O2 is committed to an interdisciplinary approach where landscape architects, planners, urban designers and environmental scientists work together, from initial concept to final construction detailing.
In this way, imaginative solutions drawing from all disciplines are realized in a coordinated manner, building on the complementary strengths of the team.
President + CEO
DDES, MLA, CSLA
Douglas Olson holds a Doctor of Design degree from Harvard University and a Master of Landscape Architecture degree from the University of Manitoba. A landscape architect and regional planner with over 25 years experience, Douglas specializes in spatially explicit land use planning and design. He has served as an instructor at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design and is an Adjunct Professor in the Faculty of Environmental Design at the University of Calgary. He is a member of the Canadian and American Societies of Landscape Architects and the International Association of Landscape Ecology.
Douglas has worked in Africa, Latin America, China, Colombia, Mongolia, and Slovenia, as well as throughout the United States and Canada. He is experienced in policy development and all phases of planning and design, from project concept development through to detailed implementation. As President of O2, Douglas directs the firm’s work in landscape architecture, planning, urban design,landscape ecology, and spatial modelling.
As O2's managing principal, Trevor contributes to the firm's strategic planning, business development, and overall business management. Prior to joining O2 in 2006, Trevor worked in Latin America with Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, the Canadian International Development Agency, and the United Nations Development Program. His international work experience has been focused on private sector development and trade capacity building. Trevor has also worked in the Canadian energy sector in the areas of economics and strategic planning, and business development.
Trevor holds a Master of Business Administration from the Richard Ivey School of Business, University of Western Ontario; a Graduate Diploma in International Management from Capilano University; and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Victoria.
Principal, Urban + Regional Planning
MPL, MCIP, RPP
Andrew holds a Master of Urban and Regional Planning degree from Queen's University, and a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Arts in Geography from the University of Calgary. He is a member of the Canadian Institute of Planners, the Alberta Professional Planners Institute and the Association of Professional Community Planners of Saskatchewan. Andrew also holds a Certificate in Public Engagement from the International Association of Public Participation (IAP2).
Andrew has over 10 years of experience working on high profile urban planning and urban design projects across Canada and overseas. His work emphasizes the linkages between policy, implementation and urban design. Andrew has a refined ability to facilitate complex technical solutions within multi-stakeholder environments, and he has extensive experience in policy development, community design, public engagement, and municipal approvals. Central to his approach to planning is a belief that great places are defined by environmental responsibility, economic vitality, vibrant culture, social discourse, creative design, and a quality of life that is both desirable and sustainable.
Principal, Urban Design
BArch, BES, BA, RPP, MCIP, FFUD
Chris is a Registered Professional Planner and an Urban Designer with over 14 years of experience. He is a Fellow of the Urban Design Institute in New York, a Recognized Practitioner in Urban Design in the UK and a member of the Council for Canadian Urbanism. Chris has managed planning studies that include community design, urban design guidelines, campus plans, feasibility studies, transit oriented design, complete streets, wayfinding, place branding, corridor studies, urban quality assessments and implementation strategies.
Chris is also an accomplished facilitator, public consultation coordinator and speaker, as well as a sessional lecturer in the Masters of Urban Design program at the University of Toronto. He is a member of the Downsview Park Design Review Panel and the steering committee of the Toronto Centre for Active Transportation. His commitment to city building is internationally recognized through numerous award winning projects.
Associate, Senior Landscape Architect
MLA, BES, AALA
Matt is a Senior Landscape Architect and Associate with O2. He is a team leader of the design studio, managing high profile urban design, mixed use, campus, and large park projects. From master planning through design development and construction documentation, Matt ensures a fine attention to detail for both planned and built projects. He oversaw the design and construction of the award winning Taylor Family Quad at the University of Calgary and is currently overseeing cSPACE King Edward; ATCO Commercial Centre; West Eau Claire Park; Eau Claire Plaza and Public Realm, and; multiple mixed use developments including Eau Claire West, Eau Claire Market Redevelopment, and Stadium Shopping Centre.
Matt holds a Master’s degree in Landscape Architecture from the University of Guelph where he received the American Society of Landscape Architect’s Award of Merit and a Bachelor of Environmental Studies from the University of Waterloo in Planning and Urban Design. Matt is a fully registered member of the Alberta Association of Landscape Architects, and represents the AALA on the City of Calgary’s Urban Design Review Panel.
