Mark Tholen, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Design, OCADU
Mark Tholen, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Design, OCADU
Mark Tholen
Assistant Professor
Faculty of Design

Area(s) of Expertise

Architecture, Building Systems & Sustainability, Materials & Methods, Material Innovation



Assistant Professor, Department of Environmental Design

Chair, Material Innovation Centre @ OCADU 

Lived, studied architecture and worked in Köln, Stuttgart, Los Angeles, Kansas City, Halifax and since 1999 settled in Toronto. Worked as an architect at the offices of Günter Behnisch, Gottfried Böhm, Richard Meier and was the project design architect for the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa, before founding TYYZ Design in 2008. Sophisticated sustainability was always a ‘green imperative’ in his work and life: specifying maximum fly ash recycling in concrete structures, river water cooling, green roofs, grey water systems, solar and geothermal applications in architecture as well as using waste products and 100% recycled materials for custom LED light fixture and furniture designs.

Mark has been essential in the development of a Design Build Education at OCAD U with the Steam Canoe Winter Station Project in 2016 as an inital award winning project. The Steam Canoe project combines Material Innovation, Digital Design Methods and Traditional Tooling. It is the first prototype building to utilize Grip Metal TM (Metal Velcro) as a main construction method. This project was produced in collaboration with NUCAP Industries / Grip Technologies. 


1993, M. Arch.

Faculty of Architecture, Technical University of Nova Scotia

1991, B.E.D.S.

Faculty of Architecture, Technical University of Nova Scotia 


Awards \ Grants

Canadian Wood Council Award, 2016 (OCAD U Steam Canoe)

Design & Technology Award, Materialica, Munich 2016 (OCAD U Steam Canoe)

Award for Excellence in Teaching, OCAD University 2015

Short listed WAN Award, Product Design 2011

Green Good Design Award, Museum of Art and Architecture, Chicago 2010

Nomination Design Award of the Federal Republic of Germany 2010

Design Exchange Award 2009

Design Exchange Award 2008

Best of Canada 2008

OAA Award of Excellence 2008