Vedanta Balbahadur is an award-winning architect, educator, and photographer who lives and works in Montreal.
 

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Studio Vedanta Balbahadur is a transdisciplinary practice involved in architecture, planning, photography, exhibition design, and graphic design. Vedanta Balbahadur, its founding principal, is a licensed architect and university instructor known for combining his progressive design sensibility with a user-oriented approach. Based in Montreal, he engages all phases of design and coordination.

Studio Vedanta Balbahadur was born out of the synthesis of Vedanta’s professional projects, artwork, and teaching; he considers each of these elements essential to his design approach. Vedanta contends that architecture, design, and planning must spring from a poetic vision, take an ethical stance in society, and contribute to the welfare of the built environment and its inhabitants through innovation and sustainable strategies. A native Montrealer, Vedanta has lived in New York City, Vancouver, and the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.

Vedanta is a studio coordinator and instructor at the McGill University Peter Guo-hua Fu School of Architecture. In addition to design studios, he has for the past decade conducted courses, seminars, and city tours about art, culture, and the built environment for architects and non-architects in the belief that the next generation of clients can have a more positive impact on their communities by being better informed; these have included groups from the Netherlands, Brazil, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, South Korea, and India. His course Physical Environment, Sustainability, and Contemporary Culture at the McGill University School of Continuing Studies is specifically tailored for students from diverse majors and introduces them to key concepts in architecture, art, design, and the urban environment. He sees the role of engaging laypeople in discussions about design as an essential part of professional practice because cities will be better when clients and builders appreciate the value of good design and the role that architects play in attaining it. 

Vedanta is regularly a critic and guest lecturer for design studios and courses at schools in the US and Canada; these have included the University of Toronto, University of Waterloo, Carleton University, Cornell University, UCLA, Concordia University, Université de Montréal, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Louisiana Tech University, and CU Denver College of Architecture and Planning. His projects, teaching, writing, and photography have been featured in Canadian Architect, Azure Online, Kollectif, Satellite Magazine, and Building Magazine.

As its name implies, Studio Vedanta Balbahadur is a studio-based practice rooted in the belief that architecture is an extension of artistic inquiry and is a discipline with a pivotal role to play in sensitizing the broader community to design and urban issues. Vedanta’s design methodology emphasizes artistic investigation and research, and it features a very active teaching component. Each of his projects — whether building, photography, graphic design, music, or teaching — is an expression of his approach to the architectural profession. As a long-time photographer and classically-trained musician, his appreciation for placemaking, image-making, filmmaking, and sound in architecture play an important role in his studio. He systematically uses photography, writing, music, and DJing as part of his process of connecting the arts to his practice and pedagogy.

 

Vedanta also collaborates with Montreal’s ékm architecture + aménagement on an ongoing basis.  From 2006-2014, Vedanta was member of Saucier + Perrotte, where he worked on Canadian and international projects that have been published the world over, and prior to that, he worked for Daniel Libeskind in New York.  He graduated from the McGill University School of Architecture, where his award-winning 2005 master's thesis was the design and research for a new ballpark, urban event space, and train station located at Montreal's Peel Basin — a project to which he dedicated himself as soon as the Montreal Expos were relocated to Washington, D.C.

TEACHING

  • Invited studio critic and guest lecturer lecturer at University of Toronto, University of Waterloo, Carleton University, Cornell University, UCLA, Concordia University, Université de Montréal, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Louisiana Tech University, and CU Denver College of Architecture and Planning.

  • McGill University Peter Gua-hua Fu School of Architecture / Design Studio Coordinator and Instructor.

  • McGill University School of Continuing Studies (Department of Language and Intercultural Communication) / Course Lecturer for Physical Environment, Sustainability, and Contemporary Culture.

SELECTED AWARDS

  • Two-time recipient of the McGill University Gerald Sheff Award for Part-Time Teaching

  • RAIC / MARMOMACC Scholarship to Verona

  • McGill University Ping Kwan Lau Prize in Architecture

  • Canada Council for the Arts 2006 Finalist for the Prix de Rome for Emerging Architects

  • Royal Canadian Academy of Arts / Eberhard Zeidler Scholarship for Architecture

  • RAIC Honour Roll

  • Prix de la Fondation Habitat ’67

PUBLICATIONS

  • Projects, teaching, writing, and photography have been featured in Canadian Architect, Azure Online, Kollectif, Satellite Magazine, and Building Magazine.