DIALOG announces 2020 Michael Evamy Architecture Scholarship recipient

Instead of preserving buildings based on cultural significance, how could a building’s embodied energy become a factor in deciding on its preservation or demolition? Alexander Robinson, a Masters of Architecture student at the University of Waterloo, has been awarded $5,000 to find out.

Alexander Robinson Evamy Scholarship 2020 recipient. Photo credit: Alexander Robinson.

Robinson’s research proposal, entitled Undoing Toronto: Material Metabolisms and Cultural Memory, has been awarded DIALOG’s 2020 Architecture Scholarship in Honour of Michael Evamy.

“Understanding the discourse of both energy and culture is the key to the future duration of our cities. I believe that the duration of materials is a cultural outcome and is a part of our struggle to maintain our collective memory as forces of capital create amnesia and nostalgia,” said Robinson.

DIALOG received a wide range of proposal topics that give a glimpse into the topics of interest to young talent entering the industry. “It is delightful to see students exploring important topics like conserving resources, housing affordability, and the role technology and new materials play in solving these growing challenges,” says the firm.

According to the multidisciplinary practice, the selection committee was impressed with Robinson’s proposal that reframes perspectives on heritage preservation, and expands the tools that municipalities could use to further environmentally-responsible development.

“We have reached an unprecedented moment in planetary history. Humans now change the Earth’s systems more than all natural forces combined. Extraction, mining and the fabrication of new building materials are creating significant environmental risks and rapidly increasing urbanization is over-extending our civic infrastructure. Alex Robinson’s proposal to study how we evaluate and understand our existing built environment, from both a social and an ecological perspective, is both important and urgently needed,” said Donna Clare, DIALOG principal and selection committee member.

Photo credit: Alexander Robinson.