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Carmela Cucuzzella

Carmela Cucuzzella is an Assistant Professor at Concordia University in the Department of Design and Computation Arts in the Faculty of Fine Arts. She completed her doctorate at the Université de Montréal in April 2011. Her research interests lie within the domain of design for sustainability, eco-design, evaluation and judgement of design projects in a context of sustainability, theory of artistic judgement, theory of risk assessment, the precautionary principle, life cycle analysis (for social and environmental), and LEED.  Her directors of research for her doctorate work were Pr. Pierre De Coninck, an expert in design theory and complex systems and Pr. Daniel Pearl, an expert in environmental design and construction in architecture.

She obtained her first degree, a bachelor in Computer Science, focusing on Computer Architecture, in 1989.  She was immediately employed by Bell Northern Research (which later became a division of Nortel Networks), and worked there for 11 years designing and developing software for the telecommunications industry.  She has had various positions there, starting from software programming and development, to software analysis and design, to the architectural development of software platforms. Her last position held at Nortel was a technical team lead on an application for a 411 service using voice recognition technology for the wire-line network.

After her employment at Nortel Networks, she completed a second undergraduate degree at Concordia University, in the Faculty of Fine Arts (Design Art), where she graduated as outstanding student in 2005.  Her interest in understanding sustainability and design’s complex implications on the environment, society and culture developed during her education there. This degree, coupled with her previous background has given Carmela a broad cross-disciplinary perspective of the design discipline – from the design of virtual tools for communication systems (at Nortel) to the design of functional and exploratory artefacts on various dimensions – 2D, 3D and multi-media projects (at Concordia). 

In 2005, Carmela entered the Faculté de l’aménagement at the Université de Montréal, where she would complete (in 2007 with a mention of excellence), a Master of Applied Science degree, in the School of Industrial Design, in the program called Design et Complexité. Her masters thesis focused on the issues related to sustainability assessment for product design, specifically on the limits of current assessment tools for understanding the complex repercussions of social, cultural and environmental impacts and the need to introduce the precautionary principle into the design process as a way to address the uncertainty and ambiguity of these consequences.  Her masters research was conducted within the framework of Centre de Recherche en Éthique de l’Université de Montréal  (CREUM), a multi-disciplinary research centre focusing on fundamental and applied ethics research,  and the Centre Interuniversitaire de Recherche sur l’Analyse, l’Interprétation et la Gestion du cycle de vie des produits, procédés et services (CIRAIG), a research group focusing on life cycle thinking and assessment methods. Entering the Ph.D. program at the Université de Montréal in the Faculté de l’aménagment program in September 2007, she will complete the doctoral thesis by December 2010. The research focuses on repercussions to design projects when the rating system LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is adopted, and in turn, how these same projects are ultimately judged within the context of an architectural competition. The theoretical foundation of the precautionary principle continues to be the basis of reflections regarding the tensions between the strict adherence to environmental rating systems or assessment diagnostic tools and the creative exploration during conceptualization. This research was done within the framework of a large architectural research lab, Laboratoire d’études de l’architecture potentielle (L.E.A.P); a lab of 9 professors and 12 assistants that focuses on the theory and practices of contemporary architecture within an interdisciplinary perspective.  At L.E.A.P she was actively involved in a collective research project since 2008, called Greening the Architecture Curriculum in Canada, a project co-founded by her research director, Pr. Daniel Pearl. This is a project that involves 11 architecture schools across Canada and is essentially a forum for sharing ideas, resources and expertise for integrating sustainability into the curriculum. Since, 2009, she has collaborated with Pr. Jean-Pierre Chupin, Pr. Georges Adamczyk and Pr. Pierre Boudon, all L.E.A.P researchers, in their project that focuses on the conflicts of analogical interpretation and architectural judgments in competitions, where her focus has been on the conflicts of interpretation and judgment for the issues related to sustainability.

This interdisciplinary background has allowed her to be invited to many lectures in various pedagogical contexts. She has taught in a studio course at the Université de Montréal, has tutored several students in their final year projects in the Industrial Design Department of the Université de Montréal, has presented many seminars to undergraduate and graduate students at a number of universities: Concordia University, Université de Québec à Montréal, Université Laval, McGill, École Polytechnique, and Université de Montréal. She has and continues to work in collaboration with Université de Québec à Montréal, in the department of École des sciences de la gestion, planning a seminar course at the graduate level focusing in environmental management with specific focus on Lide Cycle Methods.

