University of Calgary

reDESIGN Centre

UToday HomeNovember 29, 2011

by Jessica Wallace

Students in the environmental design faculty (EVDS) are exploring mass customization in residential architecture with the help of experienced home builder Charron Ungar, the CEO of Avi Urban the multi-family division of Homes by Avi.

The collaboration is part of the reDESIGN Centre, a faculty initiative started in 2010 that integrates real world projects and engagement with industry professionals into academic programs in architecture, planning, and environmental design.

Working in the classroom alongside EVDS professor John Brown, Ungar is playing an important role addressing the impact and potential that exists for mass customization in the housing industry.

“Joining with the reDESIGN Centre had provided the team at Homes by Avi with an opportunity to provide insight into how we build and market our homes, and how that relates to growth,” says Ungar. “At Homes by Avi, we are proud of our 33 years of industry knowledge in home building. We felt it was important that students had an opportunity to experience the builders’ perspective on urban growth.”

The residential construction and development industry has a huge impact on our economy, environment and the city. ‘Getting housing right’ is a major concern for the faculty, design professionals, development and construction industry members, policy makers and the public.

reDESIGN analyzes trends and identifies opportunities which challenge current professional orthodoxies, proposing new strategies, processes, and technologies that are better suited to address the current environmental and socio-cultural challenges and opportunities. Avi Urban has helped support these discussions by sponsoring reDESIGN in the fall semester.

“We believe in the value of education and giving back to the community,” says Ungar. “The students that I’m working with may soon be directly involved in the home building industry and have a future effect on urban growth. As a University of Calgary alumni myself, I wanted to see Homes by Avi get involved in a unique way. Working with the Faculty of Environmental Design was a great fit.”