Andrew Choptiany

Architect

Foundation Year Program, 2006

FYP was actually an incredibly good basis for coming into architecture.

“Architecture is about building places for people to live in, and philosophy is actually a huge part of that,”

Andrew Choptiany’s antics on campus earned him the RL Nixon Award for Best Contribution to Residence Life that year. While many credit him for making the Foundation Year Program (FYP) the best year of their lives, he credits King’s, for giving his fun-loving demeanour a direction and pushing him to revisit his childhood dream: architecture.

“FYP was actually an incredibly good basis for coming into architecture,” he says. “Architecture is about building places for people to live in, and philosophy is actually a huge part of that,” he explains. “In the best architecture, you’re dealing with emotions and artistry more than you're dealing with the building code.” He still loves philosophy: Nietzsche is a current favourite. 

At the end of his fourth year, Choptiany and his friends formed “IdeaTank,” an architecture and design collective. Its first project was to redesign and build The Camp on Cabot Beach on Prince Edward Island, for children whose family members have a chronic illness or disability.

With that experience under his belt and confidence in his calling, Choptiany embarked on his master of architecture at the University of Toronto. As part of his program he spent time in Tokyo and his master’s thesis on urban density in Canada and Japan won the Irving Grossman prize for best housing thesis. He now has his own architectural practice.

Choptiany returned from Japan to Canada to artistic acclaim for his art installation, Parallax, which was codesigned with the same friends who built The Camp on Cabot Beach. Parallax debuted at Nuit Blanche in Toronto, North America’s largest overnight art festival. 

Posted: Apr. 2016

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