Associate, Senior Landscape Architect
Michael holds a Master of Architecture Degree from the University of Calgary, and a B. Sc. in Environmental Sciences from University of Alberta. He has a wide diversity of professional experience in the fields of: architecture, urban design, landscape architecture, green roof design, campus master planning, landscape water management, and has extensive experience in design visualization. Throughout his career, Michael has focused on the social, environmental, and economic dimensions of sustainability in all aspects of his work. His interdisciplinary approach provides integrated, sustainable solutions that meet the needs of the client.
Michael’s projects at O2 include project management and design for multiple projects at the University of Calgary, including the EEEL Centre, and the U of C Landscape Master Plan. Other major projects include the Num Ti Jah Lodge Master Plan, Telus World of Science and Creative Kids Museum, and the River Parks Design Development Plan. He contributes visualization expertise on most O2 Projects.
Associate, Senior Urban Planner
MPLAN, MCIP, RPP
Brian holds a Master of Planning from Dalhousie University and a Bachelor of Arts with a double major in Political Science and Economics. He is a member of the Canadian Institute of Planners, the Alberta Professional Planners Institute and the Urban Land Institute. Brian sits on the City of Calgary Urban Design Review Panel (UDRP).
Brian is an accomplished city planner and urban designer with considerable experience working on innovative planning and design projects in Canada and overseas. He spent the early part of his career in London, UK working on projects at all scales ranging from regional strategies, new village masterplans, inner-city urban design strategies and detailed streetscape designs. Brian believes that the careful attention to detail at all scales is crucial to delivering projects that result in the creation of places and spaces that are a positive contribution to the urban fabric and will be appreciated and used over time. On all the projects he is involved with, Brian combines his knowledge of market fundamentals, policy environment, urban design, the approval process and stakeholder negotiation to facilitate the approval of complex projects, particularly in the context of urban intensification.
Leif holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Ecology from the University of Calgary, and has completed his Doctoral Studies in Conservation Ecology at Carleton University’s Geomatics and Landscape Ecology Research Lab, with a focus on multi-objective conservation planning at the regional scale. He has worked as a researcher studying human-bear interactions in the Waterton National Park, as a consultant to Saint Lawrence Islands National Park summarizing breeding bird diversity across Ontario, and as a consultant with Environment Canada calculating road fragmentation indices across Canada.
His current work at O2 focuses on the development of systematic land-use planning and multivariate decision-making processes, using spatial, statistical, and graphical methods to guide and explore complex and wide-ranging social and environmental issues.
Senior GIS Developer
PhD, MSc, BE, Dip
Omair holds a Doctorate and Masters degree in Geographic Information Science from the University of Edinburgh, Diploma in Management from the Chartered Management Institute and Bachelors of Engineering degree in Computer Software from the National University of Science and Technology. Omair has published journal articles, book chapters and also presented papers in international conferences on representation of spatial information at multiple levels of detail, automated spatial data enrichment and geo-visualization.
Prior to joining O2, Omair worked at Public Health England where he explored the development of GIS health portal and desktop solutions for mapping and analysis of infectious diseases. He also served as a lecturer in GIS at Manchester Metropolitan University. He taught courses on spatial databases, distributed GIS, spatial programming and geo-visualization. Omair was also involved in a number of GIS projects involving health, urban planning and utilities during his employment at LMKT. He is experienced in all phases of GIS projects from architecture design to deployment and end user training. He has extensive skills in development of desktop and web GIS solutions using proprietary and open source platforms.
MLA, BAID, AALA, CSLA
Maria holds a Master’s in Landscape Architecture from the University of British Columbia, where she received the award of Top Graduate Thesis Study for her thesis work focusing on the renegotiation of Calgary’s public right of way in terms of mobility, ecology, and public realm. Maria undertook studies in Wageningen University and Research Centre (Netherlands), focused on alternative energy sources in regional landscapes, for which she received an IFLA Jury Award. Maria also holds a Bachelor of Applied Interior Design with studies in Calgary and Guadalajara, Mexico.
Prior to joining O2, Maria was a Landscape Architect Consultant with the University of British Columbia Design Centre. Her project work involved developing the research document, “Green Infrastructure in Calgary’s Mobility Corridors”, which was awarded a CSLA National Merit Award.
Maria is a registered Landscape Architect and has professional experience as a landscape architect and interior designer, from site specific to urban scale. Her work at O2 focuses on fine scale landscape architecture and the graphic presentation of drawings, maps, and other information. Maria’s recent project work with O2 includes the development of construction drawings for the University of Calgary’s Taylor Family Digital Library and Calgary Telus World of Science and Kids Museum.
