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Giovanna Borasi, architect, editor and curator, director of CCA - Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montreal
Giovanna Borasi, architect, editor and curator, director of CCA - Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montreal

"A Year in a Few Thoughts

I was asked by Future Architecture Platform to review the applications for this year’s call for ideas on the future of architecture. It has been fascinating to look over 360 applications and some 1,000 pages worth of proposals.

It was are revealing exercise: One I had the privilege to have a panoramic overview of today’s discourses and interests occupying architects and the discipline’s adjacent thinkers; two I had the opportunity to reflect upon how these separate ideas could, especially zooming out from the specificity of each project, begin to tell a larger story on the current status of architectural discourse.

What I will try to do today is highlight what I think are the more interesting ideas, questions, and trends that have surfaced.

I must explain that I use the word interesting, which can often convey a certain banality, but its use is not facetious, rather an attempt not to evaluate these proposals based on whether they are good or bad; instead qualify if they point to larger questions and ideas being asked by the discipline and society. So, I understood my role differently from the jury where I did not have to determine the validity of each approach or idea, but had to recognize emerging trends, directions, or potential questions being posed. 

To preface, I had to extract and amplify the intentions behind some ideas in order to expose an underlying train of thought that might have not been immediately detectable. 

Finally, I should disclose that the ideas that I resonated with are those that touch upon part of my own work or the CCA’s upcoming research and curatorial projects dealing with societal transformations, urban and non-urban issues. 

So, I would like to start by using a card that is part of the Gordon Matta Clarkarchive on ‘Anarchitecture’ at the CCA, which gives a sense of how I view my role today, but also the CCA’s approach and perspective to the architecture debate today:

 “Here is what I have to offer you… confusion guided by a clear sense of purpose”

So here you go, a series of hopefully purposed, but still elaborately confused thoughts..."


Continue reading: 2019 Annual Reflection Summary by Giovanna Borasi

Watch the video: Public presentation by Giovanna Borasi

Giovanna  Borasi

Giovanna Borasi is an architect, editor, and curator. She joined the Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA) in 2005 as Curator for Contemporary Architecture, and in 2014 she was appointed Chief Curator. Borasi’s research focuses on contemporary architecture discourse, with a particular attention to alternative ways of practicing and evaluating architecture and how environmental, political, and social issues influence today’s urbanism and built environment. Exhibitions and publications by Giovanna Borasi —often in collaboration with Mirko Zardini—include What About  Happiness on the Building Site? (2017); Besides,  History: Go Hasegawa, Kersten Geers, David Van Severen (2017); The Other Architect (2015); Imperfect Health: The Medicalization of Architecture (2012); Journeys: How Travelling Fruit, Ideas, and  Buildings Rearrange our Environment (2010); Sorry, Out of Gas: Architecture’s Response  to the 1973 Oil Crisis (2007); and Environ(ne)ment: Approaches for Tomorrow (2006).

Borasi studied architecture at the Politecnico di Milano, after which she worked as an editor for Lotus  International (1998–2005) and Lotus  Navigator (2000–2004), and was Deputy Editor in Chief of Abitare (2011–2013). Before joining the CCA, Borasi co-curated House Sweet Home, Different  Ways to Live, Spazio Ventisette, Milan (2000), and collaborated on several exhibitions including Asfalto, Il  carattere della città at the Milan Triennale (2003), and Notizie dall’Interno, the Italian Pavilion for the 9th Architecture Biennale in Venice (2004), both with Mirko Zardini.

Borasi has written widely on contemporary architecture, and her work has appeared in publications such as ARCH+, 2G, Cartha, and PLOT. She has served on international juries and regularly speaks at symposia and conferences.

Giovanna Borasi assumed the directorship of CCA from January 2020.

Creative Exchange is the most insightful annual gathering of architecture lovers and professionals and is held every February in Ljubljana. It brings together platform members and 25 of the most progressive emerging talents selected through the Call for Ideas. It offers opportunities to connect and keep up with the latest developments and tendencies in architecture

It marks the start of the European Architecture Program, a series of the most significant and interconnected architectural happenings and events in Europe.

Open Call: Alternative 33: An Ideas Competition for the Urban Revitalization of District 33 (Firdusi)
Open Call: Tbilisi Common Architecture Biennial 2020
Open Call: i-D and ARTSTHREAD Global Design Graduate Show 2020