Open Forum Lecture: Architectures of Displacement

March 17, 2023

4:30 pm EST



Architectures of Displacement


Date: Friday, March 17, 4:30 p.m. 

Location: The Pit, Architecture Building, Carleton University


Nishat Awan will discuss the relationship between architecture and displacement, an issue that has been at the centre of her research and practice for over a decade. Thinking with the journeys of undocumented migration, she will discuss how the refuge is made and found in the most unexpected of places and how architecture can consider refuge beyond the simplistic notion of shelter as an emergency response towards considering spaces of respite that emerge with or without architects.


Nishat Awan is a lecturer at Urban Lab at the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL. Situated between art and architectural practice, Awan’s research and writing explore the relationship between geopolitics and space through a focus on migration and displacement. She is interested in forms of spatial representation, particularly in relation to the digital and the limits of witnessing as a form of ethical engagement with distant places. Currently, she leads the project Topological Atlas, which aims to produce visual counter-geographies of the fragile movements of migrants as they encounter the security apparatus of the border.


The 2023 Open Forum Lecture Series, led by Dr. Menna Agha and Dr. Omeasoo Wahpasiw, will include three talks, an exhibition, and the Azrieli School of Architecture & Urbanism’s first annual Indigenous Feast. This event aims to transform architectural education in university settings in Canada.


The first edition of the Feast is a two-day workshop grounded in Indigenous knowledge through practices of storytelling, sharing, making, and becoming. Indigenous knowledge keepers will host talks, fabrication and art workshops, food making, and sharing.


The 2023 Open Forum theme is Refuge, referring to the layers of safety and welcome created in the past centuries on Turtle Island. Waves of both refugees and settlers have found a haven here and created new spatial relationships with Indigenous peoples. Refuge made in love and beauty, and sometimes, taking the refuge of home from Indigenous peoples.


Everyone is welcome to attend the events at Carleton University’s Architecture Building.