Canadian Centre for Architecture
Cities Studied

Berlin, Boston, Detroit, Istanbul, London, Mumbai, St. Louis,

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATORS

PROJECT MANAGER

The Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA) joined the Architecture, Urbanism, and Humanities Initiative with three multidisciplinary research projects.  The proposed themes are not only related to the history of architecture, but also provide an alternative framework to engage with contemporary social, cultural, political, and environmental questions.

"Architecture and/for Social Reform" workshop. Photo courtesy of the Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montréal.

Sample Projects

Architecture and/for Social Reform

At the origin of the first research theme, Architecture and/for Social Reform, lies the recognition that the optimism and fascination with social responsibility that nourished the work of British architects after wartime devastation are valuable examples in the shaping of contemporary society.  It was one of the rare moments when architecture and architectural thinking paved the way to formulate social transformation and provide for social and cultural adaptation.  The team of Mellon Researchers includes Nick Beech (Oxford Brookes University), Murray Fraser (University College London), Tim Ivison (AA, London), Simon Sadler (University of California, Davis), and Ben Sweeting (University of Brighton).

  1. Seminar

    Twelve shortlisted candidates, CCA, May 23–24, 2014
  2. Workshop I

    Five selected scholars, CCA, September 11–19, 2014
  3. Workshop II

    CCA, July 2–3, 2015
  4. Workshop III
    
CCA, September 9–10, 2015
  5. Public conversation “British Architecture and the Contestation of Postwar Cultural Consensus”
    
CCA, September 10, 2015

Architecture and/for Photography

In the last years, we have witnessed an incredible rise in the importance of images in the construction of architectural discourse.  This so-called triumph of the image implies that the visual representation of architecture, the city, and the landscape overpasses its cultural dimension and becomes fashionable transmission, mere consumption.  The second research theme, Architecture and/for Photography, suggests we need a new way to rethink the relationship between photography, architecture, and the city as a vehicle for knowledge and to produce a critical and productive understanding of its intellectual values.  The initial call for submissions in the form of captions was launched in February 2015.  Sixteen shortlisted candidates completed short residencies at the CCA in the early fall of 2016.

  1. Photography, Experts Seminar

    Four experts, CCA, five to seven days, December 2014
  2. Photography, Research Residencies
    Sixteen shortlisted, CCA, three to five days, August 17–October 23, 2015
 
  3. Photography, Workshop I
    Eight selected, CCA, May 2016
  4. Photography, Residencies
    CCA, June 2016–February 2017

Architecture and/for the Environment

In architecture and urbanism’s ongoing quest for sustainability, it is too frequently the fundamentals of practice that require rethinking.  The third research theme, Architecture and/for the Environment, finds its motivation in the compelling environmental concerns emerging from contemporary debates.  The premises and goals of the project will be elaborated through a series of conversations with experts at a global scale.  The project will begin in 2016.

Resources

1945-1975: British Culture for Architecture

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1945-1975: British Culture for Architecture

Locations:

London,

The 18-month project centers on the social, economic, and technological shifts that took place in Britain in the period 1945–1975 and, specifically, how these transformations and reform efforts were registered through culture.

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Adrian Forty: Is concrete modern?

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Adrian Forty: Is concrete modern?

Locations:

World,

Every history of twentieth century architecture states that without concrete, modern architecture would not have happened. So why were architects throughout the twentieth century so determined to promote the modernity of concrete? In this lecture, Adrian Forty questions the long-standing assumptions about the medium and argues that concrete is as much un-modern as it is modern.

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Antoine Picon: Smart Cities: A New Challenge for Design

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Antoine Picon: Smart Cities: A New Challenge for Design

Locations:

World,

Smart cities represent the new digital frontier, where top-down monitoring meets with individual empowerment and computation allies itself with increased sensory stimulation. Smart cities appear also as the new urban utopia. What is the true content of such utopia that appears to hesitate between technocratic and democratic leanings?  What are the limits of smart cities and the “economy of knowledge” that is  associated with them? In this lecture, Senior Mellon Fellow Antoine Picon addresses these issues.

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Architecture Behaviorology

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Architecture Behaviorology

Locations:

Tokyo,

Yoshiharu Tsukamoto founded Atelier Bow-Wow in Tokyo with Momoyo Kaijima in 1992. Here he presents a Mellon Lecture on his concept of Architectural Behavior, which investigates the physical responses to natural elements such as light, air, heat, wind, water, human behavior related to custom, and the way in which buildings relate to the city and their surroundings

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Call for Captions

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Call for Captions

This research project invites outside scholars to leverage the Canadian Center for Architecture's collection of over 60,000 photographs and consider captions' influence the way we read photographs.

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Rahul Mehrotra: Working in Mumbai

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Rahul Mehrotra: Working in Mumbai

Locations:

Mumbai,

Rahul Mehrotra describes Mumbai as an “urban kaleidoscope” of times and attitudes that presents a paralyzing multiplicity of architectural influences. For this Mellon lecture Mehrotra speaks about his ideas on the city and describes how he came to make several critical choices in his work with the goal of expressing the vivid pluralism of India.

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All auh Resources  >