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Barry Sampson was born in Oshawa, Ontario in 1948. He received his Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Toronto in 1972 and later studied at the International Institute of Design (summer session) in London, England and at the Sorbonne in France. While living in Paris he worked with the firm of Deviller Chemetov Architects. After studying science at the University of Waterloo, Jon elected to pursue studies in architecture due to a profound interest in the social and environmental opportunities associated with sustainable design. In 1990 he graduated with High Distinction from the University of Toronto's architecture programme, finishing at the top of his class. His education at the University of Toronto included three semesters of joint studio work with the landscape architecture programme. He has received numerous scholarships, design and academic awards including the R.A.I.C. Gold Medal, the American Institute of Architects' Henry Adams Medal and the Lieutenant Governor's Medal. His architectural thesis was published by the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada. In 1991 he was selected to exhibit design work at the 5th International Architectural Biennale of Venice.