Assistant Professor; Undergraduate Supervisor
|Degrees:||B.Sc. (Architecture), B. Architecture (McGill), M.Sc. Planning – Conservation of the Built Environment (Montreal)|
|Phone:||613-520-2600 x 4033|
|Office:||1218 Dunton Tower|
Teaching and research areas
Sustainable heritage conservation; modern and industrial heritage; urban cultural landscapes; heritage policy and practices in Canada; urban housing and environmental histories; landscapes of water supply; heritage values and waste; building deterioration, deconstruction and re-use. See also below for more detail.
Recent events and publications
- Book launch and lecture with Heritage Ottawa (2017): From Walk Up to High-Rise: Ottawa’s Historic Apartment Buildings
- Ross, S. (2017).”Keyword: Deconstruction Waste (Building).” Discard Studies
- Ross, S. (2017). “A Bibliography on Demolition Waste and Deconstruction.” Discard Studies
- Ross, S. (2017). “Sustainable Conservation Strategies for Canada’s Modernist Wood Legacy.” Journal of Architectural Conservation 23.3, 171-189. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13556207.2017.1330385
- Reports for the Indigenous Learning Place project:
- Desrochers-Turgeon, L., Zanussi, D., and Ross, S. (2017). Carleton University Indigenous Learning Place Precedent Research
- Ross, S. (2017). Carleton University Amphitheatre – History and Significance
- News on student based research: Rubinstein, D. (2017) “Lifting Macdonald Gardens Park: Students Help Secure Heritage Designation,” Carleton Stories
- CDNS 4403-5003 F 2017 new case studies added to Sustainable Heritage Case Studies
I am a licensed architect, born in Montreal and a graduate of McGill University and Université de Montréal. My passion for cities, and their natural/cultural histories took me to Berlin for four years in the 1990s. Since 2002 I have been based in Ottawa, where some of my ancestors settled in the 1830s. I bring to my teaching and research over twenty years of practice outside the university, and a strong belief in public education and community engagement. As a fluent speaker of English, French and German, I am delighted to work with students or collaborate with others in any of these languages.
I have worked as a registered architect in the private sector, held teaching and research positions in Canadian universities, and both volunteered and been employed by local, national and international heritage organizations. In my most recent work prior to coming to Carleton I was senior conservation architect in the federal government.
As an architect, my project work has included museums, hospitals, schools, factories, a power station, lighthouses, office buildings, housing and houses. This involved new design, rehabilitation, additions, interiors, and condition assessments. I am happy to share more information on my professional career with anyone interested. While working in government I also worked on policy, and I played a lead role in the revisions of the second edition of the Standards and Guidelines for the Conservation of Historic Places in Canada, in particular to address cultural landscapes, modern heritage and sustainability.
- Research associations and interests
I am interested in working with graduate students to supervise research on areas related to my current or past research areas or to places in cities that I have studied, including Montreal, Ottawa and Berlin. As a faculty associate of the Carleton Immersive Media Studio (CIMS), a research professor with the NSERC CREATE HeritageEngineering grant programme, and as a registered architect, I am also interested in supervision of students working in a wide range of architectural/engineering heritage conservation and sustainability themes. I am also a faculty research associate in the Carleton Centre for Public History. Recent supervisions are listed under the Teaching rubric.
I am currently working on three areas, which arise from the intersection of the conservation of urban landscapes, modern/industrial heritage, and sustainability.
- Waste Values and Heritage Places: This work has been presented to the Society for the Study of Architecture in Canada, the National Trust for Canada and the Association for Critical Heritage Studies. Next stages are currently in definition, following receipt of a related FASS Junior Research Award in 2016. M.A. student Alison Creba completed an internship on related research at ERA Associates through the CIMS-based New Paradigms – New Tools grant.
- Greening Urban Heritage Districts: A related presentation was made at the annual conference of the Association for Preservation Technology in Quebec City in October 2014. A follow up publication with draft Guidelines for the Conservation of Trees in Heritage Conservation Districts was published in a special issue of APT Bulletin on Cultural Landscapes dedicated to Susan Buggey.
- Conserving Modest/Moderne Apartment Buildings: Building on inventory work with students in CDNS 5402 W 2015, this research looks at the specific heritage values, conservation issues and opportunities of smaller purpose-built residential blocks in Ottawa and other Canadian cities. A chapter about 1930s apartment buildings across Canada is in the works, as well as a book to be published by Heritage Ottawa in December 2017.
Past research areas have included modern/industrial heritage typologies and materials and their conservation, urban environmental history, sustainable heritage conservation, housing costs, and the sustainability of modern wood heritage and traditional wood technologies. My graduate thesis about the changing landscapes of water supply in Montreal’s Mount Royal was published in Metropolitan Natures: Environmental Histories of Montreal.
