Based in Oakville, Ontario, our office employs traditional architectural principles and relevant design trends to create tasteful custom buildings throughout southern Ontario. Our design process starts with attuning ourselves to each project’s particular requirements, followed by a mindful understanding of site placement, surrounding context, and an analysis of local municipal constraints. We have a strong commitment to client engagement in the design process, and to the architectural principles of creating thoughtful, liveable space.


Alison studied Architecture at the University of Port Elizabeth (now called NMMU) in South Africa, where she graduated in 1992 with a Bachelor of Architecture.

Alison previously worked for firms in Cape Town and London, before settling in Canada in 1998 and working locally in Oakville for the next 12 years.

By the time she launched SMDA with Rick Mateljan in 2010, she had honed her passion for crafting very personalised buildings and spaces.

Alison’s design philosophy is based on a pragmatic and intuitive approach to the design process, with a firm and discerning eye for the right detail and proportion, all integrated with the appropriate design expression suited to the client. She believes that everything should have a purposeful meaning and place in design, be it practical or aesthetic.


Rick studied English & History at Trinity College, University of Toronto and worked in business and the renovation industry before deciding that he wanted to follow his passion for architecture and enrolling in the RAIC Syllabus program in 1997.

He spent the next 13 years gaining experience mostly in the Oakville area on a variety of single-family residential, multi-family residential, small commercial and institutional projects, many involving complex approvals issues.

He was a long-time member and chair of Oakville LACAC (later Heritage Oakville) and is presently a member of the board of Oakville Galleries, member of the editorial board of the OAA magazine Perspectives, member of the board of the Ontario Association for Applied Architectural Sciences (OAAAS) and vice-chair of the Mississauga Heritage Advisory Committee.

Rick believes very strongly in the importance of context to inform design and particularly enjoys projects that involve community engagement, adaptive re-use and that make a positive contribution to the urban fabric.

Launching SMDA with Alison Strickland was one of the best decisions he ever made.

ALEX BLANCHARD – Dipl. Arch. Tech

Alex joined SMDA in the summer of 2013 after completing his Architectural Technologist Diploma at George Brown College. He has since worked on a wide range of projects in the office ranging from small residential additions, new custom houses, and commercial projects. Alex plans to work towards getting his Technologist Certification.

ARTHUR ZARN – Dipl. Arch. Tech

Arthur joined the SMDA team in early 2014. When it comes to putting buildings together, he enjoys combining the artistic nature of the process with his sense of precision.

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