The Long-Term Global Implications of Architectural Regionalism

Architecture continues to evolve as an increasingly global profession, where even a small practice can emerge as a global force, able to compete anywhere in the world with a level of infrastructural investment that would have been unthinkable a few years ago. But what are the challenges and cultural costs for current global practices in addressing the social, environmental and economic contexts of their designs? Will the future of global design destroy the specificity of a region’s architecture? And what will happen to the future of regional architecture and its ability to address the challenges of local culture and context?

Taking place at Construct Canada on Wednesday, December 1, 2010 from 8:00am to 10:00am at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, the 9th annual International Architectural Roundtable features James Cheng, Asaf Gottesman, Earl Santee and Antoine Predock, and will address these issues and more.

James Cheng specializes in complex urban design and has won over 45 major design awards, including the prestigious Governor General’s Medal from the Royal Architecture of Canada, the Canadian Architect Yearbook Award, the Lieutenant Governor’s Gold Award from the Architectural Institute of British Columbia, the Interior Design Institute of British Columbia’s Gold Award of Excellence, and is a Fellow of the Royal Architectural Institute.

Asaf Gottesman is a principle of the Paris-based architectural practice Gottesman-Szmelcman Architecture SARL, with branches in Paris and Rishpon, Israel. Specializing in the revitalization of urban areas, with a focus on character and centrality in the urban fabric, GS Architecture has designed more than 2 million square metres of space across Europe over the last two years.

Earl Santee is one of the most experienced sports architects in the world, successfully translating client ideas into award-winning iconic ballparks. He has designed more than 18 Major League ballparks and 40 minor league and spring training ballparks, including Yankee Stadium, and the New Busch Stadium. Having recently opened Minneapolis’s acclaimed Target Field, he is now completing design for the Marlins Ballpark in Miami. In 2004, Santee was named Sports Business Journal’s Most Influential Person in Sports Facility Design and Development.

Antoine Predock focuses on subjects as the individual in a building as a spiritual interaction, the body in motion, the essence of humans, technology, and the natural environment, while he relays a strong sense of contextual appropriateness to his design with careful interpretation of regional identity. Antoine has received the Rome Prize, the AIA Gold Medal, and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum. Recent projects include the National Palace Museum Southern Branch in Taiwan and the Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg, both currently under construction.

Moderating the discussion is Mason White, Assistant Professor at the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design at the University of Toronto. White received an M.Arch. II from the Harvard Graduate School of Design, and has lectured and exhibited work internationally. He previously taught at Cornell and Ohio State University, and is a Partner in Lateral Office, the 2010-11 recipient of the Prix de Rome in Architecture from the Canada Council of the Arts.

Please RSVP to the Architectural Roundtable no later than November 19, 2010. For more information, and to register, please visit