Carmela Cucuzzella now is a confirmed scholar who has obtained the maximum funding possible for a doctorate student from a federal, provincial, university and faculty level. She received bursaries from both the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) and from the Fonds de recherche sur la société et de la culture (FQRSC) for her doctorate research. Since 2007, Carmela has presented over 20 communications across the world (in 3 continents). Counting all accepted communications, that would total over 30 communications across 5 continents, but budget constraints have limited her attendance. She has published in books and in international journals on various topics related to her research, particularly on environmental, social and cultural issues related to assessment and judgment for design projects in a context of sustainability. A contributing author to the UNEP-SETAC Life Cycle Initiative (LCI) project, she was one of 21 international experts in life cycle approaches. In 2009 the Guidelines for Social Life Cycle Assessment of Products was published, a first addressing the integration of social aspects into the life cycle assessment framework.

  • Books
  • Chapters
  • Peer-reviewed articles
  • Conference papers and magazines
  • Exhibitions and research creation
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YearAuthorTitlePDFLink
2009Cucuzzella, CarmelaGuidelines for Social Life Cycle Assessment of Products, UNEP/SETAC Life Cycle Initiative, Paris, France, 2009
The guide describes the context and key concepts, provides key elements and guidance and highlights areas where further research is needed, related to the assessment of the social and socio-economic impacts of products life cycle. A social and socio-economic Life Cycle Assessment (S-LCA) is a social impact (and potential impact) assessment technique that aims to assess the social and socio-economic aspects of products and their potential positive and negative impacts along their life cycle encompassing extraction and processing of raw materials; manufacturing; distribution; use; re-use; maintenance; recycling; and final disposal.
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2015Chupin, Jean-Pierre
Cucuzzella, Carmela
Helal, Bechara
Architecture Competitions and The Production of Culture, Quality and Knowledge : An International Inquiry, Potential Architecture Books, Montréal, 2015
ISBN 9780992131708
This book comprises a series of case studies by 22 renowned experts and new scholars in the field of competition research. In 2014, it constitutes the most comprehensive survey on questions of organization, judgment, archiving and publishing of architectural, landscape and urban design competitions in the world. These richly documented contributions revolve around a few questions that can be summarized in a two-fold critical interrogation: How can design competitions - these historical democratic devices, both praised and dreaded by designers - be considered laboratories for the production of environmental design quality, and ultimately for the renewing of culture and knowledge?
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2015Cucuzzella, CarmelaMuséologies: special edition on “Curatorial Challenges of Research-Creation”, Association Québécoise de Promotion des Recherches Étudiantes en Muséologie (AQPREM), 2015link
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YearAuthorTitlePDFLink
2008Cucuzzella, Carmela
De Coninck, Pierre
Towards Sustainable Lifestyles: a Participatory Approach Within a Context of Uncertainty in Production et consommation durables : de la gouvernance au consommateur-citoyen, Éditions Yvon Blais, 2008, pp.21-44
2010Cucuzzella, Carmela
De Blois, Michel
A New Evaluation and Innovation Framework for Sustainable Design: Addressing the Limits of Current Sustainability Assessment Methods in Chow, Rosan, Jonas, Wolfgang, Joost, Gesche (ed) Questions, Hypotheses and Conjectures: Discussions on Projects by Early Stage and Senior Design Researchers, IUniverse, 2010, p.219-240
