Actions: What You Can Do With the City
26 November 2008 until 19 April 2009
Canadian Centre for Architecture
1920 Baile Street, Montreal, Quebec, H3H 2S6
The Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA) presents the exhibition Actions: What You Can Do With the City, an exhibition with 99 actions that instigate positive change in contemporary cities around the world. Seemingly common activities such as walking, playing, recycling, and gardening are pushed beyond their usual definition by the international architects, artists, and collectives featured in the exhibition. Their experimental interactions with the urban environment show the potential influence personal involvement can have in shaping the city, and challenge fellow residents to participate.
Actions: What You Can Do With the City documents and presents specific projects by a large and diverse group of activists whose personal involvement has triggered radical change in today’s cities. These human motors of change include architects, engineers, university professors, students, children, pastors, artists, skateboarders, cyclists, root eaters, pedestrians, municipal employees, and many others who answer the question of what can be done to improve the urban experience with surprising and often playful actions.
The exhibition features international contemporary architectural projects, design concepts, research studies, and other ideas conveyed through a range of materials including architectural drawings, photographs, videos, publications, artifacts, and websites. Rather than using traditional tools associated with urban planning and design, the instigators of these actions offer an intensely focused personal engagement.
The 99 actions featured include projects related to the production of food and possibilities of urban agriculture; the planning and creation of public spaces to strengthen community interactions; the recycling of abandoned buildings for new purposes; the use of the urban fabric as a terrain for play such as soccer, climbing, skateboarding, or parkour; the alternate use of roads for walking, or rail lines as park space; the design of clothing to circumvent urban barriers against resting on benches or sliding on railings; among others.
The design concept for the exhibition is by Andrea Sala, Milan, and the graphic design including typography and display brochures is by Project Projects, New York City.