“Urgency” at the CCA

The Canadian Centre for Architecture presents “Urgency,” a public conversation with architects Adam Caruso and Brigitte Shim on June 12, 2009. Renowned for their innovative projects and thinking, these two major figures of the architectural world presents issues of vital importance in contemporary practice. The event includes individual presentations followed by a conversation

moderated by CCA Director Mirko Zardini. “Urgency” is free and takes place in the CCA’s Baile Park from 10:00am to 12:00pm.


This is the third annual presentation of “Urgency,” following the events with Rem Koolhaas and Peter Eisenman in 2007, and with Greg Lynn and Yung Ho Chang in 2008.


After his studies in architecture at McGill University in Montreal, Adam Caruso worked for Florian Beigel and Arup Associates prior to establishing his own practice with Peter St John in 1990. The practice gained an international reputation for the New Art Gallery in Walsall, which opened to wide public acclaim in 2000. Since the completion of the New Art Gallery, the practice has worked for many institutional and private clients in the field of museums and galleries. They have worked for the Victoria and Albert Museum on the restructuring and extension of the Museum of Childhood in London. In 2004 they completed the Gagosian Gallery at Britannia Street, London and have subsequently designed the gallery’s spaces at Davies Street, London and Via Crispi, Rome.


Caruso St John was commissioned in 2007 by Tate Britain for a range of development projects. That same year, they won two competitions in Zurich: Naglehaus, in collaboration with the artist Thomas Demand, and Stadtraum Hauptbahnhof, in collaboration with Bossard Vaquer Architects. They are also architects for the Frieze Art Fair in London. Their designs for Nottingham Contemporary and Chiswick House Café are currently under construction. Adam Caruso is guest professor at ETH Zurich.


Brigitte Shim is an architect and partner in the firm Shim-Sutcliffe Architects, co-founded with Howard Sutcliffe in 1994. Their design practice reflects their shared interest and passion for the integration of architecture, landscape and furniture. Shim-Sutcliffe’s designs have represented Canadian design in international exhibitions and their built work has been published widely in North and South America, Europe and Asia. With Sutcliffe, Shim has been honoured with eight Governor General’s Medals and Awards for Architecture from the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada along with design recognition from the AIA, American and Canadian Wood Council’s awards

program. Shim-Sutcliffe was also the recipient of a Toronto Arts Award for Architecture

and Design in 2002.


Shim is Professor at the Faculty of Architecture, Landscape & Design at the University of Toronto. She also served as the 2008 Davenport Visiting Chair at Yale University, as well as on the board of Mooreland’s Community Services, a local nonprofit charity helping inner city children and youth affected by poverty. She, along with her students at the University of Toronto, received a City of Toronto Architecture and Urban Design Award of Excellence for Visions and Master Plans for Site Unseen: Laneway Architecture and Urbanism in Toronto in 2003.


“Urgency” reflects the CCA’s ongoing exploration of critical issues facing architecture and contemporary society. The event is presented a day after the 2009 CCA Soirée, which highlights the 20th anniversary of CCA’s opening to the public.


The CCA is an international research centre and museum founded in 1979 on the conviction that architecture is a public concern. Based on its extensive collections, the CCA is a leading voice in advancing knowledge, promoting public understanding, and widening thought and debate on the art of architecture, its history, theory, practice, and role in society today.