2021-2022 FORUM LECTURE SERIES RE-ASSEMBLE
September 10, 2021
The Azrieli School of Architecture & Urbanism is proud to announce the 2021-2022 Forum Lecture series, titled Re-Assemble.
Over six lectures, our acclaimed speakers will examine the notion of re-assembly from several vantage points, framed relative to public spaces, social institutions, and places of domesticity. They will take into consideration larger demographic changes, economic influences, and climate imperatives, explaining trends across both large and small communities.
Along the way, we will hear of reconceived approaches to practice, incorporating new team structures and theoretical frameworks while utilizing novel fabrication techniques. Speakers, including Carleton alumni and recipients of the 2020 Governor General’s Medals in Architecture, will share their intersectional understandings of the challenges facing society and our opportunities for alliances in addressing them.
Looking forward, how might both ourselves and our surrounding environment re-assemble?
Monday, March 14, 2022, at 6:00 p.m. ET
Principal, Michael Green Architecture
Co-founder and CEO, Promise Robotics
Amid a growing housing crisis and increased calls to limit the overwhelming climate impacts of residential construction, this Forum Lecture asks: What novel fabrication and material forming techniques can we use to reassemble our approaches to domesticity? Computational design and automated fabrication have today become mainstream in the construction industry. Yet, there remains much to consider with regard to energy efficiency and structural possibilities. Two award-winning practices at the forefront of fabrication techniques will share their exemplary projects and describe what they see as the industry’s future possibilities.
Michael Green is an award-winning architect, speaker, and author known for using design to create meaningful, sustainable built environments that benefit both people and planet. A leader in wood construction and innovation, Michael is a Fellow of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada and the recipient of an honourary doctorate degree from the University of Northern British Columbia, lecturing internationally on the subject of mass timber and new building technology, including his TED talk, Why We Should Build Wooden Skyscrapers. He serves as a government policy advisor on mass timber design and is the co-author of the first and second editions of The Case for Tall Wood Buildings and Tall Wood Buildings: Design, Construction and Performance.
Michael founded Vancouver-based architecture and design firm Michael Green Architecture in 2012, and alongside fellow Principal Natalie Telewiak, the team is now ambitiously extending the boundaries of mass timber construction on a range of projects, from private homes to large-scale masterplans. The studio has completed some of the most significant timber buildings in the world and has been recognized with over 40 international awards for design excellence, including the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada Firm of the Year, Architizer’s Best in North America Firm Award, four Governor General’s Medals, two RAIC Innovation Awards, and the American Institute of Architects Innovation Award. Michael is also the founder of DBR | Design Build Research and TOE | Timber Online Education, a non-profit school and research platform dedicated to teaching the design and construction of socially, culturally, and environmentally relevant student-led installations, focused on systemic change in building for climate, environment, disaster, and global shelter needs.
Ramtin Attar is a graduate of Carleton University’s school of architecture. As the co-founder and CEO of Promise Robotics, he brings more than 16 years of leadership experience in helping the building industry to innovate and adopt new technologies for better productivity and sustainability. Ramtin is a mission-driven leader with a deep passion for positively impacting our communities and advancing the industries. He brings a unique blend of expertise in the development of deep tech, real estate, operational savviness, and corporate strategy. Prior to founding Promise Robotics, Ramtin was a founding member of Autodesk Research, where he assumed several key leadership roles during his 13 years career at Autodesk. As the former Head of Autodesk Technology Centre in Canada, Ramtin was responsible for the strategic vision, implementation and operationalization of Autodesk’s new flagship R&D centre located at the MaRS Discovery in Toronto; and the first AI-assisted office design in large scale housing 200 employees, in addition to a state-of-art prototyping facility for technology start-ups. At a different capacity, Ramtin was a Distinguished Research Scientist at Autodesk as he led the development of core technology visions and strategies, including Autodesk Moonshots in Industrialized Construction and Autodesk’s new AI & Robotics activities in EMEA. A technical savvy CEO, Ramtin is also an inventor and holds multiple patents related to BIM, IoT, Digital Twin, and Simulation technologies.
