable and universal designs for offices and homes.


Allen holds a Masters Degree in Industrial Design, MDes RCA, from the Royal College of Art, London (UK). His undergraduate studies were taken at Leicester Polytechnic (UK) in Industrial Design, Hons. BID, and Sheridan College where he studied Graphic Design. Upon his return from England, he joined the Ontario Science Centre designing interactive educational science exhibits and other major exhibitions. Allen has designed award winning products, furniture, packaging, store fixtures and exhibits in Canada, and internationally. As a design educator, he has taught at the university level at the Ontario College of Art & Design (OCAD), Botswana – University of Botswana (UB), and lectured on design matters in New Zealand, and South Africa. He is Past-President of the Association of Canadian Industrial Designers (ACID), and a member of the Association of Chartered Industrial Designers of Ontario (ACIDO). Currently, in addition to teaching commitments at the Academy, he is engaged in the design and manufacturing of custom interior furnishings for homes and office environments.


Nadia D’Agnone is a designer, researcher, and instructor. Born in Toronto, Canada and is now based in Venice, Italy where she has attended and participated in various exhibitions and festivals including the 12th International Architecture Biennale di Venezia.  She has an Honours Bachelor’s of Arts from the University of Toronto in Fine Art Visual Studies and Architectural Studies, History, Theory, and Criticism. She continued her studies with a Master’s of Landscape Architecture from the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design at the University of Toronto. Her interests lie in understanding the relationships between design, theory and philosophy. Her work and research specifically looks into the potentials of the urban landscape as a conduit and catalyst for regeneration and reuse in the contemporary city. She is now completing her Ph.D. Doctorate of Research at the IUAV Art and Architecture University of Venice, Italy.


Simon holds a wide range of experience in both the practice of architecture and construction project management.He began his professional experience within various architectural practices, working on developing drawings for single family residential homes and progressively gaining experience on townhouse, retail plaza, industrial warehouse, office space, parking garage, hospital, and master planning projects. After 9 years within the architectural stream, he accepted a position within the Scotiabank Real Estate Department and worked as a Project Manager on bank projects in Central and South America. Currently, Simon is the Project Architect at Ryerson University’s Campus Facilities and Sustainability Department working on simultaneous design and construction projects throughout the campus.

He has served on the Vaughan Heritage Committee, and currently volunteers as a member of the Ontario Association of Architects Experience Requirements Committee, the Vaughan Property Standards Committee, and as an assessor for the Broadly Experienced Foreign Architects Program.


Laura has an extensive design education, first with a diploma in Visual Merchandising, then onto a diploma in Interior design. After working for a year as a junior designer in Vancouver Laura continued building her design knowledge graduating from University of Manitoba with a Bachelor in Interior Design.

Laura has worked as an Interior Designer in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Dubai, and has developed an extensive portfolio of retail, corporate, entertainment and merchandising experience. As an accomplished and experienced team leader, Laura has over 20 years of practical project implementation experience. Her experience is one of integrating principled design sensitivities with real-world knowledge of value, construction and execution. Laura brings a comprehensive understanding of a client’s brand, aesthetic and business drivers which give rise to purposeful design standards.

Looking to further explore her understanding of expanding design models and collaborative environments, Laura succeeded in completing her Masters of Design in Strategic Foresight and Innovation at OCADU in Toronto.  This program focused on creative business solutions to the changing markets.  Her Master’s thesis focused on a different design model, whereby she established framework of investigative play whereby urban children and youth are engaged to find, articulate, and document their neighbourhoods and greater communities.

Following a life-long passion to teach interior design, Laura moved from professional practice to join the Academy of Design in 2012.  First as Head of Studio for the Interior Design Degree programs, Laura was tasked to reinvigorate all current studios with new sources of design input and critique, research and presentation techniques, and to create new design challenges to engage and excite students.  In July 2013, Laura was appointed Chair of Interior Design at the Academy.  This current position offers Laura both the opportunity to further expand her perspectives through all disciplines of the interior design program at the Academy, where she continues to contribute to the development of several interior design learning modules both on campus and online

Throughout her professional practice, Laura has developed a strong passion for teaching. She is continuously searching for new and innovative ways of engaging and assessing learners.


Deanna studied Fine Art and Design in Florence, Vienna, and London, before deciding to pursue her degrees. She completed her undergraduate degree in studio art (drawing and painting), from NASCAD (Nova Scotia School of Art and Design in Halifax), in 2000. She designed and taught drawing, painting, colour theory, and mixed media design courses at Vancouver Island University from 2000-2003, then moved to the UK for her Master’s Degree in Fine Art.

Since returning to Canada in 2003, and completing the “Instructing Adults” Post-Graduate Certificate in Toronto, Deanna has been employed as an Instructional Designer for both in-class, blended, and e-Learning solutions. She is a proud member of the Canadian Society for Training and Development (CSTD). For the past few years, Deanna has been assessing, editing, and writing curriculum learning outcomes for a variety of training programs, and evaluating the results using the Essential Employability Skills criteria, established by the Ontario Government.


