Photo: Laurian Ghinitoiu

2016 Venice Architecture Biennale
Canadian National Exhibition
Now Open from May 28 to November 26, 2016
with live updates on twitter and instagram

The 15th edition of the Venice Architecture Biennale.

Extraction defines Canada, at home and abroad. Of the nearly 20,000 mining projects in the world—from Africa to Asia to Latin America, more than half are Canadian-operated. Not only does the mining economy employ close to 400,000 people across the country, it contributed $52.6 billion to Canada’s GDP in 2012 alone. Globally, more than 75% of prospecting and mining companies on the planet are based in Canada. Seemingly impossible to conceive, the scale of these statistics naturally extends the logic of Canada’s historical legacy as state, nation, and now, as global resource empire. “Not only do imperial colonial powers redefine territories”, according to historian of science Suzanne Zeller, “they also breed new empires, replaying their cycles of dissemination and domination over and over again.” In other words, Canada has become a preeminent resource base and operating platform for the world’s mining industry.

If, as Harold Innis described in 1930, “Canada supplied the British and American economies through the exploitation of its considerable bounty”, then it has now become Empire in its own right, home to a legion of its own surface mining firms whose practices reflect Canadian power and presence everywhere on the surface of the planet. As this extractive culture grows, the representation of these complex ecologies of extraction needs to be fully engaged, examined, and exhibited through new languages, discourses and forms of imagination as we move towards the 22nd century.

Opening a wider lens on the cultures of extraction, the project intends to develop a deeper discourse on the complex ecologies and territory of resource extraction. From gravel to gold, across highways and circuit boards, every single aspect of contemporary urban life today is mediated by mineral resources. Through the multimedia language of film, print, and exhibition, the landscape of resource extraction—from exploration, to mining, to processing, to construction, to recycling, to reclamation—can be explored and revealed as the bedrock of contemporary urban life.

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Pamphlet Architecture 35

Now available in print from AMAZON, with original, digital motion graphics and audio-visual backstory at PA35.NET

The 35th edition of Princeton Architectural Press' Pamphlet Architecture Series.

For thirty-seven years, Pamphlet Architecture's forward-thinking authors have challenged architecture's conventional wisdom with bold ideas enhanced by visually provocative design. With far-ranging topics including building and urban form, algorithms, machines, and music, each Pamphlet is unique to the individual or group that authors it. The groundbreaking trajectories and contemporary lines of thought provided by every new issue of Pamphlet is always rooted in the renowned history of the series itself. Giving voice to known and unknown authors alike, Pamphlet asks these practitioners and theorists to present their bold ideas in a manner as visually provocative as it is intellectually compelling. The competition for Pamphlet Architecture 35 offers an opportunity for architects, designers, theorists, urbanists, and landscape architects to produce a small manifesto for tomorrow. The competition winner, not announced at press time, reflects the rigor and excitement found throughout the competition's rich history. Thanks in large part to the generous support of the National Endowment for the Arts, staying true to this vision has allowed for Pamphlet’s legendary success—which has had influence far exceeding the ad-hoc nature of these humble books.

The Pamphlet Architecture Series was founded in 1978 by architects Steven Holl and William Stout as a venue for publishing the thoughts and works of a younger generation of architects. Each issue is written, illustrated, and designed by a single architect, which gives each its unique character. The series, which received an American Institute of Architects award, continues to influence new generations of architects as it disseminates new and innovative ideas on architecture and presents the work of the luminaries of tomorrow. Previous titles and authors include Steven Holl, Lebbeus Woods, Zaha Hadid, Lars Lerup, Luis Callejas, Mason White, and Lola Sheppard.

HDM 39 Wet Matter

Harvard Design Magazine 39
(Fall 2014 / Winter 2015)

In collaboration with Jennifer Sigler, this special guest edited issue of Harvard Design Magazine explores the space of the oceans with a range of contributors from across the world: Ulrich Beck, Luis Callejas, Ashley Carse, Christopher Connery, John & Jean Comaroff, Josh Comaroff, Dilip DaCunha, Theo Deutinger, Keller Easterling, Hali Felt, Rose George, Rebecca Gomperts, Max Haiven, Charlie Hailey, Anuradha Mathur, Astrida Neimanis, Kate Orff, Henk Ovink, Martin Pavlinic, Kimberley Peters, Catherine Seavitt, Aboumaliq Simone, Hilary Sample, Jennifer Sigler, Philip Steinberg, Supersudaca, Kristin Wintersteen, Sara Zewde, Byron Stigge, Xiaowei Wang, Dawn Wright.

From the Editor's Note:

"The ocean remains a glaring blind spot in the Western imagination. Catastrophic events remind us of its influence—a lost airplane, a shark attack, an oil spill, an underwater earthquake—but we tend to marginalize or misunderstand the scales of the oceanic. It represents the “other 71 percent” of our planet. Meanwhile, like land, its surface and space continue to be radically instrumentalized: offshore zones territorialized by nation-states, high seas crisscrossed by shipping routes, estuaries metabolized by effluents, sea levels sensed by satellites, seabeds lined with submarines and plumbed for resources. As sewer, conveyor, battlefield, or mine, the ocean is a vast logistical landscape. Whether we speak of fishing zones or fish migration, coastal resilience or tropical storms, the ocean is both a frame for regulatory controls and a field of uncontrollable, indivisible processes. To characterize the ocean as catastrophic—imperiled environment, coastal risk, or contested territory—is to overlook its potential power...The environments and mythologies of the ocean continue to support contemporary urban life in ways unseen and unimagined. The oceanic project—like the work of Marie Tharp, who mapped the seafloor in the shadows of Cold War star scientists—challenges the dry, closed, terrestrial frameworks that shape today’s industrial, corporate, and economic patterns. As contemporary civilization takes the oceanic turn, its future clearly lies beyond the purview of any head of state or space of a nation...Reexamining the ocean’s historic and superficial remoteness, this issue profiles the ocean as contemporary urban space and subject of material, political, and ecologic significance, asking how we are shaping it, and how it is shaping us."

See this conversation with Editor-in-Chief Jennifer Sigler about the re-launch of Harvard Design Magazine.