Space + Place is a conversation about architecture, the city, and the visual culture around us. Hosted by amery Calvelli and produced for CJSW 90.9fm, it airs on the first Tuesday of each month at 11am. Each show considers how we define the space we inhabit. Be part of the conversation in shaping place. Make room for the possibility of tomorrow, today. Space + Place airs on the first Tuesday of every month at 8pm during the “CJSW Presents…’ hour, only on CJSW 90.9 FM.
Susan Szenasy defines design, connecting the dots between design’s effects and the ethical, ecological, and social responsibility. As editor in chief and publisher of Metropolis Magazine, she has been a leading voice of design for decades. She’s often placed humans at the center, and called upon designers to advocate for the people. Her recent book, Szenasy: Design Advocate, is a collection of essays, lectures and testimonials that together reveal three decades of advocacy for better design.
We also cover the complexity of built heritage with a look at the Portland Building. Credited as “the first major monument of Post-Modernism” by historian Charles Jenks, and ranked by critic Paul Goldberger in 1982 as “the most compelling architectural event” the 32-year-old building was a product of its time, economically, politically, and socially, resulting in municipal workers that have grown tired of a dark, poor work environment. Architect Michael Graves and heritage advocate Peter Meijer discuss the building, it’s challenges, and what might be done to bring the building into the next century with a bit of grace.
Director and curator Wayne Baerwaldt shares insights on Nuit Blanche Calgary, an evening festival of performance art staged in the urban core. What’s the role of art outside of a gallery setting? What can a time-based performance offer as a record of history? These questions lead our discussion into not only what’s behind some of the performances, but how participatory the experience might be.
See: September 20th 7pm – 1am. Support Nuit Blanche here.
My Mother Calls Me A Rabbit_ by Emily Promise Allison, Darren Roberts Photography
Carousel by BGL - Darren Roberts Photography
Neil Hrushowy is the Manager of City Design Group in the City of San Francisco’s Planning Department. The group focuses on the public realm and human scale design. Neil shares why they’re calling for ideas to turn Market Street from a major thoroughfare into a street with varying uses. He also explains what’s behind Pavement to Parks, a program that encourages the transformation of underutilized parts of the street into quick and simple pedestrian places. This includes a streamlined permitting process for the implementation of a parklet.
Parklet (Hosted by Revolution Cafe, Escape from New York Pizza, Lolo Restaurant) Photo By- Rebar
Parklet (hosted by Luna Rienne Gallery) Artist Ursula Xanthe Young
Parklet hosted by Four Barrel Coffee. Photo by- SF Planning (KC)
Matthew Passmore is a founder of Rebar, a collective of artists / designers questioning the relationship of human beings and the built environment. How much green remains in public domain was the initial question they asked, leading to a temporary installation of astroturf and chairs to transform a parking lot into a public space. Park(ing) day followed. We also discuss an Urban Prototyping Festival and what to expect from morelab.
Justin McGuirk, in his book, Radical Cities, explores a new generation of optimists among architects, planners, and civic leaders in Latin America who are addressing the challenge of social housing. He describes a new vision, where slums are no longer a “cancer” that must be eradicated with a tabula rasa clearance. Instead, mobility and key urban design questions are folded into housing the poor. Insertions can be as powerful as a new building. A cable car in Caracus cuts a commute from hours to a few minutes. The efforts, while incredibly local and not successful in the same way each time, allow slums and the rest of the city to unite as a more integrated whole.
Locals in front of some extended James Stirling houses, PREVI Credit: Cristóbal Palma
Elemental’s houses in Quinta Monroy, Iquique Credit: Cristóbal Palma
The Nonoalco-Tlatelolco housing estate in Mexico City, designed by Mario Pani, 1964 Credit: Armando Salas Portuga
The exhibition 10 Years of Urgency started as an urban intervention in Montreal that would bring attention to homelessness. Created by the artist organization known as ATSA, there were performances, workshops and meals on the site for five days each year. Steven Cottingham describes how this performative intervention is translated into an exhibition. Currently at The New Gallery, the exhibition is in route to the Centre Cultural Franco-Manitobain later this month.
Zero Yen House EU08, image courtesy of The New Gallery
Winfried Baumann 10 ans d'Urgence - photo courtesy of Martin Savoie
10 ans d'Urgence photo courtesy of Martin Savoie
Mark Lakeman, co-founder of Communitecture, and behind City Repair and early contributor to13-year-old Dignity Village, speaks about creating gathering places. He also describes why Portland supported an opportunity for housing for those without. Dignity Village is a sanctioned, self-developed community that serves men and women who were previously homeless. City Repair brings place-making and permaculture the the level of the street intersection. City Repair Calgary hosted Mark last month with a workshop and public discussion.
