amery Calvelli is a co-founder and Executive Director of d.talks. A design advocate, she’s worked with architects, artists and designers to renew connections with place; hosted radio interview program Space and Place for four years; and written for Arcade and OnSite Review. She’s served on the Boards of the Portland Institute of Contemporary Art and the SFMOMA’s Contemporary Extension.
Hye-Seung Jung is the Manager at d.talks where she does some heavy lifting on strategy and production of events, installations and other related programs. A visual artist with a focus on the observation of diverse built environments as they relate to human interaction and a sense of belonging, her work has been exhibited in Saint Denis, France, Berlin, Tokyo, Zurich, Toronto and Calgary. She serves on the Board of The New Gallery in Calgary.
Ron Jaicarran is the Project Coordinator of what’s known as a stealth project at d.talks called “CTC”. He’s also the Program Manager at the online research hub called Imagine Cities, something he co-founded. A recent Masters graduate, his research was focused on the role of smart cities in improving the relationship between the public and government.
Devina Kirloskar is the Editorial Coordinator of that same stealth project, the CTC. An architect from India and with an MS Architecture from Columbia University in Critical, Curatorial and Conceptual Practices, she’s currently working at Yamamoto Architecture. Her ongoing research is a critique on the current trends of urban planning in India, exposing social exclusion and urban symmetry.
Board of Directors
Board Chair: Shannon Lanigan (co-founder)
With a background in Health Sciences and Therapeutic Exercise, Shannon approaches design through the lens of overall well being. Her passion for urban design is fueled by topics that bring connection to community, the livability of space and design centred on human scale interactions.
Secretary: Ernest Hon
Ernest is a graduate of New York University and keenly interested in urban places. He’s a photographer by night, revealing fresh perceptions of built form from Shanghai to Calgary and many cities in-between.
Treasurer: Jaydan Tait
Jaydan is the CEO of Tait Urban Enterprises that works to transform land into exciting urban places. He’s a member of the Canadian Institute of Planners and a Canadian Green Building Council LEED AP.
Jyoti Gondek is the Director of the Westman Centre for Real Estate Studies at the University of Calgary's Haskayne School of Business. Having worked in both the public and private sectors since 1995, Jyoti launched her own consulting business (Tick Consulting) in 2002 and has provided strategic research support to clients in the land development and building industry. She has served as a citizen representative for the City of Calgary’s Planning Commission, is currently a director with the Urban Land Institute Alberta, and sits on the Calgary Economic Development Real Estate Committee. Jyoti was recently appointed as an academic advisor on the National Executive Forum on Public Property, and was honoured in May 2016 with the Canadian Sociological Association Angus Reid Applied Sociology Award.
Maureen Hodgan (co-founder) is a graduate of the University of Calgary’s Masters of Environmental Design thesis program, and currently focusing on urban planning and all things ‘city-building’ related. A former graphic designer with Anlända Digital Studio as well as an art historian and educator, Maureen has a passion for historical architecture and for community engagement around design and neighbourhood planning. Maureen’s blog, The Happy Urbanist, was voted best blog by Fast Forward Magazine, 2011.
Rob Macaulay is an independent business consultant and serves on the board of the Calgary Public Library. He is a professional engineer and holds Master of Business degrees from Cornell and Queen’s universities. While he is deeply interested in the varied and far-reaching conversations that d.talks is fostering, his contributions to the board are mainly in the areas of governance and strategic planning, drawing from experience gained from a variety of for- and not-for-profit boards.
Marta Sensidoni is a Senior Architecture and Interior Designer at Kasian. Her breadth of experience includes architecture in Miami, Hong Kong, Paris and Latin America and her work is internationally recognized. Fluent in English, Spanish and Italian, she brings expertise in the cultural, commercial, government, sports and residential market sectors. Some of Marta’s noteworthy projects include the Esker Foundation Gallery in Calgary, the Bronx Museum of the Arts in New York and the South Dade Cultural Arts Center in Miami.
Kara Tersen is a Certified Fund Raising Executive. Recently launching her own fund development and non-profit management consulting firm, she is working with the Environmental Law Centre (Alberta). Previously, she served as the Director, Philanthropy and Communications for the Alberta College of Art and Design including as a member of the President's Council. Prior to that, Kara was the Director, Development and Communications for the Nature Conservancy of Canada - Alberta Region. She is an active member and former board director of the Association of Fundraising Professionals - Calgary and Area. She served as the 2010 co-chair of the Calgary National Philanthropy Day luncheon and Philanthropy Awareness Week activities.
Mary Axworthy (MCIP, RPP) is a Principal, Urban Planning & Civic Engagement at Axworthy International Consulting, Ltd. She’s a former Director of Planning at The City of Calgary; a member of the Alberta Municipal Government Board; and an Adjunct Professor at the University of Calgary Master of Planning Faculty.
Gerd Birkle (co-founder) is currently a lead engineer at Calatrava International who is interested in the intersection of design and the structures that shape form. He has a PhD in Structural Engineering from the University of Calgary and a Dipl. Ing. in Civil Engineering from the University of Stuttgart in Germany.
Cathy Freer-Leszczynski brings 30 years of experience designing innovative community centric library services. She is now devoted to city building and is very curious to tap local energy to explore calgary's potential.
Kim O’Brien is the Executive Director of Horizon Housing Society. Formerly Vice-President of Investments for Boardwalk Rental Communities in Toronto, she managed a $1-billion-plus mortgage portfolio. She lends her voice to key initiatives such as the community affordable housing strategy and RESOLVE Campaign; serves on the Finance Committee for the Calgary Woman’s Emergency Shelter; and as a board member of the Alberta Global Forum.
Dale Taylor brings 45 years of experience in design and construction of major projects, including the Calgary International Airport Terminal Building and the original Mount Royal College Lincoln Park campus. He is an Emeritus Professor of Architecture at the University of Calgary, where he served as Director of both the Architecture and Industrial Design programs. Dale is a member of the RAIC College of Fellows, served as President of the Alberta Association of Architects and continues to represent the profession nationally and internationally.
Diane Ukrainec blends Landscape Architecture and urban planning with strategic planning, business improvement, communications and community engagement. Her background includes working with municipal and regional government in New Zealand. Currently in Alberta, she consults and is actively involved in her community in Inglewood, supporting local place-making and planning initiatives.
Fred Valentine has practiced architecture since 1963; in Cambridge Massachusetts, Toronto and Calgary. Earning a Governor General’s medal in 1983 for his design of The Nova building (now Nexen), he has numerous award-winning works to his credit. A graduate of the Harvard Graduate School of Design, Fred is a Fellow of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada, a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts, has taught at the University of Calgary and acted as visiting critic to Ryerson University and the University of Toronto.
Katherine Wagner is an architect and associate with DIALOG. She is committed to community involvement to the betterment of our built environment and the rich lives which it supports; she has contributed to Canada Council initiatives, the University of Calgary, YYC Doors Open and is a member of Calgary Arts Development and Calgary Public Art boards.