Marketing and Engagement Lead
BA, DID (Hon)
Vita holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Toronto, Victoria College. Additionally, she holds an honours diploma in interior design from the International Academy of Design, and a certificate from the International Association of Public Participation (IAP2). She is an affiliate member of the Association of Registered Graphic Designers, the International Association of Business Communicators and the Canadian Public Relations Society.
Vita specializes in branding, marketing and communications and brings 15 years of experience in the design industry. With a combined background in critical thinking, writing and design, she started her career as an industrial and interior designer for high-end retail brands. For the past ten years, she has directed marketing development and media relations for global architectural firms and nonprofit organizations. As part of this work she has led over 400 proposals for healthcare, education, transportation and private developments.
Vita is passionate about curating authentic connections. She recommends strategies, campaigns and execution techniques that deliver core messages and engage audiences through deceptively simple, integrated media—both traditional and online. She has successfully worked on and managed the entire development of creative media from strategy, to user-centered experience and graphic design, to the facilitation of high-quality, end deliverables (web and video, exhibition and open house, presentations and engagement sessions, brochure and large-format print). Using service design methodologies, she fosters innovation against demanding deadlines, builds capacity and encourages the use of integrated mechanisms that result in rich conversations.
MES, BLA, AALA
Katelyn is an environmental landscape architect with 10 years of professional experience focusing on stormwater management and restoration of wetlands and stream banks. She holds a master’s degree in ecological restoration from the University of Waterloo and a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture from the University of Guelph.
Katelyn brings experience in the development of sustainable urban ecosystems, including stormwater management and low-impact development (LID) techniques. She also has an ecological restoration foundation in riparian and aquatic restoration techniques, particularly in urban environments. Recently, she has been inspecting the construction of stormwater wetlands and LID features in the Calgary area. The combination of her design, planning and practical experience fully facilitates the integration of landscape architecture with ecological restoration.
She was previously the director of the Alberta Low Impact Development Partnership, and continues in a Vice President role supporting the development of low impact development (LID) practices in Alberta, such as bioswales, rain gardens, and green roofs.
Michael holds a Master of Planning in Urban and Regional Planning from Queen’s University and a Bachelor of Arts Honours in Political Science from the University of Winnipeg. Michael’s Master’s Report: Is Everyone in the Pool? Lessons on Access and Equity from the Regent Park Aquatic Centre, examined how Toronto’s Regent Park Aquatic Centre accommodates persons from all social, cultural and economic backgrounds, and what municipal officials can learn from the process that created this aquatic centre.
Following his graduation from Queen’s, Michael worked in a progressive role as a Community Planner and Technical Services Officer with Parks Canada. Working with Parks allowed Michael the opportunity to develop his skills in environmental land use, parks planning, public participation and community engagement. Throughout all of his work, Michael continually strives to balance quality planning and urban design with social equity in order to create spaces that are barrier-free, walkable and sustainable.
As a planner at O2, Michael contributes to a wide range of project types and scales including community planning, urban design and public engagement.
Rachelle is a Senior Planner at O2, with over 8 years experience in the field. Her work in both the private and public sectors in both Canada and Australia have provided her with experience in developing a wide range of policy projects. These projects include city wide planning documents, local area plans, urban design guidelines, bylaw amendments and special studies covering multiple subject areas like land use, urban design, historic preservation and environmental planning. In particular, Rachelle has cultivated her experience in neighbourhood planning, city centre planning and transit-oriented development policy. This experience is further supplemented by Rachelle’s education, extensive community engagement and project management experience to ensure that each project is transparent, organized and tailored to the local context.
Rachelle graduated from Dalhousie University with a Masters of Planning and holds two bachelor degrees, in art history and psychology, from the University of Calgary.
BLA, AALA Associate
Zach holds a Bachelor in Landscape Architecture from Pennsylvania State University. His studio research focused on utilizing green infrastructure techniques and performative landscapes to address urban vacancy issues in postindustrial cities in Pennsylvania and Ohio.
Zach has over four years of professional experience working in Architecture, Landscape Architecture, and Civil Engineering firms throughout Philadelphia and South Florida. His recent works include the Philadelphia Zoo’s Intermodal Transportation Master Plan, the redevelopment of the Philadelphia Navy Yard, the Philadelphia Water Department’s Green Streets program, and the evaluation of sites to be included in the Philadelphia Water Department’s Stormwater Management Enhancement District program.
He brings with him a passion for creative sustainable design solutions combined with experience in large and small scale green infrastructure design and implementation. His work has been recognized by the Architecture League of New York, the Philadelphia Center for Community Progress, the Philadelphia City Parks Association, and has been exhibited at the Museum of The City of New York.
