The Canada Research Chair in Architecture, Competitions and Mediations of Excellence is seeking applications for doctoral scholarships. Each grant will come with a research contract and will support a student whose doctoral research will be tightly linked to the research program of the chair, which is dedicated to the study of architectural quality in terms of awards of excellence and competition processes. (

In general, research theme proposals should contribute to the history and theory of contemporary definitions of architectural quality. In particular, the proposals should focus on clarifying the parameters of comparative approaches and how such methods will build on the joint study of competition and award-winning projects and buildings in Canada. (see Canadian Competitions Catalogue and Atlas of Excellence in Architecture

The thesis will be directed by Prof. Jean-Pierre Chupin, Ph.D. (, but a co-supervision with a CRC-ACME (UdeM) associate professor could be considered depending on the specific directions of the research project.

Each scholarship of CAD $ 20,000 per year will be awarded for a minimum of two years and a maximum of four years depending on academic and scientific achievements (publications, conferences, etc.). They will be accompanied by CRC-ACME research contracts (of at least CAD $ 5,000 per year) and, depending on available funds, by travel or research grants from the Laboratoire d’étude de l’architecture potentielle ( Successful candidates may also benefit from admission grants and scholarships offered by the Faculté d’Aménagement and Université de Montréal.

Other conditions:

  1. The thesis can be presented in French or in English, but the candidate must be able to attend seminars and courses in French (proof of a sufficient level of proficiency in French [or English if it is the chosen drafting language] will be required for the final registration)
  2. Registration must be done in the individualized PhD program in architecture (, full-time. Grants are conditional on full admission. The official application deadline is February 1, 2021. An excellent application portfolio may allow for late registration.
  3. Length: the scholarship will be delivered in 4 instalments starting in Fall 2021. (Registration officially take effect beginning September 1, 2021, but the scholarship can be issued earlier for Canadian applicants or those already having obtained a visa). Renewal of the scholarship will be conditional on performance in courses and seminars as well as successful completion of the intermediate comprehensive exam. This exam can take place as of the 4th trimester of registration (must have been done at the latest the 6th quarter) and determines the transition to “thesis writing”.
  4. Other Sources of Funding: Successful applicants will be required to apply for grants from both federal and provincial agencies, as well as the MITACS organization. Accumulation with doctoral scholarships from SSHRC or FRQSC is allowed, but the amount of the grant awarded is then reduced by 1/3 of the total amount.

As part of this special CRC-ACME (UdeM) grant, applications should include:

  • Examples of publications or research papers in French or English.
  • At least two detailed, confidential reference letters proving the applicant’s ability to work as part of a research team.
  • A research project (5000 words)

The admissibility of applicant research projects (5000 words document) and CVs must first be validated by contacting Professor Jean-Pierre Chupin. The research project will outline one or more questions concerning a problem in the design, realization, judgment or reception of architectural quality. The theoretical and / or historical elements of the project should refer to previous work, memoirs, research or publications by the candidate. A comparative methodological approach will be favoured. 

  1. As Canada Research Chair, CRC-ACME (UdeM) invites women, indigenous peoples, visible minorities, ethnic minorities and persons with disabilities to apply. We recognize that career breaks can impact the records of achievement without diminishing excellence. If applicable, candidates are encouraged to share the circumstances of any interruptions and to explain their impact on their progress and their record. This information will be considered in the evaluation. When recruiting, we can adapt our selection tools to the needs of people with disabilities upon request.


– For the scholarship and the relationship to the CRC-ACME (UdeM):

Jean-Pierre Chupin (

– For registration procedures in the individualized Ph.D in architecture:

Diane Martin (


This AGENDA OF CANADIAN AWARDS in architecture and the built environment is a work in progress.

The information was compiled by researchers at the Canada Research Chair in Architecture, Competitions and Mediations of Excellence (CRC-ACME).

From the AGENDA you can join more than 70 websites of the various institutions that deliver awards.

The bilingual AREA platform is accessible at:

Montreal, November 20, 2019 – Raymond Lalonde, Vice-Chancellor for Relations with Alumni, Partnerships and Philanthropy, Raphaël Fischler, Dean of the Faculty of Environmental Design, and Virginie Portes, Director of Funded Research at the Université de Montréal’s Office of Research, Development and Valorization inaugurated, on Tuesday, November 19th, the Canada Research Chair in Architecture, Competition and Mediation of Excellence program (CRC-ACME). Professor Jean-Pierre Chupin, as the Chair holder, presented the main research directions that will unfold over the next 7 years. He officially launched the Atlas of Research on Exemplarity in Architecture (AREA), a website that acts as the prototype of a future open-access scientific resource that is presently being developed by a network of researchers from 12 Canadian schools of architecture. Other universities will join this network over time.

The program of the new Canada Research Chair in Architecture, Competitions and Mediations of Excellence aims to answer a key question in architecture: what defines the quality of built environments? This question is dealt with in a comparative and diachronic manner at the scale of a country, Canada, whereas until now it has been the subject of fragmented analysis. With definitions of quality changing over time, the program will seek to understand how these criteria are used in practice. It will question how peer juries apply – or not – the criteria for “quality” in their collective judgments. It will examine how the users of buildings and public places, once built, feel or perceive the different aspects of architectural quality.

To answer these questions, it is necessary to constitute a representative sample of the architectural production of a country and a period. It is also necessary to have a corpus that derives from the selection processes of peer-review juries, so as not to bias the analysis. Such ensembles exist on a Canadian scale. They consist of award-winning public buildings and spaces, or architectural award winners, and sometimes both, from the late 1980s to the present day. If the award-winning buildings are mediations of excellence (par excellence), the phenomenon begins before the design of the project, continues with the awarding of a prize and obviously much beyond. Award-winning buildings, award after award, year after year, can be interpreted as responses to the constant redefinition of excellence. At the level of everyday experience, how do users perceive the qualities identified by the juries of competitions and prizes to evaluate buildings or public spaces?

