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Now What?! Activism in architecture exhibit coming to Montreal


January 18, 2019
by Canadian Architect

After appearing in New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, ArchiteXX’s Now What?! exhibition opens February 12 at the McGill University Peter Guo-Hua Fu School of Architecture. Now What?! Montreal will feature new content researched by students and faculty at McGill University.Now What?!

Now What?! Advocacy, Activism, and Alliances in American Architecture since 1968 is the first exhibition to examine the little-known history of architects and designers working to further the causes of the civil rights, women’s, and LGBTQ movements of the past fifty years. The exhibition content, conversations, and stories will inspire a new generation of design professionals to see themselves as agents of change by looking at the past to see new ways forward.

The civil rights, women’s, and LGBTQ movements impacted every facet of US society, including architecture and design. Now What?! links the US design community to larger social and political movements of the late 20th century, placing design practice in the foreground and engaging viewers in critical conversations of history, progress, and the built environment. Now What?! acknowledges national and grassroots efforts by a wide coalition of organizations and professionals to change the face of architecture and design in the US.

In recent years, there has been a new wave of initiatives and advocacy emerging in the US that draws attention to these critical issues. This exhibition writes the overlooked histories of activist architects and organizations who were—and still are—at the forefront of the profession’s participation in larger social and political movements over the last 50 years, and suggests ways forward. This intersectional and interdisciplinary look at the design professions draws historical connections and serves as the only comprehensive narrative of activism in US architecture and design that spans these generations and disparate causes. Now What?! offers an in-depth look at diversity and activism in the design professions since 1968 while crafting a space for public debate and dialogue that is interested in looking back as much as projecting forward.

Now What?! is scheduled to travel through 2020 continuing to incorporate the local histories of the different cities it visits and telling the largely unknown history of how architects and designers have responded to the major social movements of the late 20th century until today.


The exhibit will run from February 12 to March 1. More information is available at this link.



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