CCA Virtual Fellowship Program
The Canadian Centre for Architecture welcomes applications for two virtual fellowships, each held for a six-week period. Fellowships can take place either between March and May or September and December. The format of the fellowship supports our long-term investment in thinking through how digitized CCA Collection material can generate new historical configurations and timely interpretations, and how it can have a broader reach within architecture research. The Virtual Fellowship Program runs alongside our Research Fellowship Program to increase the accessibility of the CCA Collection.
The Architectural Media of Urgency
The 2024 edition of the Virtual Fellowship Program, The Architectural Media of Urgency, invites applicants to put forward proposals as to what constitutes urgent architectural media today. Whether considering short form documentary, lens-based image making, vellum drawings, or digital renderings researchers are asked to engage with our Collection to surface diverse forms of “evidence” to support their claims about the forms and practices of representation that should be valued in contemporary architectural discourse.
The program seeks to investigate how the affordances of specific representational media position “urgency” across its social, environmental, economic, and political registers; for example, practices of colonial surveying across diverse geographies relied on the production of topographic maps to claim jurisdiction over territories; how the fire risk maps produced and used by corporate insurance companies can elide the negative effects of gentrification and for-profit zoning; or how Cedric Price used questionnaires to reflect the wide and diverse social dimensionality of a given project. In each case, the capacities of media to capture empirical realities and be captured by ideological and/or design positions reflects their potential to determine legal claims or other contexts for which “evidence” is of paramount importance.
Over the past decade, the work of the Centre for Research Architecture has illuminated the relationships between the production of architectural media and the pursuit of evidentiary projects in conflict zones, migration justice, and data sovereignty movements. Applicants to the 2024 Virtual Fellowship Program will mine how a medium-specific analysis attentive to a close reading of contexts of production can shape how urgency is experienced and understood. Representational media, whether highly material and analog or those living in the “cloud”, are the primary means through which designers reflect on the most pressing issues of our times. This reflexive approach aligns with the CCA’s recent focus on film as a curatorial tool and the documentary as a genre to highlight how spatial interventions illuminate and make malleable social norms around housing, ageing, and family arrangements.
The two selected 2024 Virtual Fellows will be encouraged to undertake research that puts the CCA Collection into conversation with material held elsewhere, to explore where, how, and why architectural media are thought and created.
Virtual Fellows may address a range of topics that put forward specific definitions and framings of “urgency” and the media on which they are built and depend. These topics might include:
• The relationships between design and building evidence
• Reliability, fakes, doubling, and other questions related to architectural evidence
• Historically specific and contingent understandings of architectural media
• Explorations of the social construction of urgency and its reliance on media technologies
• Considerations of “documentary” as a film/photo genre of relevance to architectural discourse
• Multimedia projects, digital or otherwise, and boundaries/connections across media
Guidelines and terms
Fellows are encouraged to put CCA Collection material into conversation with a wide array of research materials held elsewhere, particularly with established or nascent archives related to expanded practices of documenting the built environment. The broader aim is to draw connections across these bodies of material with a view to questioning the kind of media, stories, and materials the CCA Collection should encompass moving into the future.
Virtual Fellows will collaborate with CCA staff to curate a selection of objects related to the theme that can provide an open-access resource for future research and instruction. Fellows will commit to working twenty-five hours per week on their project over the six-week period, for which they will each receive a 5000 CAD honorarium, with the additional benefit of tailored research assistance provided by the CCA Collection team.
We welcome applicants working on topics that examine how design maintains ties to racialized sites and bodies, mobilizes notions of futurity premised on the resurgence of historically marginalized groups, and, more generally, demonstrates how the CCA Collection should be read intersectionally and transversally through the lens of critical historiography. We particularly encourage projects from early career researchers who hold a PhD and/or equivalent professional experience.
Applicants to the Virtual Fellowship Program should undertake an initial survey of our Collection—processed archival material, Prints and Drawings, library materials, and our Photography collection—and briefly describe the specific objects they will mobilize to examine critically the 2024 theme. Fellows are encouraged to put CCA Collection material into conversation with material held elsewhere; however, they should draw connections across both sets of materials with a view to engaging with and creating a coherent body of digitized material. Fellows will work in close cooperation with our reference librarians to identify digitized material as well as to suggest materials for future digitization.
Applications (in English or French) must include:
• A project proposal (500–750 words) addressing how the applicant will mobilize particular objects both within and outside the CCA Collection to address the theme
• A schedule of work that extends over the six-week period
• The names and contact information for two references (for shortlisted candidates)
• A curriculum vitae
All applications must be submitted online through the CCA application portal.
Deadline: 25 September 2023 at midnight (EST).
For questions regarding the program, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
For updates on the program, please subscribe to the CCA newsletter.
2023 Virtual Fellows
“See Here: Interrogating the Photographs of Felice Beato”
“Land and Sky: DEW Line Sensors as Colonial Development”
Wafa Mohammed Ali
University of Khartoum
“The Whereabouts of Sudan’s Public Works Archive”
University of the Witwatersrand
“Cultural hermeneutics as a framework for the reform of former exclusionary spatial and institutional enclaves in a postdemocratic South Africa”
Federal University of Paraná
“Building ephemeral matter in the Georg Lippsmeier collection”
California College of the Arts
University of Sydney
“Paper, Pulp and Plywood, ca. 1967”
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