Avi Urban President Helping to Build a Better Education at U of C

Avi Urban President Helping to Build a Better Education at U of C

Students in the Environmental Design Faculty (EVDS) at the University of Calgary are exploring mass customization in residential architecture with experienced home builder and Avi Urban President, Charron Ungar, and U of C professor John Brown.  The collaboration is part of the reDESIGN Centre, an educational initiative that integrates real world projects with industry professionals.  For the University, this program and the involvement of the Avi Urban President means students are able to access knowledge and expertise from a creative leader in the industry.  “We want to encourage diverse opinions, debates, and perspectives on certain issues in order to develop new ways of tackling these particular problems in the future” says Ungar, who sees great benefit in expanding the scope of opinions students are exposed to during their education.

This semester, the focus is on creating spaces for aging in place. “It’s all about how we can work with secondary suites and make spaces that are relevant to people in different life stages, particularly seniors” says Ungar.  Students are examining how seniors can live in close proximity to their families by modifying a space, like a detached garage, into living quarters.   With the help of Ungar they will be answering questions about how to maximize efficiency in a small space, and improve circulation without taking away from privacy and separation.  “It’s been quite interesting” says Ungar, “because we’re bringing out purely theoretical parts of the program that they’ve learned in other classes, and combining that with our real world experience, using an actual 3D built space.”  Through this collaboration, students gain the most well-rounded education possible as they learn how to create an efficient space, while at the same time discover how it can work in a marketplace and what a possible homebuyer response may be.

For Ungar, “one of the core philosophies of  our company is to participate in the communities we’re building in, and the second is to provide education for our youth going through school, and we meet both of those goals by being involved in this way.”  With this continued partnership, Avi Urban has the chance to give back to the community, and students are able to gain a wealth of knowledge from an expert with real-life experience, creating an environment where the students win, and Avi Urban wins, along with the homebuyers of the future.