With over 15 years of architectural and interior design expertise, complimented by a Masters Degree in Architecture from the University of Toronto, Michael has progressively gained insight and knowledge in low/high-rise residential, institutional and commercial work experience.  Soon after achieving a Diploma in Architectural Design Technology and a Post Graduate Certificate in Facility Planning from Humber College in 1998, He accepted a position at Urbana Architects /HOK Canada, working as a Design Architect for several of their large residential and hotel winning competition entries, located in the Middle East as well as in Toronto.  Michael is currently employed at York University, in the Planning & Architectural Design Department as a Planner, overseeing all design & construction within the two main campuses.


Susan Jane Hall is currently adjunct online instructor for RCC Academy of Design where she teaches Interior Design lecture and studio course work for Residential, Sustainable Materials and a newly developed course exploring ‘outside the box’ opportunities for design, Moving Spaces. With undergraduate work in the visual arts and a graduate of Washington State University with a Masters in Interior Design Susan brings a unique approach to solving design problems. Her pedagogical focus is to develop and facilitate a strong understanding of environmental issues as it relates to interior design. With certification in Sustainable Building from NSBA and LEED GA, Susan brings her knowledge of sustainable design into her own practice with a specific focus on residential applications.


Alejandro Lopez Hernandez is an OAA registered Intern Architect. His design and research work focuses on learning environments, high density residential architecture, and new media and digital technology in built environments. He holds a Master of Architecture (M.Arch.) from the University of Toronto with a specialization in knowledge media design (KMDI) and a B.Sc. in Architecture from the Laval University School of Architecture. He has worked on projects of various scales and programs for Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects, Blackwell Urban Projects, and Architects Alliance. His recent Master’s thesis project ‘Waste2no was prominently featured in the publication City Sense by the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia, Barcelona (IaaC). In 2010 he was a laureate of the Power Corporation of Canada Research Residency Award at the Canadian Centre for Architecture. He lives in Toronto, Canada.


Barbara has a Masters in Art History from the University of Toronto, where she currently teaches in the School of Continuing Studies. Her writing has been published in Canadian Art, Border Crossings, FiberArts, Metalsmith, Studio, Raw Vision and more. She has a particular interest in photography and fine craft, and was award the Ontario Craft Council’s Critical Craft Writing Award in 2005.  She can be seen interviewing contemporary artists on the program ArtSync TV, aired weekly on Rogers Channel 10. Besides the visual arts her other great passion is music, which is the focus of her program Catwoman Radio, broadcast on CIUT 89.5 FM in Toronto.


Golara Jalalpour received her MA in Landscape Urbanism from the Architectural Association of Architecture in London, United Kingdom, where her thesis project was selected to be presented as one of the exceptional projects at AA open Jury. Her design was published in the AA Project Review book. She has worked as an architect and urban designer on a variety of projects at various scales including; the latest project was the Iran International Convention Hall complex, a hundred hectare area.  Recently, she cooperated in the Landscape Urbanism exhibition; Critical Territories, in Iran which represented several urban projects that address the drastic urban expansion and environmental deterioration within contemporary cities.


Golnaz Jalapour received her Bachelors and Masters Degree at the Art and Architecture School, Islamic Azad University in Tehran.  She currently works in graphic design on branding, logo design, and corporate identity.  She has worked as an interior designer on interior decorating projects and furniture 3D modeling in Iran.  She is skilled in multiple software programs including Autodesk 3D Max, Rhinoceros, and CADD. Her research interests lie in multifunctional and ergonomic design, nanotechnology and design, strategies and technologies in sustainable design, and the emergence of technology in design / intelligent design.


Brent received his Master of Architecture Degree from Clemson University in Clemson, South Carolina, USA. He is also a graduate of Ryerson University’s Bachelor of Technology in Architectural Science Program. Prior to that he studied Fine Arts at the University of Waterloo. After completing his Master’s degree, he travelled extensively throughout south-east Asia, eventually settling in Kobe, Japan for 6 years. During that time, he worked as a designer for two different architectural firms on institutional, commercial and residential projects. After his return to Canada he worked at Parkin Architects Ltd. for more than a decade as chief graphic designer specializing in 3d modeling, graphics and renderings. Most recently, Brent has established a multi-disciplined business ranging from 3dgraphics to design/build services.


Martin graduated in 1995 from Sofia University in Bulgaria with a Masters of Urban Landscape Design and a Bachelor in Architecture. After practicing in Bulgaria for a few years, Martin moved to Canada in 1998 and has been working on a variety of projects include GTAA, Air Canada Centre, as well as various retail and residential projects. Martin has been working exclusively with Revit for the past 15 years. Martin is a member of BAA (Bulgarian Association of Architects) and EUQ (European Union of Architects).


