Giovanna Borasi, Director, Canadian Centre for Architecture – Episode 55

For the eleventh episode of Architecture Masters at Home, we’re joined by Giovanna Borasi, Director of the Canadian Centre for Architecture in Montreal.

Giovanna joined the CCA in 2005 as the Curator for Contemporary Architecture, going on to become Chief Curator in 2014 and then Director of the Centre at the beginning of this year.

Giovanna Borasi. Image courtesy CCA.

Having first trained as an architect in Milan, in her native Italy, she went on to work as editor of the Italian architecture magazine Lotus International.

Giovanna has an impressive track record of exhibitions, but it was her highly acclaimed 2011 CCA exhibition, Imperfect Health: The Medicalisation of Architecture, co-curated with the Centre’s previous Director Mirko Zardini, that rather presciently explored projects and research in relation to health issues including disease and epidemics.

Indeed, as well as its strong exhibitions and curatorial programme, research is central to the CCA’s mission of making architecture a public concern.

The CCA was founded in 1979 by the Canadian Architect and philanthropist Phyllis Lambert, consciously as an international centre for architecture, rather than say, a museum of architecture or an institute for architects.

Her family’s business interests included the Seagram Company. In 1954 Phyllis Lambert, whilst still in her 20s was instrumental in persuading the company to change architects and commission Mies Van De Rohe to design the firms US headquarters – resulting in the iconic Seagram Building in Midtown Manhattan

While the CCA’s building in Montreal is temporarily closed -including its museum galleries, bookstore, and study room – the CCA continues its public programme, holding conversations, and actively publishes the research and discussions it is involved with.