Opening on September 12, 2012, during the week of the Toronto International Film Festival, the Design Exchange in Downtown Toronto will be the site of the newest exhibit titled “Considering the Quake | Seismic Design on the Edge,” curated by Dr. Effie Bouras, postdoctoral fellow and Professor Ghyslaine McClure, P.Eng of the McGill University Department of Civil Engineering and Applied Mechanics. The exhibit, which runs through to November, will feature recent cutting edge building projects from some of the most innovative architects and engineers, as seen through the lens of earthquake engineering.
Architects and Engineers featured include Office for Metropolitan Architecture’s groundbreaking Taipei Performing Arts Center in China, their newly opened CCTV in China and others; Daniel Libeskind’s Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco; Japan’s Studio SKLIM’s earthquake proof House; Arup Engineering, featuring their illustrious Olympic water cube, the site of an unprecedented collection of swimming records and venue for aquatic events of the 2008 Beijing Olympics in China, their York University subway project with Foster and Partners Architects; a housing prototype in the Santa Monica mountains, by Los Angeles’ Predock Frane Architects; a house rebuilt on the site of a catastrophic earthquake by Chilean Architects Pezo von Ellrichshausen;Antonio Parducci’s the New Emergency Management Centre in Umbria and Toronto’s own innovative team of PhD graduates whose Toronto based firms, Kinetica Dynamics and Cast Connex, emerged from University of Toronto’s Seismic Labs and are now amongst leaders of seismic technology. Cast Connex products have been utilized in projects including the World Trade Center 3 building and the Whitney Museum. These, along with numerous other notable projects will be accompanied by full scale seismic technology, architectural and structural models, renderings, animation and other multimedia platforms
The exhibit will also feature related lectures and presentations, including Los Angeles based filmmaker Tomas Koolhaas’ up-and-coming lecture discussing his feature length documentary titled “REM,” about his father, renowned architect, Rem Koolhaas.
This exhibit is generously supported by the Canadian Seismic Research Network (CSRN, http://csrn.mcgill.ca/) a network of 26 researchers from 8 universities that is funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) of Canada.
Many speak of architecture as both a science and art, but few ever truly witness the “science” part of architecture. Behind the building’s skin lies much of its initial premise, developed between the union of architect and engineer; an intersecting communication, creating unparalleled synchronicity when each profession just plainly gets it right. What if we could bring these two seemingly disparate elements under the roof of one comprehensive exhibit; and do this through the premise of earthquake engineering- a domain thought of most singularly under an engineer’s autonomous control?
Buildings, as we have been reminded by too many recent catastrophic earthquakes, are complex, dynamic systems. As an extension of their research on post critical disaster shelters, curators, Dr. Effie Bouras, Postdoctoral Fellow and Professor Ghyslaine McClure, P.Eng, of McGill University, Department of Civil Engineering, bring a ground-breaking perspective and architect’s rationale back into the traditionally engineering-dominated subject matter. During the months from September to December, the Design Exchange will house a sampling of the most celebrated projects, research and technology throughout the world that surpass conventional approaches to seismic design, and stand exemplary in thought, design and practical application.