Who is Presenting at the Upcoming Event “Future Environments: Art and Architecture in Action”?

Art and technology are driving architecture toward new forms. Today, computer simulation empowers architectural vision while new environmental technology alters how we live. Discover some of the most exciting ideas and practices already shaping our present and future. Please register to join us on May 3, 2017, for a free, public event, Future Environments: Art and Architecture in Action.

Architecture, Atmosphere, Computation by Brady Peters  

How are computation and digital technology changing the ways architects and engineers design buildings? While computers have been used in architecture for decades, it is only recently that they have been so accessible to building designers. The advent of widespread digital fabrication and robotic manufacturing has enabled designers to utilize a fully digital design process. New tools for design, simulation, and fabrication can enhance a designer’s capabilities and lead to buildings that have better performance. Computation and simulation are impacting design now, and are helping architects design for the future!

Brady Peters: an emerging Canadian designer, researcher, and author, whose work bridges technology and design. Brady uses computer programming, parametric modelling, and simulation to design performance-driven forms. He is skilled in the communication and fabrication of buildings with complex geometry. Brady worked at Foster + Partners, one of the world’s most highly regarded architecture practices, where he was a key member of the Specialist Modelling Group (SMG), an internal research and development consultancy. He also worked at BuroHappold, an international, design-led, engineering practice. Brady is a Director of Smartgeometry, a not-for-profit organization that promotes the use of computation in architecture. www. bradypeters.com

Matter and Metaphor by Mitchell Akiyama

So much of our understanding of technology is filtered through language. We describe the computer as being analogous to the brain; decentralized data storage is figured as a cloud; the main interface for an operating system is the desktop. But these metaphors are never neutral—we could argue that describing data as abiding in the cloud, diverts attention away from the very real physical resources that they require and the environmental consequences they incur. How do technological matter and metaphors collapse into each other and become indistinguishable? At the centre of this talk is “the crystal”, which in various material forms is essential to the functioning of countless devices. The crystal, stands as an important metaphor for how we describe the ways in which these technologies have
very real impacts on our world.

Mitchell Akiyama: a Toronto-based scholar, composer, artist and faculty the Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape & Design, University of Toronto. Mitchell’s eclectic body of work includes writings about plants, animals, cities, and sound art; scores for film and dance; and installations that agitate received ideas about history, perception, and sensory experience. Akiyama’s work has appeared in the Leonardo Music Journal, ISEA International, Sonar Music Festival (Barcelona), Raster-Noton Records (Berlin), Gendai Gallery (Toronto), just to name a few. Mitchell holds a PhD in Communications (McGill University), a MFA (Concordia University) and a Postdoctoral Fellowship (York University’s Sensorium Centre for Digital Arts & Technology). http://www.mitchellakiyama.com/

Little Changes Make a Big Difference by Liat Margolis

How can urban regions increase resiliency in the face of a changing climate? The answer is with Mother Nature. Increasingly, municipal and regional policies are expanding their definition of urban infrastructure to include natural ecosystems, referred to as green infrastructure. Ranging from large networks of interconnected green spaces to engineered systems like vegetated roofs and suspended pavement systems, green infrastructure are multi-functional solutions that contribute to climate regulation, flood reduction, biodiversity, improved air quality and quality-of-life. As we make strides in policy and building practices around such constructed living systems, research is key to help develop regionally-specific metrics and design guidelines on how to make green infrastructure even greener.

Liat Margolis: Director of the Green Roof Innovation Testing (GRIT) Laboratory and an Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture at the University of Toronto. GRIT Lab is an interdisciplinary research initiative bringing together the fields of Landscape Architecture, Urban Ecology, & Civil Engineering, to study the environmental performance of green infrastructure. GRIT Lab is an award winning facility supported by the City of Toronto Environment and Energy Division, NSERC, Ontario Centres of Excellence, Mitacs, Connaught Fund, Landscape Architecture Canada Foundation, RCI Foundation, and numerous industry partners. http://grit.daniels.utoronto.ca

Micro-Environments by Mason White

Architecture and urban design tend to take a defensive position against the environment, especially in unique climates and contexts. However, recognizing the potential for a more playful interaction between design and its environment offer new experiences in cities and communities. Recent design projects and research will reveal strategies that embrace complex interactions of architecture and urban design in greater symbiosis with its environment and context. This shift in approach seeks out overlooked opportunities that will produce micro-environments and let citizens participate more directly in their immediate context.

Mason White: a founding Partner of Lateral Office, an author, and an Associate Professor at the Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, & Design, University of Toronto. White is a recipient of the Arthur Wheelwright Fellowship from Harvard Graduate School of Design, and the Howard Friedman Visiting Professorship in the Practice of Architecture at UC Berkeley College of Environmental Design. His practice represented Canada at the 2014 Venice Biennale in Architecture, where the project “Arctic Adaptations” received special mention. He has held visiting appointments at Harvard University, Cornell University, Ohio State University, and UC Berkeley, and is the author of the recently released book “Many Norths: Spatial Practice in a Polar Territory” (Actar, 2017). http://lateraloffice.com/TEAM

Rare Earth Age of the Canadian Arctic by Charles Stankievech

By examining the Canadian Arctic, one can trace a history of weapons and metallurgy, starting with the nomadic smiths of the Inuit gleaning meteoric iron for weapons & domestic use, through the birth of cybernetics & networked warfare in the Cold War’s Distant Early Warning Line, to the speculative market of Rare Earth Elements in the twenty first century.

Charles Stankievech: a founding faculty member of the Yukon School of Visual Arts in Dawson City, and Director of Visual Studies in the Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape & Design, University of Toronto. Charles has shown his work internationally at institutions including the National Gallery of Canada; Louisiana Museum of Modern Art (Copenhagen), Palais de Tokyo (Paris), Haus der Kulturen der Welt (Berlin), Canadian Centre for Architecture (Montreal); and SITE Santa Fe Biennales (Venice), among others.  Charles has lectured at dOCUMENTA (13) and the 8th Berlin Biennale. He is an editor of Afterall Journal and co-Director of K. Verlag in Berlin. https://www.stankievech.net/

Casting the Future: Museum as Rear View Mirror

If the museum has a role in Future Environments, it is through its capacity to shape public memory–at the threshold of both, past and future. Presenting on recent and current exhibitions at the Art Museum, this talk is concerned with counter-histories of the Canadian imaginary, reflecting on the history of settler-indigenous relations and the continued impacts of extraction industries on the idea and realities of the land. It considers the role of the museum, itself, as a future environment, and concludes with an invitation to join us at the Art Museum for the exhibition “It’s all happening so fast”.

Barbara Fischer: an Executive Director/Chief Curator of the Art Museum and an Associate Professor, in the Daniel’s Faculty of Architecture, Landscape & Design, at the University of Toronto. Barbara was Director/Curator of the Blackwood Gallery at the U of T Mississauga and Director/Curator of the Justina M. Barnicke Gallery. She was also a curator in contemporary art at Open Space (Victoria), Walter Phillips Gallery (Banff), the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO), and The Power Plant (Toronto). Focusing on contemporary art and its histories, Fischer has produced award winning, international exhibitions representing Canadian artists, most recently Kent Monkman’s project “Shame and Prejudice: A Story of Resilience” at the Art Museum. She was chosen to represent Canada at the 53rd Venice Biennale with the exhibition of Canadian artist Mark Lewis.