New Appointments Strengthen Our Technical Excellence
Jan. 4, 2023
Our reputation for technical excellence and superior client service is driven by our talented, passionate team members and their efforts – each day – to provide design solutions that are sustainable, aesthetically beautiful, responsive to user needs and exceed the expectations of our clients.
As STUDIO tla looks ahead to the future, we recognize the importance of offering opportunities for growth and advancement, while recognizing the outstanding efforts of high-performing employees.
We are pleased to announce the appointment of Layal Bitar, Gosia Farun and Chen Zixiang to Associate. Each team member has demonstrated exceptional growth and talent, while embodying the drive and passion required to spur our firm’s pursuit of design excellence and client-focused solutions.
LAYAL BITAR MLA, SITES AP, OALA ASSOCIATE
Layal is an Associate | Project Manager and Landscape Designer at STUDIO tla whose project work concentrates on public parks, waterfront revitalization, public realm and streetscapes. Layal has a keen interest in the relationship between public parks in urban contexts and green infrastructure.
As a project manager and landscape architect, Layal has collaborated on projects of varied scales and types, from urban design and master planning, to institutional and commercial developments, and Sports and Entertainment districts in Canada, the United States, Middle East and Asia. Prior to joining STUDIO tla, Layal's professional experience involved working for several years in Beirut, Dallas and Shanghai.
Since completing her Bachelor of Landscape Design and Ecosystem Management at the American University of Beirut in 2012, Layal has been involved in an array of projects across several geographies. She is a graduate of the Master of Landscape Architecture program at The University of Texas at Arlington where she was the recipient of numerous awards, including the LAF University Olmsted Scholar Award and the Texas ASLA Honor Award.
“I am eager to continue exploring and implementing design technologies, such as Virtual Reality into our everyday practice, and enhancing workflows that contribute positively to the iterative design process. I strongly believe that advancing these areas will ultimately lead to a more productive and engaging relationship within our studio’s culture and our project stakeholders and partners.”
GOSIA FARUN MLA, BA ASSOCIATE
Gosia is an Associate | Project Manager & Landscape Designer at STUDIO tla whose project work focuses on the design and management of private, mixed-used developments, including residential and commercial projects, plazas and parks. Gosia is deeply interested in large-scale urban projects, learning about issues related to urbanization, and successful strategies and approaches to master planning for new and existing cities.
She is also passionate about projects that promote a sense of placemaking using art and science to create resilient and beautiful spaces in harmony with natural environments. She believes that creating seamless and holistic designs are accomplished through a strong symbiotic relationship between the built and natural environments.
Gosia earned her Master of Landscape Architecture degree from the University of Toronto and won multiple awards during her academic experience, including the CSLA Student Award of Merit.
“I’m excited to help mentor junior staff as part of my new role, and also to take on initiatives involving marketing and business development, such as creating content for social media and working on proposals to win new project work.”
CHEN ZIXIANG BLA, OALA ASSOCIATE
As an Associate | Landscape Architect at STUDIO tla, Chen’s project work is centred on master planning, community design and entertainment / park design. He is particularly interested in creating dynamic, engaging spaces with a universal appeal that are responsive to the needs of modern urban lifestyles.
Born in Hunan, China, Chen studied Architecture at Central Academy of Fine Arts, China and Studio Arts at the University of Guelph before he obtained his Bachelor of Landscape Architecture degree at University of Guelph. While at University of Guelph, Chen received both LAF’s the University Olmsted Scholars Award and ASLA’s Merit Award. He credits his cultural background and fine art experience as a major influence on his work in the landscape architecture profession. Chen was the design leader on the “RisingUp” team that won a seat in Toronto’s 2018 Winter Stations Design Competition.
Chen is an avid traveller and driving enthusiast who enjoys watching and participating in car racing. His travel experience inspires his project work at STUDIO tla, while his experiences on the racetrack encourage him to push limits and boundaries.
“Being appointed an Associate is a great opportunity for me to embrace a bigger leadership role at STUDIO tla. I’m looking forward to bringing even more energy to the studio and inspire our entire team and our work to be more fun and creative.”