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Barry Sampson, Baird Sampson Neuert Architects, George Baird Lecture

Thu, Oct 24/19 – 6:30pm to 8:00pm

Main Hall, 1 Spadina Crescent

George Baird Lecture

Registration is required for this event. Reserve your ticket on the registration page.

Doors will open at 6pm. Ticket holders must arrive by 6:20pm (with their printed or mobile ticket) to claim their seats. There will be a rush line for those without tickets. Any unclaimed seats will be released to the rush line at 6:20pm.
This event is part of the 'Hindsight is 20/20' public programming series at the Daniels Faculty.

Questions of Practice: George Baird Architect to Baird Sampson Neuert Architects

The lecture will briefly explore five questions that highlight the work of the architectural firm founded by George Baird in the late 60's. Renamed Baird Sampson Architects when Barry Sampson became a partner in 1981 and Baird Sampson Neuert architects, when Jon Neuert became a principal in 1998, the firm has been in continuous practice for half a century. Each question encapsulates concerns pertinent to the evolution of the firm's interests and challenges over the decades.

Elaboration of Lecture Questions:
The first question, For Whom Do We Work, addresses the array of instigators who actually motivate and direct architectural work. It should be of particular interest  to students who will move from a studio environment where they and their professors are instigators and motivators to a post graduate environment of multiple project progenitors and  interests.

The second, Can Modernism Move Forward by Looking Back ? briefly addresses the problem of historicity that the heroic period of modernists claimed to eschew. By the sixties and seventies questions of the inadequacy of this sensibility to meet social and cultural problems of urbanism and the historic city were fuelling new critical practices, as well as the existential crisis of post modernism.  

The third, How Could Architecture be Responsive to both Weather and Biological Needs? This question arose out of unique work assignments requiring attainment of high levels of environmental performance well in advance of developing interests in sustainable practices and framework systems such as LEED.

The fourth, How Does Architecture Give Form to Community?  Via public competitions and social projects later in its practice, the firm returned to urban design interests that characterized its first decade of practice.

The fifth and final question remains open: Can a Small, Critical Practice Survive in an Age of Technocracy? Illustrated by recent challenges and successes, it returns to underlying fundamentals of the first question and should similarly be of particular interest to students and recent graduates.

Barry Sampson is a Professor Emeritus at the University of Toronto and a principal in the firm Baird Sampson Neuert Architects, where he has directed numerous architecture, public space, and competition design projects, many of which have received awards for excellence. Firm accomplishments include: three Governor General’s awards, an American Institute of Architect’s Honour Award, a Royal Architectural Institute of Canada Innovation Award, and over forty architectural design, urban design, and technical design awards. As a result of its record of achievement and contribution to education, BSN received the RAIC Firm Award in 2007. More recently Barry was awarded the CMHC Excellence in Education Award for outstanding educational contribution to sustainable practices.