• Ph. D. Candidate, Lancaster University, UK
  • M.Arch II History & Theory (Post-Professional), McGill University
  • M.Arch (Professional), University of Calgary
  • BFA, University of Victoria


  • Interior Design Educators Council (IDEC)
  • Co-Director, Academic Initiatives, Canadian Centre for Mindful Habitats


Kurt is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Interior Design of the Faculty of Architecture at the University of Manitoba. Before joining the University of Manitoba in 2018, Kurt was the program coordinator and a professor in the Bachelor of Interior Design program at Algonquin College in Ottawa, Ontario between 2006 and 2018. He was also a visiting lecturer in the MSc. (Interior Design) Program at the University of Moratuwa in Sri Lanka from 2013 to 2016. Kurt is the co-director of Academic Initiatives with the Canadian Centre for Mindful Habitats.

Teaching & scholarship

Kurt’s passion for teaching and education is equally matched by his obsession with art and the built environment. His academic and artistic works explore the design process and reflective thought, balancing equal parts critical thinking and creative expression. Kurt is co-director of Academic Initiatives with the Canadian Centre for Mindful Habitats (CCMH), exploring mindful and contemplative approaches to understanding the built environment. His research with the CCMH examines critical mindfulness, design theory, and pedagogy, focussing on the relationship between the built environment and human thinking/experience. The current research project will develop new mindful pedagogical practices to enhance design education, thinking, and practice. As part of his historical interests, Kurt is also investigating the collected works and thinking of the Victorian polymath John Ruskin, particularly the relationship between architecture, geology, wisdom and decay.

Courses taught (previous & current)

EVDS 3710 Contemplative Approaches to Interior Environments    
EVIE 3006 Interior Design Media
EVIE 3010 Interior Design Studio 3.2    
EVIE 4012 Interior Design Studio 4.2  
ARCG 7102 Contemplative Approaches to Interior Environments
ARCH 7070 Reading Course: Advanced Topics in Interior Design
IDES 7280 Advanced Topics in Contemporary Interior Design

Selected publications & presentations

Espersen-Peters, K., Gomez, J., Navarro, R. (2023). “Theory 2.0: It Isn’t Theory for its Own Sake, Its Theory for the Sake of an Enactable Process,” Panelist at the IDEC Annual Conference, Vancouver, BC (March 8-11).

Espersen-Peters, K. (2023). “Landscape in Decay: Ruskin’s Writings on Architecture, Geology, and Wisdom” at the Atmosphere 15 Annual Conference, Winnipeg, MB (February 2-4).

Espersen-Peters, K. & Patel, T.  (2022). “(Re)balancing Empathy: (Re)shifting and (Re)framing Design Thinking,” Co-Moderator Panel Presentation at the IDEC Midwest Regional Conference, Chicago, USA (October 20-21).

Espersen-Peters, K. (2022). “Mindful Thinking in Design Education” at the 2022 Online International Conference on Future Design and Art Education, Changchun University of Technology, Changchun, China (April 8).

Espersen-Peters, K. (2022). “Revising the Design Process: Mindful and Contemplative Approaches.” Conference Presentation: 2022 IDEC Annual Meeting.

Espersen-Peters, K. (2022). “Mindful Design: Contemplative Approaches to the Design Process.” Conference Presentation: Sixteenth International Conference on Design Principles & Practices, Newcastle, Australia.

Espersen-Peters, K., & Swaranjali, P. (2021). “Mind the Design: Contemplative and Mindful Approaches to Interior Environments.” Conference Presentation: 2021 IDEC Virtual Fall Symposium.

Swaranjali, P., Patel, T., & Espersen-Peters, K. (2021). “Next Time, With Empathy: Revisiting the Studio Pedagogy for Transitional Housing for Refugees.” Archnet-IJAR, Vol. 15, Issue 1.

Espersen-Peters, K. (2018). “Mirrors + Patterns: Architectural Photography and Visual Theory.” Conference Presentation: Ninth Annual Conference on the Image, Manchester, UK.

Espersen-Peters, K. (2016). “Explorations in Architectural Patterns.” Presentation: ORSA Architectural Inspiration 20x20 OAW Talks, Ottawa, Ontario.

Espersen-Peters, K., Beaverford, K., Burkheimer, K. Trottier, J. (2016). “Space of Appearance: The Relationship Between Making & Public Space.” Panel Moderator: Design Research Society (DRS) Conference, Umeä Institute of Design, Umeä, Sweden.

Espersen-Peters, K. & Beaverford, K. (2013). “Practical Wisdom for Designers in a Global Community: Can Virtue Be Taught?” in The Global Studies Journal, Vol 5.

Espersen-Peters, K. & Beaverford, K. (2012), “Practical Wisdom for Designers in a Global Community.” Conference Presentation: Fifth Annual Global Studies Conference, Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia.