"What comes after the environment?" with Naomi Klein and Mirko Zardini
"What comes after the environment?" with Naomi Klein, Toronto and Mirko Zardini, Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montréal
George Baird Lecture presented by the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design at the University of Toronto in collaboration with the Canadian Centre for Architecture
Ticket holders must arrive by 6:20 PM to claim their seats.
The celebration of Canada’s anniversary in 2017 is also a moment for reflection: “What comes after the environment?” will feature a discussion between award-winning author, filmmaker, and climate-change activist Naomi Klein and architect, curator, and director of the Canadian Centre for Architecture Mirko Zardini, whose forthcoming book and exhibition It’s all happening so fast – A Counter-History of the Modern Canadian Environment explores Canada’s conflicted and conflicting views of what we call the “natural environment”.
In an age of unprecedented human impact on the planet, certain countries stand out for their privileged positions and the complexity of their relationships with the land. The stories of Canada closely follow the discovery and appropriation of vast and varied natural resources as well as changing ideas about the relationship between people and their environment. Yet today, Canada’s environmental record is among the poorest when compared to other wealthy nations. It is a fact that suggests ambivalence and the actions of competing interests, which are most often exposed through disasters, moments of disorder and disregard for the unexpected consequences of managing the country’s seemingly endless bounty.
When calls for the exploitation of resources can be made in the name of wealth, growth, or even equality, it is time to question our assumptions. The featured speakers will explore the entrenched and false conflict between the natural environment and human development, ask how it has come to shape our society, and consider strategies for cultural change. What comes after the environment? And what role will architects, landscape architects, urban designers, artists, and activists play in finding ways forward in the face of the climate crisis? There is no way to confront the climate crisis as a technocratic problem, in isolation. It must be seen in the context of austerity and privatisation, of colonialism and militarism, and of the various systems of othering needed to sustain them all.
Drawing from her international best-seller This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs The Climate (2014), Klein will speak to the broader socio-political forces at play, including corporate interests, the economy, collective social action, and how these factors have shaped our past understanding of the “natural” environment and may presage the future.
Zardini, whose research engages the transformation of contemporary architecture and its relationship with the city and the landscape, and whose forthcoming book and exhibition explore the unexpected consequences and environmental catastrophes that were part of Canada’s modern ambitions, will focus on the topic through the disciplinary lenses of architecture and urban design.
This lecture is presented in collaboration with the Canadian Centre for Architecture.
Naomi Klein is an award-winning journalist, syndicated columnist and author of the international bestsellers, This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs The Climate (2014), The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism (2007) and No Logo (2000). She is a columnist for The Nation magazine and the Guardian newspaper and is a contributing editor at Harper's magazine. Naomi is a member of the board of directors for 350.org, a global grassroots movement to solve the climate crisis. She is a Puffin Foundation Writing Fellow at The Nation Institute and is on the board of directors for 350.org, the global grassroots movement to solve the climate crisis.
Her most recent book, the critically acclaimed, This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs the Climate, was the 2014 winner of the Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction. It was named to multiple Best of 2014 lists, including the New York Times 100 Notable Books of 2014. An instant New York Times and international bestseller, This Changes Everything is being translated into over 25 languages. The documentary inspired by the book and narrated by Naomi premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2015 and is now available worldwide.
Architect, author and curator Mirko Zardini has been the Director of the Canadian Centre for Architecture since 2005. In this position he has overseen the transformation of the CCA to address contemporary social, political and environmental issues. His research engages with contemporary architecture by questioning and re-examining assumptions on which architects operate today. It’s all happening so fast, his upcoming exhibition and co-edited publication (November 2016), is a reflection on our often conflicting ideas about human relationships to the environment.
Zardini was editor for Casabella and Lotus International magazine and his writings have been widely published. He has taught design and theory at architecture schools in Europe and the United States, including Harvard University GSD, Princeton University SoA, Swiss Federal Polytechnic University (ETH) at Zurich, and the Federal Polytechnic at Lausanne (EPFL).
The Daniels Faculty
The University of Toronto’s Daniels Faculty is an internationally recognized school of design offering professional and other programs in architecture, landscape architecture, urban design, and visual/curatorial studies, and is at the forefront of research in these fields.