About Us

The Editorial Committee of The Right Angle is composed of the members of the Board of the Built Environment Open Forum

We are all architects (or retired architects) who have devoted considerable time and energy to professional associations – provincial, national and international. Some of us have served as presidents and advisors to these associations and have received awards for our efforts. We have done this because we believe very strongly in the ability of the architectural profession to find solutions to some of the world’s stickiest problems.

 

Treasurer/Director: J. William Birdsell, B.E.S., B.Arch., OAA, FRAIC

For 30 years, Bill has maintained an architectural practice in Guelph, Ontario. His commissions that have included a full range of small community based schools, churches, corporate, municipal, provincial, university and federal offices and a fleet ambulance centre. He also served as Corporate Architect for Co-operators General Insurance.

Fortunately Among Bill’s favourite activities are writing, walking and, especially, writing about walking (see The Right Angle, issue No. 1).

One of Bill’s greatest strengths is his ability to collaborate. This can be seen in the way he conducts his practice, as well as his many community activities and his participation on several Ontario Association of Architects and Canadian Architectural Licensing Authorities committees, associated industry professional awards juries and OAA Council. Bill has been Chair of the Grand Valley Society of Architects (2005–2008), two-term OAA President (2013 and 2014) and

Chair of the Board of Directors of the Pro-Demnity Insurance Company (2016–2017).

Bill looks forward to more walking and more writing, especially on topics that examine architecture’s role in the everyday built environment, from minor details to cosmic truths.

Secretary/Director: David Craddock, BArch, BSci (Bus. Admin.), (Hon.) RAIA; Hon. AIA, FRAIC

In the wake of a distinguished 40-year professional career, from which he has very recently retired, David is eager to further the discussion of the architect’s role in society and to expand the discussion to a wider audience. This discussion is bound to include stories from the architectural trenches – both frustrations and pleasures.

Over the past four decades, his main passions have been: sailing (summertime), curling (wintertime) and the architectural profession (year ‘round) – not necessarily in that order. His sailing and curling skills are “noteworthy,” but his involvement in the architectural profession is legendary.

This professional involvement includes his committee work with several government and code agencies, and with Ontario Building Officials through the work of the Engineers, Architects and Building Officials Committee (EABO). More significantly, he served two terms as OAA President in 2006 and 2007, and a term as President of the RAIC in 2012. In 2013, David was awarded the OAA’s Da Vinci medal for service to the architectural profession.

David looks forward to casual but contemplative discussions about the aims, frustrations and pleasures of architecture, and wishes fair winds and good sailing for all throughout their career.

Chair: Ian Ellingham PhD, FRAIC

Ian trained as an architect at Carleton University in Ottawa. His special interest is human behaviour, which can be seen through his study of history, marketing and management.

Attending nine schools before university made him suspicious of the messages in each: the “truth” could vary from school to school. This meant that his sense of truth and reality became relative. In architecture school, he was thus unable to simply accept what was presented as absolute truth. For him, education has been a long exploration and included an undergraduate year at the Architectural Association in the UK, studying with architect-revolutionary Brian Anson, and working as a developer. Ian subsequently undertook graduate studies in Business and Land Economy, and, ultimately, a doctorate in architectural and urban studies, in which he integrated material from various disciplines. He has maintained strong connections in the academic world through a Cambridge (UK) research group, where he is particularly interested in decision-making and human response to the built environment, and supervises Masters and PhD students at Cambridge University.

Extracurricularly, he has a high level of focus on his nuclear family and close friends. He enjoys music, playing clarinet in community bands, sometimes with his younger son, including the Nu Klezmer Orchestra. Also, as is common with other architects, including several in the BEOF group, he sails. He has always lived in pre-World War II houses in urban neighbourhoods. His current house, designed by the noted architects, Nicholson and Macbeth, in the 1920s, is one block from the main street in St. Catharines and overlooks a forest.

 I believe that a number of objectives will make The Right Angle different from most media. What I expect is that it will create a marketplace for ideas and a voice for people who are seeking a better understanding of reality – perhaps even some sort of truth.

Editor-in-Chief/Director: Gordon S. Grice OAA, FRAIC

Gordon has always had many interests. He chose to study architecture because it offered a broad education: math, sciences, art, history, etc. Also, someone told him that architects get to travel. As it turned out, it was all true. The education was quite extensive, since architecture is connected to so many other areas of study. After graduating and qualifying as an architect, Gordon promptly moved to the West Indies, where he took time to consider how he might spend the rest of his career.

The result of this rumination was a succession – more accurately an accumulation – of careers. These began with architectural illustration (he is still a senior adviser to the American Society of Architectural Illustrators), and progressed to writing and editing (he has published over two dozen books and 82 issues of an architectural quarterly), and then to creative direction with FORREC, a Toronto entertainment design firm.

Gordon is still an architect, and he still interested in many things, which currently include research, public speaking, books (reading and writing), badminton, paddling and rowing. He lives in west-end Toronto, close to the water, with his wife, two children and two cats. He is hard at work on a book, tentatively titled “What Theme Parks Have Taught Me About Architecture.”

My greatest aspiration for The Right Angle is that it will help people to think about the things that really matter in architecture, and that they won’t be shy about discussing them. I also hope that it will help people understand that architecture isn’t just about heroic forms against the skyline, or important award-winning buildings; it’s really about creating the spaces and environments that we all occupy, every day.

Let us know what you think