Elham holds a Ph.D. degree in Architecture from Department of Building Physics and Building Ecology, Vienna University of Technology and Bachelor and Master degrees in Architecture from Beheshti University in Tehran. She worked at Vienna University of technology as a researcher for 4 years; the research project was awarded as the best research project in construction of year 2007 in Austria. The results of the research were published and presented in many building science journals, international conferences and a book. She is a member of Ontario Association of Architects (Licensed Architect), Canada Green Building Council (LEED AP), International Building Performance Simulation Association, founding partner at EKAM Architects and an Architect at HP Architects with years of practicing architecture and teaching experience.


Senior Interior Architect / Project Manager, with many years of international experience from: Canada, South East Asia, Middle East and Europe. Bob is committed to providing an international standard of creativity, technical expertise, and project management in the field of Interior Architecture and Design. He possesses strong leadership and people skills, including and understanding at all levels across a culturally diverse environment. Positive and passionate personality with proven capabilities to lead, educate and motivate team members to realize their fullest potentials. Came to Canada in 1989, became ARIDO member in 1990.


Paria Sajadpour is a graduate of Ryerson University with Master’s degree in Architecture and a focus of research on designing energy-efficient buildings employing solar simulation programs. Prior her move to Canada, Paria had received her bachelor’s degree in Architecture from Shahid Beheshti University in Tehran and had worked at a variety of architectural offices, involving in intensive research and practice projects on housing and apartment buildings. Currently, she is working at Pgabor associates, a design firm in Toronto, providing architecture, urban design and interior design services.


Maha received her B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Architecture from the University of Baghdad-Iraq and her PhD in Sustainable Architecture from the University of Huddersfield-UK, where she got The Vice Chancellor’s Award for an Outstanding Research Degree Thesis for a dissertation titled “Sustainability Potential of Traditional Architecture in the Arab World-with Reference to Domestic Buildings in the United Arab Emirates”. She has gained a professional experience in design and teaching interior design and architecture for a number of universities in different countries. Since her graduation, Maha has worked as a member of the teaching staff at the University of Baghdad and the University of Derna, Libya. Since 2002, Maha worked in the United Arab Emirates as an architect and a professor. In Canada since 2006 Maha has worked as an instructor at the University of Toronto and Sheridan College. In addition to her work as an academic, Maha has worked as an architect and interior designer for different projects in Iraq, Libya, and the UAE. She has participated in several conferences and symposiums and conducted many researches and studies in the aspects of sustainability, environmental design, and vernacular architecture.

Maha has been the receipt of various scientific recognition and merit awards from different institutions such as the “Best Paper Award for Innovation in Research & Practice for GCC Countries” from Institute of Urban & Regional Planning & Design of the American University in Sharjah-UAE.


Denise has been teaching Psychology, English, Sociology, Humanities, Management, Business, Information Technology, and a host of other General Education courses in the college environment for the past 30 years in the diploma and degree stream. The classroom experience is evolving into one where knowledge truly is power, and information can be accessed in a variety of ways. Classroom, textbook, Internet – all these means of sharing information enhance the learning experience, and I am thrilled to be a part of the on-line experience.

Denise’s multidisciplinary background is founded on a platform of academic credentials which include an MA in Counselling Psychology, MA in English, MA in Education, Hon. BA in Humanities, BA in English, and Information Technology Diploma. She is challenged by the prospect of a diverse student population; and is sensitive to different learning styles; as well as strives to use current technology to support a positive learning experience.


Andrea Sosa Fontaine is a full time practicing Interior Designer, currently working at global design firm. Andrea is NCIDQ certified and a LEED GA. Andrea has her Bachelor of Environmental Design and Masters of Interior Design from the University of Manitoba. Her commitment to the profession, and continuing education, help her to share new ideas and technologies with students. Andrea’s experience ranges from corporate projects in New York to hospitals in Egypt and single family homes in Canada. Her range of experience has been beneficial to students looking to focus in different areas of design. Andrea has a passion for teaching and sharing her professional experiences with students.


Caitlin Turner is a full time practicing Designer at a HOK on the workplace team. Caitlin received her Bachelor of Applied Arts Interior Design from Humber College and began to practice at HOK. In 2010 she moved to Brisbane Australia to complete her Masters of Design Futures from Griffith University; while at Griffith she taught in the Bachelor of Design program in both Interior and Industrial courses. After completing her Masters she returned back to Toronto where her commitment to the education of future designers, passion of the industry, and focus on sustainable design has continued. She has been both a critic and mentor for Humber College and Ryerson student’s projects and helps run the internship program at HOK.


