Mark
︎  INTERVIEWS

volume one                    

Piper
Bernbaum


SPRING 2019
Professor Bernbaum is an assistant professor at Carleton University, Ottawa, teaching as a part of the architecture program in both the undergraduate and graduate design programs. Professor Bernbaum’s area of interest has always been on the appropriation of space through design, with architecture as an apparatus where people are the constituents and the subjects of making.

Photos Courtesy of Enid Huang
Upon meeting Piper Bernbaum, it is her inexhaustible energy that is immediately obvious but as her students know best, it is her seemingly infinite knowledge that is her defining characteristic. An assistant professor at Carleton University - an admirable feat for someone who only graduated from her Masters less than three years ago - her combination of charisma, passion and intelligence is what compelled us to interview Piper as the subject of WOA!’s inaugural Short.

During a cloudy day in late April, a time where both professors and students alike are clambering to the finish line, and a few hours before she herself was supposed to fly home, Piper generously took the time to sit down with WOA! She walked us through her journey, her motivations, her inspirations, and fittingly, how she survives through her busy schedule.

Growing up in a creative household (her father was an architect and her mother was a designer) she was influenced very early on to pursue architecture:

“I thought that was so fascinating ... that we have the ability to control how people experience their everyday. You can essentially start your day in this beautiful way, just due to the way the architect designed it for you.”



“I thought that was so fascinating ... that we have the ability to control how people experience their everyday. You can essentially start your day in this beautiful way, just due to the way the architect designed it for you.”







Photos Courtesy of Fred Hunsberfer (L) and Siobhan Allman (R)


She pursued her interests at the University of Waterloo where she had the chance to work on projects of great impact, like the Evidence Room; an exhibition at the Venice Biennale in 2016. It is through enriching experiences like this, and her career as a student, that she discovered what was most dear to her heart: teaching.

“That’s an important thing, as hard as it is to say that you’re interested in something and to tell people you’re interested, it is really key in any field to put yourself out there, it opens doors.”


In addition to her sharing her impressive career, Piper presented us with an admirable vision of the world of architecture: “No passion should go unexplored, anybody in the field but women especially. We have to celebrate each other, we can’t project these views as to how we all want to have our lives unfold.”

Her last and most important advice is also something we most often forget in our daily lives: “Don’t touch anything with half your heart.”

“Don’t touch anything with half your heart.”

She emphasizes the need to invest our time in what is important to us, even in less motivating projects. By finding what stands out, and by putting all our heart into it, there is limitless possibility in any given situation. Reflecting on her impressive journey, we walked away that afternoon compelled to take those words and that frame of mind into our every day.
Photos and Images courtest of Piper Bernbaum, from her Masters thesis titled The Atlas of Legal Fictions : Discovering the Implicit and Invisible Boundaries of the Jewish Eruvin

INTERVIEW AND STORY BY
CHARLINE OUELET
FILMED AND EDITED BY
ENID HUANG
PRODUCTION ASSISTANT
CAMILLE BAELLO


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