September 11, 2019 - Canadian Centre for Architecture - Mirko Zardini will step down at the end of 2019, Giovanna Borasi appointed new Director
e-flux Architecture
September 11, 2019
September 11, 2019

Canadian Centre for Architecture

Giovanna Borasi and Mirko Zardini at the CCA, with The Museum Is Not Enough, co-published by the CCA and Sternberg Press, Autumn 2019. Photo: Richmond Lam

Mirko Zardini will step down at the end of 2019, Giovanna Borasi appointed new Director
September 11, 2019

Canadian Centre for Architecture
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After nearly fifteen years of disruptive provocation, Mirko Zardini will step down as Director of the CCA at the end of December 2019. Giovanna Borasi, who joined the CCA in 2005 as Curator of Contemporary Architecture and has been the institution’s Chief Curator since 2014, will become Director in January 2020.

Mirko Zardini says, “I never aspired to become 'director' of anything, per se, but I couldn't resist the challenge of assuming this position and the possibility of activating the CCA as an engine to explore architectural thinking and practice. My aim has always been to advance questions within the scope of the institution's core mission in order to raise public awareness of the role of architecture in contemporary society. This involved transforming the CCA into the provocative and imaginative institution Phyllis Lambert originally envisioned. I look forward to seeing the institution evolve under Giovanna’s direction, maintaining its inquisitive path, while adding her own spirited voice to it.”

Founded in 1979 by Phyllis Lambert, the CCA has pursued its mission of making architecture a public concern for 40 years. As a centre for research in the field as well as a public museum with an extensive collection, the institution aims to articulate an incisive voice in discourse on the built environment.

Zardini broadened the CCA’s international reach and activated the institution’s diverse audience through new public initiatives and programs, refocusing its curatorial and publication strategies to encompass inquiry into emergent issues in the field, animating scholarly research programs, and expanding its collection—particularly in the realm of archives.

Lambert sees this moment of transition in leadership at the CCA as confirmation of a vital continuity, affirming the institution's underlying mission through an acknowledgment of its past and present projects. This new leadership will also open the way for new priorities that will inform the CCA's agenda for decades to come, ensuring that it remains a relevant platform and voice in the international conversation on architecture and the built domain. “Mirko upheld my original mission and then took it further by transforming the model of research at the CCA, strategically growing its collection, diversifying its audience, and taking bold strides into the digital realm. Throughout his tenure, he and Giovanna worked to create and contribute to contemporary research and debate on architecture. I join my fellow members of the Board of Trustees of the CCA in thanking Mirko for his many years of inspired leadership, and I look forward to the new ideas and inquiries Giovanna will bring to the table as she takes the helm of the institution,” she states.

Borasi has been a significant part of the CCA’s development and worked closely with Zardini to define the curatorial voice of the institution. Among the diverse set of programs they curated and organized together are the influential exhibitions and publications 1973: Sorry, Out of Gas (2007), Actions: What You Can Do With the City (2008), and Imperfect Health: The Medicalization of Architecture (2011).

“I’m thrilled to contribute to and further shape the institution as future Director. I am grateful to the Board of Trustees for my appointment and especially to Phyllis for her inspiration and constant support. I wish to thank Mirko for many years of close collaboration and for his vision. Building on the CCA's foundation, he created the conditions for the CCA to become the independent platform it is today, with a distinctive and critical voice in architectural discourse,” says Borasi.

This change in directorship at the CCA coincides with the launch of The Museum Is Not Enough. The volume, the first in a series of publications, presents the curatorial activity of the CCA and initiates a conversation with accomplices and institutions who ask themselves similar questions, including Stefano Graziani, Wilfried Kuehn, Kalle Lasn, Maria Lind, Kieran Long, Mike Pepi, Filippo Romano, Bernd Scherer, James Voorhies, and Mark Wigley. The Museum Is Not Enough is edited by Giovanna Borasi, Albert Ferré, Francesco Garutti, Jayne Kelley, and Mirko Zardini, and is designed by Jonathan Hares. Co-published by the CCA and Sternberg Press, Autumn 2019.

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