Vancouver's Architectural debates are rubbish. We've all been there: a panel of similar designers with similar views taking it in turns to talk at length about their similar work - too polite, too deferential, too dull. At best they are lukewarm love-ins, critically impotent, elitist and stuffy. Turncoats is a shot in the arm. Framed by theatrically provocative opening gambits, a series of debates will rugby tackle fundamental issues facing contemporary practice with a playful and combative format designed to foment open and critical discussion, turning conventional consensus on its head.
Turncoats #3: We Got This
The technocrats have triumphed! More than ever, cities are shaped by an expanding army of specialists who, confounded by an onslaught of economic, demographic and environmental pressures, robotically approach city making with a kit of technical solutions. When was the last time you were inspired to linger in one of these formulaic places? What happened to the vision? It’s time to put the responsibility for city making back in the hands of the original generalists: the architects!
Leslie Van Duzer is a Professor of Architecture at UBC, and has taught in over a dozen schools of architecture across the US, Europe and Japan. She is the former Director of School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (SALA) and a founder of the Urbanarium.
Bruce Carscadden is a Senior Partner at Carscadden Stokes McDonald Architects, and founded the predecessor firm of Bruce Carscadden Architect in 2001. He has over 30 years of post-graduate experience in architecture, and is a leading specialist in Western Canada of aquatic, recreation and public architecture.
Neal Lamontagne is a former senior planner with the cities of Vancouver and North Vancouver and is the co-chair of the Vancouver City Planning Commission and vice-chair of the Vancouver Urban Design Panel. He is an adjunct professor with the UBC School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, the UBC School of Community and Regional Planning and the Langara Applied Planning program. He is currently working on a PhD in urban planning at UCLA.