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The planet is the client

This issue is a reader for a particular, activist blend of architectural approaches to the environment. It establishes a bit of (tendentious) context; it defines, and redefines, and argues over certain terms, clarifying the attitudes behind them; it documents our mistakes as evenly as our successes, so we can really understand where we’ve been and where we are now. And since we’re still hoping, it puts forward new design possibilities—which we promise don’t all originate in the 1970s. Your help on that would be greatly appreciated.

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Hostile/Docile

David Suzuki, Douglas Coupland, Eriel Tchekwie Deranger, Cornelia Hahn Oberlander, Annabel Soutar, and Mirko Zardini present their work around questions of our attitudes toward nature, and nature’s possible attitudes toward us.

Annabel Soutar is a playwright and the author of such works as Seeds (2013) and The Watershed (2015). In this short documentary play, she sits down to dinner with her family.

Hostile/Docile, episode 1: Annabel Soutar
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Cornelia Hahn Oberlander is a landscape architect whose works include the National Gallery of Canada, the Northwest Territories Legislative Building, and the VanDusen Botanical Garden. In this episode, she shares her vision of the Canadian Arctic.

Hostile/Docile, episode 2: Cornelia Hahn Oberlander
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Mirko Zardini is the Director of the CCA and curator of It’s All Happening So Fast. He presents the counter-historical project behind the exhibition and the book that accompanies it.

Hostile/Docile, episode 3: Mirko Zardini
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Eriel Tchekwie Deranger is a founder of Indigenous Climate Action, an indigenous rights advocate, and a representative of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation Treaty 8 of Northern Alberta. In this talk, she exposes the predatory logic of Western economic and political ideologies.

Hostile/Docile, episode 4: Eriel Tchekwie Deranger
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Douglas Coupland is a prolific artist and author. His most recent works include the exhibition and book BitRot (2015–2016), as well as Slogans for the Twenty-First Century (2011–2016) and The Ice Storm (2014), on view in It’s All Happening So Fast. He reads a commentary of his essay “Black Goo, 1973.”

Hostile/Docile, episode 5: Douglas Coupland
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David Suzuki is a leading environmentalist and has hosted the television series The Nature of Things since 1979. His Blue Dot Campaign aims to change the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms to include environmental rights. He concludes the Hostile/Docile series with a call to action.

Hostile/Docile, episode 6: David Suzuki
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This live taping was hosted by the CCA’s Lev Bratishenko to open the exhibition It’s All Happening So Fast: A Counter-History of the Modern Canadian Environment, which looks at Canada as an exemplary case study in the history of “progress” and changing ideas of our relationships with the natural environment.

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