Computational Design Lab

“Vers une imaginaire numérique” exhibition

Associate Professor Daniel Cardoso Llach is the lead curator of a new exhibition examining the nexus of architecture, design, and computation in North America. The show will take place in the Centre de design de l’UQAM in Montreal in the Summer of 2020, supported by a prestigious $50,000 CAD Connection Grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). The curatorial team also comprises with Prof. Theodora Vardouli (McGill), lead applicant in the SSHRC proposal, and Prof. Nicolas Reeves (UQAM), who will act as local co-curator for the show.

The exhibition builds on Prof. Cardoso Llach’s previous show at Carnegie Mellon University’s Miller Gallery, Designing the Computational Image, Imagining Computational Design, which was supported by the Graham Foundation in 2017. This show innovatively combined historical and contemporary materials to examine the confluence of technical developments in graphics and software with the emergence of new theoretical and aesthetic sensibilities in architecture and other creative fields. The new show — entitled Vers une imaginaire numérique — will specifically address the Montreal context by showcasing newly researched materials that emphasize Canadian expressions of architectural and design computing, and new interactive software reconstructions of early CAD software systems developed by students at Carnegie Mellon and McGill. Aside from the original show’s international checklist of computational design pioneers and present-day practitioners, on display at UQAM will be pieces by Canadian architects, artists, and designers including Jer Thorpe, Elizabeth Vander Zaag, Gilles Fortin, Leslie Mezei, Dennis Peters, among others. Adding to the historical selection, the 4,000 sqft show will include materials addressing the intersection of mathematical and architectural modes of representation — a focus of Prof. Vardouli’s research — as well as large-scale interactive works.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a symposium entitled Digital.Visual.Material, chaired by Profs. Vardouli and Cardoso Llach. The two-day event will bring together leading and emergent scholars to converse with the histories and practices represented in the show. The symposium will take place at McGill University from May 23-24, 2020 with speakers from across architecture, media, and science and technology studies. A reasoned catalogue will document the evolving exhibition, and collect the essays from both the Pittsburgh and Montreal symposia. 

The idea of bringing the show to Montreal originated in the Fall of 2017 when Prof. Vardouli, who was a guest speaker in the School of Architecture’s Computational Design Histories, Practices, Infrastructures symposium, visited the Miller Gallery exhibition and proposed the collaboration. Back in Montreal, she initiated a conversation with the Centre de design director Louise Pelletier which eventually led to securing the Centre’s support for the project, and to a collaboration with UQAM’s Professor Nicolas Reeves as local co-curator for the show. Prof. Cardoso Llach expects that the show will continue to evolve as it travels to other cities, and involves new collaborators, in tracing local histories and contemporary practices of computational design.

Vers une imaginaire numérique

Curated by
Daniel Cardoso Llach (Carnegie Mellon)
Theodora Vardouli (McGill)
Nicolas Reeves, (UQAM)

May 20-June 21, 2020
Centre de design de l’UQAM, Montreal, Canada

Associated Events

“Digital.Visual.Material” Symposium

Organized by
Theodora Vardouli (McGill)
Daniel Cardoso Llach (Carnegie Mellon)

May 23-24, 2020
Peter Guo-hua Fu School of Architecture, McGill University

Author: Yixiao Fu
Category: News