Robert LeBlanc’s professional experience spans twenty eight years of varied project planning and design in all parts of the globe. As president of Ekistics, he has been the senior project manager for nearly all firm’s projects in the last 21 years, leading large multi-disciplinary teams from concept to completion. He is a landscape architect, urban planner, LEED Green Associate and environmental planner with a special interest in waterfront planning, green development, landscape ecology, park planning, downtown redevelopment and campus planning.
Rob is committed to the highest standards of sustainable design and brings first-rate graphic communication to every project. As a member of the International Association for Public Participation, Rob is committed to extensive public and client engagement as a necessary stage of every project.
Chris is the director of Architecture for Ekistics Planning & Design and his background of high profile and diverse projects brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to Ekistics’ architecture team. Before joining Ekistics Chris worked at Breakhouse and Lydon Lynch, and was involved in some of Halifax’s most noteworthy designs, such as the Seaport Farmers Market building. With 10 years’ experience, Chris has worked on a range of projects from large scale, mixed use projects with budgets in excess of $180 million, right down to the award-winning design of a 1000 square foot retail space.
Chris’ diverse experience has given him the necessary skills to manage large projects, while staying focused on small scale details. One recent project stands out as an excellent example of his abilities. Chris was project architect on the LEED gold Dominion building, the first major development for the Wright and Burnside business campus. Chris managed all aspects of this project from design and construction documentation, through to construction administration and field review.
Designer John deWolf has worked in various design disciplines and subdisciplines including print, new media, broadcast, exhibition design, environmental graphic design, interior design, and design education. John has an extensive background in analyzing and interpreting complex information structures and designing understandable and accessible communication systems, particularly for large public audiences.
As a senior interactive designer for Two Twelve Associates of New York, John supervised the design and production of three retirement planning software packages for mutual fund giant, T. Rowe Price. Work also included interface design for The Economist Group’s website. John has also worked with and managed large-scale signage teams for such clients as Walt DisneyImagineering, Trinity College, the Chicago Park District, Queens West State Park, Seattle’s Sound Transit, Indiana Purdue University, Yale University, Parks Canada, and the City of Halifax. John was the lead exhibition designer for three major photography exhibitions: Ansel Adams, Annie Leibovitz: A Photographer’s Life, 1990–2005, and Richard Avedon: Portraits of Power. He also designed a permanent exhibition for the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic.
Abbey Smith holds a Master in Architecture and a Bachelor of Environmental Design Studies from Dalhousie University. Her master’s thesis was based in Halifax, and addressed provincial youth out-migration through re-imagining the traditional design of multi-unit housing to create stronger and more affordable communities.
For three years, Abbey worked with Coastal Studio building public pavilions in Cape Breton with a focus on community-centered design, local material and economy, and innovative building technology. Throughout her experience, Abbey has been able to explore her passion for Nova Scotia and its communities by bringing together all scales of design, developing a toolset to create functional, sustainable, and people-focused spaces.
Adam improves the visitor experience in public spaces, sensitive to the interaction of place, wayfinding and brand. He has travelled extensively by bicycle, on foot, by car, canoe, plane, train and bus—which gives him a multi-modal perspective on travel.
His strategic signage plan for the Trans Canada Trail makes recommendations on how to sign 24,000km of multi-use trail, which guides the organization’s signage planning across Canada. Adam Fine has developed and written wayfinding plans for various clients, including the Trans Canada Trail, Red Bay Labrador, and the University of Manitoba. He also likes telling complex historical stories in compelling but understandable ways, developing interpretive plans for Batoche National Heritage Site, Robinsons Island, Burntcoat Head Park, and Fort Needham Memorial Park.
While at Form:Media, Adam is working towards a masters degree in urban and regional planning at Dalhousie University.
Anna Gabrielle Tremblay
Anna-Gabrielle holds a Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Design from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. She began her studies in Montreal where she received her Diploma of College studies in Art and Culture from Dawson College. Passionate about finding the right tools to execute content driven work, Anna-Gabrielle is always working to learn new ways to communicate clear and effective messages.
Derek has been with Ekistics since 1999 when the fledgling company was only 4 years old. As a civil engineering technician (CET) from UCCB, Derek witnessed the dramatic transition from a small two-person landscape architecture shop to a pair of multi-disciplinary sister companies employing over twenty staff.
While at Ekistics, Derek has handled everything from construction drawings to construction administration. Recently, he also took on the additional role of Manager of Operations for both companies.
Devin Segal is a landscape architect with a talent for advancing projects from initial vision to full realization, while carrying the conceptual thread through into details that are both meaningful and constructible. He specializes in the creation and enhancement of public open space including parks, waterfronts, streetscapes, and urban mixed-use developments.