Engagement + Communications Coordinator
Sarah has a professional background in wayfinding design and strategy, an undergraduate degree in graphic design from the York/Sheridan Design Programme, and a graduate degree in environmental design innovation from the Glasgow School of Art. Sarah thrives in blending graphic skills with her passion for spatial design and urban life.
As a senior designer with Entro Communications for seven years, she worked on a number of significant wayfinding projects including the Calgary International Airport terminal expansion and the award-winning Bridgepoint Active Healthcare, a complex care and rehabilitation hospital and research centre in Toronto. Sarah also has a strong background in information design, creating communications materials with clarity for local community organizations and complex data visualizations with the Centre for Landscape Research at the University of Toronto.
Sarah’s graduate studies in Design Innovation and Environmental Design focused on human-centred design techniques for social innovation projects. Working in collaboration with Toshiba and the Scottish Government, design processes relied heavily on engagement with stakeholders and communities to gather insights, analyze, and ideate for meaningful design solutions. Her independent graduate project explored experience-based approaches for qualitative design research of the urban environment. She developed an interdisciplinary framework for the study of urban walking and emotion-led decision making in city streets. Sarah maintains a strong cross-disciplinary, people-centred approach to design at the heart of her work and aims to continually push traditional boundaries forward.
Senior Planner / Economist
PhD, MScPl, MASc, AICP
Andrew Bjorn holds a Doctorate in Urban Design and Planning and Urban Ecology from the University of Washington, a Master of Science in Planning with a focus in Environmental Planning and a Master of Applied Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Toronto. He has developed major reports, journal articles, book chapters, and presentations on food security, environmental life-cycle assessment, urban forest function, Canadian climate change policy, and brownfield redevelopment.
Prior to joining O2, Andrew instructed at the Department of Urban Design and Planning at the University of Washington and the Universitetet for miljø- og biovitenskap in Ås, Norway. He has worked on a number of planning projects, including an interdisciplinary National Science Foundation project on the functions of urban forests across the Seattle metro region, the development of a regional land use and transportation model for the Puget Sound Region, a study of food deserts in Seattle, and an assessment of Section 8 housing vouchers in Seattle. Andrew also worked as an editor on planning publications devoted to examining emerging issues in planning and researching shopping center development.
During his time with the firm, Andrew has led a number of diverse, interdisciplinary regional planning projects. He has been the project manager for the development of case studies of brownfields redevelopment activities in rural communities across British Columbia, the creation of a regional GIS plan for the Calgary Regional Partnership, the coordination of a territory-wide study of the public land development system in the Yukon, and the development of a regional Significant Tourism and Recreation Areas Model for Alberta Tourism, Parks and Recreation.
MLA, BES, AALA Associate
Eliza holds a Masters in Landscape Architecture from the University of Toronto and has completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Waterloo, School of Planning. Her current interests include 3D visualization and the integration of Landscape Architecture into an ever growing technology driven society. Her work within GIS has allowed her to integrate analysis into 3D environments in order to expand the way we visualize and understand dynamic forces that impact the way designers understand site, function and processes. Her previous work includes 3D visualizations through numerous rendering and analysis programs for the University of Toronto, where she studied the impacts of the heat island effect in Toronto as well as a graphics specialists with the Global City Indicators Facility [GCIF].
Her Master’s thesis looked at the role that technology and apps played in Landscape Architecture, and the way that designers could integrate this ever growing trend within the planning and design process. She is currently working on evolving the idea of a game app that could potentially replace everyday charrettes and would allow citizens to ‘play’ while aiding in the design process.
In his role as a Designer at O2, Charles Sands brings design excellence informed by experience, well-rounded technical knowledge, and a belief in the broader value of urban open space in human development. He understands the delicate balance between artistic design, sustainable practices, client expectations, user experience, and budget and construction limitations.
After receiving an MLA from the University of Manitoba, Charles travelled to Taiwan to work as a Senior Landscape Designer with Tai Architect and Associates. He then established the office Open Design Ltd. in 2012, where he directed large-scale mixed use landscape and lighting projects in Taiwan, China and Mongolia as principal of the firm. Charles’ office worked extensively on luxury apartment complexes, as well as commercial, industrial, religious, office, urban planning, pedestrian bridge, public park, public sculpture and garden competition projects. Charles’ experience running a design business in Asia attests to his adaptability, resourcefulness, business acumen and communication skills.
Charles has also contributed to the field of landscape as a writer, editor and educator. He recently gave a presentation on design principles for Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia at the 2016 CSLA Congress in Winnipeg.
