The Research Chair in Integrated Design, Ecology And Sustainability for the Built Environment (ideas-be) focuses on the study of design projects and practices for the built environment situated at the crossroads of cultural, social, environmental and economic concerns. It considers sustainability as a paradigm crossing the main disciplines and professions concerned with design for the built environment (urban design, architecture, and landscape). This research program identifies, categorizes and disseminates strategic transformations of sustainable intentions in the design of the urban built environment. Our main objective is to better understand how designers go beyond current injunctions of environmental norms and policies in order to achieve a creative balance between design ethics and aesthetics in their public space projects – a question that has remained largely unaddressed in recent design theory.

How can current imperatives of responsible and ecological design in the urban built environment engender productive shifts in design theory and practice and in design methods and creativity? ​

The overarching goal of this CURC research project is to take a leadership role and ensure a central active figure in ongoing discussions and initiatives surrounding the sustainable design of the built environment. The four main scientific and pedagogical objectives are:

  1. Conduct fundamental research on sustainability and design for the urban built environment;
  2. Create new pedagogical programs and courses (at undergraduate and graduate levels);
  3. Build a Living Lab for sustainable urban space ideation and design;
  4. Develop international and national collaborations.

Affiliations & Collaborations


Concordia University’s Next-Generation Cities Institute (NGCI) leverages the combined strength of our cities research capacity to enhance collaboration, communication, education and interaction within our community. The institute brings together researchers from a range of disciplines including engineering, economics, natural sciences, the arts, humanities and the social sciences to engage in an inclusive and universal approach to sustainable urban development.

Dr. Carmela Cucuzzella is founding co-director of Next Generation Cities Institute.


Founded in 2001, the Laboratoire d’étude de l’architecture potentielle (L.E.A.P. or Research Laboratory of Potential Architecture) is devoted to the theories and practices of contemporary architecture. L.e.a.p. considers architecture from the point of view of the project, in essence, the double point of view of the process of conception and the mediation of cultures.


Intersecting epistemological thinking, professional and educational issues, the research chair in architecture dedicated to the study of practices in the design of built environments, emphasising on the analysis of competitions, both across Canada and internationally.

Institute for Urban Futures (IUF)

The CISSC Urban Futures working group is geared towards facilitating dialogue and exchanges on research, creative, and pedagogical engagements with cities.

Shauna Jannson
Paul Holmquist


NSERC/Hydro Quebec Industrial Chair, CURC,
Director, NSERC Smart Net-zero Energy Buildings Strategic Research Network & Director,

Centre for Zero Energy Building Studies

Andreas Athienitis, Eng. PhD, FCAE
Bruno Lee, PhD, CEng MCIBSE, LEED AP

Queen's University Belfast

Queen’s University Belfast

Dr. Thomas Jeffries, Professor

Future Cities in the School of Natural and Built Environment

Manchester School of Art

Manchester School of Art, Manchester Metropolitan University

Dr. Laura Coucil, Senior Lecturer


American University in Cairo

School of Architecture, American University in Cairo

Dr. Sherif Goubran, Assistant Professor


Dalhousie University

School of Architecture, Dalhousie University


Dr. Brian Lilley, Associate Professor



Ecole nationale supérieure d’architecture de Versailles (ENSA-V)

Paolo Amaldi
Philippe Potié
Annalisa Viati
Susanne Stacher
Catherine Bruant

JMSB Executive MBA Program

John Molson School of Business, Executive MBA Program
Collaborative project with Invivo and Universite de Montreal Pharmaceutical.

Sandra Nichols

District 3

District 3 is an ecosystem at the heart of the Concordia University. Our mission is to bring people together, to create, transform, and innovate. It is a place where creative people, entrepreneurs, engineers and partners can meet and leverage each other’s skills and expertise. By bringing people together, we will accelerate the innovation process. We want to empower people by linking them to experienced coaches, mentors, entrepreneurs, and community members.

Xavier-Henri Hervé


Named after benefactor David O’Brien, Chairman of RBC and Encana, the David O’Brien Centre for Sustainable Enterprise (DOCSE) was inaugurated in November 2009. Paul Shrivastava, the Centre’s director, spearheads the Centre’s efforts to be the leader in developing business practices that support corporate social responsibility, environmental health and safety, environmental management, community, and greening activities.

Thomas Walker

Topological Media Lab

Was established in 2001 as a trans-disciplinary atelier-laboratory for collaborative research creation. The TML’s technical research areas include: realtime video, sound synthesis, embedded sensors, gesture tracking, physical computing, media choreography, and active textiles. Its application areas lie in movement arts, speculative architecture, and experimental philosophy.

Michael Montenaro and Michael Jemtrud