MAQ Young Architectural Critic Competition

Maison de l’architecture du Québec has announced the second edition of its annual competition – the MAQ Young Architectural Critic.

Conscious of the need to sustain and stimulate a group of high-calibre professionals in the area of critical discourse and architectural writing – particularly that which relates to what is being produced in Quebec today – the Maison de l’architecture du Québec (MAQ) is determined to do its part by inviting students and young writers from all relevant areas of specialization (journalism, communication, art history, architecture, design etc.) to participate in its annual competition of the MAQ Young Architectural Critic this fall, which will be conducted under the aegis of an expert group of jury members.

Become a young MAQ Architectural Critic and have your text published in Le Devoir or in the magazine Canadian Architect… and win a pair of tickets for a concert of the OSM! The honour of having your work exist for posterity is not given to just any critic! This is an opportunity offered by the MAQ to aspiring journalists, researchers or curators who will be participating in this yearly competition – the MAQ Young Architectural Critic.

Last year’s competition was related to the urban proposals presented in MAQ’s Réinventons la ruelle! exhibition. At the end of that first edition, it was established that the next one would invite young critics to write about a project recently built and inaugurated in the province of Quebec. For the current competition, a critical text of 600 to 700 words is required and should relate to the Maison symphonique project (also known as the Adresse symphonique).

The application deadline is October 12, 2012, followed by the submission deadline is November 19, 2012.

The 2012 bilingual jury of experts is presided by Roland-Yves Carignan (Chief Information Officer, Le Devoir) and includes jury members Suzanne Paquet (Professor, Département d’histoire de l’art et d’études cinématographiques, Université de Montréal), Elsa Lam (curatorial coordinator at Canadian Centre for Architecture) and David Theodore (writer, and regional correspondent for Canadian Architect). The jury will be guided by Sophie Gironnay, Director of the MAQ – a well-known architectural journalist in her own right.

Two winners will be selected and will see their writing published in Le Devoir for the text in French and in Canadian Architect for the text in English. Winners will receive professional remuneration and will have the chance to refine and revise their text with the help of the best professionals in the field. A pair of tickets offered by Orchestre symphonique de Montréal will also give them the opportunity to experience the acoustic qualities of the concert hall!

Participants are requested to fill out a registration form available online at or at the MAQ (there is a$10 registration fee). The competition is open to all students, design professionals, interns, and freelancers studying or practicing in related fields. Entrants must be no more than 35 years of age. Immersing themselves in the realities of professional life, entrants should be aware of related articles on the topic, study the project onsite and obtain necessary interviews which they themselves deem useful (with the assistance of the MAQ, of course).

Two guided tours of the Maison symphonique will take place; dates have yet to be confirmed. Offered by M. Michel Languedoc, director of the Architects’ Committee (AEdifica and Diamond Schmitt Architects), these tours are not mandatory but we strongly advise you follow one of them.

The 600-to-700-word text must be submitted in Microsoft Word, and must be submitted to the MAQ before November 19, 2012 at 6:00pm (EST). The text can be submitted by e-mail, or in a printed format that can be dropped off at the MAQ.

Judging criteria will include: the quality and clarity of style; the depth of critical judgment; the understanding of the chosen theme and the relevancy of the thesis; the suitability for publication in the media. Please note that the texts will be given to the jury anonymously to preserve the impartiality of the jury who might recognize one of their students, interns, or freelancers.

For more information, please visit or contact Muriel Ulmer or Marie Elizabeth Laberge at 514.868.6691 or at