Meet the team.The archiTEXT team is an eclectic, dynamic, hilarious, creative, and inspired group of people - from the worlds of design, business, research, art, and various other places - that come together with a common passion to be part of a design and creativity dialogue.
- Zahra Ebrahim is the Founder and Principal of the design think tank and creative agency, archiTEXT. Born in Kenya, raised in Vancouver, and educated at McGill University in Montreal, she started archiTEXT at 22 years old as a place to bring together diverse groups to tackle the intersections of architecture and design with social change, to explore the impact of design and creativity on systems change, and to engage the public in a discourse of design and design thinking as a mechanism for creative problem solving. At 24, Zahra was invited to teach at the Ontario College of Art and Design (OCAD) in the Think Tank program, getting the next generation of designers asking complex questions of themselves and the world around them. She is also the co-lead on the Community. Design. Initiative., a legacy project engaging some of Canada's most marginalized youth in architecture and design in Toronto's priority neighborhoods.Zahra spent two years serving as Innovator in Residence at Canada’s National Design Museum, the Design Exchange. In recent years she has become increasingly committed to exploring the space where design, creativity, and play engage with systems change, sparking initiatives that create conversation and activate innovation. Zahra is the co-founder of the Design Walk-In – a storefront design health clinic launched in 2012 and opening in cities across the globe, a regular contributor to the Huffington Post, a Strategic Partner of the Canadian team for the Venice Biennale 2012, and is actively involved in Jane’s Walks – specifically exploring bakery architecture.In her spare time, Zahra is the Toronto Editor of the Community Lover’s Guide to the Universe, an Advisor for Architecture for Humanity Toronto, and a volunteer snowboard instructor with the Ontario Track3 Association. She has served as the Chair of Outreach for the Couchiching Institute of Public Affairs and a member of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO’s Youth Advisory Group.Her work has been featured in Luminato, Come Up To My Room, Nuit Blanche, Toronto Design Offsite, TEDxTalks, as well as on CBC, The Globe and Mail, and the Toronto Star. She has been the recipient of several innovation and entrepreneurship awards internationally, most recently as one of the Global Knowledge Partnership’s Top 100 Young Global Social Entrepreneurs.Zahra speaks extensively on engaging design, creativity and play for impact.
- Sherry first connected with Zahra at an Architecture for Humanity meeting. A few months later, after a tour of the What Has Architecture Done For You Lately exhibit, she fell in love with the work and people of archiTEXT. She originally came on board to help with the Community.Design.Initiative but soon her skills and passions expanded her reach to many other projects.
A graduate of Ryerson University, Sherry has a Bachelor of Interior Design, a Certificate in Architecture and is also LEED certified. And just in case you thought she didn't have enough degrees, she also has a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Toronto and is a Chartered Accountant. Her broad range of experiences, from Canada's largest public accounting firm to an exhibit design firm to an interior design firm, allows her to interface with a wide client base.
In her spare time, Sherry has volunteered with various youth organizations including Junior Achievement and was recently nominated as Advisor of the Year by Junior Achievement. As a sustainable designer, the idea of creating housing sustainably prompted her to enter the 2010 IDSWest/AFH Vancouver PreFab 20/20 Competition. The concept behind this 400sf house was based on the modularity of LEGO blocks.
Aside from being a lover of all things design, Sherry is a passionate foodie. Everything from books, to TV shows, to cooking, creating recipes and, of course, eating! Because of this last love, she is also an avid runner, having run her first half marathon last year (aiming to do one every year). She loves to blog about design, food and culture.
- Carla Weinberg is a visual designer, maker, and environmental consultant. Her design work ranges from infographics and print design to visioning and facilitation of collaborative design workshops.After eight years in architecture school, Carla branched out into green building consulting in Vancouver, where she was part of the formation of the Vancouver Design Nerds (VDN). With the VDN she collaborated on Car Park, a community art project that transformed an abandoned car into a mobile urban agricultural unit built for Car Free Day 2004.Before moving back to her hometown of Toronto, she adventured around the world, studying Spanish in Madrid and working with a housing cooperative in The Philippines. Back at home she has been working in a wide-ranging space between graphic design, architecture, creative collaboration, and environmental research and sustainability.Project highlights include graphic design for Right To Play, Future Possibilities for Kids and the Green Screen environmental film program; public space workshops at Lakeshore Collegiate in Etobicoke; environmental analysis and best practices for the Toronto film and television industry; and development of a toolkit for the creation of national Green Building Councils for the World Green Building Council.Carla has lived and worked in Canada, South Africa and The Philippines. She is a maker of handcrafts, player of music and founder of the Toronto Design Nerds. She holds a Master of Architecture and a Bachelor of Environmental Studies from the University of Waterloo.