This Saturday only: the future of architecture at the DX

For one night in Toronto, the public is invited to engage in a new dialogue concerning space and place. In a 12-hour overnight exhibition at Scotiabank Nuit Blanche on Sept. 29, the Ontario Association of Architects (OAA) will transform the trade floor at the Design Exchange into a theatre for architects to present their collective vision for the future.

By asking the industry to imagine the landscape of tomorrow, the OAA has created an extraordinary collaborative outlook on both the challenges and solutions we will face in the immediate future.

In the future we will crave opportunities to increase social connection. Libraries will disperse into cloud service outposts, becoming a local repository of information. Users will be able to both download and upload material in an open shelf program. Office towers will effectively act as an urban lung and provide a new relationship between built form and the atmosphere. Education environments will shift their emphasis from learning knowledge to creating knowledge and become spaces focused on collaboration.

Architects paint a utopia where simplified planning and building approvals allow for more spontaneous, flexible and adaptable structures creating a new social landscape.

In the future we will seek opportunities to reclaim unused space. The future will provide an expansion into realms that have been over regulated and under developed – past borders, over property lines and into open space in the sky. Pavilion cities will not occupy the land but the area above it. Architects predict a future where buildings are hung, rail corridors and power grids are reclaimed and water becomes a target for expansion. A suburban home is transformed into a technological web offering seamless connectivity.

The future of architecture will be dependent on engagement and a renewed public interest in architecture. The public must be injected as an essential component in the process and give rise to a new user-oriented architectural practice. The future design process will not be guided by abstract values but by a more direct experience with cultural evolution.

In addition to this cohesive global perspective, Toronto is transformed through a re-visioning of iconic landmarks by architects that call it home. As work shifts from being a place to performing a task, downtown business centres will be converted into dense living nodes connected via transportation networks. The Eglinton Subway station will include day lighting and engaging green space such as a sunken garden and community orchard in front. Or perhaps BIXI, Car2go and private transit will replace the main transportation system with economic and elite options. Roadways will require memberships and space elevator docs will occur in all major cities. Participating architects propose increasing public space in old buildings through adaptive reuse. The Presbyterian theological college on Spadina Avenue could be programmed as a new centre for visual arts and, given its location, provide university, high school and community programming all on one site. Ontario Place could become a hybrid structure that links a parking garage, transit hub, housing, tourist attraction and landscape park into one entity, creating a new form of city life.

“As an organization we dialogue about the future and invest heavily in how our membership will be able to translate their training and practice into a better society and holistic vision for our cities and the globe,” says OAA president, Sheena Sharp. “Engaging our membership in this exhibition at Nuit Blanche became a way we could also showcase this to the public.”

Christie’s world-class projection displays set the stage for the OAA’s Scotiabank Nuit Blanche installation by powering the environment with their cutting edge technology including the Christie MicroTiles product. A tiled, video display wall will animate the architect’s vision while a projected illusion will bring the voices onto the Design Exchange trading room floor.

The Future of Architecture at Scotiabank Nuit Blanche includes the following Architectural practices: Audax Architecture Inc.; Coolearth Architecture Inc.; CS&P Architects Inc.; CSV Consultants Inc. Architects; Daniel Karpinski Architect; david premi Architects inc.; HDR Architecture Associates, Inc.; Ho K. Sung Architect; Howard Rideout Architect Inc.; onespace unlimited inc.; Pro Vision Architecture Inc.; Quadrangle Architects Limited; raw design inc.; Sheldon D. Rosen Architect; G. Bruce Stratton Architects; Studio ArchiFad; WZMH Architects; and OAA individual participants: Andrew Lee, Student Associate; Arezoo Talebzadeh, Intern Architect; Danielle Sernoskie , Intern Architect; Steve Culver, Intern Architect and Ben Feldman, Intern Architect; Duncan Patterson, Intern Architect; Erica Pecoskie, Intern Architect and George Simionopoulos, Intern Architect; Kasmin Devashrayee, Intern Architect; Luisa Ayala, Intern Architect, O.C.A. Architects Inc.; Student Associate; Ya’el Santopinto, Intern Architect, and Melissa Mazik, Intern Architect.

The Future of Architecture will be on display at the Design Exchange, 234 Bay Street in Toronto from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. during Scotiabank Nuit Blanche on Sept. 29.