Doug Hanna & Monica Giesbrecht

Skilled Trades Inspire 21st Century Learning
The Red River College Skilled Trades and Technology Centre

Buildings and sites have a natural ability to tell stories, draw us in with a message, and in many cases to help teach us something. In academic settings this ability is emerging as an important resource to enhance what is called “authentic curriculum”. Academic facilities are increasingly being designed as immersive textbooks themselves, intentionally revealing something about their site, their materiality, their methods of assembly, or the systems and technology involved behind the scenes. Where design teams have the opportunity to collaborate with educators and trades, projects can go a step further and become interactive teaching tools – sophisticated environments for students to investigate, dissect and engage with in measurable and meaningful ways.  

Opening in the Fall of 2018, the Skilled Trades & Technology Centre at Red River College will prepare more than 1,000 skilled workers for the construction and manufacturing industries each year, and will showcase state of the art landscape design, building envelope design, technology, products and processes. This sophisticated client pushed the team to enhance the college’s cutting edge trades programs, applied research initiatives, sustainable values, and learning environments through smart, lean and engaging spatial design underpinned by multi-layered programming

Number TEN Architectural Group with associate architects Ager Little Architects and HTFC Planning & Design developed a facility that acts as both passive and interactive teaching tool. For example a research rain garden monitors stormwater management and native plant adaptations to wet environs, exposed construction materials with a raw accessible aesthetic teach students and visitors the inherent beauty of local materials, and selectively exposed building systems and assemblies allow students to understand buildings as complex organisms.

Number TEN and HTFC have been collaborating on Architectural projects for almost 50 years over multiple generations of designers. Monica and Doug have been working together for over a decade on integrated architectural and landscape projects using an open and collaborative approach that blurs the hard lines between building and landscape disciplines to amplify the connection, function, durability and beauty of their work. The Skilled Trades and Technology Centre at Red River College is their most recent exploration of how building and site can work in concert to push design to a higher purpose in the service of the communities who inherit their work.

Speaker Bios

Doug Hanna is a Partner with Number TEN Architectural Group and graduated from the U of M Masters of Architecture program in 1985 receiving the RAIC Gold Medal.  He is a registered Architect in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, British Columbia and Minnesota.  Doug chairs Number TEN’s leadership group and is the Director for Number TEN’s Education and Recreation Studio.  Doug has over 30 years of experience in the design of public facilities and he works equally well with clients and collaborative design teams to provide a thoughtful approach to architecture that maximizes the potential for each project.  Doug’s keen interest in the environment led him to be the first Architect in Manitoba to obtain LEED accreditation and his innovative leadership on such projects as the Winnipeg Humane Society, the Richardson College for the Environment and the Red River College Skilled Trades and Technology Building have demonstrated that commitment.  Doug’s enthusiasm and professionalism translates into effective client communication and creative solutions.

Monica Giesbrecht is a principal with HTFC Planning Design. Trained at the University of Manitoba Faculty of Architecture and by her extensive travels around the globe, Monica is fascinated by the symbiotic relationships between people and nature and the facilitation of these interrelationships in the designed landscape. Monica’s ongoing investigations into the social, physical and psychological relationships between landscapes and youth, immigrants, marginalized groups, and seniors, serves as a foundation for her progressive work on healthy communities, integrated recreation networks, livable campuses and culturally sensitive lands. Monica’s work can be found across Canada’s Prairies, Boreal Forests and Northern Tundra landscapes. While her global travels inspire her work, Monica has selected to practice in Winnipeg a place that inspires her every day with it's ingenuity, resilience and collaborative spirit.


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Food for Thought
Wednesday, November 8, 2017
12PM | Centre Space
John A. Russell Building
Faculty of Architecture
University of Manitoba