Employee Spotlight: Mike Woodland

Welcome to our Employee Spotlight Series, where we take you behind the scenes to meet the incredible individuals who form the backbone of METAFOR!

Meet Michael Woodland

Principal  | Edmonton Studio

Who or what inspired you to pursue the career you have today?

I have always been deeply curious about how things are built and how they work. Growing up this meant building forts and tree houses in the woods with my friends and figuring out to use old things in new ways.
As I got older and understood how to focus this passion and my creative side, design and construction became more interesting to me. In high school my drafting teacher helped me grasp a better understanding of what architecture was and the full creative potential building design and community design can offer.

What is your favourite part of working at METAFOR?

Everything! METAFOR is great place to share my knowledge and my passion, as well as showcase both the studio's and my ability to create inspiring buildings and spaces, while being a strong advocate for design and our profession.

What is your favorite project that you have worked on or that you are proud that METAFOR was a part of? Why?

Some of my current favourite projects are our zero carbon buildings (ROAM Transit Centre, the new Canmore Fire Station, and Grace Village of Hope in Edmonton). Each of these buildings show how METAFOR can help clients meet the coming energy code requirements and demonstrate leadership on climate action. Zero carbon and net zero energy design is not hard – it just takes commitment and good building envelope design.

Which of our Core Values resonates with you the most and why?

All of our core values resonate with me, but our core value around being "intentionally curious" and "purposeful" are a true reflection of who I am as a person. This is demonstrated daily in my belief that we all have a responsibility to each other and our community. I regularly ask myself and my kids ... "What did you do to make difference today?" This mantra was the foundation of METAFOR's vision to Make Tomorrow Better Than Today.

What inspires you in life? What are you passionate about?

The beauty and surprises in nature along with my family and my work inspire me. They get me to look at things through different lenses and think about how I can do better and use my experience and business connections to make a difference in the community. I am passionate about designing great projects, community place making, and demonstrating through design how we can live better, and create inspiring spaces that make people pause and think.

What hobbies, activities, or passions bring you joy outside of the office?

During my down time I like to recharge by going for walks and listening to nature, I am also an avid gardener and enjoy boating and fishing.

If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would it be and why?

I would go to Spain and Italy because of their history, culture, and to experience the art and architecture along with their food.

Tell me something about you that most people don't know.

I think people are surprised to see how much I like gardening and how enjoyable it is for me moving plants around the yard and trying new planter configurations that create a new color balance and look and feel.