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Dr. Colin Ripley

Colin Ripley
BEng, MSc, MArch, Phd, OAA, MRAIC
416-979-5000 ext. 556507

Areas of Specialization

Architectural theory

Queer architecture

Sound and architecture

Canadian modern architecture

Architectural education


Year University Degree
2021 European Graduate School
1994 Princeton University MArch
1986 University of Toronto MSc
1985 McMaster University BEng

Selected Courses

Course Code Course Title
ASC 201 Design Studio I : Site and Program
ARC 720 Architecture Studio: Four Futures
AR8106 Current Topics in Architectural Praxis
AR8107 Contemporary Architectural Theory


For Colin Ripley, architecture isn’t so much about making buildings; it’s about trying to understand the way we build the world and the structures that organize our lives. “This is the one theme that has been constant in my work,” he says. “Whether I’m writing about queer theory in architecture or teaching an undergraduate studio, I’m trying to come to grips with the deep conceptual systems that we live in.”

Recently, for example, Ripley asked his fourth-year architecture studio students to imagine a future based on scenarios set out by Peter Frase in his book, Four Futures. Do we face a world of plenty or scarcity? Of equality or hierarchy? The students designed a community—to be built in 2037—on the current site of Queen’s Park in Toronto. The results were impressive. From a floating enclave for the wealthy with its own food production system, to an education centre for the masses, their conceptual designs raised many questions. “I want them to understand that as architects, they won’t just be making buildings,” Ripley says. “They will be making ethical and moral decisions that impact all of us.”

Colin Ripley

“I’ve always been fascinated by the structure of the universe.”

Selected Works

  • 2012-13 Journal of Architectural Education Best Design as Scholarship Article Award. (Ripley, C., Thün, G. & Velikov, K.)
  • 2009 Canada Council for the Arts. Professional Prix de Rome in Architecture (RVTR).
  • 2008 American Institute of Architects Honor Award: Thomas L. Wells Public School (Baird Sampson Neuert Architects; Colin Ripley and Geoffrey Thün: Project Architects).
  • 2006 Governor-General’s Medal in Architecture: Erindale Hall, University of Toronto at Mississauga (Baird Sampson Neuert Architects; Colin Ripley: Project Architect).
  • Thün, G., Velikov, K., MacTavish, D. and Ripley, C. (RVTR) (2015). Infra-|Eco-|Logi-|Urbanism: The Great Lakes Megaregion. Zurich: Park Books.
  • Polo, M. and Ripley, C. (2014). Architecture and National Identity: The Centennial Projects 50 Years On / Architecture et identité nationale : les projets du Centenaire, 50 ans plus tard. Halifax: Dalhousie Architectural Press.
  • Ripley, C. (2018). Strategies for living in houses. In Gorny, R. & van den Heuvel, D. (Eds.), Trans-Bodies / Queering Spaces [Special issue]. Footprint ,21.
  • Ripley, C. (2015). Instrumental operations in the urban assemblage. Journal of Sonic Studies 11 - Recomposing the City: New Directions in Urban Sound Art. (R)
  • Ripley, C. (2013). Digital distraction: Towards a technological criticism. Volume, Iss. 36: 38-40.
  • 2016 President, Canadian Architectural Certification Board