Play at Work

After picking up my kids, Lauren and Milaño, from school one beautiful summer afternoon, we decided to go for a bike ride around our neighbourhood. As usual, we stopped at a playground so the kids could spend some time chasing each other on the structure in a game of Grounders (which I admittedly know very little about). After only a few minutes, a curious young boy, who had been watching from a distance, built up the courage to ask my kids if he could join in. They spent an exhausting 60 minutes letting their imaginations run wild, negotiating the terms of their games, and creating all sorts of problems and solutions together. On the way home, I asked my kids, "What is your new friend's name?" They replied, "We have no idea."

At Play, we believe that work can be fun. We also believe that creativity and innovation are products of exploration and discovery. We celebrate the fact that failure is a great teacher and that humility can be fulfilling. We understand that restlessness is energizing and that dreams are a call to action. At Play, we don't take ourselves too seriously, but we also value passion, mindfulness, and optimism. 

What's in a Name

An evening of brainstorming (and soul searching) was all it took to give birth to our company's name. After coming up with dozens of options, we realized that the type of firm we were trying to build was going to be heavily influenced by play. The concept infiltrated every aspect of our conversations around business, from our work environment, to our design process, to our engagement with people, and it made sense for us to put it right into our name.

For us, "Architects At Play" connotes an element of risk (in a good way). It's reminiscent of terms like, "Children at play" or "Men at work," in that it almost acts as a precautionary phrase, requesting that onlookers be aware that something noteworthy is happening. It almost implies that it should be preceded by the word "CAUTION:," perhaps suggesting that what we do here might be a little different from what you're used to seeing.

The name also speaks to our core belief that in order to truly excel and make a difference in the world, you have to enjoy what you're doing. There's an element of fun in the way we practice and that ensures we keep an open mind in the way we build our company and conduct our business. We like to say that Architects At Play is, first and foremost, a gathering of friends. This concept is very important to us and is at the core of our work environment.

The act of playing does not necessarily have to be frivolous. It can be focused and productive. In fact, play is an essential component of creativity, which, in turn, is an essential component of innovation. We realized right from the very beginning of our venture that brainstorming, testing, and experimentation were going to be key informants to our design process and that our office culture would work to nurture that idea.

Current Opportunities

Architects At Play has a policy of not accepting résumés from potential employees. Whaaaa? This is because we want you to catch our attention, spark our emotions, and demonstrate your creativity. How do you approach collaboration? How do your values align with ours? What's your story? We want to remember your name.

  • There are no current employment opportunities at Play, but there are other options for you to get involved:
    • Volunteer placement: Occasionally, we collaborate with a wide range of professionals on unpaid projects, like competitions, community events, and special design projects. We enjoy building a team around interesting projects and just having fun learning and creating. If you have an idea for something that you'd like to pursue, we'd be happy to hear from you, so give us a shout.

If you are still interested in pursuing employment within our firm, please feel free to contact one of us today to let us know you're interested, and we'll go from there! We do not believe in a policy of "only qualified candidates will be contacted for an interview." That's just not our style. If you are interested in working with us, we'll do our very best to, at the very least, meet with you to talk (maybe over a game of ping-pong). 

History of Play

Architects At Play has its roots in 2014 with the formation of Blacktie Architecture, a sole proprietorship set up by Grant LaBossiere. In March of 2018, Architects At Play Inc. was formed and carried on the work from the previous firm. Joseph and Grant met in 2000 during their undergrad and pre-masters programs (respectively). Since then, the plan had always been to partner together to build a firm. The duo met Paulo in 2015, and the pieces started falling into place, and after more than half a year of conversations and planning, Play was born. In 2021, Paulo left the partnership, leaving Joseph and Grant to carry on the dream. Antoinette and Kian joined in 2021, and Teresa in 2022.