News & Events

Portrait: Allan Gilliland

August 11, 2017


When architect Bing Thom designed Allard Hall, he wanted to create an area where students could hang out and where unexpected activities could happen. One of the great things about the old building is it had a great vibe—there were lots of places for people to hang out and collaborate, eat lunch, laugh and listen to music. These nest spaces are meant to be that. We have no idea what’s going to happen when students arrive. We’re just making them available and we will see.

One of the things I’m really interested in seeing is if students from different disciplines start to collaborate more because they’re sharing spaces in a different way. The last thing we want is people doing whatever they want to do in their own little silos. We want to have students hanging out, talking, finding out what other students and faculty members are doing, and maybe offer opportunities to collaborate. It would be really great if students from faculties across the university bumped into each other and shared ideas to inspire others—all because they met on a nest.

Allan Gilliland, Dean, Faculty of Fine Arts and Communications

Learn more about Allard Hall and upcoming events at


This story is part of our Portraits of MacEwan series where students, faculty and staff share snapshots of their lives with the university community. Read more portraits at

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