In what ways can architectural institutions – publishers, museums, schools and government – play a role in and have a positive effect on the development of their cities? How can we work together in partnership to develop stronger and more effective cultures of architecture and urbanism in Canadian cities?
Keynote Address | Friday, November 7, 2014 | 6-8 pm | Glenn Gould Studio
Symposium | Saturday, November 8, 2014 | 9 am -5 pm | TIFF Bell Light Box, The Paul & Leah Atkinson Family Cinema (Cinema 4)
This is a free public event; registration is required (click links above).
Please be aware that this is a RUSH ticketed event; therefore in order to ensure you get a seat, those with Symposium RSVP tickets should please arrive a minimum of 15 minutes prior to each session. Unfilled seats will be released to Wait List ticket holders 15 minutes prior to the start of the session.
Led by President Sheldon Levy, Ryerson University, located in the heart of downtown Toronto, has spent the last decade considering and acting on the role of the University as City-Builder. During President Levy’s tenure, the University has carried out a number of significant projects that underscore the ability of a major institution to impact the form and vitality of its surroundings. The Mattamy Athletic Centre, housed in historic Maple Leaf Gardens, points to the importance of maintaining our heritage as a living and evolving asset; the Ryerson Image Centre positions the University as a major force in the cultural scene in the city; and the new Student Learning Centre, currently under construction, brings first-rate architecture to the revitalization of Yonge Street. (Urban Toronto, 2014) Now, as Dr. Levy enters his last year as President, this symposium looks to re-consider the possibilities for Universities and other institutions to play a significant critical role in guiding the construction of our urban environments.
This symposium looks at three critical ways a city can be improved through the reinforcing presence of critical institutions:
- by creating a more robust network of information exchange and idea generation amongst people directly engaged in city-building projects (architects, urbanists, developers, activists, etc);
- by producing more opportunities for innovative and critical practice (especially outside of explicit market influence); and
- finally by direct engagement both in the physical construction of the city and in the evolution of development policy.
It will address these modes of improvement through four panel discussions:
- Session One: What can architecture publishing do?
- Session Two: What can an architecture museum do?
- Session Three: What can a school do?
- Session Four: What can the government do?
While the symposium invites speakers from around the world to share their best practices, the backdrop of the event is Toronto, with a focus on how institutions could help foster a better more critical attitude towards the development of Canada’s largest city.
This conference is a collaboration between the Office of the President and the Department of Architectural Science at Ryerson University; co-organized with Brendan Cormier, Curator of 20th and 21st Century Design at the Victoria and Albert Museum. We thank our sponsor the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC) for their support. For questions regarding this event, please contact Nene Brode (email@example.com or 416-979-5000 Ext. 2894).
This conference is eligible for OAA Learning Hours.
Sheldon Levy, President and Vice-Chancellor (Ryerson University)
Sheldon Levy is President and Vice Chancellor of Ryerson University, and has been a respected postsecondary leader and analytical visionary for the past forty years. Sheldon is recognized for championing an entrepreneurial academic model with the international impact of Ryerson’s Digital Media Zone and Centre for Urban Energy, and is dedicated to student success, distinctive programs and research, and the university’s role as city-builder. He was awarded a BSc, MA, and Doctor of Laws honoris causa by York University, and lectured in computer science and mathematics. He is on the list of “The Power 50 Most Influential in Canadian Business Today” (Canadian Business) and “The 50 Most Influential” (Toronto Life), and among his distinctions most recently received the 2013 Toronto Region Board of Trade Builder Award and the 2014 Canadian Urban Institute David Crombie Award.
Session One: What can architecture publishing do?
Practical Speaker: Anh-Linh Ngo (Arch+, Berlin)
Anh-Linh Ngo is an architecture critic and an editor of Arch+. He will speak of his work at Arch+ and how a magazine can play a role in building the city, through creating a network of engaged thinkers and practitioners, providing a base literature that responds to and explores urgent contemporary urban issues, and by sponsoring events, competitions, and exhibitions that offer new commissions to professionals, outside the market.
Academic Speaker: Steve Parnell (University of Nottingham, United Kingdom)
Steve Parnell is an architect, architectural critic and Contributing Historian for the Architectural Review. He will speak about his PhD research on the contribution of the architectural magazine to the writing of architectural history, and his 2012 Venice Biennale exhibition, ‘Playgrounds and Battlegrounds’, particularly with regard to the history of the London post-war architectural magazines Architectural Design and the Architectural Review and their role in the construction of an architecture of architecture.
Local Speaker: Elsa Lam (Canadian Architect, Toronto)
Elsa Lam is editor-in-chief of Canadian Architect magazine. She studied architectural design at the University of Waterloo and holds a doctorate in architectural history and theory from Columbia University. She will discuss the landscape of architectural publishing in Canada, and the city-building role that Canadian Architect has played since its establishment as a monthly magazine in 1955.
