Led by Dr. Jean-Pierre Chupin, Canada Research Chair from the Université de Montréal, the ACME Chair’s research contributes to the improvement of the quality of built environments. Research projects, ideas competitions, critical exhibitions and databases each support the capacity of buildings and public spaces to be evaluated and discussed in terms of equity, social value and sustainability. These issues, related to a comprehensive and inclusive view of quality in design, are addressed through design awards and competitions held in Canada over the past 20 years.



A doctoral student in architecture receives prestigious Trudeau Scholarship

Paloma Castonguay-Rufino, an individualized doctoral student in architecture at the Faculty of Environmental Design's School of Architecture, has been selected as a 2024 Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Scholar. This year, nearly 450 applications were submitted, from some 40 Canadian universities and 60 universities around the world. Paloma Castonguay-Rufino is an individualized Ph.D. student in architecture at the Université de Montréal. After obtaining a Bachelor's and Master's degree in architecture, she completed a professional internship specializing in the conservation of built heritage. Her doctoral research lies at the intersection of environmental, heritage and social considerations. In a reflexive approach, she takes a critical look at the notion of industrial heritage across Canada, through the analysis of contemporary projects that reuse urban industrial remains. Paloma takes part in collaborative research projects, in particular the SSHRC partnership "Quality in Canada’s Built Environment: Roadmaps to Equity, Social Value and Sustainability" led by the Canada Research Chair in Architecture, Competitions and Mediations of Excellence (CRC-ACME). She has been involved with the next generation of architects, notably through mentoring of student architecture projects, and her volunteer work with Héritage Montréal's Next Generation Committee, as well as in editorial activities for different architecture and design publications. She is a member of the board of directors of the Association québécoise pour le patrimoine industriel (AQPI).

HALIFAX 2024 Convention Program: First Versions of 14 Roadmaps to Quality

Principles & Objectives of the 3rd annual SSHRC Partnership Convention on Quality In 2023, we invited all partners and participants to the annual convention of the SSHRC research partnership on Quality hosted by the University of Calgary to report on positive lived experiences in the built environment. It has now become a major feature of the 14 situated projects across Canada to learn the best ways to collect ‘lived experiences’ of quality. This practice aims to raise our understanding of the actual meaning of quality in the everyday life of non-experts. We cannot help but notice that this practice has yet to become common design protocol in most professional milieux. We need to acknowledge this as an output of our collective project after two years of intersectoral exchanges. Lived Experience is about the personal knowledge, perceptions, and feelings within a world within which we live. Our responses reflect these personal and personally significant views, in contrast to researched or more formal descriptions. In 2024, all partners and participants have been invited to report on one positive output based on their own experience of the project after two years. This will be the subject of the first Café-Workshop at the Halifax Convention: What do you consider to be the main positive outputs of our partnership research on quality? How do you think these two years of work at local and national levels have helped change your understanding and definition of quality in the built environment? The built environment is a collective project and, even though designers are a crucial component in the overall process, they cannot consider themselves to be the only responsible, hence the sole reference point of a roadmap to quality. This is where the notion of “partnering” becomes critical to raise the bar of quality for all. What is a “roadmap to quality” at this stage of our research partnership? One of the main results of our project, which brings together the viewpoints of citizens, cities, professionals and researchers, has always been to produce at least 14 roadmaps toward greater quality in Canada's built environment. This objective has been inscribed in the very title of the grant proposal from day one, and we have hypothesized that this renewed approach to quality lies at the intersection of equity and sustainability and, as such, this common assumption defines the new social value of built environments. For Halifax 2024, all 14 teams of partners have been tasked with sharing an initial presentation of their roadmap to raise the bar of quality. Although these are the first outlines, the fact that we have acquired a better understanding of the exemplary situations to be transformed now calls for action-oriented roadmaps rather than simply knowledge-oriented ones. Each roadmap incorporates its own localized and specific angle of work as starting points toward a form of generalization. Hence, the 14 roadmaps displayed in the exhibition room of the School of Architecture at Dalhousie University are not generic. They embody a series of instructions or “active principles” which are means of reaching a destination. To move from research to action, we must clarify each of the 14 destinations. These are intimately linked to the problematic qualitative situation that the projects have been exploring for over two years, but the destination may indeed differ from the research question. These goals should be formulated as transformative projects or ventures to trailblaze a path toward higher quality specific to each situation and scale. All teams are still struggling with alternating research for new knowledge and transformative action. The title of a roadmap is not the title of a research project. The 14 roadmaps are therefore different ways of answering the same question: How can we raise the level of quality – as quickly as possible – given the diversity of built situations? This third national in-person convention has been entirely rethought by the Steering Committee as a series of 4 Café-Workshops. These are meant for us to meet, of course, but they are also meant for us to better learn to work together through multiple voices. These workshops are envisioned as spaces in which partners can work together to discuss and answer questions organised around four main themes (outputs, dissemination, roadmaps and national strategy). To enhance the quality of the exchanges, participants are divided in small groups (max. 15) and remain with that same group throughout the 4 Café-workshops. Each of these workshops is mediated by a team of two moderators who ensure that the process is implemented and that participants work on the questions submitted to them. A team of students is in charge of taking notes, recording and reporting on the workshops at the end of each day. We are privileged to welcome a bigger group of students and a new group of young Indigenous partners thanks to the generous support of RAIC+RHF+OAA. On behalf of the Governance Board and the Steering Committee, I would like to address my warm thanks to the great team of professors and students at Dalhousie Universityfor their generous hospitality. No doubt this convention will be a turning point in our journey! Jean-Pierre Chupin, PhD, Professor, Architect MOAQ, MIRAC. Holder of the Canada Research Chair in Architecture, Competitions and Mediations of Excellence at Université de Montréal and Principal Investigator of the SSHRC Research Partnership on Quality in Canada’s Built Environment.

