This Studio is about following tracks, about gaining an understanding of design not as a purely ex novo act, but as part of a cumulative, critical and transformative process that conserves, adds to and enriches the history of traces left for us and part of a natural environment which humanity has stressed across the border of crisis. We will seek to learn an architecture of response to existing and known conditions and to change our approach to the creation of form. This in no way diminishes the exercise of spatial, material and sociological imagination, but focusses on the art of creating fair, just and responsible buildings and cities, to reduce consumption, to limit damage and to work creatively with what we are given.
In the same spirit this course is grounded in the local context; that is, in the shadow of the current dramatically expanding and intensifying condition of Waterloo Region. It will be informed by the growth and change that have brought them to this point. We will work with precincts and buildings that were created in the period of following the Second World War which witnessed the greatest expansion and transformation of the urban landscape in Waterloo Region until the present. The period is relevant precisely because, in the face of the climate crisis and the search for equity and reconciliation, there is a need today to make changes as profound as those that transformed these cities a half century ago.