Monday, November 06, 2006

[Montreal] November 7th at 6pm: “Destruction by Design: Military Strategy as Urban Planning”

Unfortunately i won’t be able to make it, but this looks real interesting...

Montréal, 25 October 2006 – The Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA) announces that Israeli architect Eyal Weizman, winner of the second international James Stirling Memorial Lectures on the City competition, will deliver a lecture entitled “Destruction by Design: Military Strategy as Urban Planning” at the CCA on Tuesday, 7 November at 6 pm. In collaboration with the Cities Programme of the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), this bi-annual competition seeks to promote innovative approaches to urban phenomena, and to reposition architecture at the centre of debates on the city of the 21st century. The LSE will present Weizman’s second lecture in autumn 2007.

Eyal Weizman’s lecture presents his original research on the relationship between architectural and military planning, and considers the role of architects and urban planners in shaping military campaigns. Contemporary warfare is increasingly conducted within real as well as imaginary urban settings, through the destruction, construction, reorganization, and subversion of space. As such, the urban environment is understood by military strategists today not simply as the backdrop for conflict, but as a central element to be studied, manipulated, and created.

Eyal Weizman is an architect, writer, and curator whose work is motivated by a commitment to human rights at a time of increasingly fortified and militarized cities. His studies of violations of international humanitarian law through the use of architecture and planning were published in the report Land Grab, developed in collaboration with the human rights organization B'Tselem. Based on this research, he co-curated A Civilian Occupation: The Politics of Israeli Architecture, which was shown at the Storefront for Art and Architecture, New York, in 2003, and co-edited the accompanying publication. Weizman is founding director of the Centre for Research Architecture at Goldsmiths College, University of London.

Conceived in homage to architect James Stirling, who believed that urban design is integral to the practice of architecture and a vital topic for public debate, the James Stirling Memorial Lectures on the City competition was inaugurated in November 2003 as a unique forum for the advancement of new critical perspectives on the role of urban design and urban architecture in the development of cities worldwide. The CCA acquired the comprehensive James Stirling archive in November 2000, which comprises a vast collection of drawings, prints, photographs, and models covering Stirling’s production from 1948 to his death in 1992.

Weizman’s Stirling Lecture follows the first edition of the prize (2004-2005) awarded to Teddy Cruz of San Diego for “Border Postcards: Chronicles from the Edge,” a project proposing new urban strategies for the international border zone spanning San Diego and Tijuana. A call for submissions for the 2008-2009 competition will be announced in autumn 2007.

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The CCA is an international research centre and museum founded in 1979 on the conviction that architecture is a public concern. Based on its extensive collections, the CCA is a leading voice in advancing knowledge, promoting public understanding, and widening thought and debate on the art of architecture, its history, theory, practice, and role in society today.

If any of you end up attending this, feel free encouraged to drop me a line and let me know how it goes!

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