2010Cucuzzella, Carmela
De Blois, Michel
The Cohering Project in the Built Environment Modeling Intentions and Actors Dynamic: an approach by Design in Chow, Rosan, Jonas, Wolfgang, Joost, Gesche (ed) Questions, Hypotheses and Conjectures: Discussions on Projects by Early Stage and Senior Design Researchers, IUniverse, 2010, p.132-151
2011Cucuzzella, CarmelaWhat Does Complexity Have to do with Sustainable Design? in Graham, Lisa (ed) Sustainability Research by Designers: an Anthology, The University Press, a division of Common Ground Publishing, 2011link
2013Cucuzzella, CarmelaWhen The Narrative Of Environmental Certifications Replaces The Debate On Quality in Laurent Matthey, Christophe Mager, David Gaillard, Hélène Gallezot (ed) Faire des histoires? Du récit d’urbanisme a l’urbanisme fonctionnel: Faire la ville a l’heure de la société du spectacle, Fondation Braillard Architectes, 2013, pp. 43-47
2014Cucuzzella, Carmela
Crossman, Camille
Re-Thinking the University of Manitoba’s Campus: Visionary (re)Generation International Competition in Collyer, Stanley (ed) 2013 Competitions Annual, The Competitions Project, 2014
2015Cucuzzella, CarmelaJudging in a World of Expertise : When the Sum of the Parts is Less than the Whole in Chupin, Jean-Pierre, Cucuzzella, Carmela, Helal, Bechara (ed) Architecture Competitions and the Production of Culture, Quality and Knowledge : An International Inquiry, Potential Architecture Books, 2015, pp.144-161
2015Cucuzzella, CarmelaLes reformulations de la question de recherche: paramètres d’une thèse réalisable in La thèse…Projets et défis, Les presse de l'Université de Montréal, 2015
2015Cucuzzella, Carmela
Chupin, Jean-Pierre
Helal, Bechara
A World of Potentialities : Competition as Producers of Culture, Quality and Knowledge in Chupin, Jean-Pierre, Cucuzzella, Carmela, Helal, Bechara (ed) Architecture Competitions and the Production of Culture, Quality and Knowledge An International Inquiry, Potential Architecture Books, 2015, pp.8-23
2015Cucuzzella, CarmelaJudging in a World of Expertise : When the Sum of the Parts is less than the Whole in Architecture Competitions and the Production of Culture, Quality and Knowledge An International Inquiry, Potential Architecture Books, 2015, pp.144-161link
2015Chupin, Jean-Pierre
Cucuzzella, Carmela
Helal, Bechara
A World of Potentialities: Competitions as Producers of Culture, Quality and Knowledge in Chupin, Jean-Pierre, Cucuzzella, Carmela, Helal, Bechara (ed) Architecture Competitions and the Production of Culture, Quality and Knowledge (An International Inquiry), Potential Architecture Books, 2015, pp.8-23
2016Cucuzzella, CarmelaLe nouveau Planétarium de Montréal : étoiles en sous-sol in Chupin, Jean-Pierre (ed) Concourir à l'excellence en architecture : éditoriaux du Catalogue des Concours Canadiens (2006-2016), Potential Architecture Books, 2016link
2016Cucuzzella, CarmelaVirage urbain dans la banlieue de Surrey in Chupin, Jean-Pierre (ed) Concourir à l'excellence en architecture : éditoriaux du Catalogue des Concours Canadiens (2006-2016), Potential Architecture Books, 2016link
2016Cucuzzella, CarmelaBibliothèque Saint-Laurent : quand LEED devient synonyme de “prix concours” in Chupin, Jean-Pierre (ed) Concourir à l'excellence en architecture : éditoriaux du Catalogue des Concours Canadiens (2006-2016), Potential Architecture Books, 2016link
2016Cucuzzella, Carmela
Gladu, Cheryl
Attendre le bus en méditant sur les changements climatiques in Chupin, Jean-Pierre (ed) Concourir à l'excellence en architecture : éditoriaux du Catalogue des Concours Canadiens (2006-2016), Potential Architecture Books, 2016link
2016Cucuzzella, CarmelaAgrandissement de la bibliothèque de Pierrefonds : un connecteur urbain in Chupin, Jean-Pierre (ed) Concourir à l'excellence en architecture : éditoriaux du Catalogue des Concours Canadiens (2006-2016), Potential Architecture Books, 2016link
2016Cucuzzella, Carmela
Crossman, Camille
