CCA calls for participants in The Digital Now

The CCA is launching a collaborative, multidisciplinary research project that explores the intersectional dimensions of digital design. The project is funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation’s Architecture, Urbanism, and the Humanities Initiative.

Georg Lippsmeier, photographer. Image from slide, National Printing Press, Nouakchott, Mauritania, ca. 1971. Georg Lippsmeier Collection, CCA. ARCH280728. Gift of African Architecture Matters Credit(s) © Estate of George Lippsmeier

The Digital Now will focus on how digital design intersects with the simultaneous relations between race, class, gender, ability, and sexuality. The project will bring together a multidisciplinary team of scholars, curators, practitioners, and technologists to question the ways in which digital architectural production and social identity formation are intertwined.

“Intersectionality entails a way of seeing and navigating a world with differential forms of justice. Pioneered by intellectuals and activists in the 1970s, from Kimberlé Crenshaw to the Combahee River Collective, it is rooted in gendered and racialized experiences of capitalism,” says the CCA.

The CCA invites participants that can collectively assemble an intersectional discourse on digital design in our contemporary moment that attends to racialized, classed, and other justice-driven dimensions.

This project will build on the CCA’s commitment to a conception of architecture that exceeds a singular paradigm, and that rather places emphasis on a broad conception of design that privileges its complex social milieu.

The team’s collective work will focus on and interrogate digital design using methods and concepts from intersectional theory and practice. Participants could imagine digital architectural practices in relation to past and present conceptions of labour, equitable and sustainable infrastructures, or racial justice across an array of geographies.

The CCA is seeking team members interested in studying digital architectural praxis through in-depth research, whether reliant on fieldwork, archives, or other sites of investigation. Sharing expertise and creative practices, a final group of eight participants will be guided by a multidisciplinary ethos of collaboration and mutual support.

This team will be expected to co-create a collective project that furthers the scope of how intersectionality articulates architecture as a broad field of practice, scholarship, and public concern that has both historically responded and will in the future respond to evolving definitions and manifestations of the digital.

The collaborative and multidisciplinary research project, directed by the CCA, is open to researchers and cultural producers at all career levels, including doctoral students. Those interested should submit their proposal in English or French through the CCA’s application portal by 14 September 2020.

The Digital Now will unfold in two phases. First, the CCA will invite sixteen shortlisted applicants to participate in a multi-day Mellon Seminar, which will take place in Montreal in late fall 2020 (pending COVID-19-related restrictions).

Seminar participants will share their individual projects in order to set the terms of the project and establish a common state of the field. All sixteen shortlisted applicants will receive a stipend to attend the CCA-Mellon Seminar.
Following a peer-review process, eight applicants will be selected to return for the second phase of the project and participate in the Mellon Multidisciplinary Research Project.

The eight selected Mellon Researchers will reconvene in early winter 2021 to begin their eighteen-month engagement with the Mellon Research Project on The Digital Now and will continue the work through the spring of 2022. Each Mellon Researcher will receive a grant to support their research and participation in three multi-day Mellon workshops and seminars.

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