“It was Alberta’s unique diversity and vitality that encouraged me to develop my own individual approach to my profession. In my experience, Alberta is a very fertile land for design and creativity.”
Douglas J. Cardinal, OC, PhD (honoris causa)

Table of contents

Foreword | Douglas J. Cardinal
Illustration and Commentary | Maria Goncharova
Introduction | Isabel Prochner & Tim Antoniuk

I Past, Present, and Future Innovation in Alberta 1
Andrea Hirji, Illustration and Commentary
1 Reset 3
Changing the Built Environment in Alberta
Barry Johns
2 Visualizing Industrial Design and Its History in Alberta 35
Isabel Prochner with Lyubava Kroll

II Education Meets Culture and Community 63
Skye Oleson-Cormack, Illustration and Commentary
3 An Inside-Outside View into Design Education in Alberta 65
Megan Strickfaden
4 From the North 81
Perspective of an Outlier
Tyler Vreeling

III The Creative Economy and Design Work in Alberta 91
Courtenay McKay, Illustration and Commentary
5 Expanding the Creative Economy in Alberta 93
Creative Hybridity from Small Producers
Tim Antoniuk
6 Designer Founders and the Start-Up Revolution 123
Ken Bautista

IV Sustainable Design Practices in, for, and from Alberta 133
Elizabeth Schowalter, Illustration and Commentary
7 Sustainability in Alberta 135
Experiences and Impressions by Design
Carlos Fiorentino
8 The Forgotten Sustainability 143
A Socially Conscious, Paradigmatic Shift in Design
Janice Rieger & Mark Iantkow
9 It Is Just Good Design! 169
Ron Wickman

Contributors 187
Index 193


Situating Design in Alberta makes the case that design has the potential to drive economic growth, improve quality of life, and promote sustainability in the province and across the country. Contributors bring both scholarly and practice-based perspectives and come from diverse disciplines including architecture, interior design, industrial design, and visual communications. The collection is organized around four main topics—history, education, business, and sustainability—within which the authors explore a wide range of issues. This synergy of different design approaches lends a sense of forward momentum to the field, stimulates reflection about opportunities and challenges for both practitioners and policy makers, and provides a model for future studies in other regions.

Contributors: Tim Antoniuk, Ken Bautista, Carlos Fiorentino, Maria Goncharova, Andrea Hirji, Mark Iantkow, Barry Johns, Lyubava Kroll, Courtenay McKay, Skye Oleson-Cormack, Isabel Prochner, Janice Rieger, Elizabeth Schowalter, Megan Strickfaden, Tyler Vreeling, Ron Wickman


  • Short-listed, Book Design | Alberta Book Awards, Book Publishers Association of Alberta 2022


"To situate design reveals a context of values. It's in discussing the Alberta context that [Situating Design in Alberta] opens other ways of measuring design, ones in which underrepresented voices are elevated and the designer has a role as an advocate and a listener." amery Calvelli, Alberta Views, November 2022