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CCA - Canadian Centre for Architecture: ‘In the Hurricane, On the Land’ Research Programme (Canada / Online)

An ominous-looking whirly cloud forming over a town.

The CCA-Mellon Multidisciplinary Research Programme seeks new and urgent modes of orientation that ask earthbound designers and their allies to ground and value land: lands held by others in care and lands that have been claimed, reclaimed, and not ceded. It is a call to undertake research and design projects that are site-specific, climate-dependent, historically attuned, and collaborative. As a collective and all-encompassing state, being ‘in the hurricane’ calls for grounded, land-caring practices that match the intensity of the storm.

Land-dependent design practices that focus on shaping land through social and ecological relationships hold the potential to create, support, and advocate for lands that ensure our survival in an increasingly divided world. This call seeks practitioners and researchers working across landscape architecture, and allied practices who value how land is anchored by community building, situated interventions, and defined by everyday ecological realities. It seeks to foreground regenerative land practices that cut across disciplinary boundaries between architects and landscape architects to centre ecological conditions such as soil health, geology, botany, and more.

Topics participants may address include, but are not limited to:

  • Redefinitions and expansions of landscape architecture as a practice, particularly in relation to the climate crisis.
  • Learning from existing regenerative, restorative, and/or reparative land practices.
  • Role of Indigenous, migrant, and other communities that have been separated from land.
  • Collective memory and displacement from land.
  • Landholding as a capitalist practice.
  • Survival as a design philosophy.
  • Theoretical foundations of land across political philosophy and/or legal studies.
  • Hurricanes as metaphors and sites.
  • Historical approaches to land politics across time periods and geographies, with a particular focus on moments of crisis.
  • Field research as a land-dependent practice.
  • Global warming as a land-dependent phenomenon.
  • Connections between infrastructure and land.
  • Land politics and ecological change.

In the Hurricane will unfold in two phases. First, the CCA will invite sixteen shortlisted applicants to participate in a multi-day Mellon Seminar, which will take place online in November 2023. Seminar participants will share their individual projects to set the terms of the project and establish a common state of the field. All sixteen shortlisted applicants will receive a 1000 $USD stipend for participating in the CCA-Mellon Seminar. Following a peer-review process, eight applicants will be selected to return for the second phase of the project and participate in the Mellon Multidisciplinary Research Project. The spirit of the CCA-Mellon Seminar is one of supporting and sharing in the production of knowledge.

The eight selected Mellon Researchers will reconvene in December 2023 for an in-person workshop at the CCA in Montreal to begin their eighteen-month engagement with the In the Hurricane project. The project will run for 18 months and involve two further workshops with invited experts in other locations. Each Mellon Researcher will receive funding to support their research and participation in three multi-day Mellon workshops, this includes a 12,000 $USD stipend and a 3500 $USD research allowance (as well as return airfare to their chosen research site).


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