Founding Principal, Architect, AAA, AIBC, NWTAA, FRAIC, MBA, LEED AP, GCB.D
LLD (Hon), AOE, Architect, AAA, AIBC, NWTAA, SAA, FRAIC, MBA, LEED®AP, GCB.D
Since before the beginning of her career as an Architect, creative collaboration has been the foundation of Vivian’s work. Open-minded, creative, and optimistic, Vivian has found inspiration in the myriad chapters of her life’s journey, beginning with her immigration to Canada as a child. She spent her childhood and adolescence in the beautiful city of Montreal and studied Architecture at the time of the first energy crisis, before moving to Edmonton. From there, she travelled globally and within Canada, visiting and building relationships with numerous Indigenous communities across the country.
Working for decades in the north, Vivian honed her cold-climate design skills and cultivated the values of inclusivity, co-creation, and environmental and spiritual sustainability that would guide her practice as an Architect, Principal, and industry leader.
Vivian is “endlessly interested” in the idea of co-creating a better world and believes deeply in fostering organizations, environments, and spaces where community and creativity can flourish. It is in this all-embracing spirit of co-creation that she approaches her role as a leader of Reimagine. As she sees it, her primary responsibility is providing “the stability and nurturing for the team to grow,” and it is through her continuous encouragement of a healthy and integrated way of life that Reimagine has become one of the world's most respected and successful design firms. “Life is like water,” she says. “Work and life are not separate; everything flows together.”
Her role as a leader is not confined to her position as a principal of the firm. Always looking for opportunities to make the biggest impact, Vivian has been co-creating myriad projects of unprecedented vision since the beginning of her career. Vivian has long championed sustainable building practices on a national and global scale, playing a key part in the development of the Canadian LEED® Green Building Rating system and the founding of the Alberta Sustainable Buildings Symposium, now in its 27th year. Among her countless accolades, she was recently honoured with the Alberta Order of Excellence Award in 2017 and an Honorary Doctor of Laws from the University of Alberta in 2019.
The importance she places on community engagement has also made Vivian a champion of accessibility in education. During her time as President of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC), she envisioned and co-created Canada's first online Architecture program at Athabasca University. Over ten years later, this program now boasts the largest enrolment of any architectural school in Canada. Vivian recently served as Chair of the University’s Chair of the Board of Governors. Read more about Vivian's priorities on the occasion of her Lifetime Achievement Award from the Canada Green Building Council: https://www.cagbc.org/Archives/EN/AsktheExpert/2021_award_vivian_manasc.aspx
What does she see for the future of Reimagine and architecture? A shift, she says, is coming in the conversation surrounding sustainability in design. She is excited for a new paradigm, in which architects do more than design new green buildings, but they reinvigorate buildings that already exist to create the most sustainable solutions, not only for the people and communities directly in contact with them, but for the planet. Vivian plans to keep collaborating, especially with Indigenous communities and leaders, imagining, and being a part of the ever-developing community of innovators and thinkers co-creating across Alberta, Canada, and the world. Listen to her share Reimagine's purpose: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lfDkfMLkyE4