What's your favourite DIALOG initiative?
I love Aspire. Seeing the work of the past year, the passion we bring to our work and the depth of caring and talent within DIALOG always leaves me hopeful.
What’s your favourite mode of transportation?
My favourite way to experience and navigate a city is to walk it. You see, hear, smell, and feel so much. Walking is when I do my best thinking.
If you were to change your career, what would you do instead?
I have already done that.... my first career was in biochemistry. After working for a couple years, I took some time off and traveled. I fell in love with cities, with beautiful urban environments and with inspiring buildings. So I came back to Canada and enrolled in architecture school. I cannot imagine doing anything else now.

Donna Clare is an architect and principal at DIALOG. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Honours Biochemistry from the University of Alberta and a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Toronto School of Architecture. She is a Fellow of the Royal Architecture Institute of Canada and a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts. 

Since joining DIALOG in 1994, Donna has helped build our practice across the education, arts and culture, post-secondary, and research sectors. She has worked collaboratively with scientists and engineers, with seminarians and nuns, with actors and musicians, with elders and the deaf community, bringing together diverse stakeholders across a breadth of project typologies towards a shared vision, respecting the technical and social needs specific to each, while delivering design excellence. She recently moved from Edmonton to further build our Toronto practice and create meaningful impact in the Toronto community.

Not only does Donna design spaces that reflect and support their users, she designs spaces that creatively influence the way we experience our communities through projects like Edmonton's Walterdale Bridge and the Mechanized River Valley Access. Her work in education, post-secondary and research helps to redefine the culture of our institutions making them more inclusive, accessible and supportive of a broad range of teaching and learning styles. This is seen in her work for the Alberta School for the Deaf, the Donadeo Innovation Centre for Engineering and the kihew waciston Indigenous Centre. And Donna enriches the way we experience our arts and culture through her design work on projects such as the Royal Alberta Museum, the ATB Financial Arts Barns, the TELUS World of Science Aurora project and St. Joseph Seminary. In 2019, her commitment to the arts community was recognized by her induction into the City of Edmonton's Arts and Culture Hall of Fame. 

Working at the intersection of education, art, technology and architecture is my greatest joy. There is incredible potential for richness and delight–to connect us to our past and to our future, to our environment and to each other.
Donna Clare

Education

  • Bachelor of Architecture University of Toronto
  • Bachelor of Science University of Alberta

Awards

2019 Arts and Culture Hall of Fame, City of Edmonton

2003 YMCA Women of Distinction – Industry, Construction and the Trades, YMCA

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