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Blog: Employee Spotlight: AJ Vaid, Architect

September 16, 2019
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Today, we learn about AJ Vaid, one of our senior architects, who recently relocated to our Vancouver studio from Calgary.

What do you like most about design and architecture?
Design is the key to all great human experiences, be it revered or the mundane. From spectacle to subtle, architecture can be used to combine these two seemingly opposing forces while adding to it the complex layers of human emotion, history and technology.

How did you get into the field?
My father was an architect and a chief planner for the government of Punjab in India. I remember visiting his office as a child and being surrounded by copious amounts of master planning models and drawings spread in every direction; this was definitely the inception of my interest in the field.

What work are you most proud of thus far in your career?
I am fortunate to have worked on various types of architectural projects during my career, but the expansion of the Calgary International Airport (IFP) has left a perpetual mark on my mind due to its multidimensional complexity and sheer scope. The IFP project combined state-of-the art technology, planning ingenuity as well as wide-ranging sustainable building construction practices and materials. I was an integral part of the team responsible for planning and design of the largest terminal expansion to date in Canada - from master planning through to construction.

What or who inspires your work?
The subtlety and rigour of Carlo Scarpa inspires me architecturally. He was one of the most enigmatic and underappreciated architects of the 20th century. He had an instinctive approach to materials - combining time-honoured crafts with modern manufacturing processes.

My favourite restaurant in Calgary is: Mirchi – a hole in the wall but amazing Pakistani and Indian food. My favourite restaurant in Vancouver is: Hart House Dear Lake – sourcing local, sustainable west coast cuisine.

What do you do in your spare time?
These days our toddler takes up any of our free time. We adopted a beautiful baby girl two years ago; she is magical and the centre of our attention at the moment.

What do you like best about working at S2?
I truly believe that people are a company’s greatest asset. This is particularly true at S2 - I have made some lifelong friends while working at S2. We have people here with great talents, skills and even better – kind hearts. We work hard to attract and retain the best people and making them feel that they are an integral part of our company’s operation.