“I count myself as lucky to have gone to Dal. The opportunity to explore designing through making and the importance of designing with a community are values that will always remain with me.”
-Jay Pooley
We always say that our students come from unique backgrounds and that our graduates have the opportunity to pursue diverse and rewarding careers. Jay Pooley (BEDS’08, MArch’10) is certainly no exception to this. Built on the foundation of creating things, Jay has formed a unique career steeped in the pursuit of creativity and learning.

Film set for Jägermeister, Kyiv, Ukraine 2019, production design by Jay Pooley

Production Designer

Jay’s passion for the both building and the arts blossomed while studying at the School of Architecture. In Halifax, Jay designed and built for theatre and concerts, including working as a stage hand for the Rolling Stones in 2006. Since graduation, he has used his architectural training and elevated his love of working in the performing arts to the next level. Post-graduation he worked as an IATSE (International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees) film carpenter building large feature film sets. Once he completed his journeyman carpenter apprenticeship, he started his career as a production designer for film and television. Jay is currently represented globally and has recently shot projects across Europe, western Canada and in Los Angeles.

Work in progress from 2018 Lululemon Mediation Pavilion. University of Toronto, Research Opportunity Program

Assistant Professor, University of Toronto

Jay’s passion for making has also translated into a desire to teach others. He has been sharing his talents with students at the University of Toronto Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design since 2012 where he holds the position of Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream. He’s used his experiences with Dal’s FreeLab and working for MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple to develop the first Research Opportunity Design-Build Program. Heading into its fourth year, the studios maintain an emphasis on building community partnerships with businesses and organizations who wish to make an impact on their community. An example of this work is the Lululemon Meditation Pavilion featured in this article by University of Toronto.

Production design for Canadian Olympics Committee, 2018

In the Media

Jay has spoken widely about the benefit of making, including this TED talk. His level of creativity and attention to details is evident in his production design work and can be viewed in the form of numerous commercials including work for the Canadian Olympic Committee in 2018. His research and teaching interests are are displayed on his studio website.