March 22, 2022
Francis Green - Google Earth   Our staff occasionally assemble on Friday afternoons for an office exercise we call Things We Like. Centred around a theme determined earlier in the week, staff are invited to share examples of relevant things they enjoy. Since our first Things We Like in 2016, our staff have participated in 75 of these exercises. Some themes are intended to generate ideas for projects we're working on, while others are simply intended to encourage creativity and generate discussion about things we'd like to see in our community.    Preliminary Sketch of Downtown Kitchener, 1965 - Toronto Star   In May 2018, we met to reenvision Francis Green, the public space located at King and Francis in downtown Kitchener. This prominent corner wh… Read more ...
John was recently invited to deliver a keynote address to the Southern Ontario Growth Conference, organized by 50 by 2030 Waterloo Region. The focus of the second day, when John spoke, was to help municipalities connect with organizations, experts, academia and other municipalities who have knowledge and resources to help them better incorporate responses to climate change into their official plans.   John's address, titled The middle isn’t missing, it has been misplaced, is now up on YouTube and can be viewed below:     With respect to the planning of our communities, John's keynote advocates for fundamental changes to the planning process, and for transparency in the planners' role, to give us hope for different result… Read more ...
  Team Lashley + JMA is proud to submit its concept for the National Monument for Canada’s Mission in Afghanistan, as one of five finalist teams in this national competition. The design can be viewed online, with public input by filling out a short survey. This consultation stage will assist the jury in evaluating the proposals.   To review the finalists' designs, visit the Government of Canada Design Competition website.   View within Monument Plaza   The core team, of David Lashley (Ottawa • Montreal), John MacDonald (Kitchener), and Sandra Dunn (Kitchener), has worked these last months to design a monument that honours those who served. It supports meaningful discussion and thoughtful contemplation of Canada's role in ou… Read more ...
April 01, 2021
A graceful and delightful home design succeeds in achieving great relationships between the parts and the whole.   Designing a home is one of the toughest challenges for everyone. At first seemingly so simple (three bedroom, 2 storey, etc), a house can be quite complex. That is because a house has to support its residents and guests in everything they do: through different stages of life, eating, sleeping, resting, dreaming, playing, learning, working, cooking, entertaining, and lots more. Additionally, there might be a demand to accommodate for particular needs, either for accessibility, or work/ hobby related, or particular preferences. The construction of this house spared the tree so the entry experience could be organized around it. This tree is now a delightful feat… Read more ...
Fun at the breakfast included a horoscope review: "use the daylight hours to the max. Others might find you to be vague. Plans take an unexpected twist or turn." Let's hope I get this article done early, I make my point clearly, and I stay on track. If not, I'll be paying more attention to random advice proffered under my zodiac sign.   Was this reference to "plans" mere chance? My day was to produce an article on those pernicious instruments called "visions" and "master plans". Was the horoscope serendipity, or some cosmic scheme showing a bit of slip? "Plans take an unexpected twist or turn" isn't, quite frankly, much of a stretch as predictions go.   Each long-term vision we construct is doomed for obsolescence. To paraphrase Colin Powell: "No master plan survives … Read more ...
What's with all the black and dark grey building exteriors lately? New construction; building renos; paint jobs to existing brick buildings; it seems to be the flavour (or colour) of the month. The Oxlea Tower on Frederick St., for example, now hulks even more on Kitchener's skyline, courtesy of its Darth Vader colour scheme. Black and grey come in all sorts of materials: as siding, baked coatings, panels, back-painted glass, and even masonry. Black is showing up in homes, office & residential towers, commercial buildings and public institutional facilities.   Are these a symptom of our times, something dour and lifeless that we're living through? Or perhaps emblematic? Will we look back at them and say, “Oh yeah, second decade!”?     Why such … Read more ...
“Cities have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because, and only when, they are created by everybody.” – Jane Jacobs   Every year citizens in cities across the globe gather to participate in organized walking tours in honour of Jane Jacobs. Jane was an activist and writer who introduced the world to ground-breaking ideas about community-based approaches to city building. She believed that it is important for local residents to become familiar with their neighbourhoods and have input on how their neighbourhood develops. Jane’s Walks are hosted each year on the first weekend of May and focus on a variety of themes relevant to the local planning, history, people and culture of the city in which the walks take place. … Read more ...

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