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Distinguished Visiting Critics

Azrieli Visiting Scholars and Critics are one of the hallmarks of the Azrieli Endowment. Each year, we invite internationally acclaimed architects who teach graduate level studios and share their own research through public events. Each taught a six-week studio at the School.


Robert Boraks, Ottawa

Robert Boraks is a Director of Parkin Architects Limited, a firm that specialises in delivering complex institutional buildings. He manages Parkin’s Ottawa office. Since graduating from the University of Toronto in 1988, he has gained experience in numerous building typologies including health care, justice, education, indigenous, and Arctic architecture. His work has received a number of international awards. Robert is interested in exploring how the constructed environment relates to both human and environmental conditions. He is a frequent speaker on this subject at international venues. Robert has taught and lectured at a number of post-secondary institutions. In 2017, he led a graduate design studio at Carleton University’s Azrieli School of Architecture and Urbanism which explored the Arctic through the medium of architectural intervention.


Zachary Colbert, New York

Zachary Colbert, AIA, is a registered architect and founding principal of Inter-Projects, an architecture firm dedicated to the intersection of building and experimental research, with active projects in New York, Massachusetts, Oklahoma, and Arizona. He is a Term Assistant Professor at the Azrieli School of Architecture and Urbanism and has previously taught at the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation and the Parsons School of Constructed Environments. His work has been featured in Art Forum, Architect, Architectural Record, GOOD, and URBAN magazines and showcased in galleries and museums in New York City, Los Angeles, Dubai, Santiago de Chile, Rotterdam and Beijing.


Pierre David, Paris

Pierre David is an architect in Paris, France, and teaches in the Department of Architecture at École nationale supérieure d’architecture Paris-Malaquais. After receiving his degree in Architecture from the École d’architecture Paris Belleville in 1991, he taught Landscape Architecture until 1998 at the École Nationale Superieure du Paysage in Versailles. Since that time he has taught architecture and landscape design at various institutions in France, throughout Europe, and in the United States including Harvard University and Columbia University. In addition, he has designed gardens and houses for private clients.


Maria Denegri, Toronto

Maria Denegri is a registered architect in Ontario and founding partner of the Toronto-based architecture and design firm, Denegri Bessai Studio. The practice emphasises collaborative working frameworks with an emphasis on research and new technology integration, in particular in the area of digital fabrication and sustainable design. Projects from the studio have been published nationally and internationally. Before establishing Denegri Bessai Studio, Maria worked in diverse design offices in Vancouver, Los Angeles, Barcelona, and Toronto. Maria is an active member of the Toronto Design community and is Chair of the Toronto Society of Architects.


Lior Galili, Tel Aviv

Lior Galili is an Israeli born artist, architect, and educator based in the US. She holds a Masters in Architecture from the Harvard Graduate School of Design and a B.Arch. from the Cooper Union School of Architecture. Prior to her US education, she attended the School of Fine Arts and the School of Architecture at the Bezalel Academy for Art and Design. Her academic experience includes teaching at the Syracuse University School of Architecture, the Harvard Graduate School of Design, and a vast participation as an invited juror in various architecture schools including Cooper Union, Cornell, and Rice.


Garth Rockcastle, Minneapolis

Garth Rockcastle is former Dean of the School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at the University of Maryland from 2004 – 2010. As Dean he initiated efforts to expand and cross-connect the curricular offerings of the School and to diversify and deepen its human and digital resources. Rockcastle is known for his architectural creativity and expertise. In 1981, he co-founded the architectural firm of Meyer, Scherer and Rockcastle, Ltd. in Minneapolis. The most recent of his many lauded accomplishments is the new University of Minnesota Regis Center for Art. Professor Rockcastle writes on diverse topics and has edited collections of critical essays on architecture, especially on themes involving ethical and theoretical issues. His overarching concerns address how and why we practice and teach in the ways we do, and how (or why) we might do otherwise.


Claudio Sgarbi, Modena

Claudio Sgarbi, Dottore in Architettura (IUAV), MS, PhD (University of Pennsylvania), Adjunct Research Professor (Carleton University), is a practicing registered architect in Italy and has lectured in several universities in Canada, Europe, United States, and the Middle East. His major fields of practical and theoretical research concern the image, role, and gender of the architect, the meaning of limits in the design of spaces and construction sites, building technologies, and the relevance of architectural history and theory in contemporary buildable and unbuildable projects. He has published several articles and a book:  Vitruvio Ferrarese. “De architectura”: la prima versione illustrata. He is working on a publication with the title Misconceptions: The Infertile Belly of the Architect.