• Zach Colbert

Team members

  • Josh Wallace
  • Monika Imeri
  • Shelby Hagerman
  • Matthew Nestico
  • James Nguyen
  • Jasmine Sykes
  • Connor Tamboro
  • Daniel Dickson
  • Michael Jamieson
  • Travis Strochinski
  • Ju Huang

Climate change is a planetary phenomenon. While its potential to impact low-lying, coastal cities is clear, its adverse affects in energy and housing market fluctuations, human migration patterns, regional ecosystem stability, and severe weather events will be felt by all cities.

The Carleton Climate Futures Design Laboratory (‘The Cliff’) combines design and scholarly research in an interdisciplinary setting to explore, anticipate and prototype climate futures in the built environment. This work elucidates productive linkages between architecture and politics toward elevating architecture’s capacity for political engagement both in the classroom and in the field.  

Through the lens of ‘atmospheres,’ our research weaves together the technical, ethical and post-humanist challenges of our time at the scales of the building and the city. These endeavours intersect with preexisting extensive and international efforts spanning disciplines, ideologies and geographies to re-imagine the North American way of life to address the impacts of climate change and societal climate change adaptation. 

We seek also to identify and define civic architectural practice strategies, proactive approaches from within the architecture profession that engage stakeholders in laying the groundwork for climate change adaptation at community and municipal levels. 

At the highest level—through public consultation, symposia, design charrettes, publications and speculative architectures—we endeavour to unite disparate conversations across disciplines and to examine the interdependent scales of the individual, the community, the city, and the region.


“The future is here. It’s just not widely distributed yet.”

William Gibson