Université du Manitoba, 2012 : un ambitieux projet de campus universitaire placé sous haute organisation in Chupin, Jean-Pierre (ed) Concourir à l'excellence en architecture : éditoriaux du Catalogue des Concours Canadiens (2006-2016), Potential Architecture Books, 2016link
2016Cucuzzella, CarmelaTensions between Expert Evaluations and Qualitative Judgement in Canadian Architectural Competitions in Anderson, Jonas A., Bloxham Zettersten, Gerd, Ronn, Magnus (ed) Architectural Competition as Institution and Process, Royal Institute of Technology of Stockholm, 2016, pp.117-138link
2016Cucuzzella, CarmelaChapitre 10 : Formuler – et reformuler – la question de recherche in Noreau, Pierre, Bernheim, Emmanuelle (ed) La Thèse : un guide pour y entrer... et s'en sortir, Les Presses de l'Université de Montréal, 2016link
2017Cucuzzella, CarmelaPackard Plant, Detroit : Imaginaries of a City Within a City in Chupin, Jean-Pierre, Abenia, Tiphaine (ed) Du potentiel des grandes structures urbaines abandonnées / On the Potential of Abandonned Large Urban Structures, Potential Architecture Books, 2017, pp.70-75link
2018Cucuzzella, CarmelaA Discreetly Bold Environmental Architecture in Chevalier Morales Architects : Références Croisées, Potential Architecture Books, 2018, pp.25-28
2018Cucuzzella, CarmelaThe (Im)Possibility of an Autonomous Environmental Architecture in Martin, Louis, Lachance, Jonathan (ed) Du potentiel de l’hétéronomie et de l’autonomie en architecture /On the Potential of Heteronomy and Autonomy in Architecture, Potential Architecture Books, 2018, pp.62-69link
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YearAuthorTitlePDFLink
2008Parent, Julie
Cucuzzella, Carmela
La consommation durable par le design durable, Le Panoptique, Environnement, no.36, 2008link
2008De Coninck, Pierre
Cucuzzella, Carmela
An Overview of Existing Development Processes for New Products within the Furniture Sector based on a Networked Framework, 2008, 84 pages
2008Cucuzzella, Carmela
Colby, Charles
Comparative Screening Life Cycle Assessment of Children’s Markers Repurposed into a Modern Wall Clock and an Industrial-made Modern Wall Clock,, 2008, 28 pages
2009Cucuzzella, CarmelaWhat does Complexity have to do with Sustainable Design?, Design Principles and Practices: An International Journal, no.3, 2009, pp.277-290
2009Cucuzzella, Carmela
Martenat, Céline-Coralie
Pearl, Daniel
Question 2 : What educational transformation is required to engage the academic world into adopting a transdisciplinary process for developing sustainable projects? Editorial Committee of the School of Architecture of the Université de Montréal., 2009, 7 pageslink
2009Cucuzzella, CarmelaThe Limits of Life Cycle Analysis in a Context of Sustainable Design: Prudence as a New Framework, International Journal of Design Engineering, no.3, 2009, pp.243-261
2010Cucuzzella, Carmela
Martenat, Céline-Coralie
Pearl, Daniel
Between design and engineering – the necessity for a critical perspective. Synthetic response of the Université de Montréal editorial committee, 2010, 7 pageslink
2010Cucuzzella, Carmela
Martenat, Céline-Coralie
Pearl, Daniel
Question 2 : Final Synthesis. Editorial Committee of the School of Architecture of the Université de Montréal, 2010, 7 pageslink
2011Cucuzzella, CarmelaWhy is Fourth Generation Evaluation Essential for Sustainable Design?, Design Principles and Practice: An International Journal, no.1, 2011, pp.239-252
2011Chupin, Jean-Pierre
Cucuzzella, Carmela
Environmental standards and judgment processes in competitions for public buildings, Geographica Helvetica, Swiss Journal of Geography, special issue on competitions, Forms, places, and processes: tracing geographies of architecture through design competitions, no.1, 2011, p.13-23
2011Cucuzzella, Carmela
Chupin, Jean-Pierre
The ‘global warming’ of the judgment process in competitions for public buildings in Canada, The International Journal of Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability, 2011
