Organized by DesignTO in partnership with the Toronto Society of Architects, ‘Ideas Forum: Deconstruction’ features five fast-paced presentations (20 slides shown for 20 seconds each) exploring circular construction in the building industry, including design for disassembly, embodied carbon and sustainability, and material salvage and reuse.

Organized by DesignTO in partnership with the Toronto Society of Architects, with media partner AZURE Magazine.

DesignTO brings people together to design a better future, one that is more sustainable, just, and joyful. We curate exhibitions, presentations and educational programming to increase the public’s knowledge and appreciation of design, and hope to embolden all Canadians to participate in making a future where people and planet are thriving again.


Ria Al-Ameen (M.Arch CAHP PMP) is an Associate at Giaimo, a Toronto-based architecture firm integrating design, conservation, and sustainability. As a Project Manager and Designer, she has over a decade of international experience in the architecture industry and currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Canadian Association of Heritage Professionals (CAHP). With a focus on leveraging the existing she has overseen various scales of adaptive reuse projects and developed creative solutions for the salvage and reuse of a range of materials, including marble, century-old lumber, and brick.

Alison Creba is the operations manager of Artscape Wychwood Barns, a century-old former streetcar barn, now converted to artist residences, studios and community spaces in Toronto, Canada. She is also the principal investigator at Local Technique – an interdisciplinary speculative research and design studio which explores the cultural and environmental legacies of sites, structures and materials. Often working in collaboration, her writing and interventions operate at the intersection of architectural maintenance, conservation and waste.

Felix Heisel’s scholarship addresses a systematic redesign of the built environment as a material depot of endless use and reconfiguration. Felix is an Assistant Professor and the Director of the Circular Construction Lab at Cornell University’s College of Architecture, Art, and Planning, as well as co-founder and partner of 2hs architects and engineers in Germany. He has received various awards for his work and published widely, including most recently Building Better – Less – Different: Circular Construction and Circular Economy (Birkhäuser, 2022).

Associate Professor Susan Ross is Interim Director of the School of Indigenous and Canadian Studies and holds a cross-appointment to Carleton University’s Azrieli School of Architecture & Urbanism. She teaches graduate and undergraduate courses on the sustainable conservation of the historic urban landscape, with a focus on modern and industrial heritage. Ross is licensed with the Ordre des architectes du Québec (OAQ) and has worked as a registered architect in the private sector in Montreal, Berlin and Ottawa. Before joining Carleton University, she was a senior conservation architect in the federal government. Her current research, which looks at the intersections of heritage, values and waste, has been shared through symposia, a special journal issue, and her Waste Heritage Research blog.

Rashmi Sirkar is a Master of Architecture candidate at the University of Toronto. Her thesis, ‘Why Waste Wood: Resourcify Toronto’s Building Stock’, investigates the potential of creating a circular economy of building materials through the assessment of demolition permits, the modeling and life cycle analysis of stick frame houses, and the policies and practices surrounding deconstruction, salvage and reuse. Her research has been awarded the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada’s Green Building Council Scholarship for Sustainable Design and Research in 2022.