Archeology of the Digital
When I lived in Montreal, one of my favourite exhibition venues was the Canadian Centre for Architecture. Founded in in 1979, the CCA hosts temporary exhibitions that examine the social and cultural contributions of design and the built environment as well as encouraging scholarly investigation of the disciplines in its research centre and archives. Their latest exhibition, Archeology of the Digital, which opened earlier this month, addresses the monumental change that occurred in architectural practices with the onset of digital drawing and modelling in the late 1980s. The exhibition focuses on four case studies: the Lewis Residence by Frank Gehry (1985–95), Peter Eisenman’s Frankfurt Biocentrum (1987), Shoei Yoh Hamura’s Odawara Gymnasium (1991) and Chuck Hoberman’s Expanding Sphere (1992) that each expanded the possibilites of architectural form through the use of digital media. Archeology of the Digital is conceived as a component of the CCA’s larger investigation into the preservation and collecting of the digital in architecture, as unlike drawings done by hand much of this material is ephemeral and disappears after the project’s completion. There are many reasons to visit Montreal this summer, but this innovative, and important, exhibition is at the top of my list.
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