Devin strives to create high-quality places that instill a sense of pride in the communities for which they are built. He has led several of Ekistics’ most significant and transformative public realm projects in recent years, from master plans to detailed design and construction projects. With a background in landscape construction, Devin brings his extensive knowledge of materials, assemblies, contract documentation, and cost estimating to every project. This knowledge translates to a strong attention to detail, and and ability to approach each project with a view toward implementation. Devin is a skilled project manager, overseeing multi-million-dollar construction budgets and coordinating complex large-scale design projects with multi-disciplinary consultant teams. He is also responsible for administering construction contracts and performing quality control site inspections.
Devin holds a Master of Landscape Architecture degree and a Bachelor of Environmental Design degree, both from the University of Manitoba. He is a full member of the Ontario Association of Landscape Architects and the Atlantic Provinces Association of Landscape Architects and is active as a committee member, dedicated to enhancing the APALA brand and visibility in the design community.
Julien has worked in a number of offices in Canada on projects ranging from small homes to large institutional buildings of various scopes and budgets. His experience with design, construction documentation and management is essential to our team. His experience gives him the necessary skills to work on large projects, while maintaining a rigorous approach to detailing. This results in efficient project delivery and a higher quality project for the client.
Julien also worked as a designer and contractor in Halifax managing design/build projects, such as retrofits, renovations, and additions to existing buildings and old structures with a focus on sustainable design. His knowledge of the construction process and rigorous detailing to are both required for successful renovation and retrofit work projects.
Julien enjoys working with consultants and seeing all aspects of a project come together in the design phases as well as the construction phases.
Katherine Peck is a landscape architect with more than 5 years of experience in both Ontario and the East coast. Originally from Newfoundland, Katherine grew up with a deep appreciation for the outdoors and the unique features of Canada’s east coast, which continue to inspire her approach to landscape design. Katherine joined Ekistics in 2016, and has brought her extensive experience and passion for recreational design into her practice. Prior to working at Ekistics, Katherine designed numerous elementary and high school sites for Ontario’s Halton school board. From traditional play structures to entirely nature based play, she has designed play-spaces for all age groups, as well as several IAAF-compliant sports facilities such as running tracks, athletics facilities, and multi-sport fields. Katherine has also designed exterior spaces for retail properties at a variety of scales. Her project experience takes design from concept, through municipal and provincial approvals, and construction. Katherine also worked for a design-build company in Guelph, Ontario, working on small to medium scale residential projects.
Katherine holds a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture degree from the University of Guelph, as well as a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of New Brunswick, with double majors in History and Psychology. Katherine is a member of the Ontario Association of Landscape Architects (OALA) and the Atlantic Provinces Association of Landscape Architects. She has volunteered as a council member for the OALA, and remains active in landscape architectural associations as a passionate advocate for the profession.
Matthew Brown joined Ekistics after seven years at the award-winning Boston firm, Stephen Stimson Associates. There, he worked on a variety of high-profile projects around New England that include large institutional master plans, campus and university landscapes, urban parks and plazas, and private residential estates and gardens. As a landscape architect and planner, Matthew has a unique ability to develop a comprehensive understanding of a project both in site and situation, and to create a thoughtful design concept and narrative that guides a project’s evolution from concept to implementation. As a highly outgoing individual, Matthew’s passion for design is complimented by his ability to effectively build consensus and communicate ideas and concepts to clients, stakeholders, and community groups.
Matthew received a Bachelor of Environmental Studies from the University of Waterloo’s School of Planning, a Master of Landscape Architecture from the University of Toronto, and most recently a Master of Design Studies in Urbanism, Landscape and Ecology from Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, where he graduated with distinction.
Matthew believes it is critical to balance professional practice with academic work. His research focuses on Atlantic Canada, specifically his home province of Newfoundland and Labrador. His studies look to the capacity of landscape and ecology to act as catalyst for economic diversification and rural regeneration within our region. Before moving to Halifax, Matthew was a lecturer at Northeastern’s School of Architecture in Boston, and an invited design critic at Harvard, RISD, University of Toronto, University of Waterloo, Northeastern, Boston Architectural College, and Dalhousie University. Matthew is an Associate member of the Ontario Association of Landscape Architects.
Originally from Kampala (Uganda), Philippa moved to Halifax in 2010 to pursue a degree in Architecture. Having lived around the world, her cross-cultural experiences have shaped her design ethos, and have instilled in her a sensitivity towards cultural nuances, which are always incorporated into her work. Her Masters thesis was situated in Northern Uganda and proposed a new role for architecture in the process of reconciliation and rehabilitation in post-conflict non-western societies.
