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05.31.17 – Roberto Damiani awarded 2017 Graham Foundation Grant for book on George Baird

Post Doctoral Fellow Roberto Damiani has received a 2017 grant from the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts for a proposed book on the work of Professor Emeritus George Baird, former Dean of the Daniels Faculty (2004-2009). Titled The Architect and the Public: The Contribution of George Baird to Architecture, the book will include contributions by Daniels Faculty members Lecturer Hans Ibelings, Director of Master of Architecture Program Robert Levit, Assistant Professor Michael Piper, Professor Brigitte Shim, and Dean Richard Sommer. Other contributors include Pier Vittorio Aureli, Joseph Bedford, Louis Martin, Joan Ockman, Jorge Silvetti, Hans Teerds, and Roemer van Toorn.

From the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts' website:

The Architect and the Public is a collection of essays and interviews on the work of George Baird, and serves as evidence of the architect's public engagement with contemporary society. With the rise of mass media, traditional modes of producing and communicating architecture have been transformed, as many practitioners choose to express the cultural and societal relevance of buildings, and to ground architectural design beyond personal agendas. George Baird's work and research reflects this practice, and Baird—along with Colin Rowe, Kenneth Frampton, and Peter Eisenman—has served as a model for North American architectural debate. From his early theoretical writings as a doctoral student, to his involvement with Toronto city planning, to his commitment to teaching at the University of Toronto and Harvard, Baird played a key role in shaping the relationship between architecture and its multiple publics, many of which emerged in the second half of the twentieth century.

In 2017, the Graham Foundation awarded $568,500 to 72 projects by individuals. The Architect and the Public is one of 34 publications included in the 2017 Grantees list. It is scheduled to be published in 2018.

Damiani is the organizer and curator of Italy under Construction, a program of exhibitions and lectures on contemporary Italian architecture, in collaboration with the Italian Cultural Institute in Toronto. Earlier this year, he curated an exhibition titled Palimpsests and Interfaces that presented four civic buildings by the Venice based architect Renato Rizzi, and seven buildings — four residential and three office buildings — by Cino Zucchi Architetti based in Milan. Information about the exhibition can be found on the Italian Cultural Institute website.

Photo, top: George Baird (front), Ted Teshima (behind). Courtesy of Canadian Architectural Archives, University of Calgary. Toronto, May 1959.