Canadian Architect


Architect in Control (Archive in Control)

August 27, 2015
Canadian Centre for Architecture, 20 rue Baile, Montreal, Quebec

Taking place at 6:00pm at the Canadian Centre for Architecture’s Shaughnessy House in Montreal, this presentation by the recipients of the 2015 Power Corporation of Canada Award present three stories from the archives of Roger D’Astous, Guy Desbarats and Victor Prus, after working under the directive to “dig into the archive.” Acknowledging that moving through the archive is a subjective process, the story of these three architects is also understood as the story of three researchers. The discussion will consider both the architects’ work and the archival-based research itself through the lens of control, whereby the authority of the architect and the archive are simultaneously confronted. D’Astous, Desbarats and Prus each made significant built contributions to Montreal during the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, including through their participation in Expo ’67. As described in the 2004 CCA exhibition and publication The 60s: Montreal Thinks Big, this was a period of optimism and international awareness, resulting in an architectural playing field of exceptional opportunity. In contrast, the book Anxious Modernisms, co-published by the CCA in 2000, identifies in the post-WWII period a shared sense of anxiety. In the case of these three architects, this summer’s research project asks: did newfound freedom cause newfound anxiety? Through the investigation of D’Astous’s Christian Pavilion, Desbarats’s Man the Producer Pavilion and Prus’s unrealized International Centre for Advanced Studies in Human Development, award recipients Desirae Cronsberry (M.Arch., Carleton University), Ila D’cruz (M.Arch. [post-professional] candidate, McGill University), and Ian Lowrie (M.Arch. candidate, University of British Columbia) narrate their research through personal encounters with the archive.

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