Architects Talk

TSA Architects’ Talk is a thought provoking public conversation bringing together numerous local architects and experts across a wide variety of fields to discuss larger issues of architecture within the context of Doors Open Toronto and its yearly theme. Past conversations have included topics such as “Architecture Is Art?” and “What is Canadian Architecture?”.

This initiative is produced in collaboration with City of Toronto.

See below for full recordings of our past talks and stay tuned to our events calendar for information on the upcoming edition of Architects’ Talk!

Past Talks

Architects’ Talk 2019: The Next 20 Years – How Architecture and Design Could Shape Our City

The last twenty years have been transformative for Toronto – both in its built form and character. During this time we have witnessed formerly stagnant industrial areas transformed into vibrant mixed used neighbourhoods, and watched as our city’s cultural institutions expanded through bold (and sometimes controversial) additions.

Architecture and design have been at the forefront of many of these processes, with innovative projects bringing fresh ideas and novel perspectives to our city. Other times, inventive built forms have been the result – sometimes unintended – of wider economic, political and social changes across society.

On this 20th anniversary of Doors Open Toronto and as we looked towards the next 20 years, we invited 6 panelists to discuss key themes, perspectives, projects and ideas that promise to shape our city’s future.

SPEAKERS | Andrea Mantin (Brook McIlroy), David Bowick (Blackwell Engineering), Donald Chong (HDR), Michelle Ashurov, Robert M. Wright (Centre For Landscape Research (CLR), John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design), Tom Bessai (Denegri Bessai Studio)

MODERATOR | Elsa Lam (Canadian Architect)

VENUE |Artscape Daniels Launchpad

Architects’ Talk 2018: What’s the story here? – a panel discussion on architecture, film and the city

“What’s the story here?” explores the often-profound relationship between architecture and film and the role they play for one another in advancing and building a story.

Architecture and film share similar devices to deliver their vision: the use of narrative to choreograph an experience, editing, framing, transitions and evoking emotion to carve out intentional spaces.

In addition to hosting the Toronto International Film Festival, Toronto plays a leading role in film-making, welcoming numerous film productions each year and lending itself to narratives set in various times and places. Cinema allows the opportunity for architects to explore the use of narrative and the addition of a fourth dimension to architecture, enriching the experience of built space. How do our memories and shared experiences shape place making and atmosphere within the processes of built form and film-making?

SPEAKERS | Carol Phillips (Moriyama + Teshima Architects), Drew Mandel (Drew Mandel Architects), Elisa Sauve (Production Designer), Jay Pooley (Production Designer and Lecturer, John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design), Paul Austerberry (Production Designer)

MODERATOR | Maria Denegri

VENUE | John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design, 1 Spadina Crescent

Architects’ Talk 2017: What is Canadian Architecture

SPEAKERS | A.J. Diamond, Omar Gandhi, Valerie Gow, Murray Legge, Susan Scott, Pierre Thibault

MODERATOR | Beth Kapusta

VENUE |  Unilever Factory (provided by East Harbour)

Canada’s landscape is vast and varied, with immense distances separating communities and cities. Much like the diversity that defines the country’s identities and geographies, many Canadians embrace multiculturalism rather than assimilation. However, this is not the viewpoint of all, nor entirely representative of Canadian Culture.

Buildings and spaces created by Canadian architects illustrate and illuminate the many varied perspectives of Canadian identity – but, does a distinctly Canadian voice exist in Canadian architecture? As part of Toronto Doors Open 2017, a diverse group of leading architects from across the nation (and beyond) debate this in acknowledgement of Canada’s 150th birthday.

Architects’ Talk 2016: Architecture is Art?

SPEAKERS | Christie Pearson, Paul Raff, Kim Storey, Rohan Walters, Betsy Williamson

MODERATOR | Michael Awad

VENUE | Aga Khan Museum

Architecture defines cities, neighbourhoods and communities. It provides form for the human existence. Buildings, homes and institutions shape the environment and reflect each society’s cultural values. Although some buildings ultimately become icons, is architecture art?