11 Can’t-Miss Lectures Getting 2024 Off to a Great Start
If the New Year brought a craving for new knowledge and inspiration, you’re in luck. Many major design institutions, fairs and festivals are hitting the ground running with a great lineup of lectures and panels featuring some of our favourite industry luminaries. So pull out your crisp new 2024 agenda (or scroll to a new page of your digital calendar) and mark down the dates below. Here are 11 upcoming 2024 architecture and design talks you need to know about.
Architects Renée Daoust and Rachel Stecke of Montreal firm Daoust Lestage Lizotte Stecker will discuss (among other things) the role of water and vegetation as design elements — an idea that the duo successfully explored in their recent project Expérience Chute, which was a 2022 AZ Awards finalist.
When: January 18 Where: New York, NY; Columbia Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation; Wood Auditorium
Columbia’s GSAPP is dedicating its spring programming to the topic of real estate. Its first speaker is Talar Sarkissian, a director of industrial development at Oxford Properties. Along with overseeing some 310 acres of industrial buildings, Talar established Oxford’s North American Industrial Sustainability Strategy and Decarbonization Plan.
We might be a bit biased, but when it comes to this year’s edition of Toronto’s Interior Design Show (IDS), we’d say that AZURE Talks Trade Day is set to be a major highlight. On January 19, our editorial team will lead a series of engaging discussions with a star group of speakers — including architectural photographers Ema Peter and Younes Bounhar, Salone Satellite founder Marva Griffin, and inflated metal furniture designer Oskar Zieta.
Beyond the main stage, the IDS conference program is also packed with VIP guests. On Thursday morning at 9 am, Shim-Sutcliffe co-founder Brigitte Shim joins Alterra CEO Robert Cooper for a seminar titled Co-Creation — The Next Level of Collaboration. Using the Ace Hotel Toronto as a case study, the duo will discuss how architects, designers and developers can work together more collaboratively to achieve exciting results. Any out-of-town visitors who are booked to stay at the Ace Hotel Toronto will surely appreciate the extra insight into their accommodations.
Photo by Vid Ingelevics and Ryan Walker
Vid Ingelevics and Ryan Walker — “Our Changing Port Lands – Documenting Toronto’s Journey to Climate Resiliency”
Vid Ingelevics and Ryan Walker — the photographic duo behind the cover photo that graced Azure’s 300th issue — have been recording the revitalization of Toronto’s Port Lands for the past few years. Here, they speak with Soren Brothers, the ROM’s Allan and Helaine Shiff Curator of Climate Change, on watching the area’s transformation from post-industrial landscape to restored river valley — and how that’s positioning Toronto as a leader in climate resiliency.
DesignTO’s ninth annual symposium adopts the theme “Dematerialized,” looking at how our increasingly digital world is driving design in new, less physical, directions. Speakers will include Alex Yueyan Li (a co-principal of Toronto- and Boston-based firm 11×17), cyberethnographer Ruby Thelot and artist Skawennati, a co-director of the research network Aboriginal Territories in Cyberspace.
When: January 24 Where: Houston, TX; Rice University, MD Anderson Hall, Farish Gallery
One standout of our 2023 offices issue was a vibrant bank tower project in Lima by WORKac. Along with being the firm’s cofounder, Amale Andraos is also a professor and dean emeritus at Columbia’s School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation and the author of The Arab City: Architecture and Representation, a book about contemporary architecture’s role in the Middle East. We expect this talk to blend discussion of past WORKAC projects with broader commentary about architecture’s capacity to address social concerns.
Germane Barnes — one of the global design talents profiled in our recent Nov/Dec issue feature on “Spatial Reimaginings” — takes the stage to discuss how the built environment influences community agency.
Photo by Gravity Road
“In Conversation: The Ralph Saltzman Prize Winner 2024”
While the Ralph Saltzman prize winner has not been announced yet, whoever the award goes to is already booked to speak with Design Museum Chief Curator Johanna Agerman Ross a few weeks after the announcement. The two will discuss the winner’s journey in the creative industry — from early influences to key challenges and future aspirations — in an event coinciding with the opening of an exhibition profiling the winner’s work.
Photos by Nathan Cyprys
SOCA — “Visibility & Community: Observations on Overlooked Communities and Narratives in Architecture”
Fresh from the cover of our Nov/Dec 2023 issue, Shane Laptiste and Tura Cousins Wilson of Toronto’s Studio of Contemporary Architecture (SOCA) continue the Ariele School of Architecture and Urbanism’s spring lecture series with a talk focused on architecture’s role supporting overlooked communities.
Photo by James Brittain
Johanna Hurme (5468796 Architecture) — Somerville Visiting Lecture
When: February 14 Where: Calgary, AB; University of Calgary School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape, CBDLab
Johanna Hurme (of Winnipeg’s 5468796 Architecture) flies west to share insights into her firm’s social projects and private residences. Consider it the perfect Valentine’s Day counter-programming — or perhaps even a great date night activity.
Maggie Tsang, the managing principal of landscape architecture and urban design studio Dept., will discuss how her work addresses the concept of “tending” (which she defines as caring for or looking after something or someone). Subsequent lectures set to take place at Tulane this spring will be delivered by architect and computational textile expert Felecia Davis and Columbia GSAPP Urban Planning program director Welping Wu.