Form, content and meaning in the Architecture Museum

This studio invites students to consider the question of the architectural museum. Students will explore the relationship of form and material to content and meaning. In doing so they will conceptualize and execute the design of a building and institution in which architecture – and its multiple meanings and importance – is exhibited and debated. Situated in the final year of their undergraduate education in architecture, each student will have the opportunity to reflect upon their accumulated knowledge about architecture and speculate on how an institution may discuss issues in architecture for a contemporary audience.

The term-long project focuses on the design of a museum of architecture. It will be supplemented by two in-depth and detailed design exercises as well as one or more field trips to relevant sites and institutions. The concept of narrative is intellectually at the core of the studio. Initially, each student will be challenged to develop and present a small exhibit on what architecture means to them personally. Subsequently, students will examine a series of architectural objects and articulate a coherent and compelling narrative situating these objects within the idea of architecture. 

Each of these explorations will contribute to the design of a museum of architecture on a Toronto site. In all work, students will be expected to consider how narratives combining form, space, material and content can create an institution that conveys the essence of architecture to architecture’s many publics.

The studio places a strong emphasis on linking design ideas with the creation of architectural form and space. The studio operates as a prototype and/or introduction to the ideas of the architectural thesis, which may be pursued in further graduate studies. An emphasis will be placed on hand drawing and sectional and model studies as a means of engaging with the experiential possibilities inherent in the design of an architectural museum.

During the course of the studio, students will engage with a number of individuals with expertise in exhibition curatorship, museum design, architectural history and architectural advocacy, many of whom will act as client/critics in review and one-on-one discussion settings.

Toronto Metropolitan Department of  Architectural Science Toronto, CA.