Now What?!  Advocacy, Activism & Alliances in American Architecture since 1968 - McGill University Edition

by Ipek Tureli

Students in Prof. Tureli's ARCH 355 Architectural History 4 course visited the current exhibition "Now What?! Advocacy, Activism & Alliances in American Architecture since 1968" on February 25, 2019 for a private tour by one of the four curators, Andrea J. Merrett, who is also alumnus of the School. The exhibition is complemented by a "Now What!? Canada" section added by Prof. Tureli together with her graduate student assistants. Exhibition text on table reads: "The way we teach significantly impacts the intellectual trajectories and experiences of students." Photos: Juan Osorio

“Now What?! Canada” is our addition to the US-focused exhibition “Now What?! Advocacy, Activism & Alliances in American Architecture since 1968.” In our addition, we deliberately privilege early contributions by faculty members of McGill University’s School of Architecture who inspired the institution’s reputation for socially-engaged research and architectural production.

We show how the School of Architecture was an academic platform for early action-research on producing and improving housing for under-represented groups from the 1960s to 1980s. In addition to our school’s contributions, we include the significant feminist scholarship and impactful housing advocacy that emerged out of York University’s Faculty of Environmental Studies in Toronto. We underscore the wide influence of these initiatives across Canada, and around the world, and point to potential future directions for our school. A comprehensive account of engagement with advocacy, activism, and alliances in Canadian architecture awaits. In light of the current momentum for equality in the profession of architecture, we have added several contemporary projects from other Canadian institutions, initiated by students and architectural practitioners today. We wish to amplify these recent contributions as successful examples of alternative practices. This component of the exhibition is supported by and aligns with the program of my Canada Research Chair in Architectures of Spatial Justice.

Of the current McGill faculty members, we feature in the exhibition the work of Vikram Bhatt, Avi Friedman, Pieter Sijpkes, and Annmarie Adams. This section gives only a tantalizing glimpse of historical and contemporary Canadian initiatives. Accordingly, we invite visitors to the exhibition to add to this beginning and contribute their own rich histories to this ongoing collective enterprise.

 


Acknowledgements

Unless otherwise indicated, the text for entries in this section was produced and edited in a collaborative effort by Mathilde Chauvin-Amyot, Tanya Southcott, Julia Tischer, Karlo Trost, and Ipek Türeli at the Peter Guo-hua Fu School of Architecture, McGill University, with help from the authors of the projects when available. The team thanks Vikram Bhatt, Avi Friedman, Lucas LaRochelle, Dimitri Roussopoulos, and Pieter Sijpkes who shared original material as well as past and current experiences with us. David Krawitz, Jennifer Garland, David Speller, Juan Osorio, and Beatrice Vizkelety generously provided us help, guidance, sources and resources for the display. Financial support for this exhibition comes from the Yan P. Lin Centre’s Research Group on Democracy, Space and Technology, the Peter Guo-hua Fu School of Architecture, Canada Research Chair in Architectures of Spatial Justice, and SSHRC.

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