Moderator: Arjen Oosterman (Volume, Rotterdam)
Arjen Oosterman (1956) is a critic, educator and curator. With a background in architectural history he is editor-in-chief of Volume magazine (since 2007). Being also part of Volume’s publisher Archis, he is engaged in several projects of Archis, among them the Self Building Building project (with partners), Connected (with four cities in Europe) and Architecture of Peace, a long term research project on architecture’s potential to contribute to stability and peace in post-conflict situations.
As an educator he previously taught architectural history and later on specialized in research and writing at schools of architecture. He published first and foremost in Archis and Volume, but also in international magazines like l’Architecture d’Aujourd’hui, Baumeister and Rassegna. He wrote, edited and contributed to books on contemporary Dutch architects and architecture, contributed to Dutch television documentaries, was member of juries and awards. (www.volumeproject.org)
Session Two: What can an architecture museum do?
Practical Speaker: Pedro Gadanho (MoMA , New York)
Pedro Gadanho is an architect, curator, teacher, writer, and was appointed as the Curator for Contemporary Architecture at the MoMA. He will speak about the MoMA’s long-running YAP program, which began as an installation competition for the courtyard of the PS1 Gallery and has since expanded to different venues worldwide. Gadanho will speak to how the program has influenced both the young talent it has supported, but also influenced dialogue about the city through the production of the various installations. This will be contextualized within the scope of changing attitudes in architectural curating, and presented as a practical case study of a museum’s role in city-building. (Photo credit: David Farran)
Academic Speaker: Sergio Miguel Figueiredo (TU Eindhoven, Eindhoven, the Netherlands)
Sergio Miguel is an Assistant Professor of Architecture History and Theory at TU Eindhoven. Prior to moving to the Netherlands, he completed his doctoral dissertation at UCLA Architecture and Urban Design and was a Senior Lecturer History and Theory of Architecture at Otis College Art & Design. In his presentation, Figueiredo will explore the tension that architecture museums need to navigate between appealing to popular taste as well as critically engaging with a networked architectural community. Furthermore, he will explore how both tactics, the popular and the critical, have an impact on the city. The discussion will be framed by the case study of the Netherlands Architecture Institute, which formed the basis of his PhD research (Figueiredo, 2014).
Local Speaker: Sascha Hastings (Project Manager Venice Biennale, RAIC)
Sascha Hastings is the RAIC Project Manager and Deputy Commissioner of Arctic Adaptations: Nunavut at 15, Canada’s national exhibit at the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale, which won a Special Mention from the Biennale Jury. She also worked on the Canadian exhibits at the 2010 and 2012 Venice Architecture Biennales, was the inaugural curator of Design at Riverside at Cambridge Galleries (ON), and a long-time arts producer for CBC Radio. She will speak to the Biennale as an architectural museum, the role architecture exhibitions can play in Canadian city building, and how to make architecture matter to people who aren’t architects.
Moderator: Jennifer Davis (MOCCA, Toronto)
Jennifer Davis (M.Arch, MRAIC) practices architecture and independent curating in Toronto, Canada. She consulted on the Architecture Program for tbd, the Fall 2014 exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, which scrutinized fundamental assumptions concerning the role and importance of museums in society. Her exhibition experience includes the role of Exhibition Development Assistant for the Canadian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale Art Exhibition, 2009 and co-curator of Flipping Properties (2014), an installation by architect Jimenez Lai commissioned for a Toronto laneway.
Session Three: What can a school do?
Practical Speaker: Marina Otero Verzier (Studio-X, GSAPP, Columbia University)
Marina Otero Verzier is an architect, curator and writer. She is Director of Global Network Programming at Studio-X, a global network of research laboratories for exploring the future of the built environment with locations in Amman, Beijing, Istanbul, Johannesburg, Mumbai, New York, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo and Tokyo, which was launched by the Graduate School of Architecture Planning and Preservation at Columbia University (GSAPP) in 2008.
Academic Speaker: Ignacio Gonzalez Galan (Princeton University)
Ignacio G. Galan (ignaciogalan.com) is an architect and historian. He studied architecture in Madrid and Delft before obtained his MArchII at Harvard GSD as a Fulbright Scholar. He has been a Fellow at the Royal Spanish Academy in Rome and is currently a PhD Candidate at Princeton University. He is active as a critic, writer, curator and educator in diverse platforms, having most recently taught at Columbia GSAPP. His research has been featured at the 14th International Architecture Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia, by invitation of the general curator Rem Koolhaas. His practice as an architect has been awarded in international competitions, and he was part of the team winning the First Prize for the construction of the New Velodrome in Medellín. He is a member of the on-going research project Radical Pedagogies, led by Beatriz Colomina at Princeton SOA, and has co-curated its exhibition at the 2013 Lisbon Architecture Triennale and at the 14th International Architecture Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia.
Academic Speaker: Anna-Maria Meister (Princeton University)
Anna-Maria Meister is an architect and writer, and currently pursues her PhD in the History and Theory of Architecture at Princeton University, where she is the first architecture fellow in Princeton’s Interdisciplinary Humanities Doctoral Program (IHUM). In 2014-2015 Meister is a pre-doctoral fellow in the Berlinprogram of the German Studies Association (GSA) and the Free University in Berlin, where she will further her research on questions of norms as technical and social desires in early 20th century Germany. Her work analyzes processes of normalization through institutions from design schools to bureaucratic organizations. She is a member of the research team of the project “Radical Pedagogies” at the SoA and has co-curated its latest installation at the 14th Venice Biennale in the Monditalia section, where the project was awarded a Special Mention by the jury.
