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10.25.17 – WHAT IS A SCHOOL (of architecture, landscape architecture, art, or urban design)?

This fall, as students and faculty at the University of Toronto’s John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design start school in their new home at One Spadina Crescent, questions around the changing nature of the disciplines of architecture, landscape architecture, art, and urbanism and their evolving pedagogical approaches have become especially urgent.

To celebrate the school’s new home and speculate about how to make best use of it in the coming years, the Faculty is mounting a series of discussions, lectures, and workshops, as well as a symposium. These events will explore the relationship between our workspaces and the pedagogies, research projects, and forms of public outreach in which we engage.

What kind of a pedagogical instrument is a school? What is its scope and reach? How do we conceptualize its relationship to the public? How can a school be a both a place where ideas are cultivated and where they are subject to continuous experimentation? And what implications does this productive tension have for the politics at play in our approach to art, architecture, landscape architecture, and urban design? The series will host a rich array of educators, theorists, historians, and practitioners and will culminate in a symposium in the spring that will bring together thinkers who are at the forefront of conceptualizing and designing our schools.

“My mantra has been that architecture and its allied disciplines are as much a way of finding the world, as they are of forming it, and how it follows that a great design school models practice by acting as a hinge between study and action,” says Professor Richard Sommer, Dean of the Daniels Faculty. “With our new platform at One Spadina, we have an unprecedented opportunity to explore and demonstrate this.”

Upcoming lectures include:

For more information about this series, visit