ArtCOP21 Waterloo Region – PechaKucha Opening Event

We are kicking off ArtCOP21 Waterloo Region with an exciting line-up of speakers for a dynamic PechaKucha presentation of images and ideas, enveloped by the beautiful music of four esteemed KW Symphony performers.



Matt Hickey is an award-winning architect whose work focuses on sustainable design – encompassing ecological, cultural, and economic principles. Matt’s research includes Aboriginal history in architecture – specifically Northern & Middle America and the adaptation of sustainable technologies to the climate. Matt is Intern Architect with Two Row Architect, a wholly native-owned and operated firm on the Six Nations reserve in southern Ontario. He is also a LEED core concepts instructor at Conestoga College.

Safira Lakhani is a graduate student at the University of Waterloo’s School of Architecture. Safira’s thesis research looks towards the sustainable regeneration of war-torn societies, specifically in Afghanistan. Her work is situated at the intersection of architecture, infrastructure and ecology as a means of developing resilience not only to climate-change-induced natural disasters, but also human conflict. Safira’s undergraduate project, Revitalizing Bamyan, was Azure Magazine’s AZ Awards 2014 People’s Choice Winner in the Student Work Category.

Paul Rorda is a contemporary Canadian artist working in a variety of media. Paul has been awarded numerous grants from the Ontario Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts and his work is included in the Donovan collection at St. Michael’s College in Toronto.  Paul’s work incorporates the themes of the environment and religion in compelling and thought-provoking pieces. See his work at

Dr. Elizabeth English – Elizabeth is an Associate Professor of Architecture and founding member of the Buoyant Foundation Project. Elizabeth pioneered the design for an amphibious house that floats up with rising flood waters and then settles back down on its foundation when water recedes. She works in flood prone zones, particularly in post-Katrina Louisiana, to see how architecture can stabilize communities. Her work has received wide media attention across Canada and the US. Check out the video at

Janna Levitt – Janna is a partner at Levitt Goodman – LGA Architectural Partners in Toronto, with a particular focus on art and architecture. She is an adjunct professor at UWaterloo and was project lead on the revitalization of the Kitchener Public Library central branch. Janna is also a founding member of Cape Farewell – North America, an international art foundation dedicated to raising awareness of climate change as a cultural issue. Janna’s recent work includes Beekeeping for All, a collaboration with artist Myfanwy MacLeod for Cape Farewell’s Carbon14: Climate is Culture exhibition.

Sneha Sumanth – Sneha is a graduate student at the University of Waterloo School of Architecture, and plays an active role in BRIDGE Centre for Architecture + Design.. Her research looks at designing energy infrastructure in what is now the well known ‘Age of Anthropocene’. She is investigating the existing offshore fossil fuel infrastructure in the California Outer Continental Shelf and proposing its recommissioning to involve renewable energy production and degrees of industrial ecologies that will encourage the continuous inhabitation of the site.You can view Sneha’s portfolio at



Cathy Anderson – cello

Jody Davenport – viola

Julie Baumgartel – violin

James Mason – oboe

Read their biographies here.