RE-ASSEMBLING SMALL TOWN URBANISM
Monday, February 7, 2022 at 6:00 p.m. ET
President and CEO at The Canadian Urban Institute
Co-founder of Partisans, an award-winning Toronto architecture studio
Much of the focus on urban change over the past decade has centered on large cities. At the same time, smaller urban cores and peripheral towns have also undergone significant alterations, particularly with the arrival of a new cohort of young working professionals and a focus on denser transit-oriented development. The drive to work-from-home brought about by the pandemic has further led many to flee large cities in search of greater space and buying power. The result has been a dramatic reassembly of small-town urbanism. This Forum Lecture invites speakers to unpack the many transformations taking place in such communities. They will discuss specific cases as well as cross-Canada trends.
RE-ASSEMBLING INSTITUTIONS & INFRASTRUCTURE
Monday, January 17, 2022 at 6:00 p.m. ET
Watch the video here.
Raymond Chow is a graduate of Carleton University, where he earned a Master of Architecture (2002) and a Bachelor of Architectural Studies (1999.)
Chow joined gh3 in 2006 and was named partner in 2015. His contributions have been key to the Toronto-based firm’s growth as an integrated studio-based design practice of architecture, landscape architecture, and urban design. His work has varied in scale from infrastructure buildings and small renovations to large institutional buildings and multi-residential developments.
Chow has been the project architect for multiple award-winning projects that integrate landscape and architecture. Two projects in Edmonton, AB, the Borden Park Natural Swimming Pool and Pavilion and the Real Time Control Building #3, each won a 2020 Governor General’s Medal in Architecture.
Other examples include:
Sidewalk Labs Quayside Unit Prototyping, Toronto, ON
Castle Downs Park Pavilion, Edmonton, AB
Scholars’ Green Park, Mississauga, ON
Stormwater Facility, Toronto, ON
Kathleen Andrews Transit Garage, Edmonton, ON
June Callwood Park, Toronto, ON
Principal and Design Director of RDHA
Tyler Sharp is a graduate of the Dalhousie University School of Architecture and the 2004 recipient of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada’s Young Architect Medal.
Sharp joined RDHA in 2005. His work has received over 50 major design awards. They include Governor General’s Medals in Architecture for Bloor Gladstone District Library in Toronto (2014), the renovation and addition of the Lakeview, Port Credit, and Lorne Park libraries in Mississauga, ON (2012), and for the Springdale Library in Brampton, ON in 2020.
Sharp has also led designs for the Hamilton Central Library and Farmers Market, the Waterdown Library and Civic Centre, the First Leaside Financial Headquarters, the Guelph Civic Centre Skating Pavilion, Eglinton Go Station, and the Old Galt Post Office Idea Exchange.
Sharp was instrumental in changing the culture of the office, establishing a design vision and language, leading a rebranding, and bringing young designers to the firm. As a result, he received, with RDHA, the 2018 RAIC Architectural Firm Medal.
Cultural institutions have long been anchors of communities. As we adapt to new modes of knowledge production and dissemination, both the mandates and physical forms of our cultural institutions require reconfiguring. New digital technologies alongside hands-on makerspaces and innovative leisure and recreational facilities are updating traditional civic centres, turning them into leading examples of how public institutions can facilitate democracy. How might important civic hubs take on an expanding list of programmatic uses to become even more celebrated spaces of public assembly? What roles do such institutions play in society?
Monday, November 22, 2021 at 6:00 p.m. ET
Watch the video here.
Dr. Felecia Davis is an assistant professor at Pennsylvania State University’s Stuckeman Center for Design and Computation and director of SOFTLAB@PSU. She is also the principal of Felecia Davis Studio. She has lectured, taught workshops, published, and exhibited her work in textiles, computation, and architecture internationally, including at the Swedish School of Textiles, Microsoft Research, and the Media Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). In addition, Davis has received several finalist awards for her architectural designs in open and invited competitions, such as the California Valley Central History Museum, the Queens Museum of Art addition, the Pittsburgh Charm Bracelet Neighborhood revitalization competition, and the Little Haiti Housing Association in Miami. Davis has taught architectural design for more than 10 years, including at Cornell University, and design studios, most recently at Princeton University and the Cooper Union in New York. She earned a PhD from the Design and Computation Group in the School of Architecture and Planning at MIT, and received her MArch from Princeton University. She also holds a BSc. in Engineering from Tufts University.