Emerging research themes in heritage conservation are explored every year in the School’s graduate-student-organized symposium. For information about this year’s theme, see Heritage Conservation Symposium 2018.
- Teaching at Carleton University
- CDNS 4403/5003 – Heritage Conservation and Sustainability (Fall 2017)
- Project related website: Sustainable Heritage Case Studies
- CDNS 5402 – Heritage Conservation II: Theory in Practice (Winter 2018)
- CDNS 2400 – Heritage Conservation in Canada (Winter 2018)
- CDNS 4401 Cultural Landscapes and Identity in Canada (Fall 2016)
- CDNS 5402 – Heritage Conservation II: Theory in Practice (Winter 2017)
- CDNS 2400 – Heritage Conservation in Canada (Winter 2017)
- CDNS 4401 – Cultural Landscapes and Identity in Canada(Fall 2015)
- CDNS 5402 – Heritage Conservation II: Theory in Practice (Winter 2016)
- CDNS 2400 – Heritage Conservation in Canada (Winter 2016)
- CDNS 1101 Ottawa: Exploring National Institutions (Summer 2016)
- CDNS 1101 – Ottawa: Exploring National Institutions
- CDNS 4901/5003 – Special Topics: Heritage Conservation and Sustainability
- CDNS 2400 – Heritage Conservation in Canada
- CDNS 5402 – Heritage Conservation II: Theory in Practice
- CDNS 5401 – Heritage Conservation I: History, Principles, and Concepts
- CDNS 5402 – Heritage Conservation II: Theory in Practice.
- Project related website and report: Macdonald Gardens, Lowertown East: A Study in Community Heritage
2012-2013 Courses (School of Architecture and Urbanism)
- ARCN 4200 – Building Pathology and Rehabilitation
Supervision – Thesis/Major Research Essay/Directed Studies
- Zeynep Ekim, Ruin-Ophilia: Preserving Cultural Narratives of a Lighthouse through Controlled Ruination. Thesis (M.Arch.), School of Architecture and Urbanism, 2017. (Co-supervision with Mariana Esponda)
- Krista Gowan, The ABC’s of Ontario Cultural Resource Management: A Critical Look at How Historical Archaeology Maintains Settler Systems, Spaces and Stories. Major Research Essay (M.A.), School of Indigenous and Canadian Studies, 2017.
- Carly Farmer, The Industrial Heritage Significance of Old Mill Park, Lindsay, Ontario. Directed Studies (M.Arch.) School of Canadian Studies, 2015.
- Stephanie Elliott, In the (Historical) Moment: Theme Park Interactive Techniques in History Museums. Major Research Essay (M.A.), School of Canadian Studies, 2015.
- Victoria Ellis, Charting the Myths of Franklin’s Lost Expedition: History, Myth and Archaeological Potential in the North West Passage. Directed Studies (M.A.) School of Canadian Studies, 2014.
- Margaret Caron-Vuotari, History, Heritage and Conservation: Workers Housing in Canada. Directed Studies (M.A.) School of Canadian Studies, 2014.
Reviewer/Reader – Thesis/Major Research Essay
- Carly Farmer, Regenerating the Heart of Rural Ontario: New Life for Old Mills, Thesis (M.Arch), School of Architecture and Urbanism. 2017.
- Hillary Little, Revealing Memory: Rehabilitating Pedestrian Experience at the Central Experimental Farm, Thesis (M.Arch), School of Architecture and Urbanism. 2017.
- Nicole Howell, Beyond Visualization: Spatial Presence and Virtual Heritage, Thesis (M.Arch), School of Architecture and Urbanism. 2017.
- Taylor Balodis, Deconstruction and Design for Disassembly: Analyzing Building Material Salvage and Reuse, Thesis (M.Arch), School of Architecture and Urbanism. 2017.
- Michael Steinhauer, The Changing Face of Canada’s Parliament Buildings: An Analysis of the Visual Representation, Thesis (M.A. Art History), School of Visual Arts and Culture, 2016
- Cassandra Joyce, Owning the Podium: The Competing Priorities of Participation and Excellence in Canadian Federal Sports Policy, Major Research Essay (M.A.), School of Indigenous and Canadian Studies, 2015.
- Trina Cooper-Bolam, Healing Heritage: New Approaches to Commemorating Canada’s Indian Residential School System, Thesis (M.A.), School of Canadian of Studies, 2014.
- Darcy Charlton, Digital Applications for Heritage Architecture: Using Location-based Technologies to Contextualize Digital Cultural Heritage Assets, Thesis (M.Arch.), School of Architecture and Urbanism, 2010.
- J. Alan MacCraken, Strategies of Reconstruction and Alteration: Berlin and the Palace of the Republic, Thesis (M.Arch.), Carleton University School of Architecture and Urbanism, 2009.