Erin Martyn professional experience spans a variety of scales and clientele, Erin’s primary interest continues to be in crafting user-centered environments that emphasize both individual experience and communal connection. She has most recently practiced in the hospitality design sector, working as a Design Project Manager for an Atlanta, Georgia based firm as well as developing brand prototypes for Intercontinental Hotels Group. Her designs have been featured in several industry publications, including Contract Magazine and Lodging Magazine.

Erin earned an MFA in Interior Design from the Savannah College of Art and Design, where she was awarded with Outstanding Thesis for her study of a new museum typology. In 2005, she received the Aunspaugh Fellowship for Painting from the University of Virginia’s McIntire Department of Art. Erin also holds a Bachelor’s degree with distinction in Studio Art and English Literature from the University of Virginia. She currently resides in Phoenix, Arizona.


Erin Melvin graduated from Humber College and is a registered Interior Designer (NCIDQ) with extensive experience in corporate office, government, hospitality, dental and custom residential design. In 1999, she started her own registered full-scope design practice Dexterity Design that specialized in dental and custom residential design.

Erin has also been an adjunct professor in post-secondary Interior Design education for over a decade, teaching at various colleges in the Toronto area. From 2010-2012 she was acting Program Coordinator of the award winning Interior Design program at Sheridan College. Committed to life-long learning, Erin returned to attain her Bachelor of Interior Design degree from RCCIT (’13) and most recently completed a Master of Arts in Interior Design at the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD).

An active member of the design and education community, Erin currently sits on the Development Committee for the Alternative Pathways Taskforce (ARIDO) and continues to practice professionally (re:think design studio) and volunteer her time in community initiatives.


Lauren has a M.A. degree in Design Education and a B.A. degree in Interior Design. She has over 25 years of professional experience in design and actively advocates for advancement of the profession through the maintenance of rigorous educational and professional standards. She served as an educational consultant to the Colorado Interior Design Coalition (CIDC), a non-profit, volunteer organization that advocates for legislative and regulatory concerns in the state of Colorado and is a former IDEP Mentor.

As an educator, she has served in faculty and administrative positions with both private and public institutions of higher education. Her research interests and areas of specialization include: design pedagogy for creativity; curriculum development, accreditation and assessment; lighting design; sustainability; and human/environmental behavior. She presents at national and international conferences, and conducts workshops and seminars for members of the architectural and design community.


Afsaneh enrolled in the Ecole des Beaux Arts-Sion, Switerland and continued to study the visual arts at Middlesex County College, New Jersey and the New York Studio School where she obtained a Diploma in Fine Art. She further achieved a Bachelor of Art in Textile and Surface Design at FIT in New York, and a Master of Woven Design at the Ecole Nationale Superieure de Creation Industirelle in Paris. While studying fine art at New York Studio School one of her sculptures was awarded and chosen to be in a photo shoot for Vogue magazine. She also was among top creative students from FIT to present her design to Bill Blass. Afsaneh has many years of experience as a graphic artist producing wallpaper designs for wall covering printing companies. Meanwhile, she has continued painting with different forms of media, created decorative textiles and incorporated textiles into her paintings as a fusion of both in the form of collage. Afsaneh has had various solo and group exhibitions in Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa.


Brandy has over nine years of both on-ground and online teaching experience. In addition, she currently manages her own interior design consulting business. In the years before opening her own business, she worked for an architectural firm in Denver, CO, U.S.A., focusing on skilled nursing, assisted living and educational projects. She later worked as project manager for another Denver design firm doing multi-family and high-end residential design projects.

She earned an undergraduate Bachelors of Science degree in Interior Design in 1999 and a dual Masters in Architecture and Urban Design as well as a Certificate in Historic Preservation from the University of Colorado at Denver in fall 2010. She has also completed Construction Management and Adult Education and Training courses at Colorado State University. She was published in the Historical Studies Journal in 2010.

She is an active associate member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the United States Green Building Council (USGBC), a professional member of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), International Interior Design Association (IIDA), Colorado Preservation Inc., and The National Trust. She is also a LEED BD+C AP (accredited professional) and a certified designer by examination through NCIDQ (National Council of Interior Design Qualification). She is also actively involved with the Denver Chapter of Architecture for Humanity.


Fiona has an Bachelors in Visual Communication Design and a Master of Arts in Professional Design Practice from the Dublin Institute of Technology. Her thesis focused on sustainable design, “The Cradle to Cradle (C2C) Design Philosophy: What is it and what are the opportunities for its application within the overall sustainability practice employed by an Interior Designer?”

For the past 4 years, Fiona has taught at two different universities in Dublin, Ireland in the Interior Design department. She also has worked professionally in Ireland, Canada and the US, and has a portfolio of work ranging from high-end commercial, hospitality, and residential. Fiona’s work has been featured in magazines such as Chatelaine and Style at Home as well as Cityline. She is currently the Design Director at Upstairs Downstairs.

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