Analogical Thinking in Architecture. Connecting Design and Theory in the Built Environment (New York: Bloomsbury Publishing, 2023), a new book by Jean-Pierre Chupin

This book provides an in-depth exploration of the rich and persistent use of analogical thinking in the built environment. Comparing views on the role of analogies and metaphors by prominent voices in architecture and related disciplines from the 17th century to the present, the book shows how the “analogical world of the project” is revealed as a wide-open field of creative and cognitive interactions.

How can we collect the diversity of quality lived experiences?

The City of Montreal has selected the Canada Research Chair in Architecture for research into the lived experience of quality by users of public buildings. Jean-Pierre Chupin, Bechara Helal and Carmela Cucuzzella will develop a protocol for collecting lived experiences with doctoral students: Firdous Nizar, Paloma Castonguay-Rufino, Yolene Handabaka, Shantanu Biswas Linkon, Cyrille Tchango Ngamaleu of the Individualized PhD in Architecture program. The proposal from the Canada Research Chair in Architecture, Competitions and Mediations of Excellence (CRC-ACME) team was selected in Stream 1 of the call "Developing a Stronger Design Culture Together - Edition 2" (Call for Proposals 2023-2024). Project: Protocol for study and qualitative assessment of the social value of public buildings through documentation of users’ lived experiences Description: A protocol for post-occupancy quality assessment, describing methods for gathering and studying accounts of lived experiences in municipal spaces and buildings, and for compilation of a set of remarkable lived-experience stories and records. The goal is to better understand the factors that influence the quality of lived experiences in those spaces and buildings. This project will enrich the strategies and actions for Sustaining Quality outlined in the Design Montréal Quality Toolkit (Quality Operation section). It will also contribute to achievement of the results targeted by the Montréal 2030 Strategic Plan, notably as concerns the following priority: Priority 19 – Provide all Montrealers with safe, quality living environments and a local response to their needs More information on CRC-ACME: https://crc.umontreal.ca More information on the Design Montréal program: https://designmontreal.com/en/calls/developing-a-stronger-design-culture-together-2nd-edition?section=3948

Jean-Pierre Chupin talks to Radio Canada about the Chandigarh principles and the derivatives of the Corbusé utopia

