Canadian Architect


Texture City: Exploring the Contemporary City at the Art Gallery of Calgary

August 24, 2005
by Canadian Architect

Urbanization is a growing global trend. Locally, many Calgarians are exploring issues around long-term urban sustainability and the creation of vibrant communities through city-wide initiatives. A timely new exhibition at the Art Gallery of Calgary will investigate the contemporary city and how its public spaces, roads, architecture and urban infrastructure become part of the social fabric of our daily lives. Texture City features three interrelated installations created by renowned Calgary architect Marc Boutin, his architectural firm Marc Boutin Architect, and nine architecture students from the University of Calgary.

Boutin spent a year studying public spaces in Rome and the first installation, Texture City, is the result of his research. It focuses on the city as a process, as a verb, and is interested in those things that are at the intersection between peoples’ lives and the permanence of the city. The design, which incorporates photography, models, drawings and video, develops themes that discuss public engagement as a fundamental quality of the city.

The second installation, Negotiated Space, builds on these themes by exploring public space as a place of contestation and debate; a democratic space that can be realized at any scale of the built environment. The installation features three designs by Marc Boutin Architect and uses video, text and models to examine ideas behind negotiated space.

The third installation, Every City, was designed by nine architecture students from the University of Calgary and looks at negotiated spaces in Calgary. Each student chose a different site, investigated it through a rigorous mapping process, and proposed innovative design alternatives that suggest how Calgarians can live in their city in a new spirit. Participating students are: Jay Boyce, Stephanie Doerksen, Alexis Finlay, Graeme Hackett, Anne Maisonneuve, Andrew Siddall, Peggy Stirrett, Phil Vandermay and Ruth Varvas.

Texture City is on view from September 1 through December 3, 2005. For more information, please visit

Canadian Architect

Canadian Architect

Canadian Architect is a magazine for architects and related professionals practicing in Canada. Canada's only monthly design publication, Canadian Architect has been in continuous publication since 1955.
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