The University of Toronto’s John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design will be hosting a symposium later this month, discussing the various aspects of envisioning and designing an architectural education facility. Titled What is a School? (of Architecture, Landscape, Art, and Urbanism), the symposium will be held at the Daniels Faculty’s Principal Hall, bringing together educators, theorists, historians, and practitioners to discuss the challenges of designing similar educational spaces. A number of questions will be addressed at the event, including; 

• What kind of a pedagogical instrument is a school of architecture/design and what role do its physical spaces and architecture play in its pedagogies and research? 

• What is the contemporary role and relevance of a general education in design?

• What might be the agency and reach of the architecture/design school, beyond the school or university?

• How can an architecture/design school be both a place where ideas are cultivated over time, and where they are subject to continuous experimentation? 

• How do schools of architecture/design navigate the changing political and intellectual landscape of the research university?

John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design, TorontoJohn H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design, image by Craig White

The event will kick off next Friday, April 27th at 6:30 PM with a keynote presentation titled The Architecture of the School, featuring Michael Maltzan of Michael Maltzan Architecture, Nader Tehrani of NADAAA & The Cooper Union, and Shohei Shigematsu of OMA. The keynote presentation will feature OCAD University’s Sara Diamond as respondent and the University of Toronto’s Richard Sommer as moderator.

Saturday, April 28th will kick off with a 9 AM introduction, followed by a 9:30 AM presentation titled Lobby (School as Political Platform), featuring David Fortin of Laurentian University, Lisa Steele of the University of Toronto, and Ginger Nolan of the University of Basel. This session will be moderated by U of T’s Jane Wolff.

The next presentation will run from 11:30 AM to 1 PM, called Test Kitchen (School as Incubator). This talk will feature Alla Vronskaya of the Illinois Institute of Technology, Axel Kilian of Princeton University, and Thaisa Way of the University of Washington, with U of T’s Wei-Han Vivian Lee serving as moderator.

Next up, the Dining Room (School as Curatorial Space) talk will take place from 2 PM to 3:30 PM, featuring Giovanna Borasi of the Canadian Centre for Architecture, Ijlal Muzaffar of the Rhode Island School of Design, and Mark Wasiuta of Columbia University. U of T's Barbara Fischer will act as moderator.

A closing talk titled Designs on the University will cap off the event from 4 to 6 PM, featuring Mark Jarzombek of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Joan Ockman of the University of Pennsylvania. A roundtable of special guests will form a dissenting choir.

You can learn more and register for the event by following this link.