Space + Place

Space + Place
Hosted by Amery C.
New episode every

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.


Most Recent Episode:
#40: main and lane (December 3, 2014)
Main Streets and Laneways: from Studio North, Brandon Donnelly, Randy Rapaport, and MoDA.


#40 main and lane

December 3rd, 2014


100 Years of Growth, courtesy of Studio North

We look at main streets and laneways, exploring how vital they are to the urban fabric.

We hear from the architectural design+build practice Studio North, who has researched laneway housing extensively and in the process of building their own laneway. This aligns with the city’s main streets initiative and an investigation into laneway housing in the Hillhurst-Sunnyside neighbourhood.

Calgary City Council  will be voting on a proposal to improve city process for secondary suites on December 15th. Have your say, take action at: suiteyyc.ca and learn more here.

Laneway block, courtesy of Studio North

Laneway section, courtesy of Studio North

Laneway housing cracks open opportunity for a diversity of housing options. Think affordability, but also, it’s about offering multiple lifestyle choices. Brandon Donnelly speaks about The Laneway Project, and their in-between spaces summit held last week in Toronto calling attention to the laneway house. His perspective, as someone working in the real estate development industry, reveals why the laneway is one of the last opportunities for an urban fabric middle ground…one where mid-rise housing options are still possible.


Laneway plan courtesy of Brandon Donnelly

We start the show with a look at two main streets where architectural moves have struck ground in an effort to foster neighbourhood vitality. Developer Randy Rapaport describes the challenges faced in planting multi-family buildings on main streets, this time on Clinton Street and on Belmont Street in Portland.


Belmont Street Lofts image courtesy of Randy Rappaport

On 9th Ave SE in Inglewood, architectural firm MoDA clad an everyday 2-story commercial building with a parametric screen that serves as both a beacon on the streetfront, but also articulates interior views. The individually-scored wooden slats, placed horizontally across the building face, reveals a subtle patterning leading to the building entrance.

Articulated Entrance on 9th Ave SE, courtesy of MoDA Architecture


Other dates of note:

Dec 3 – d.talks Let’s talk about…the remix

Dec 11 – Design Matters Bruce Kuwabara

Dec 15 – Suites YYC

#39 the advocate

November 12th, 2014

image courtesy of Szenasy: Design Advocate

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.

image courtesy of PMA

image by PMA

Model for the Portland Building courtesy of MGA

#38 provisional, ephemeral

September 2nd, 2014

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.

Submit an idea: Market Street Prototyping (until Oct 10th)

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.

Additional Events:

Sept. 24th 6pm – Design Matters – Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris - Downtown Campus

#37 social optimism

August 5th, 2014

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.

Dignity Village, courtesy of Communitecture


Intersection in repair, courtesy of City Repair

#36 landscape lessons

July 2nd, 2014

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 Neighbourhoods Canada 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

Afterburn rendering courtesy of Civilian Projects


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