During her masters degree, she worked at Dalhousie Coastal Studio, an architectural research entity that combines the design-build teaching methodology with community deelopment in rural Nova Scotia. She resumed work at Coastal Studio, after completion of her masters, in the new role of Project Manager. This role enabled her to gain invaluable experience in project and office administration, construction management, working with strict deadlines, negotiation with Parks Canada as well as a deeper understanding of building technology, construction scequencing and detailing.
Social and cultural responsiveness is at the core of Philippa’s design manifesto, having spent the bulk of her formative years in Uganda, where access to good architecture is perceived of as a luxury. Her current research investigates design methodologies that directly respond to the specific cultural landscapes that they are to be applied to, as opposed to a “one size fits all” approach.
With over ten years in the industry, Rebecca’s range of design and architecture experience includes a wide variety of project typologies and scales. From multi-million dollar institutional and educational sectors to much loved local eateries, her involvement with the design and architectural community has been predominantly multi-disciplinary in nature, and allows her to bring an expanded design lens to any project she works on. Rebecca’s knowledge and ability at the intersections of identity, design, and construction allows for successful translation of concept to finished product. She gravitates towards teams and projects with unusual mixes of expertise and objectives, and takes particular pleasure in seeing ephemeral and abstract ideas translate into built details.
Having begun with large and culturally oriented buildings, Rebecca has spent the last ten years turning her attention towards smaller scales, always with an interest in the stories and people behind a project. Most recently this has shaped her work with the Lunenburg Library, as they prepare to move into their new home within the historic Lunenburg Academy.
Sandra Cooke is a landscape architect with over 10 years of experience in both public and private sectors. Sandra’s work is focussed on parks and public spaces, but she has extensive experience in projects ranging from trails, streetscapes, shared streets, multi-unit residential landscapes, sports and recreation, urban agriculture, and stormwater management, to community master plans. She relocated from Toronto to Halifax in 2016 to join the landscape architecture team at Ekistics, where she contributes her strong project management abilities, overseeing the activities of multi-disciplinary teams on complex projects from early concepts through to construction. Sandra strives to provide the highest quality of service to her clients, regardless of the size of project, and to deliver projects on time and within budget, as demonstrated by her extensive portfolio of built work.
Prior to joining Ekistics, Sandra was a landscape architect at the award-winning Toronto firm, Janet Rosenberg & Studio, and a project manager for Canada Lands Company, where she oversaw the implementation of the Downsview Park masterplan in Toronto. Sandra holds a Master of Landscape Architecture degree from the University of Toronto, as well as an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree in Architectural studies (University of Toronto). She has been a member of the Ontario Association of Landscape Architects since 2009, and the Atlantic Provinces Association of Landscape Architects since 2016.
In addition to her professional practice, Sandra has worked as a thesis advisor and studio instructor at the University of Toronto, and a continuing education instructor at George Brown College. She remains active in the academic sphere through participation as a guest critic for student reviews at Dalhousie University.
Robert Currie has been working with brands for more than 20 years, both within agencies as well as a consultant. His culture, tourism and heritage work clients have included the Provincial Historic Sites (Newfoundland and Labrador), Lunenburg Board of Trade, Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Dalhousie University, and Halifax Regional Municipality, the City of Edmonton and Black Loyalist Heritage Centre.
Robert has worked on several integrated branding and marketing projects for clients including the Atlantic Canada Cruise Association, Atlantic Economusée, Halifax Recreation, Taste of Nova Scotia, the Select Nova Scotia “Incredible Picnic” series, Brier Island and Jost Vineyards.Robert Currie has been working at the intersection of technology and creativity for more than 20 years. His approach to technology emphasizes a strategic rather than a technical focus and an emphasis on explanation and communication.
Sarah MacLean is a landscape architect whose interest is in the intersection of design, ecology, heritage, and community building. She has worked with community groups and non-profit organizations in Ontario, Nova Scotia, and internationally; with a focus on urban agriculture, environmental issues, and youth. Sarah is a strong graphic communicator and has a keen eye for contemporary design, bringing a fresh perspective to each project. Since joining Ekistics, she has been a core team designer for a number of high-profile projects. A local Nova Scotian, Sarah’s academic work was also deeply rooted in the East coast; her master’s thesis reimagined the Cape Breton Highlands National Park experience through the lens of climate change, and proposed strategies for parks and communities to work together to build resilience.
Sarah holds a Master of Landscape Architecture from the University of University of Toronto, and a Bachelor of History from Dalhousie University. Prior to joining Ekistics, Sarah worked at the award- winning Rotterdam-based firm, LOLA Landscape Architects. There, she was a contributing member of the collaborative design team with MVRDV for the redevelopment competition of the Tegel Airport in Berlin, Germany. Sarah is an Associate member of the Ontario Association of Landscape Architects.