Kariouk Architects Takes Part in Local High School Career Fair

On February 23, 2024, Paul Kariouk and John Stelluto participated in the Human Library career fair at the Ottawa Technical Secondary School (OTSS). Over the course of the event, they answered questions from students about the design process, how architects work with contractors who construct new buildings, and how architects work with clients.

Paul and John joined representatives of over fifteen other organizations, including several contractors, a photographer, an animator/illustrator, a meteorologist, a registered massage therapist, a curator from the Museum of Nature, and an Ontario senator.

John Stelluto of Kariouk Architects at an Ottawa career fair in 2024

OTSS not only prepares students for post-secondary education, but it also has programs that cater to students who may be interested in a career in technical fields or the skilled trades. As of 2023, Ontario has about 300,000¹ unfilled positions in the skilled trades, especially construction, with the gap projected to widen as more tradespeople retire in the next few years.

The Kariouk Architects team was ready with a variety of visual aids to help the students get a more concrete understanding of the tools that architects use. These included a laptop with 3D models of buildings, sample construction documents, and even physical models of several buildings.

Heather Galigan, a teacher librarian at OTSS and co-organizer of the event, said, “The students at OTSS had requested to meet an architect and we were so grateful that Paul and John could join us for the event. They had a steady stream of interested students who had great questions.”

She added, “John and Paul were generous with their knowledge and a few students spent a large part of the event chatting with them. It was a very successful event and we are so happy that Kariouk Architects were able to take part in it.”

Paul commented, “As part of my work as an Associate Professor at the Azrieli School of Architecture and Urbanism at Carleton University, I’m committed to improving communication between architects, engineers, and the contractors who take our designs and construct real buildings. I like to think that if some of these students become skilled trades or even owners of contracting firms, they’ll have a better understanding of how the design process works.

John noted that the students had a wide range of questions, including about sustainability in building design. “They were interested in our commitment to conserving the natural features of sites, as we did with the m.o.r.e. Cabin, as well as the use of renewable energy sources such as solar panels.”

“You never know, we may have inspired some of these young people to consider a career in architecture,” he said.


1. https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/thunder-bay/thunder-bay-skilled-trades-training-1.6993029