Instead of preserving buildings based on cultural significance, how could policy be used to evaluate a building’s embodied energy as a factor in its preservation or demolition? Alexander Robinson, a Masters of Architecture student at University of Waterloo, has been awarded $5000 to find out.
Robinson’s research proposal entitled Undoing Toronto: Material Metabolisms and Cultural Memory has been awarded DIALOG's 2020 Architecture Scholarship in Honour of Michael Evamy.
“Understanding the discourse of both energy and culture is the key to the future duration of our cities. I believe that the duration of materials is a cultural outcome and is a part of our struggle to maintain our collective memory as forces of capital create amnesia and nostalgia.”
-Alexander Robinson, Michael Evamy Scholarship Recipient and Masters of Architecture student at University of Waterloo
DIALOG’s selection committee of the Michael Evamy Scholarship was impressed with his proposal that reframes our perspective on heritage preservation, and the tools that municipalities could use to further environmentally-responsible development.
“We have reached an unprecedented moment in planetary history. Humans now change the Earth’s systems more than all natural forces combined. Extraction, mining and the fabrication of new building materials are creating significant environmental risks and rapidly increasing urbanization is over-extending our civic infrastructure. Alex Robinson’s proposal to study how we evaluate and understand our existing built environment, from both a social and an ecological perspective, is both important and urgently needed.”
-Donna Clare, DIALOG principal and architect
Like in all years, DIALOG received a wide range of proposal topics that give a glimpse into the topics of interest to young talent entering the industry. It is delightful to see students exploring important topics like conserving resources, housing affordability, and the role technology and new materials play in solving these growing challenges.
About the Scholarship
DIALOG established the Michael Evamy Scholarship Foundation to honour the memory of Michael Evamy, a partner instrumental in building its integrated practice from 1966 to 1993. The award provides financial assistance to the selected Canadian student attending a Canadian school of architecture in the second last year of study, in order to undertake a specific research project in a field of interest to them and relevant to the practice of architecture.
The next call for submissions for the Michael Evamy Scholarship will be issued in January 2021.