Exploring how we could create a better future through design

Design Matters is a thought-provoking lecture series, organized by the School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape, which seeks to inspire transformative change. The series brings to Calgary a range of designers, innovators, and thought leaders exploring the edge of design and city building. 

Lectures are delivered from September to May, and feature provocative speakers who examine the latest ideas in architecture, regional and urban planning, and landscape architecture. The lectures challenge attendees to broaden their thinking on a myriad of issues related to design.  Design Matters engages students, public officials, industry professionals and interested citizens — people who want to learn, understand and address design issues affecting our community.

The lectures spark conversations about societal issues by engaging with innovative thinkers. Attendees are encouraged to recognize the important role design plays in our daily lives. 

Join industry professionals, faculty, students, alumni and people in the community who care about design and building a great city at an upcoming lecture!


2021/22 Series



Anne Whiston Spirn, MIT Urban Planning

Restoring Mill Creek: Reflections on 30+ Years of Action Research

Thursday October 7, 5pm MT
Location: Zoom
Cost: Free

About Anne → 

Anne Whiston Spirn, MIT Urban Planning

Fokke Moerel, MVDRV, Head of Interior Studio

Thu November 4, 2021 | 12pm MT
Location: Zoom
Cost: Free

About Fokke →


Fokke Moerel 2020 (c)Daria Scagliola

We're finalizing details with additional lecturers. Please check back for schedule updates.



Marcelo Spink

Wednesday February 9
Location: TBD
Cost: Free

Registration details to come

Design Matters 2020/21 Sponsors


Welcome to Design Matters, where we discuss popular topics and bold new ideas in design. Based at the University of Calgary, our student hosts look to delve into popular topics and new ideas with today’s leaders of design in the built environment.

Connect with us on Instagram @designmatters.podcast and email podcast@sapl.ucalgary.ca

Seasons 1 and 2 with student co-hosts John Baziuk (MArch'21) and Emily Kaing (MLA'21).


Design Matters is made possible through the partnership with generous sponsors who have shared aspirations. Sponsorship presents a wonderful opportunity for companies to not only heighten community profile, but also to engage with talented students who will be leaders and practitioners.

Looking forward to learning with you!


Energetic, intelligent, and want to activate events? Email design.matters@ucalgary.ca to start the conversation.


Pan-Canada lecture series, Fall 2020
Design Matters 2019/20
Design Matters 2018/19
Design Matters 2017/18