This lecture will discuss current opportunities and challenges to conceive new modes of practice, reflecting on how we might re-assemble team structures and office hierarchies while further bridging academic research with pedagogy and professional practice. By showcasing Dr. Davis’s work, the lecture will focus on new means of design collaboration, foregrounding the increasingly blurred lines between professional and academic pursuits, theory and practice.
Our profession now brings together designers and scholars alongside industry and community partners. Many strive for a more comprehensive and intersectional understanding of environmental, technological, and social processes that impact their work. Modes of production and collaboration are changing to better integrate practice with theory. This is happening as approaches to design and construction rapidly evolve to account for accelerating technology, and designers become more ethically aware of their work’s socio-political impacts.
PUBLIC SPACE RE-ASSEMBLY
Tuesday, October 19, 2021 at 6:00 p.m. ET
Watch the video here:
Walter Hood is the creative director and founder of Hood Design Studio in Oakland, CA. He is also a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, and lectures on professional and theoretical projects nationally and internationally. He is a recipient of the 2017 Academy of Arts and Letters Architecture Award, 2019 Knight Public Spaces Fellowship, 2019 MacArthur Fellowship, 2019 Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize, and the 2021 recipient of the Architectural League’s President’s Medal award.
This lecture reflects on the changing nature of public space, its role in urban areas, and ongoing value to communities. The rise in virtual interactions over the past pandemic year has counterintuitively driven demands for outdoor space as people seek an escape from screen fatigue. To support this demand, public space has significantly reconfigured for social distancing. The public realm also continues to be at the forefront of important socio-political movements and is tasked with playing an increasing role as sustainable urban infrastructure through landscape features. How, then, might we reassemble today’s public spaces—as well as ourselves within them—to better incorporate community consultation, urban ecological processes, and wider accessibility? What effective design responses exist for bringing together physical and cultural geography within the shared spaces of our cities?
The Azrieli School of Architecture & Urbanism acknowledges the support of the Ontario Association of Landscape Architects (OALA) as an event sponsor.
Monday, September 20, 2021 at 6:00 p.m.
Watch the video here.
Dr. Nik Luka, Associate Professor, McGill University
Dr. Valerie Preston, Professor, York University
Respondent: Ottawa City Councillor Jeff Leiper
Canada relies significantly on immigration for its growth, a process that, in turn, offers a rich sense of diversity and demographic variance to our communities. As our country advances culturally and economically through new immigration, large and small communities alike are becoming increasingly diverse and heterogeneous, transforming our previous understandings of national identity and multiculturalism. This takes place at a time of growing numbers of retirees and migration away from the downtown cores of cities. How, then, has our demographic re-assembly influenced urbanization patterns, intensification schemes, and the provision of public amenities? In the face of temporarily reduced immigration numbers and the flight to suburbia driven by COVID-19, what demographic-driven development patterns are emerging across Canada?
Each speaker is invited to respond to the session’s theme and prompts through a 30-minute visual presentation, including specific examples from their work. After both presentations, the panel will switch to an open discussion moderated by a Carleton faculty member and joined by Ottawa City Councillor Jeff Leiper.
The focus of the discussion section is Ottawa as a case study for how cities are responding to demographic shifts and the forces behind them, such as housing supply and affordability, government immigration and refugee policies, and others. This will be followed by an audience Q&A.
The notion of assembly is at the core of architecture, from building materials to community connections, theoretical frameworks to programmatic uses, structural components to project teams. It is through these broadly defined yet inter connected assemblies that we construct our built environment. As we navigate new ways of convening and interacting with one another following the easing of lockdowns, the 2021-22 Forum Lecture Series turns to these many processes of architectural assembly and re-assembly.
Reflecting on the current state of society and design’s role within it, we ask: In what ways are people, places and practices today being re-assembled? How is this driving innovation in design research, professional practice, and pedagogy?
The history of architecture is one of perennial re-assembly—of building on and iterating theories, of reconfiguring design concepts, approaches, and collaborations, in addition to physically constructing materials and spaces. The altered social behaviours, ad-hoc spatial configurations, shifting demographics, and growing virtual realm of our past pandemic-focused year have only underscored our impetus to re-assemble.
Unpacking these dynamics, this lecture series investigates the future possibilities of physical, spatial, and operational re-assembly within our urban realm, acknowledging that these processes are not exclusively within the purview of design professionals.
We acknowledge the generous support of our founding sponsors: