Athabasca University

Athabasca University

Athabasca, AB, CA


The Architecture of Hope: Dr. Douglas MacLeod

By RAICCentreforArchitecture
Oct 19, '20 3:43 PM EST

Athabasca University RAIC Centre for Architecture - Global Studio Lecture Series 

Title: The Architecture of Hope

Dr. Douglas MacLeod, FRAIC

Chair, RAIC Centre for Architecture at Athabasca University

Date: Friday October 23rd, 2020

Time: 9:00am – 10:30am (MDT) / 11:00am – 12:30 pm (EDT)

Venue: Online Video Conference (ZOOM)

To Register:


The Architecture of Hope

In this online lecture, architect and educator, Douglas MacLeod offers a compelling scenario, set 15 years in the future, where ordinary people live and work together to build better communities.

Based on his recently published book, The Architecture of Hope, MacLeod will explore the idea of cooperative communities where buildings produce more energy than they use; purify more water than they pollute; grow more food than they consume; and recycle more waste than they produce – all using technologies that already exist or that will be within our grasp in a few years. Even more important, the people of the community own and profit from all of these resources. In short, The Architecture of Hope depicts a way of living that is decentralized, re-localized, and regenerative. And imminently possible.

This is in stark contrast to the communities we have today which one character in the book describes as “… overpriced, poisonous, overcrowded, unhealthy, wasteful energy pigs – not because they have to be but because it suits the vested interests that build, operate, and control them ...” So often the future we imagine is a bleak continuation of the present. The Architecture of Hope, however, suggests that we have the power to design and build a better and more equitable world. As another character’s notes, “The big idea is that we could restore rather than destroy; we could produce rather than consume; and we could purify rather than pollute – not just the Earth but our bodies and minds as well.” It is a particularly pertinent discussion to have during the current pandemic as we are forced to re-examine the way we work, live and learn.

While this scenario does describe how we can use new technologies to achieve these goals, it emphasizes that, most of all, we need to change our thinking. It’s not that our communities can give us hope directly, but they can provide a scaffolding so that we can create full, meaningful and hopeful lives for ourselves, our families, and our neighbours.


Dr. Douglas MacLeod, FRAIC, is the Chair of the RAIC Centre for Architecture at Athabasca University, an online program that has quickly grown to be one of the largest and most innovative in the world. He is recognized as an expert in e-learning, regenerative design and virtual design. MacLeod is a registered architect, a contributing editor to Canadian Architect Magazine and the former Executive Director of the Canadian Design Research Network. He is also a former Associate with Barton Myers Associates, Los Angeles. Over the last 30 years, MacLeod has led visionary projects ranging from pioneering work in virtual reality at the Banff Centre to eduSourceCanada – the country’s largest e-learning initiative to date.


Participants who attend the full 90-minute session will be granted a Certificate of Completion to apply for professional development credits recognized by the following institutes.

· Alberta Association of Architects (AAA) | 1.5 Structured Learning Hour

· Ontario Association of Architects (OAA) | 1.5 Structured Learning Hour

· Cape Institute for Architecture (CIfA) | 0.25 Category 1 CPD Credits

· Gauteng Institute for Architecture (GIFA) | 0.25 Category 1 CPD Credits

· KwaZulu Natal Institute for Architecture (SAIA-KZN) | 0.25 Category 1 CPD Credits

For Inquiries:

Veronica Madonna

Assistant Professor, RAIC Centre for Architecture,

Athabasca University