CCA Master’s Students Program

The CCA invites interested students enrolled in a Canadian school of architecture, or adjacent degree program, to apply for a collaborative, two-month summer residency, during which they will contribute to the development of a defined research project. The program offers Master’s students the opportunity to encounter the CCA collection firsthand, through which they will gain valuable skills in historiography, including conducting archival research, developing a literature review, and writing. Moreover, with the support of CCA’s curatorial and publication staff, the students will develop appropriate formats for communicating and presenting their findings, both individually and collectively, as the culmination of their residency.

Line of inquiry: “About Africa”

The 2017 Master’s Students Program will be on the topic of development and aid in Africa. Never have there been as many opportunities for architecture students and young architects to research and design the built environment of Africa as there are today. New institutions, satellite campuses, travel studios, and humanitarian programs have proliferated in recent years, often citing the astonishing urban population growth forecasted on the continent for the twenty-first century. But what about the twentieth century? How might studying past design interventions carried out in in the name of research, aid, or development allow us to develop a more critical and informed perspective on current initiatives and their visions of the future of Africa, and of the Global South more broadly?

Following this line of inquiry, participants of the Master’s Students Program will use archives and libraries recently acquired by the CCA to examine how models of expertise and contexts of exchange have transformed in different post-Independence African countries between the 1960s and the 1980s. Through this work, students will develop fundamental skills in archival research and build historiographic knowledge of the architecture of development and aid in Africa drawing from the CCA’s collection.

Candidates selected to participate in the 2017 CCA Master’s Students Program will carry out a literature review, conduct archival research, and present research findings in the form of a talk or publication, while in residency at the CCA. Participants will focus more specifically on the collection material generated around two figures: German architect Georg Lippsmeier, founder of the Institut für Tropenbau, and Dutch educator and planner Coen Beeker. Lippsmeier operated primarily in post-Independence Tanzania, Kenya, and Zambia; and Beeker worked in Burkina Faso, Ethiopia and Tanzania; but together they amassed libraries representing the extents of their research agendas across the continent.

Participants will use projects by both Lippsmeier and Beeker, as well as the specificities if their work, to explore the broader architectural and urban themes and ideas in which their practices were embedded. Applicants should propose research projects in the collections that address such topics as contemporary assumptions about modernism, legacies of colonialism, ideas about technology, strategies of collaboration, negotiations between the global and the local, and the relationship of peripheries to centers in architecture and planning, among others.

Previous CCA Master’s Students Program have explored the topics of “The Environment” in 2016, “3 Canadian Architects (Guy Desbarats, Roger D’Astous, and Victor Prus)” in 2015, “The Megaform and Societal Change” in 2014, “(Sensitive) Urban Intelligence (for Spatial Practice)” in 2013, and “The Forest” in 2012.

The call for 2017 applications is closed. Please click here to refer to the 2017 application guidelines and terms.


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