Employee Spotlight: Ryan Agrey

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 Ryan Agrey

Project Architect | Calgary Studio

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

Growing up, my parents encouraged the idea that creativity and fun can be applied to any activity. I would spend many hours building imaginary places out of Lego or playing cards. This early interest led to many hours sourcing books to learn more about the shaping of our built environment and the experiential qualities.
It may have been subconscious, but I seem to surround myself with others that have similar passions for design. Throughout my career, these friends and family have been my biggest motivation. As an interior designer, my wife and I will often get lost in conversation on the intricacies of design. These on-going dialogues shape my interests which leads to new directions in my career. Currently, I am exploring the new possibilities of technology, material, and craft.

What is your favourite part of working at METAFOR?

The culture of genuine support and encouragement is what I enjoy most at METAFOR. There is an appreciation for a work / life balance and incredible support when challenges come up. These resources foster an environment of creativity and satisfaction in the work that we do. I must add another favorite, and that is the cross-disciplinary nature of METAFOR. Working so closely with building and sustainability experts has been very insightful and opens the possibility for true innovation on every project.

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

One of my favorite experiences so far was collaborating with Civicworks and Liberty Housing on the Parkdale affordable housing project (Upcoming — Liberty Housing Organization). At the time of the proposal, there was an excitement knowing that we were truly putting our best foot forward as a team to address this very critical social issue.

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

The combined values of being ‘Intentionally Curious’ and ‘Purposeful’ resonates with my interests the most. These values support a process of balancing experimentation, artistic creativity, and knowledge-sharing through the lens of appropriateness. Discovering new ways to integrate the pragmatic with the playful, the technical with the artistic, feeds my passion for architecture. METAFOR provides the creative environment and resources to adopt these values into each project.

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

I find inspiration through storytelling. Whether it is creative writing, music, art or dialogue, I am fueled by the connecting elements that bring joy and curiosity. One of my interests is discovering the cultural and historical references embedded in our built environment, and the modern craftsmanship revival. With advancements in material, tools, and software technology, I am fascinated by the incredible artists and craftspeople leading the way. It is a goal of mine to share the benefits of art-integrated architectural, while showcasing local talent and narratives.

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

Our house is a bit hectic these days chasing our toddler (who is moving faster by the day), and working on the never-ending renovation of our historic home. On the weekends, I find relaxation in exploring the local mountain trails, whether by foot or ski.

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

My favorite places to visit are where my family and friends are. This includes visiting my brother in Geneva, Switzerland; where I can also discover incredible architecture, food, and alpine adventures.

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

I am a spicy food junkie and on the search for the hottest chicken sandwich in the city.

Check out Ryan's recent blog post here!