Take Note on view at the Canadian Center for Architecture (CCA) 
February 4 - May 30,  2010

Hi-C is a program in experimental curatorial and theoretical practices directed by Sylvia Lavin.  Students research and conceptualize exhibition content as well as design and execute exhibition installation. Hi-C frames academic work in such a way as to engage a broader public.  

Take Note, which traces selected pivotal moments in the ongoing relationship between writing and architecture over the past fifty years. The origins of Take Note lie in a seminar on the historiography of Formalism that led to an exhibition and a series of ongoing research projects related to the Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies. Peter Eisenman, founding director of the IAUS, is the author of Notes on Conceptual Architecture, the work that provided the students with the historical and theoretical ground zero for Take Note. The exhibition includes nearly 80 objects from the CCA Collection and archives, representing 18 artists and architects, including Gordon Matta-Clark and John Hejduk, and significant contemporary architecture firms such as Gehry Partners, Greg Lynn FORM, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Stan Allen Architect, Bernard Tschumi, and Reiser+ Umemoto RUR Architecture. In the 1960s, architects pursued ways of establishing a counterculture by opposing dominant habits of the profession – writing instead of building, writing as a form of drawing, and reading as a way of understanding. According to Take Note curator Sylvia Lavin, “a small oppositional element in architecture forged its own counterculture by turning its energies away from building toward writing. In its hands, the page became a site for design and texts became architectural works in their own right. Born of a desire to foreground the intellectual dimension of architecture by associating it with developments in conceptual art, linguistics, and philosophy, this turn toward writing soon engaged architecture with broader questions of pop culture, mass media, advertising, and emerging technologies, setting in motion a fundamental transformation of the discipline whose momentum remains unabated to this day. Take Note offers an album of snapshots of key episodes in that transformation.” Students Esra Kahveci and Whitney Moon worked on this exhibiton.


Sylvia Lavin