2012Cucuzzella, Carmela
Revéret, Jean-Pierre
Parent, Julie
Revisiting the role of LCA and SLCA in the transition towards sustainable production and consumption, The International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment, 2012, pp.1-11link
2012Cucuzzella, Carmela
Revéret, Jean-Pierre
Parent, Julie
Impact Assessment in SLCA: Sorting the sLCIA Methods According to their Outcomes, The International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment, 2012, pp.164-171link
2013Cucuzzella, CarmelaConfronting Contemporary Sustainability Norms with the Durbaility of Historical Buildings, Proceedings for the XI Forum Internationale di Studi: La Vie dei Mercanti: Heritage, Architecture, LanDesign. Focus on Conservation, Regeneration, Innovation., 2013, pp.1115-1122
2013Cucuzzella, CarmelaLes experts sont-ils à leur place dans les concours?, d'a (D'architectures), Dossier Que savons-nous des concours? Avril 2013, 2013, pp. 62-65
2013Cucuzzella, Carmela
Pearl, Daniel
Mertenat, Céline-Coralie
Verdir le diplôme d’architecture au Canada : un forum académique national, une question de transdisciplinarité, VertigO - la revue électronique en sciences de l'environnement, (Janvier 2013) Éducation et développement durable dans les universités et les cégeps : une nécessaire integration, 2013link
2013Cucuzzella, Carmela
Chupin, Jean-Pierre
The “global warming” of the judgment process in competitions for public buildings in Canada, The International Journal of Sustainability Policy and Practice, n°1, 2013, pp. 53-67
2013Cucuzzella, CarmelaA Theoretical Model For Design For Sustainability: The Impact Of Data Intensive Evaluation Approaches On Design Thinking, International Journal of Sustainability Policy and Practice, n°1, 2013, pp. 95-108
2014Cucuzzella, Carmela
Chupin, Jean-Pierre
Experts, Expertise and Qualitative Judgment in Canadian Architectural Competitions, 5th STS Italia conference, A Matter of Deisgn: Making Society through Science and Technology, 2014, pp.781-796
2014Cucuzzella, CarmelaCanadian Society of Landscape Architects (CSLA) Awards 2014 Jury Process: Observations and Recommendations, 2014, 8 pages
2014Cucuzzella, CarmelaIs Sustainability the Impetus for a New Aesthetic Paradigm in Canadian Design Competition ?, RACAR/Revue d'Art Canadienne-Canadian Art Review, 2014
2015Cucuzzella, CarmelaResearch-creation as a Curatorial Challenge: An Interview with John Zeppetelli, Muséologies, 2015
2015Cucuzzella, CarmelaIs Sustainability Reorienting the Visual Expression of Architecture?, RACAR: Design Studies in Canada (and beyond): the State of the Field, 2015
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YearAuthorTitlePDFLink
2007Cucuzzella, Carmela
De Coninck, Pierre
Implementing the Precautionary Principle through Stakeholder Engagement for Product and Service Development, Les ateliers de l’éthique, édition printemps, 2007, p.95-107
2007Cucuzzella, Carmela
De Coninck, Pierre
The Contribution of the Precautionary Principle for Decision Making in Situations of Uncertainty for Product and Service Development, 2007, 13 pages, CD-ROM
2008Cucuzzella, Carmela
De Coninck, Pierre
Establishing and Assessing Sustainable Solutions: Opportunities and Limits of a Life Cycle Approach, 2008, p.51-60
2008Cucuzzella, Carmela
De Coninck, Pierre
Towards Sustainable Design: An Approach Based on the Precautionary Principle, 2008, 16 pages, CD-ROM
2008Cucuzzella, Carmela
De Coninck, Pierre
In Pursuit of Sustainable Consumption: The Limits of Adopting a Strategy of Efficiency, 2008, p.277-280
2008Cucuzzella, CarmelaThe Precautionary Principle as a Framework for Sustainable Design: Attempts to Counter the Rebound Effects of Production and Consumption, 2008link
2009Cucuzzella, CarmelaAn Evaluation and Innovation Framework for Responsible Design based on Prudence, 2009link
2009Cucuzzella, CarmelaFourth Generation Evaluation: Expanding the Evaluation Framework for Sustainable Design Projects, 2009, p.1639-1648
2009Cucuzzella, Carmela