Jean-Pierre Chupin is invited to Radio Canada's Tout Terrain (Janic Tremblay) to reflect on the current state of affairs and the derivatives of Le Corbusier's concepts of architecture and the city in Chandigarh, India. On the occasion of the Festival international du film sur l'art (FIFA) in Montreal, the film The Power of Utopia - Living with Le Corbusier in Chandigarh will be shown. When architect Le Corbusier designed the city of Chandigarh, India, he imagined a city that would enable harmonious interaction between its inhabitants and the environment. For some, this represented progress and success, while for others it was a failure. Janic Tremblay discusses the case of Chandigarh and, more broadly, Le Corbusier's approach to architecture and urban planning with Jean-Pierre Chupin, Professor at the School of Architecture of the Université de Montréal and holder of the Canada Research Chair in Architecture, Competitions and the Mediations of Excellence. To listen to the episode on Sunday, March 10, 2024: https://ici.radio-canada.ca/ohdio/premiere/emissions/tout-terrain/segments/rattrapage/485206/lurbanisme-de-le-corbusier-entrevue-avec-jean-pierre-chupin

Two doctoral students defend their individualized doctorate in architecture (Mandana Bafghinia and Lucie Palombi)

Mandana Bafghinia, a doctoral student in cotutelle between Université de Montréal and Université Lyon 2, under the co-direction of Jean-Pierre Chupin and Manuel Appert, defended her thesis: The Skyscraper's Summit, as a Beacon and a Viewing Platform: New York, Paris, Montreal, Shanghai December 14th, 2023 Thesis directors: Université de Montréal: Professor Jean-Pierre Chupin, Architecture Université Lyon 2: Professors Christian Montes and Manuel Appert, Geography Jury members: Professor William Straw, External Examiner, McGill University Professor Xiangning Li, Jury Member, Tongji University Izabel Fraga Do Amaral E Silva, President-Rapporteur, Faculté d'aménagement - École d'architecture, Université de Montréal Carmela Cucuzzella, Dean, Faculté d'aménagement, Université de Montréal https://architecture.umontreal.ca/lecole/nouvelles/nouvelle/news/detail/News/avis-de-soutenance-de-these-de-mandana-bafghinia/ Lucie Palombi, doctoral student under the direction of Jean-Pierre Chupin, defended her thesis: De la textualité du projet professionnel en situation de concours en architecture: hermeneutique et comparaison de textes liés à des projets lauréats de concours d'architecture au Québec entre 2010 et 2020 January 15th, 2024 Thesis director: Professor Jean-Pierre Chupin, Faculté d'aménagement - École d'architecture, Université de Montréal Jury members: Pierre Chabard, External Examiner, École nationale supérieure d'architecture de Paris Alice Covatta, Jury Member, Faculté d'aménagement - École d'architecture, Université de Montréal Izabel Fraga Do Amaral E Silva, President, Faculté d'aménagement - École d'architecture, Université de Montréal Michel Max Raynaud, Dean's Representative, Faculté d'aménagement, Université de Montréal https://architecture.umontreal.ca/lecole/nouvelles/nouvelle/news/eventDetail/Event/avis-de-soutenance-de-these-de-lucie-palombi-1/

Jean-Pierre Chupin presents neuroarchitecture in La Presse

On the occasion of accessibility week at the Senate, La Presse echoes the research coordinated by researchers from the Université de Montréal who are members of LEAP and the SSHRC partnership on quality. Click here to read the article.

The Rise of Awards in Architecture, a new book edited by Chupin, Cucuzzella and Adamczyk

The Rise of Awards in Architecture is the first scientific study to focus on awards in architecture and the built environment. This book analyzes in detail what these awards are meant to embody, symbolize and measure. Find out the authors' thoughts on their respective chapters in video!

Video of the roundtable: What is an architecture award worth?

Once a symbol of excellence and exception, architecture and design prizes, which aim to reward achievements, have multiplied exponentially in recent years. This debate was devoted to questions about the value of these awards, considering their multiplication.


September 27 2023 / Annie Thao Vy Nguyen (Étudiante) + Jean-Pierre Chupin, Ph.D.
September 11 2023 / Jean-Pierre Chupin et Jacques White