Will Alsop speaks at OCAD University

World-renowned architect and painter Will Alsop returns to the Sharp Centre for Design at OCAD University in Toronto, and will deliver a presentation from 6:30pm to 8:00pm on Friday May 24, 2013. His design for this building’s unique “tabletop” structure has quickly become one of the most exciting architectural landmarks in Toronto and was described as “courageous, bold and just a little insane” by the RIBA judges.

Alsop’s practice is international in scope, guided by the principle that architecture is both a vehicle and symbol of social change and renewal. The philosophy extends from the design of individual buildings to embrace broader principles of urbanism and city development. Will Alsop follows a parallel path as an artist, feeling that it is a discipline inseparable from architecture.

Notwithstanding this, like fellow avantgardist Zaha Hadid, he has actualized relatively few buildings with only approximately 10% of his designs having been built. However, this does not worry him because he enjoys designing buildings even when he has no particular commission or competition in mind. “It’s like tennis – you have to keep doing it all the time, whether you have a client or not. I believe that absolutely. You can speculate in your sketchbook – you’re allowed to think about anything, with or without a client.”

His painting works have been exhibited at the Sir John Soane’s Museum, the Milton Keynes Gallery, the Cube Gallery, Manchester, the British Pavilion at the Venice Biennale and most recently at the Olga Korper Gallery in Toronto.

Tours of the Sharp Centre led by OCAD U staff involved in the building project will available afterwards.

Entitled The Art and Design of Will Alsop, the presentation will be moderated by Professor Lenore Richards, Director of the Strategic Innovation Lab at OCAD U. She has 18 years of experience in academic leadership at the Ontario College of Art & Design, having held the positions of Co-Chair of the Environmental Design program and more recently, Dean of the Faculty of Design. She has a strong belief in the critical importance of integrating innovative thinking with responsive and responsible design. Prior to joining OCAD she was at the influential design firms Yabu Pushelberg and Kuypers Adamson Norton.

Admission to the event is free, and is presented by Great Gulf. OCAD University is located at 100 McCaul Street in Toronto. For more information, please visit http://apache.ocad.ca/events_calendar/eventdetail.php?id=5134.