A collaboration with Ken Borton and Eduard Epp, Here + Now is a ‘snapshot’ of current architectural work in Winnipeg, featuring built projects by recent graduates and emerging professionals. These projects are in development, under construction, or recently completed, together with designs fresh off the desks of students in the Department of Architecture. The exhibition title announces the ‘presencing’ of ideas. Works range from optimistic speculation to finely crafted buildings and settings that embody our social aspirations in Winnipeg and beyond.
Beginning in the late 1990s graduates from the Department of Architecture at the University of Manitoba, upon entering the profession, sought to improve the state of design and to create a dialog with one other, with the broader design community, and with the public. As a result, several ‘grass roots’ initiatives and venues sprung up to support related ambitions, including the 10x20x20 Lecture Series, the International Warming Huts Competition, On The Boards, the Winnipeg Design Festival, the RAW Gallery, Storefront MB, and the Winnipeg Architecture Foundation.
In Winnipeg, high profile architecture projects such as Manitoba Hydro Place, the James Richardson International Airport, and the Canadian Museum for Human Rights set world- class standards for excellence and quality. These projects helped to put Architecture in the public eye again. Similarly ambitious projects began to emerge, with increasing tempo and number.
The 26 projects from 20 firms gathered here represent a cross-section of new and engaging architecture at a range of scales. These include refined pavilions in both urban and suburban city parks, a permanent shelter built of recycled materials, a co-op condominium designed collaboratively with its owners, and a mixed use building that marks a renewed level of confidence in the downtown.
As part of the Faculty of Architecture at the University of Manitoba, the Department of Architecture program strives to be a model of educational and professional engagement for advancing architecture in the 21st century. We endeavour to achieve a realism in architecture that balances the pragmatic and poetic; an architecture that synthesizes human needs and desires expressed in the rhythms of daily life, with the natural processes and rhythms of the earth – an architecture that has a sense of efficacy, conviction, and innovation, with a touch of folly.
The Design Studio is at the core of our program and provides the setting for faculty to advance research that addresses critical issues facing the discipline and profession today. Areas of focus include: social and environmental sustainability; inter / disciplinary explorations; historical contexts & theoretical questions; technological & materials/construction advances; new media; community engagement locally and regionally; and global concerns.
Undergraduate and graduate students work alongside each other, experimenting with ideas and methods while developing critical approaches to architectural design, in a mutually supportive learning environment. Academic freedom, intellectual commitment, personal and professional responsibility are foundational qualities of the Program.