Local Speaker: Colin Ripley (Ryerson University, Toronto)
Colin Ripley is Chair of the Department of Architectural Science at Ryerson University, as well as a partner in the architectural firm RVTR, which takes as its mandate finding bridges between professional and academic practices in architecture. He will speak of the efforts that are under way in the Department of Architectural Science to transform itself into a multifaceted resource for thinking and action around the future of the built environment in the city.
Moderator: Richard Sommer (University of Toronto)
Richard Sommer is an architect, urbanist, and Dean of the Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design at the University of Toronto. Before being appointed at UofT, Sommer was the Director of Urban Design Programs and a Professor at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design for more than a decade. His writings and projects on architecture and urbanism have been published in Perspecta, JAE, ANY, The Harvard Design Magazine, Critical/Productive, and the books Shaping the City, Urban Design, Fast-Forward Urbanism, The Democratic Monument in America: A Twentieth Century Topography, and Commemoration in America: Essays on Monuments, Memorialization, and Memory, among others. Support for Sommer’s research has included awards and grants from the U.S. National Endowment for the Arts, The Wheelwright Fellowship, The LEF Foundation, and The Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts. Sommer’s current projects include “OP CITY: Figuring the Urban Future and Its Audiences”, in collaboration with CityLAB at University of California, Los Angeles, and the establishment of the Global Cities Institute at the University of Toronto, whose emphasis is developing comparative urban data, and visualization techniques across an international cohort of cities.
Session Four: What can the government do?
Practical Speaker: Peter Swinnen (Chief Government Architect, Brussels)
Peter Swinnen (°1972) graduated as an architect from the Architectural Association London (1997) and the HAISL Brussels (1995). He founded 51N4E together with Freek Persyn and Johan Anrys in 1998. Since its inception 51N4E has contributed to social and urban transformation by means of design & research. The office gained renown through key projects such as the TID Tower, C-Mine, Skanderbeg Square, Istanbul-Arnavutköy masterplan, BUDA arts center and the experimental Arteconomy House. In 2014 Peter Swinnen resigned as partner at 51N4E.
In 2010 Peter Swinnen was assigned Chief Architect (Vlaams Bouwmeester, 2010-15). As a spatial advisor to the Flemish Government Swinnen aims at enhancing the public awareness for a high quality oriented building culture. With his team of 20 experts he has developed a set of new strategic instruments allowing ‘research by design’ to become an integrated policy making tool. At present Peter Swinnen is preparing a PhD entitled ‘On architectural trust, doubt & impact – an agonistic implementation’, a plea for a cooperative operational environment at the core of the architectural discipline.
Academic Speaker: Robert Kloosterman (Universiteit van Amsterdam)
Robert Kloosterman is Full Professor of Economic Geography and Planning at the Universiteit van Amsterdam. He was the Director of the Amsterdam Institute of Metropolitan and International Development Studies (AMIDSt), Universiteit van Amsterdam from 2003 to 2008. He is also Honorary Professor at the Bartlett School of Planning, University College London. He held the Franqui Chair Entrepreneurship, Faculty of Business Studies, Universiteit van Hasselt, in 2011.
His research is guided by questions about how the social, economic and cultural transition of advanced urban economies that gathered pace after 1980 has affected cities and why different outcomes have emerged. His current research activities centre on new economic activities in urban contexts (notably cultural industries and migrant businesses) and on linkages within polycentric urban configurations in advanced economies. A connecting theme concerns the way different (national or local) institutional environments filter, shape, reinforce or block more general changes. Robert Kloosterman has done extensive research on architectural practices in the Netherlands and he has advised the Dutch government on policies regarding architectural design and several municipalities on cultural industries more in general. He is on the Editorial Board of Built Environment and the International Journal of Creative and Cultural Industries.
Local Speaker: Denis Lemieux (architecte; formerly Ministry of Culture, Communications and Status of Women)
Denis Lemieux has contributed significantly to improving the architectural and environmental quality of cultural infrastructure and public-space projects through his governmental role. He will discuss the challenges and contributions the government can make including his work on design handbooks which earned him an Action Award from the Order of Architects.
Moderator: Brendan Cormier (Victoria and Albert Museum)
Brendan Cormier is the lead curator of 20th and 21st century design for the Shekou Partnership at the Victoria and Albert Museum. Prior to this he was the managing editor of Volume Magazine, an Amsterdam-based quarterly on architecture and urbanism. This summer, he curated Tortona Stories at the Venice Biennale of Architecture, and assistant curated the Iranian National Pavilion. In 2009 he co-founded Department of Unusual Certainties, a Toronto-based urban design and research studio.
Image: Fragments, 2009 © 2014 Kumi Yamashita