Tuesday 12pm, 2 February 2016


Communicating through Design: Ingenuity and Intuition – designing for unusual times

Gordon Stratford

Architect, Design Principal - HOK


Our world has become an increasingly complex, uncertain and fascinating place, and the events that arose nearly ten years ago and have gathered speed since then have added considerable fuel to this fluid situation. At the same time this is a golden age for design. More people than ever before are fascinated by the creative process and the potential for design to unleash its free-ranging, business-not-as-usual attitude towards solving pressing problems; and along the way opening up new possibilities.

Gordon will share his observations about how design and the creative process is evolving through a messy yet fruitful combination of ingenuity and intuition; immersed in the absolute joy and chaos of designing for unusual times.


As an Architect and Design Principal, Gordon is responsible for the creative drive of HOK’s multi-disciplinary, sustainability-driven design team throughout Canada. Leading a team of thought leaders in strategic visioning, planning, urban design, landscape architecture, interior design, visual communications, product design and architecture; Gordon has had the good fortune to be a catalyst for a wide array of local and global work.

From imagining new regions, cities and neighbourhoods to realizing a spectrum of buildings, interior spaces within and tools for living; Gordon’s 30 years of experience has offered him a unique perspective on the potency of design in meeting the challenges of uncommon times.

In addition to being a hands-on creativity and change enabler Gordon is a frequent presenter, panel member and juror at design-focused events such as the Meeting of the Minds Conference, International Design and Health, the Society of Colleges and Universities Global Conferences, Creative Construct, Canada’s Capitol City Urban Forum and Institute Without Boundaries.

Gordon has been the Chair of the City of Toronto Design Review Panel since its inception in 2007; participating in the astonishing urban change of one of North America’s largest cities during a period of worldwide uncertainty and turmoil.