OCAD University

Goethe-Institut Toronto and OCADU present the

Ecology.Design.Synergy speaker series

Series to open with Friedrich von Borries in conversation with Philip Beesley

(Toronto — September 24, 2010) The Goethe-Institut Toronto, in cooperation the Faculty of Design at OCAD University (OCADU) and the MaRS Centre, present a speaker series as part of Ecology.Design.Synergy: Green Architecture & New Ideas from Germany & Canada. The series will launch with Provocative Visioning: The Artist/Designer as Eco-Provocateur, bringing together the remarkable creative explorations of Berlin-based Friedrich von Borries and Canadian Philip Beesley, with presentation of their work and ensuing conversation, at OCADU on Thursday, October 7, 6 p.m.

Curated by OCADU Faculty of Design Acting Dean Doreen Balabanoff in collaboration with the Goethe-Institut, this series will explore a range of architectural and design practices that are transforming our understanding of ‘sustainability’ within the built environment. This evening showcases two outstanding Venice Biennale (Architecture) participants: von Borries curated the German presentation in 2008, and Beesley's project, Hylozoic Ground, is Canada's representative at the Biennale this year.

About the Speakers:
Friedrich von Borries
runs Projektbüro Friedrich von Borries in Berlin, a company developing urban development concepts, architectural installations and exhibitions. In 2003, with fellow architect Matthias Böttger, he set up ‘raumtaktik’ (‘spatial tactics’) a collaboration investigating space and spatial intervention. Interested in the means of production of space, and the cultural, economic and political parameters that determine the shape of architecture and urban development, they produced a series of exhibitions, installations and publications which challenge conventional thinking. Globalisation, migration, economic transformation, commercialisation, the event character of space, the activation of urban space — these are the underlying conditions explored in their dynamic and provocative team work. In 2008, von Borries was named Germany’s curator and commissioner for the Venice Architecture Biennale. Currently, von Borries is Professor of Design Theory at University of Fine Arts of Hamburg.

Toronto architect Philip Beesley of Beesley Architects, Prix de Rome winner, teaches at the University of Waterloo where he also co-directs the Integrated Centre for Visualization, Design and Manufacturing (ICVDM). The research conducted by Beesley at the ICVDM concerns textile lattices in architecture and focuses particularly on interlinked mesh structures, lightweight materials, and offset and assembly systems. His works are inspired by the organic world and traditional weaving techniques. They are, however, created using sophisticated visualization tools, digital technologies for graphic design, and devices allowing rapid prototyping. Beesley’s project “Hylozoic Ground” is currently on site in Venice as Canada’s entry at the 12th International Architecture Biennale.

Additional Ecology.Design.Synergy speaker events will include:

2) Strategic Construction: The Architect as Agent for Change

Manfred Bausem and Martin Liefhebber
November 26, 6 p.m.

OCAD University, Auditorium, 100 McCaul Street, Toronto

3) Visionary Regeneration: The Historic Fabric Refashioned
Speakers & Date TBA

4) Fine Tuning: The Building as Ecosystem
Speakers & Date TBA

About the Goethe-Institut Toronto
The Goethe-Institut Toronto (www.goethe.de/toronto) presents important positions, contemporary ideas and arts practices from Germany and Europe to Canadians. Our current focus themes are Culture & Economy, City & Climate, and German film & media art. We organise residencies together with our Canadian partners, offer international liaison work and consulting as well as promote European cultural understanding, e.g. through our cooperation with other European cultural institutes across Canada.

About OCAD University (OCADU)
OCAD University (www.ocad.ca) is Canada’s “University of the Imagination.” The University, founded in 1876, is dedicated to art and design education, practice and research and to knowledge and invention across a wide range of disciplines. OCAD University is building on its traditional, studio-based strengths, adding new approaches to learning that champion cross-disciplinary practice, collaboration and the integration of emerging technologies. In the Age of Imagination, OCAD University community members will be uniquely qualified to act as catalysts for the next advances in culture, technology and quality of life for all Canadians.

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For more information, contact:

Jutta Brendemühl, Program Coordinator, Goethe-Institut Toronto
416.593.5257 Ext. 205

Sarah Mulholland, Media & Communications Officer
416.977.6000 Ext. 327 (mobile Ext. 1327)

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