Canadian architecture is internationally respected and known around the world for its innovation and empathy for people and the land. With an abundance of endangered natural resources, a strong educational system, healthy democracy, and commitments to multiculturalism and reconciliation, Canada is becoming a world leader in the areas of wood building technologies, environmental stewardship, sustainable urbanism, architecture in support of human rights, place-making and community-building. An Architecture Policy for Canada will help ensure that Canada achieves global architectural excellence, attracts international researchers, inspires future generations and enhances our communities.
ARCHITECTURE + POTENTIAL
“We have potential here in Canada to be able to transcend to a higher level of architecture.”
Raymond Moriyama (2014)
Architecture As A Creative Industry
A creative Canada needs invigorating architecture. Architecture is the enduring infrastructure that supports other modes of cultural production, enabling diverse arts to thrive. Buildings and cities can be designed as creative hubs, encouraging innovation and collaboration. The built environment is itself a repository of creativity, with capacity to teach the history of creative building solutions and inspire new design approaches. Investment in digital industries and other creative media must be matched with support for innovation in the design of physical settings where creativity is fostered.
Architecture requires creative collaboration. Architectural design processes routinely confront complex circumstances and multi-faceted problems for which there is no single answer or obvious method of proceeding. Architecture requires unique skills in various means of visual and verbal communication, and always working with and for others. Responding to the challenges of our time in an era of increased specialization requires the capability to comprehensively grasp and compellingly represent over-arching intentions and long-term impacts – in view of the common good.
Research And Innovation
Architectural design is inherently a multi-disciplinary research enterprise. Each new building is a unique invention created for particular contexts and with innovative technologies. At the same time, design entails learning from past successes and mistakes, and adapting conventions to new circumstances. Architecture equally depends on understanding natural laws and human customs that can change remarkably little over time. Architectural research spans many fields: engineering, natural sciences, social sciences and the arts. While generous funds support research in certain sectors, architectural research – which incorporates methods and findings from diverse fields – is often poorly supported. Increasing direct support for architecture research yields benefits similar to direct research funding in science, engineering and technology.