- CDNS 4403/5003 – Heritage Conservation and Sustainability (Fall 2017)
- Professional activities and honours
- Ordre des Architectes du Quebec (OAQ)
- Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC)
- Canadian Green Building Council (CaGBC- LEED AP)
- Association for Preservation Technology International (APT)
- ICOMOS Canada
- Co-chair, APT Technical Committee on Sustainable Preservation’s Education and Research Focus Group.
- Co-chair, National Roundtable on Heritage Education
- Co-ordinator, APT Outaouais-Ottawa Valley Chapter
- Member, ICOMOS International Scientific Committee on Energy and Sustainability
Honours & Awards (recent)
- Inducted into the College of Fellows, Association for Preservation Technology International, 2013.
- Carleton University FASS Junior Research Award, 2016.
- “Conserver le bois moderne: des stratégies environnementales pour un patrimoine organique” in La sauvegarde de l’architecture moderne (F. Vanlaethem and M.-J.Therrien, editors), UQAM (2014)
- “Hidden Water in the Landscape: the Covered Reservoirs of Mount Royal” in Metropolitan Natures: Environmental Histories of Montreal (S. Castonguay and M. Dagenais, editors), Pittsburgh University Press (2012).
Journal Articles and Papers in Proceedings
- “Sustainable Conservation Strategies for Canada’s Modernist Wood Legacy,” Journal of Architectural Conservation 23.3 (2017) 171-189.
- “Enhancing Conservation Tools for Natural Heritage in Historic Districts,” Association for Preservation Technology Bulletin (2016).
- “How Appropriate is Our Technological Heritage?” Carleton University School of Indigenous and Canadian Studies Heritage Conservation Symposium (proceedings), Carleton University (2013).
- “How Green was Canadian Modernism? How Sustainable Will it Be?” Docomomo International Journal, special Canada Modern issue (2008). Nb. Also published in a French version.
- “Integrating Environmental and Cultural Sustainability” (with Andrew Powter), Association for Preservation Technology Bulletin (2005).
- “Steam or Water Power? Thomas C. Keefer and the Engineers Discuss the Montreal Waterworks in 1852,” Industrial Archaeology (2003).
- “Montreal’s Grain Elevator no.5, The Uncertain Fate of a Modern Icon,” Docomomo International Journal (2003).
- “Pure Water in The City: Covering the Reservoirs on Mount Royal” in Landscapes of Water: History, Innovation and Sustainable Design (conference proceedings), Politecnico di Bari (2002).
Recently Presented Papers or Public Talks
- “Between the Wars: 1930s Apartment Buildings in Ottawa,” Heritage Ottawa (2017)
- FASS CU in the City Panel Old Buildings/New Forms: Transforming Ottawa (2016)
- “Urban Waste (Places) and Heritage Values,” Association for Critical Heritage Studies, Montreal (2016)
- “Heritage (Waste) and Sustainability: Recent Developments in Policy and Research,” National Trust for Canada, Calgary, AB (2015)
- “Deciphering an Urban Palimpsest: Lowertown’s Macdonald Gardens,” CHESS: Canadian History & Environment Summer School, Ottawa (2015)
- “The Contribution of Architecture to Heritage Conservation,” Interdisciplinarity and Heritage Conservation: from Theory to Practice, Round Table Organized by the Canada Research Chair on Built Heritage Faculty of Environmental Design, Université de Montréal (2015).
- “Can We Use Heritage Conservation Districts to Make Historic Ottawa Neighbourhoods More Sustainable and Resilient?” Association for Preservation Technology International, Quebec City (2014)
- “Flotsam, Jetsam and Derelict: Classifications of Architectural Waste” Society for the Study of Architecture in Canada, Fredericton, NB (2014).
- “Overview of 2014 Round Table,” Exploring the Cultural Value of Nature: a World Heritage Context, Round Table Organized by the Canada Research Chair on Built Heritage Faculty of Environmental Design, Université de Montréal (2014).
- “Architecture and the Canadian Fabric,” edited by Rhodri Windsor Liscombe, Scientia Canadensis (2016)
- “Sustainable Renovation: Strategies for Commercial Building Systems and Envelope,” by Lisa Gelfand and Chris Duncan,” APT Bulletin (2013).
- “Water, Time and European Cities, History Matters for the Futures,” P.S. Juuti, T.S. Katko, ed., Industrial Archaeology (2006)
Essay in Artist Catalogue
- “Undermining the Brigus Landscape,” in Robert Tombs: Brigus Mark 07/12/07, Ottawa: L’Arène (2016)
- Ann D. Horowitz, Maria F. Lopez, Susan M. Ross and Jennifer A. Sparenberg, Climate Change and Cultural Heritage Conservation: A Literature Review. Association for Preservation Technology, Technical Committee on Sustainable Preservation (2016).
Community and other report
- Victoria Ellis, Susan Ross, editors, Macdonald Gardens, A Neighbourhood in Lowertown East: A Study in Community Heritage. (2014)