Faculty and students present at the SSAC conference

June 3, 2024

Associate Professor Janine Debanné and her thesis student Michael Uttley were among the presenters at the Society for the Study of Architecture in Canada conference last month in Winnipeg.


Associate Professor Susan Ross also delivered a paper, while Assistant Professor Menna Agha and PhD student Ushma Thakrar chaired a session.


The conference theme was Forms of Repair: Care, Restoration, and Redress in the Built Environment.


Debanné presented a paper on a course she teaches, Official and Unofficial Architecture in Canada, in a category titled “Canadian Architecture in the Classroom.”

Michael Uttley presented his thesis, The Deconstructed City, on May 24 in Winnipeg

She discussed how the syllabus weaves Indigenous themes alongside chapters of settlement architectures, and how term assignments support a broader historiographical approach. Oral presentations on both “official” and “unofficial” buildings, and a “lecture journal,” invite students to take a position with regards to historical merit. 


Uttley, who completed the Master of Architecture program in 2024, presented his thesis, The Deconstructed City, a session titled “Architectural Archives and the Built Environment.”


He explored the heritage value of the Leslie Spit in Toronto and contextualized its resident artefacts within the social, political, and material histories of the city. The remains of many demolished buildings can be traced to the site, a human-made peninsula and lakefront wilderness preserve where building debris has been dumped since 1959.


Ross delivered a paper called Changing Material Values at the Winnipeg and Chicago Exchanges in the session on Theory in Practice: Building Deconstruction and Reuse in Canada.”


The paper contrasted approaches to materials salvage and reuse embodied in the transformations – since the 1970s – of two functionally and symbolically-related structures: the Chicago Stock Exchange and the first two Winnipeg Grain Exchange buildings.


Finally, Agha and Thakrar chaired a session titled “The Architecture Work of Sustenance: Recognizing Cleaning, Maintenance, and Upkeep.”