Jenna holds a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture degree from the University of Guelph, where she graduated with distinction. In her final year of studies, she was awarded an American Society of Landscape Architects Award of Merit. Her final design studio project focused on urban flood resiliency and the use of green infrastructure for flood management. The project specifically looked at adapting an industrial area along the Fort Point Channel of Boston, Massachusetts into a livable and sustainable mixed-use district. The project addressed issues related to sea level rise and increased storm surges brought about by climate change, while activating a vibrant waterfront and improving coastal health. In 2014 she was awarded first place in the Ontario Stone, Sand, and Gravel Association student design competition and she was the recipient of the 2014 Garden Club of Toronto scholarship.
At O2, Jenna’s role is to support the design team on a wide range of projects. She assists at various stages of the design process to prepare inventory and analysis mapping, graphic representation of drawings, construction drawings and more.
MLArch, BSc (Env), LEED Green Associate, MALA, CSLA
Andrea holds a Master of Landscape Architecture degree from the University of Manitoba and a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Sciences degree from the University of Guelph. Prior to joining O2, Andrea was a Landscape Architect with HTFC Planning + Design in Winnipeg, Manitoba and remains an active member of the Manitoba Association of Landscape Architects. She has a broad range of professional experience with involvement in projects at a community scale to urban design to interpretive content development and experiential graphic design. In all cases, she enjoys working collaboratively as part of a multi-disciplinary team and is committed to reflecting the unique character of a place and meeting client and public needs in the creation of enduring design solutions. She is also a LEED Green Associate, reflecting her commitment to ongoing professional development and interest in sustainable design practices.
She has recently relocated to Calgary, Alberta and her work at O2 includes concept and detailed design development, preparation of construction documents, and graphic presentation. Andrea’s recent project work with O2 includes the conceptual and design development of Haskayne Legacy Park along the Bow River in Calgary, and the new ATCO Commercial Centre in Calgary.
Achim holds an undergraduate degree in Landscape Architecture from the University of Georgia and a master's degree in Business Administration from The Hague University.
Achim brings broad international practice experience attained while employed as a designer in the United States, the Netherlands and China. His project experience ranges from small-scaled, 900 square-metre hospital courtyards that included the custom design of light features to a large 260-acre urban expansion area where he completed the initial urban design layout for the site. He also has extensive experience and enjoys the process of collaborating with colleagues and liaising with clients, allied consultants and user groups to achieve the best possible design outcome for every project. As a design practitioner, Achim is particularly interested in the aesthetic and the experiential dimensions of space-making that are based on a solid foundation of ecological and functional parameters.
Connor uses his interdisciplinary background to assist in all aspects of O2’s projects. His understanding of both technical requirements as well as conceptual design processes makes him well versed to move between macro and micro-scale projects in engineering, planning and design.
Connor has worked in the fields of civil and environmental engineering and landscape architecture. His final thesis work for his engineering degree focused on designing a sustainable community on a brownfield site, where he was in charge of Low Impact Development (LID) stormwater design strategies. Additionally, his final year urban studies project involved the creation of a community redevelopment plan in Calgary, focusing on sustainable initiatives and stakeholder engagement. Specifically, Connor focused on the incorporation of complete streets objectives, where he prioritized the pedestrian and cyclist experience. Connor supplemented his degree by studying for a semester in Hong Kong where he learned new ways of approaching problems in a distinctly different environment and culture. Lastly, Connor has skills in GIS mapping, Audodesk drafting software, SketchUp, Rhino and Adobe Suite software.
Connor holds a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering with a minor in Environmental Engineering from the University of Calgary, where he graduated with distinction. This was completed in conjunction with a Bachelor of Arts in Urban Studies and a second minor in Architectural Studies. Additionally, Connor continues his education with extended studies in graphic design and photography at the Alberta College of Art and Design (ACAD).
MLA, BEnvD, MALA (Associate)
Dustin’s approach to design draws on the importance of found conditions in decision making. Dismissing the idea of site as a blank slate, he believes it is the existing conditions of a site that are worth taking the extra time to investigate, a process that must occur prior to the implementation of design decisions that seek to remove or make new. Dustin understands that looking deeper into a place leads to a greater respect for what is already there; it is only through careful, immersive study that design can truly enhance what we already have.
Dustin brings this philosophy to his role as part of O2’s design team. He is fluent in all phases of the design process, from conceptual design to contract administration. Through his work in planning and the public realm, he has developed an expertise in urban design, regional planning, active transportation, and public space design. Dustin has also volunteered on multiple not-for-profit boards.
While completing his Master of Landscape Architecture degree at the University of Manitoba, Dustin gained valuable experience collaborating with Berlin-based competition adviser [phase eins] on the institution's campus planning design competition. His graduate research was driven by the concept of landscape as a fundamental infrastructure, informing spatial and ecological conditions of subsequent built form. His practice reflects this understanding of precedent and values landscape as something which is working and active.
Kerry holds a Master of Science in Planning degree from the University of Toronto, where her studies focused on land use planning and policy. Her major research paper combined these interests by exploring the response of British Columbia municipalities to updated provincial Flood Hazard Land Use Management Guidelines – guidelines that would introduce sea-level rise as an important factor in coastal planning. She also holds a Bachelor’s degree in Geography, with a Minor in Environmental Studies, from the University of Victoria.
Kerry has professional experience in the public, private and non-profit sectors. She has provided land use planning services in British Columbia and Alberta, where her strengths in research, analysis and communication have enabled her to support multi-disciplinary teams on a wide variety of projects and consultation events. Kerry also worked for several years in the green building sector, providing support for home energy evaluations and government incentive programs.
At O2, Kerry’s role is to contribute to a wide range of project types and scales including community planning, urban design and public engagement.
As a GIS Specialist with O2, Alexander works within different multidisciplinary project teams and provides support with GIS data management, web mapping application development and geospatial analysis. As a specialist in Database Design and Administration, he provides project support for data management and system analysis. He also provides guidance on tailored software solutions for clients and coordinates data infrastructure management at the firm.
Alexander holds a B.Sc. in Information System and Technologies from the Ural Federal University and BGIS diploma from SAIT Polytechnic, with two Academic Excellence Certificates. He has broad experience in engineering and software development. He has held a position as an application developer for a large construction firm, where he developed comprehensive GIS applications for fleet routing for concrete mixers to support operations. He also led a team of software developers for over 5 years which was tasked with multiple projects in GIS and programming for the construction, telecommunication and entertainment industries. Alexander has designed databases in different Enterprise-level RDBMS such as Oracle, MS SQL Server, PostgreSQL and MySQL for multiple clients.
Catherine brings seven years of professional experience and holds a master’s degree from the University of Victoria, School of Environmental Studies and a Bachelor of Environmental Design from the University of Manitoba. Her research on urban rainwater management focuses on design for education; critical in this is an intimate understanding of the site, and analysis of the social and educational needs of the client. She continues to pursue this intersection of human and natural systems design at O2.
While at a previous position in Vancouver, Catherine produced highly-detailed construction documents and managed Vectorworks files for a large rezoning project, SFU UniverCity. She demonstrates strict attention to detail and efficient process and brings a collaborative spirit to our team.
Planner / Designer
As a planner and urban designer at O2, Christopher contributes to a variety of planning and design projects including graphic visualization, master planning, strategic design and public engagement. Prior to joining O2, Chris worked as a projects intern with the Calgary Municipal Land Corporation and served as a planning technician and planner with McElhanney Consulting Services Ltd.
Christopher holds a Master of Planning degree with a concentration in Urban Design and a Bachelor of Arts in Urban Studies from the University of Calgary. He also studied Community Planning as part of a study abroad program with the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in Melbourne Australia. His final Master’s project focused on landscape urbanism applications and its influence on industrial site redevelopment. This project has earned him an honorable mention at the 2015 City of Calgary Mayor’s Urban Design Awards. Christopher is also a guest studio critic at the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Environmental Design.
Tarun Saurabh holds a Master’s degree in Urban Design from the University of Toronto and a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture from the School of Planning and architecture, New Delhi, India. His background includes managing a variety of architecture and planning projects for institutions, campuses, transit oriented development, new community planning, and both public and private sector clients. Tarun has gained extensive experience in design and data visualization.
As an Urban Designer at O2, Tarun is assisting both the planning and design team on a variety of projects, integrating his international experience and diverse background in architecture and urban design. Prior to joining O2, Tarun worked as a junior urban designer at Urban Strategies Inc, building designer at Building Design Partnership Ltd (BDP), and project architect at Arun Rewal Associates (Rewal Consortium).
Tarun’s approach to professional practice is based on the city as both a social and built entity, where the constant iterative process of design and planning with stakeholders provides opportunities to create meaningful, democratic and vibrant places.
As a Planner at O2, Randi contributes to a variety of planning projects including land use planning, policy development, and public engagement. Her work is informed by her multidisciplinary experience in urban and regional planning, and public policy.
Randi holds a Master of Urban and Regional Planning degree from Queen’s University and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Environmental and Conservation Sciences from the University of Alberta, where she graduated with distinction. Prior to graduate school, she travelled across Alberta conducting aquatic ecology fieldwork, and has contributed to innovative projects including a citizen-science water monitoring project, as well as a radio-collar tracking program designed to reduce collisions between vehicles and deer in urban environments.
Her master’s thesis examined the factors that favour the emergence of cooperative and mutually beneficial relationships between municipalities and First Nations. She recommended how municipalities and neighbouring First Nation communities could begin to forge strong relationships and collaborate on planning and development projects of common interest. Recognizing that most planning issues span jurisdictional boundaries, Randi is passionate about regional planning, and about how sound planning, governance arrangements and public engagement can build common ground for people in urban and rural environments.
Ada Chang Liu
Ada holds a master degree in Landscape Urbanism from the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London, UK. Her design thesis examined the relationship between urban design process and the mechanism of landscape in the context of rapid urbanization. Ada has a bachelor degree in Geography and Economics, and a certificate of Urban Studies from Simon Fraser University where she gained a wide range of urban theories.
Before joining O2, Ada worked as a landscape and urban designer in Groundlab, London. She was specialized in prototypical design and parametric design in broad scale projects involving street, park, square and waterfront. She and her team had won international competitions including the “Sokolniki Park Competition” in Moscow, Russia.
Ada’s role at O2 is to support design and planning teams in various projects. Ada sees landscape as a mediator to the whole urban system. Her current interest focuses on bringing performative landscape into the city by applying digital technology on cartography interpretation that gives new perspectives to landscape and urban design.
Designer / Planner
MPLAN, BLA, LAT
Sam is an ambitious and dynamic designer with experience in various project types ranging from landscape architecture and master planning to virtual tours. Samantha holds a Masters of Planning degree from the University of Calgary and an undergraduate degree in Landscape Architecture from the University of Guelph. Sam is able to approach a project from diverse perspectives and create design solutions at varying scales. As a designer and planner, her responsibilities range from participation in the development of concepts through to the completion of working drawings, cost estimates, and progress claims, as well as land-use redesignations and outline plans.
Sam possesses technical and computer skills with advanced knowledge of AutoCAD, Adobe Creative Suite, Microsoft Office and other graphic communication programs. Through her studies she has had the opportunity to teach seminars at the University of Guelph. She was also a teaching assistant at the University of Calgary where she trained students and staff on various computer programs.
Zoe holds a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture degree from the University of Guelph, where her undergraduate thesis focused of issues of food security and accessibility for homeless youth in Toronto. Her research work received recognition from The Ontario Council of Universities, The Design Exchange and The Sustainable Design Awards. Zoe brings prior experience working with the MBTW Group as a landscape architectural intern on the contract administration and urban design teams.
Zoe joined O2 because of her interest in the design of open spaces and its integration with natural processes. She brings her enthusiasm and strong work ethic to O2 projects such as the Strathcona-Tweedsmuir School Expansion and Renovation project, Alberta Boot Company development and the Minto Bridgeland condominium project.
Rakshya is a graduate from the University of Waterloo with a Bachelor in Architectural Studies and Masters in Architecture, where she had the opportunity to work in design projects that included architecture, sustainable design, urban design and industrial design. Her master’s research was focused on a design proposal for sustainable storm-water system to alleviate loads suffered by current urban water infrastructure in Toronto. This research allowed her to perform studies at various scales and further increaser her knowledge in the importance of designing in relation to the site and environment.
Professionally, Rakshya has worked at various architecture firms in Calgary and Toronto including NORR Architects and Planners, KPMB Architects and Brook McIIroy Inc. Her time spent at these firms has taught her to be an excellent team player and competent communicator while giving her direct experience conceptualizing, mapping, analyzing and designing. Rakshya is working with the design team on urban design and master planning projects.
Getachew holds a Bachelor of Art degree from Zegha Business College (City University College) in Accounting and Finance and a Diploma in Accounting from the Addis Ababa Commercial College.
Getachew is O2’s Financial Administrator and has been employed by the firm since March 2013. He is responsible for budgeting, project reporting, financial reporting, invoicing, accounts payable and accounts receivable. Prior to joining O2, Getachew worked in Ethiopia with SouthWest Development Plc, Medecins Du Monde, International Committee of the Red Cross and Medecins Sans Frontiers. He also worked in Tanzania and Niger with Medecins Du Monde.
Grace brings her artistic background and graphic skills to the O2 studio. She strives to synthesize art, science, and technology to visualize socially and environmentally conscious spaces. Driven by contextual strategies, she approaches each project with fresh eyes using different working methods and mediums. Having strong interests in historic urban environments, Grace spent half a year in Berlin, where she studied German and traveled to actively observe European landscape architecture. The experience enhanced her understanding of narrative in contemporary design, and how landscape architecture can evoke histories that would otherwise remain dormant.
Grace holds a Master of Landscape Architecture and Bachelor of Arts with distinction in Architectural Studies and Fine Art History from the University of Toronto, and was recognized with the ASLA graduating award of excellence. Her thesis Seismi-city: Landscapes of Refuge and Awareness examined disaster preparedness in downtown Vancouver, BC. The project explores ways of transforming neighborhood parks and specific underused spaces into places that activate day-to-day activities, but can also be deployed in the event of a major earthquake. She is a strong advocate for innovative designs that foster health, community, and imagination.
At O2, Karina is currently involved in a variety of regional environmental planning projects. She provides support for the development of environmental management and GIS analyses.
Karina holds a Master of Environmental Design in Ecological Design from the University of Calgary and a Bachelor of Honours Biology in Animal Physiology from the University of Ottawa. Karina completed her Master’s in the Spatial Ecology and Epidemiology Lab, Department of Ecosystems and Public Health, studying the seasonal functional connectivity of urban coyotes in the City of Calgary. Her undergraduate thesis focused on the metrical and epigenetic cranial trait analysis of Canadian wolves.
Karina has recently submitted two manuscripts, from her Master’s thesis, to the Journal of Landscape and Urban Planning and the Journal of Ecological Modelling. She has attended and presented her thesis work at several International Associations of Landscape Ecology conferences and urban wildlife management conferences. In 2013, she was the recipient of the University of Calgary ESRI Canada GIS scholarship.
She has previously worked in the field as an animal damage control technician in the Canadian Rockies; as a wolf technician in backcountry Minnesota; and as a carnivore technician, tracking and investigating wildlife activity in both Michigan and the Peruvian Amazon. She has previously worked as a laboratory technician with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and Agriculture Canada.
With a diverse background in ecology and design, Caylee has a passion for unifying social and natural systems to create dynamic spaces. Using an ecological lens, she creates multi-scale design solutions that are adaptable, resilient and sustainable. Her strong interest in the intersection of nature and culture led to her graduate design project where she explored the socio-ecological potential of campus landscapes. Her academic research and subsequent design project provided a greater understanding of how landscape architecture can mend and progress social and ecological systems in urban areas.
Prior to joining O2, Caylee worked in the environmental sector where she gained extensive experience in contaminated site assessments, pre-disturbance assessments, reclamation planning and environmental monitoring. She was responsible for desktop reviews, field surveys, reporting and supervising reclamation construction projects. Her work throughout Alberta and British Columbia has provided her with a wide range of ecological knowledge as well an understanding of environmental regulatory requirements.
Caylee holds a Masters in Landscape Architecture from the University of British Columbia where she was awarded the inaugural Landscape Architecture Canada Foundation award for top graduate design project, as well as the UBC faculty book award for her contributions to the design studio. She also holds a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science from the University of Lethbridge where she graduated with distinction. Caylee is skilled in various technical programs including drafting software, GIS, Adobe Creative Suite and Rhino. She also has experience in preparing large scale environmental reports for regulatory review.
Designer / Planner
Valerie is a Junior Landscape Planner / Designer at O2 Planning + Design. She brings her creativity, dedication and thoughtfulness to design, planning and public engagement projects within the firm. Her professional background includes administration and project coordination in the fields of social planning and community services, both of which have been influential in her current design practice as she emphasizes social inclusion and community participation in landscape design.
Valerie holds a Bachelor of Environmental Studies degree from the University of Waterloo with a specialization in Geomatics and a minor in Fine Art. She obtained her Master of Landscape Architecture degree from the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design at the University of Toronto where she worked with a leading landscape historian in a research assistant capacity. She uses geographic analysis to reference multiple scales of time and space in her work, and designs where those scales intersect to amplify the contextual meaning within each project. Her Masters thesis explored the challenges faced by the Region of Waterloo in providing engaging public open spaces to a growing and increasingly diverse population while maintaining the municipality’s cultural and natural heritage resources.
As a Student Representative and Social Committee member for the OALA, Valerie worked to provide educational and professional development opportunities to her colleagues in Ontario. She looks forward to seeking and contributing to opportunities for continued growth within the Landscape Architecture community in Alberta.