TEAM Profiles

Murray Cohen


Founder and Principal Designer

Since entering the design profession in 1964, Murray has led over 3,800 projects to successful completion. He founded The Design Associates in 1971 and has built TDA into one of the foremost office design and planning consulting firms in Canada. His dedication to client service, added value and cost effectiveness have been key elements in his success. Murray’s commitment to clients and design excellence have set him apart for decades. He has carefully built TDA’s brand and is especially known for his ability to deliver projects on time and on budget. Murray’s hands-on approach to project leadership ensures our immediate response to evolving client needs and project conditions.

As leader of The Design Associates, Murray has built a highly capable team of in-house professionals and an outside network of expertise second-to-none. With its multi-disciplinary base of programmers, office planners, interior and furniture designers and project managers, Murray has led The Design Associates in a host of major high tech and corporate projects across Canada, the United States and internationally.

During Murray’s 45 years at TDA, he’s dedicated himself to effectively managing our project teams and nurturing partnerships with outside consultants. Murray thrives while leading and inspiring the design decisions on major projects. His expertise, talent and knowledge of the latest trends and technologies ensure we deliver a best-in-class solution to our clients.

Murray is a member of the Association of Registered Interior Designers of Ontario, the International Facility Management Association, L’Association Profesionelle des Designers D’Intérieur du Québec, the American Society of Interior Designers and the Illuminating Engineering Society. He has been honoured with a Deputy Minister’s Award, a Director-General Award and the City of Nepean Design Award.

Carolina Koski, B.A.I.D., ARIDO, IDC

Associate Senior Designer

Carolina brings over 10 years of industry experience to her role as Associate Senior Designer at TDA. She has worked in various capacities (including Senior Project Lead) on a wide variety of major interior design projects. She approaches her clients and colleagues with integrity, competence, and respect. Her experience includes Commercial, Government, Hospitality and Corporate clients.

Carolina is a passionate and driven leader. She excels in building outstanding relationships with her clients and is skilled in all aspects of TDA’s service model, including needs analysis, scheduling, budgeting, space planning, design concept and development, construction and move management. Carolina is a thorough and meticulous project manager and her talents have earned praise from many people within the design and business communities. 

Carolina is a member of the Association of Registered Interior Designers of Ontario and the Interior Designers of Canada.

Carolina Walesiak
Janet Capling

Janet Capling, ARIDO, IDC, NCIDQ

Senior Interior Designer

With 35 years of client-focussed experience, Janet has developed exceptional skills and expertise in accommodation planning, programming, design and project administration. She is skilled in all aspects of TDA’s service model, including needs analysis, scheduling, budgeting, space planning, design concept and development, construction and move management.

As a Senior Interior Designer at TDA, Janet manages and coordinates our design team and sub-consultants. Her many achievements include Design Awards for Elections Canada and Nortel Woodline. Janet is a member of the Registered Interior Designers of Ontario and the Interior Designers of Canada.

Kurt Draper

Senior Architectural Technologist

Kurt Draper’s educational training and previous work experience provide him with extensive knowledge of architectural design, construction and sustainable building techniques. He has prepared construction documents, technical reports and architectural drawings for a wide variety of different clients. He is also skilled in the production of 3D massing models, 3D CAD details, sun studies, walkthroughs, colored landscape and site plans, brochure floor plans, Ontario Building Code reviews, presentations and building proposals.

Kurt Draper
Magda Schuck Senior Interior Designer

Magda Schuck, B.A.A.I.D., ARIDO, IDC, NCIDQ, BCIN

Senior Interior Designer

Magda holds a Bachelor of Applied Arts in Interior Design from Algonquin College. She obtained her Building Code Identification Number in 2010. She joined The Design Associates in 2009 after graduating from the College.

Magda contributes her design and organizational skills to a wide range of projects, applying the same attention to detail and dedication to all. Her technical knowledge, problem solving skills and quality assurance focus, help her to fully support TDA’s Team. She is hardworking, purpose driven and is known for her strong and positive relationships with colleagues and clients.

In 2013, Magda earned her qualification in the National Council for Interior Design. She is a member of the Interior Designers of Canada and the Association of Registered Interior Designers of Ontario.

Peter Issac

Senior Architectural Technologist

Peter Isaac has been a Senior Architectural Technologist for The Design Associates since 2012. He is a graduate of the Algonquin College Architectural Technician program. He has nine years of Residential and commercial drafting experience using Autocad, Revit and Google Sketchup. After graduation, Peter launched his career in Calgary. His work ethic and attention to detail landed him a position working at Calgary’s The Bow Tower, the largest steel frame structure in Canada. While in Calgary, he honed his skills in commercial and interior office fit-ups. At TDA, Peter is a Team Leader and Project Manager. He oversees projects using his efficient planning, scheduling and cost estimating skills.

Peter Issac
Grace Winnicki

Grace Winnicki, M.A.D., ARIDO, IDC

Senior Interior Designer

Professionally trained as an Architect with over 35 years of experience in architectural and interior design, Grace has played a pivotal role in an enviable range of government, corporate and high tech projects. Over the last 15 years, she has been a valuable TDA team member as a Senior Designer and Project Leader. Grace’s attention to client requirements, professional design criteria and effective project leadership skills have been key success factors in many TDA projects.

In the late 1980s, Grace was one of the first in our firm to embrace AutoCAD, and has since mastered the software, providing extremely efficient, quick and professional design and planning. Grace’s broad expertise and her exceptional management skills, have over the years, matured and developed to an impressive level.

Richard Peever

Senior Architectural Technologist and Project Manager

As a senior member of the TDA team, Richard brings substantial, proven experience and attention to detail to each project with leading edge building methods and materials, and in-depth knowledge of Technical Building Science and Code Compliance solutions. Richard excels at complex projects where he can apply his project management experience along with his commitment to client satisfaction.

Richard has extensive experience on building projects from inception to project close. His portfolio includes the full spectrum of architectural technology and construction management from medium sized commercial buildings to larger, more diverse institutional building projects.

As a well-known member of Ottawa’s architecture and design community, Richard is known for his mentoring and leadership roles through his teaching of Visual Communications and Design in Algonquin College’s Architectural Technology program.

Veasena Eav

Architectural Technologist

Veasena is a 2008 graduate from Algonquin College’s Architectural Technology program. With over 8 years of experience, he has developed a strong knowledge and understanding of design and construction. He has contributed to many successful TDA projects, including office and retail space plans. He has also honed his skills in 2D drawings and 3D renderings.

Veasena Eav

Sue Christian

Office Manager

Sue has been employed with The Design Associates for more than 30 years. Her responsibilities encompass many aspects of our business, including AP/AR, billing, sales, and customer service.

Her incredible organizational skills keep our team running smoothly. She is the friendly voice that our customers have grown so accustomed to hearing when calling into our office, and she takes great pleasure in making sure they are taken care of quickly and efficiently.

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