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SURE: Architecture

Click on the title for full description of SURE 2016 projects in Architecture.

ARCH-001: Trajectories: The Networks of Architectural Education
Professor: David Theodore
E-mail: david [dot] theodore [at] mcgill [dot] ca
Telephone: 514-398-2862

Research Area: Digital visualization of architectural education

This is the second year of a project co-sponsored by Prof. David Theodore and Prof. Ipek Türeli (http://trajectories.research.mcgill.ca). We are developing a research centre that integrates digital history and institutional networks. "Trajectories" focuses on the School of Architecture as an institution. The School provides professional training in architecture at the undergraduate level, but we do not know how our graduates use their education: How did their education at McGill shape their lives? If we have this information, we can evaluate the effectiveness of our program and develop hypotheses about the wider professional realm. This summer, SURE students will collect data from survey-interviews with former students who graduated between 1985-2010, and then map and visualize the career paths our alumni have taken.

Working as a team, the SURE students will continue the process started in 2015 of tracing and contacting former students. The main task is to map the trajectories of graduates since they left McGill. The SURE team will learn how to map the graduates’ origins and predicted locations using visualization software.The students will also learn about research ethics approvals and interview techniques.

The students will produce a) a database of digitized student autobiographies and b) visualizations mapping student educational and professional trajectories.

Number of positions: 2
Academic Level: Year 1, Year 2, Year 3

ARCH-002: Situated Interactive Interface (SInter)
Professor:  Michael Jemtrudbr> E-mail:  michael [dot] jemtrud [at] mcgill [dot] ca
Telephone: 514-398-1619

Research Area:  Urban media experience design.

Description:  The Facility for Architectural Research in Media and Mediation (FARMM) in the School of Architecture is seeking two students to assist in research related to the prototyping of the “Situated Interactive Interface” (SInter) project. SInter is an interactive data gathering and communication platform that fuses the capabilities of a multi-channel sensor apparatus with scalable digital output through a distributed infrastructure embedded in the material fabric of the city. Call it firmware for the urban environment. SInter aims to transform sensed urban phenomena, such as environmental conditions and collective human activity, into live data that the public can use to produce interactive media on-the-fly for site-specific artistic performance, display, and user interaction. SInter is therefore an open-ended sandbox of information input and output where users can play with a variety of live data streams to create in-situ digital artworks and visualizations using web-based tools and on-site controls. Individually, each SInter object, functioning as a node within a larger interactive network, can be detailed for different scales of media output ranging from smartphones, compact LCD displays, and directional speakers, to large video projections, LED arrays, and loudspeakers creating life-size mediascapes in public spaces. Collectively, the SInter nodes will create a media mesh network capable of transforming entire neighborhoods into hyper-connected, art-smart districts that nurture creativity and connectivity. Research activity includes 3D-modeling and rendering and Arduino programming for the prototyping of SInter. Proficiency in Rhino and/or Processing is required. Successful candidates will work closely with lead PhD students working in FARMM.

Tasks:  Student-researcher 1: The student will be required to develop 3D-models, drawings, and renderings for the Sinter design, development, and prototyping. Student-researcher 2: The student will be required to assist in the sensor and Arduino-based technology configuration for the Sinter design, development, and prototyping.

Deliverables:  To be determined with research collaborators from the Topological Media Lab, Concordia.

Number of positions:  2
Academic Level: Year 2

ARCH-003: The architecture of Arthur Erickson: an illustrated and annotated bibliography
Professor:  David Covo
E-mail:  david [dot] covo [at] mcgill [dot] ca
Telephone: 514-398-6763

Research Area:  History of modern architecture; the architecture of Arthur Erickson; architectural stewardship

Description:  The aim of this project is a comprehensive bibliography, illustrated and annotated, of popular, professional and scholarly writing about the architecture of legendary Canadian Architect Arthur Erickson (1924-2009). One of McGill’s most celebrated graduates (B.Arch. ‘50, PhD (Hon) ‘75), Erickson has been described as Canada’s greatest architect, with five decades of buildings in Canada, the US and abroad that have been recognized with countless awards, including the Order of Canada, seven honorary doctorates, and the top awards of the International Union of Architects and professional associations in Canada, the US and France. All but one of his buildings remain in use, and a number have been recognized with Heritage designations. The purpose of the bibliography is to support the work of the Arthur Erickson Foundation (AEF) and others, including the owners of Erickson’s buildings and regulatory agencies, in relation to the ongoing stewardship of Erickson’s legacy of built work. A major objective of the project is the collection of materials written by Erickson and based on interviews with him that refer to both the design and the design intentions behind his work. A reference that ‘speaks’ reliably with the authority of Erickson’s own voice will be seen as a major resource in the development of a stewardship process for his buildings that is responsive, effective, and sustainable. David Covo is a Director of the AEF, a not-for-profit group, and is active on a voluntary basis in stewardship discussions related to Vancouver’s Robson Square and the Museum of Anthropology at UBC.

Tasks:  1. archival research: the John Bland Canadian Architecture Collection (McGill), the Canadian Centre for Architecture (Montreal); the Canadian Architectural Archives (University of Calgary); Erickson family archives; professional and scholarly journals; the popular press; 2. interviews: development of new oral histories based on interviews with Erickson’s colleagues, collaborators and clients; 3. compilation of strategic written and visual material: digitization of selected archival drawings, photography and texts; new photography, where possible, of built work.

Deliverables:  1. A comprehensive bibliography of writings on the work of Arthur Erickson, based on archival text and images, new oral histories with owners, builders, and key design collaborators, and contemporary photography; 2. A data base of Erickson buildings with the names and contact information of owners, tenants and other persons responsible for operations, maintenance and capital project development; 3. A valuable reference that provides insight on design intentions and other information that will be essential in a stewardship process addressing proposals for maintenance, alterations, additions, new construction, and demolition in relation to Arthur Erickson’s buildings.

Number of positions:  1
Academic Level: Year 1, Year 2, Year 3