Ciphers is a book of aerial studies of urban development by photographer/filmmaker Christoph Gielen. Beautiful, alluring, and incredibly geometric, each motif contains hidden code of a time when growth was unlimited. A time when bigger was better and drive till you qualify seemed to make sense. Gielen’s images are provocative, revealing how well-minded plans have become wasteful and force in-efficient ways of living. Can the photograph call attention to a new type of zoning, particularly one unleashed from auto-dependency?
UNTITLED VI Nevada; “Christoph Gielen: Ciphers” courtesy of Jovis Verlag, Berlin 2013
EDEN PRAIRIE II Florida; “Christoph Gielen: Ciphers” courtesy of Jovis Verlag, Berlin 2013
“Christoph Gielen: Ciphers” courtesy of Jovis Verlag, Berlin 2013
Back on the ground, and left with some difficult constraints in our existing built form, an Active NeighbourhoodsCanada pilot project is trying to “better” what we have built. The aim is to link patterns of urban development with mobility options and community connectivity. Started by the Montreal Urban Ecology Centre, and furthered by Sustainable Calgary and the Toronto Centre for Active Transportation, these pilots will be working at the opposite end of the aerial photograph, on the ground. Ryan Martinson and Celia Lee share what’s behind the Calgary pilot, and why they’re starting with neighbours and residents of a community.
Active Neighbourhoods Canada WalkTalk in YYC. image: Aasha Williams-Blanco
Les Jardins de Metis(International Garden Festival)is a contemporary garden design competition started in 2000. Landscape architect Ken Smith framed a valley, while Claude Cormier planted his blue sticks. Alexander Reford, the Director of the Jardins de Metis / Reford Gardens, reveals the history behind the gardens and what this competition can do to deepen our understanding of our landscape.
One of the winning entries of this year’s garden festival was Afterburn, a design of charred posts and post-fire plantings by Civilian Projects. Exploring the relationship of the forest fire in the lifecycle of a forest, Ksenia Kagner and Nicko Elliott’s design is a provocative take on how nature renews itself.The ecologies are inter-dependent. The destruction of the forest is regenerated.
Afterburn in the process of installation; courtesy of Civilian Projects
Doorway installation by artists Matthew Kennedy, Mark Erickson, and Ivan Ostapenko. Photo by Matthew Kennedy.
Community-minded developers charting new territory in our urban built form is the topic of this show. From fresh ideas like zero-parking and paths based on desire lines, and de-construction turned public engagement via an installation, to an investment in re-purposing a storage facility into a gallery, it’s clear that development stretches beyond the act of building on a lot.
Renata Li of Westbank explains how development as city-building embraces placemaking not just for those who will be residing or working in the new buildings, but creates space for the general public to experience as well. Curator Trevor Boddy reveals what is behind the architecture exhibition and salon series Gesamtkunstwerk. Rooted in the concept of Vancouverism, hear how Gwerk takes design as public engagement seriously.
image courtesy of Colin Goldie Photography for Westbank
image courtesy of Colin Goldie Photography for Westbank
Artists Sean Mankowske, Caitlind rc Brown, and John Frosst take us behind Wreck City, an art installation that repurposed soon-to-be-demolished homes. Rising to the fore as a result was the opportunity for dialogue around the complexity of urban growth complete with heady challenges like social inclusion, heritage, sustainability and affordability, and so many difficult to answer questions. Other curators mentioned in the interview are: Matthew Mark Bourree, Jennifer Crighton, Brandon Dalmer, Andrew Frosst, and Ryan McClure Scott. Also mentioned: Bucci Developments, Ltd. and the precedent projects The Leona Drive Project in Ontario and The House Project in Calgary.
WRECK CITY sign by artists Caitlind r.c. Brown + Wayne Garrett. Photo by Caitlind Brown
Various artists from WRECK CITY. Photo by Diane + Mike Photography, re-arranged by Caitlind Brown.
And finally, the CMLC master plan has a pedestrian promenade diagonally slicing through the center of the East Village. Michael Brown shares what this move means for the public ream. He also shares what has set the stage where a developer is willing to explore how a zero-parking tower might pencil out.
Renderings courtesy of Calgary Municipal Land Corporation
Hear Jerry Yudlesen, President, Green Building Initiative – May 7th – RSVP requested.
Upcoming salons include: the public art consultant Reid Shier, demographer and planner Andy Yan (Bing Thom Architects), urbanist (and former Mayor and Premier) Mike Harcourt, Bruce Haden, Partner at Dialog Architects, architect James K.M. Cheng, poet and urban critic Jeff Derksen, and the Canadian Architectural Archive Director Linda Fraser. To visit, find details at: gwerk.ca
Disclaimer: Welcome to one of many CJSW blogs. Please remember that even though CJSW broadcasts amazing quality 24/7, we are still a volunteer-based station. Not all programmers will be as active on their blog as others. If you have any specific questions on the show, feel free to contact them via their posted email address or call (403) 220-3991 during their show.