De Coninck, Pierre
Pearl, Daniel
Expanding the Evaluation Framework in Design Projects when Seeking Transformational Sustainable Innovation, 2009, pp.49-55
2009Colby, Charles
Cucuzzella, Carmela
Lalande, Philippe
Racine, Martin
Assessing a New Model for Production and Consumption: Environmental Implications of Direct Digital Manufacturing, 2009, pp.32-42
2010Cucuzzella, CarmelaCollaborative Design in a Context of Sustainability: The Epistemological and Practical Implications of the Precautionary Principle for Design, 2010link
2010Cucuzzella, CarmelaThe New Montreal Planetarium: Stars of the Underground, Éditorial du Catalogue des Concours Canadiens, 2010link
2011Cucuzzella, CarmelaUrban shifting Suburban Surrey, Éditorial du Catalogue des Concours Canadiens, 2011link
2011Cucuzzella, CarmelaDes limites de la norme LEED, ARQ /Architecture-Québec / Le concours : une affaire du jugement, no.154, 2011, pp.22-25
2012Cucuzzella, CarmelaSaint-Laurent Library – When LEED Becomes the Competition Prize, Éditorial du Catalogue des Concours Canadiens, 2012link
2013Cucuzzella, CarmelaLower Don Lands, Toronto 2007: From Winning Project to Public Controversy, Éditorial du Catalogue des Concours Canadiens, 2013link
2014Cucuzzella, Carmela
Chupin, Jean-Pierre
Design for Sustainability as an Emerging Aesthetic Paradigm in Canadian Design Competitions, 2014
2014Chupin, Jean-Pierre
Cucuzzella, Carmela
Expert, Expertise and Qualitative Judgement in Canadian Architecture Competitions, 2014, pp. 781-796
2014Chupin, Jean-Pierre
Cucuzzella, Carmela
Designing the Body of Architecture Through Biological Analogies, 2014, pp. 311-327
2014Cucuzzella, Carmela
Crossman, Camille
University of Manitoba, 2012: An ambitious university campus project under high organization, Éditorial du Catalogue des Concours Canadiens, 2014link
2015Cucuzzella, CarmelaResearch-creation as a Curatorial Challenge : An interview with John Zeppetelli, Muséologies, special edition on Curatorial Challenges of Research-Creation, No. 1, 2015, pp.129-141
2015Cucuzzella, CarmelaIntroduction : Curatorial Challenge s, Muséologies, special edition on Curatorial Challenges of Research-Creation, No. 1, 2015, pp.11-31
2015Cucuzzella, CarmelaIs Sustainability Reorienting the Visual Expression of Architecture ?, Revue d'art canadienne / Canadian Art Review (RACAR) : Design Studies in Canada (and beyond), No. 2, 2015, pp.86-100
2016Cucuzzella, Carmela
Gladu, Cheryl
June 2016 : Solar Powered Bus Shelter : Waiting For The Bus While Reflecting On Climate Chnage, Canadian Competitions Catalogue, 2016link
2016Cucuzzella, Carmela
Coulon, A.
Environmentalism in Architecture Competitions : From Experimentation to Normativity and Back, 2016
2016Cucuzzella, CarmelaCreativity, Sustainable Design, and Risk Management, Journal of Cleaner Production, 2016, pp.1548-1558link
2016Cucuzzella, CarmelaOpinion des défis pour le Québec : Sortir du fétichisme technologique, La Presse, 2016link
2017Cucuzzella, CarmelaCoLLaboratoire Montreal : Living Experiments for Climate Change Awareness, 2017
2017Cucuzzella, Carmela
Goubran, Sherif
Emond, Gilbert
Understanding Regional Sustainability in the Built Environment, 2017
2017Cucuzzella, CarmelaCoLLaboratoire : Urban Design Experiments for Sustainability and Climate Change Awareness, 2017
2017Cucuzzella, Carmela
Shrivastava, Paul
The Art of Regenerative Regional Development, Culture and Dialogue, special issue on Japanese Culture, 2017, pp.62-97
2017Cucuzzella, Carmela
Goubran, Sherif
Maha S., Kamel
More than waiting for the bus : Rethinking Site Surrounding Bus Stops, 2017
2017Cucuzzella, CarmelaToronto and Montreal, The Gazette, 2017link
2017Cucuzzella, CarmelaToronto vu de Montreal, La Presse, 2017link
2017Cucuzzella, Carmela
Goubran, Sherif
CoLLaboratoire Montreal : Living Experiments for Climate Change Awareness, ARQ : Architecture-Québec / Grands projets, petits projets, September 2017, No. 180, 2017, pp.20-23
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YearAuthorTitlePDFLink