The Atlas of Research on Exemplarity in Architecture is designed with the financial support of the Canada Foundation for Innovation, the Université de Montréal’s Centre for Digital Expertise for Research (CEN-R) and Humaneco. It will be hosted by Compute Canada as ongoing database allowing unprecedented comparative analyses of anticipated quality (competition projects) and quality as lived (award-winning buildings). Several thousand competition projects (whether these were winning projects or not) have already been documented in the Canadian Competitions Catalogue, a database created in 2002 through the initiative of the Chair holder and affiliated researchers of the Laboratoire d’étude de l’architecture potentielle (LEAP).

 For the documentation of awards, the CRC-ACME team is currently defining a preliminary corpus within more than 6,000 buildings that have been awarded prizes by over seventy public and private institutions in Canada since 1953 (see our Directory of Administrations of Canadian Awards).

The analysis of hundreds of projects requires the establishment of a broad partnership. This partnership is currently being built. The AEA Network will bring together researchers from more than a dozen Canadian universities in the built environment and will invite administrations of awards to collaborate on the development and regular updated of an Agenda of Canadian Awards.

The impact of this work will go beyond architecture as a discipline, as this type of research requires collaboration between social sciences, humanities and engineering. By making available unpublished data on the characteristics of public buildings, by explicating the design criteria along with the appreciation of qualities by a system of actors and users, and by placing collective judgments of quality at the heart of the program, the Chair will create an open dialogue, inviting disciplines such as ethics, sociology, political science, etc., to enter into new questions about the relationships between people and built environments. Through these intersectoral collaborations, we will be better able to engage with the complex impact of spatial quality on health, society, the achievement of environmental objectives, the correlations between technological development, and the search for the highest environmental standards.

Journal of Sustainability Research (Open access journal of Hapres)

special issue: “Sustainable Architecture and Urban Design: Alternative Theories for Qualitative Comparisons”

Since the turn of the century, theories and practices of sustainable architecture and urban design have been characterized by increasingly normative grids, such as standards, checklists, certifications, etc. As imperative as these normative grids are for ensuring a certain level of sustainability in the built environment, they may inadvertently avert the virtues of creative design practices to mere risk management exercises.

This is in clear contrast to the pioneering environmental design of the 1960s, when the search for holistic approaches gave rise to a spectrum of methodological experimentations, both in the field of design processes (design methodologies) and environmental studies. The formation of the Environmental Design Research Association (EDRA) in 1968 was an outcome of this search for qualitative as well as quantitative methodologies in the design disciplines. In the 1970s, environmentalism started to shift towards an ecological ideology soon dominated by technical solutions and the search for eco-efficiency. Systematically developed throughout the 1980s and 1990s, this technological emphasis for measurable efficiency started to reveal its limitations. Facing a problematic integration of cultural and social dimensions, this dominant approach founded on the management of eco-performances revealed a counterproductive hyper-technological paradigm for the design disciplines and their theoretical frameworks (Vesely, 2004; Perez-Gomez, 1983).

Numerous scholars now underline that these missing inter-subjective dimensions may be compromising the very idea of a holistic environmentalism in various realms of knowledge and action (Kagan, 2010; McLennan, 2004). Such is the case in the design disciplines, where a series of ethical issues are being identified at varying scales (Fisher, 2008). In the past twenty years, theoretical frameworks have induced or supported the normative rather than systemic methods to sustainable design. The more comparative and qualitative evaluative approaches that have been established in professional practice—design committees, collective judgment, competition juries—are still being overlooked by scholars as the foundation of evaluation and judgment. Furthermore, even if authors have sought to reveal critical theories for these dominant discourses, occurrences have been rare.

We believe it is now time to step back and rethink these dominant paradigms in order to provide new theoretical frameworks and methodologies for sustainable architecture and urban design. This special issue calls for the renewal of theories and hypotheses opening on a broadened evaluative and comparative framework. We welcome papers in the following three themes:




Professor Carmela Cucuzzella
Professor Jean-Pierre Chupin

Guest Editors

sustainable architecture  sustainable urban design. comparative analysis qualitative-quantitative divide evaluation judgment

Submission Deadline: 30 April 2020

Nathalie Roy, Minister of Culture and Communications and Minister Responsible for the French Language, and Andrée Laforest, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Announce the Beginning of the Work to Provide Québec with a Strategy Quebecois architecture. To this end, the Ministry of Culture and Communications (MCC) has invited the Ordre des architectes du Québec (OAQ) and a committee of experts to collaborate in the development of this first strategy.

The Québec Architecture Strategy will place citizens at the heart of the debate and will aim at adopting best practices in state-led projects and introducing incentives in the projects it subsidizes. It will meet the needs of Quebeckers through a contribution of architecture to Quebec identity, making culture a fundamental element of the quality of our living environments and the vitality of our communities. This strategy will ensure greater quality and sustainability of the projects, consistent with the principles of sustainable development. In addition, it will contribute to people’s sense of belonging, the international attractiveness of the territory and the prospects for economic growth and tourism promotion.

The participatory process established will involve the community as a stakeholder and benefit from the reflections of the process that the OAQ had previously carried out leading to the tabling of the White Paper for a Québec architecture policy. In addition, the MCC and the OAQ have set up an advisory committee involving all those challenged by this approach. These experts, organizations and partners will be consulted in the coming months (see list in appendix). The municipal community is invited to participate in this project. The government wishes to hear from it for its unique expertise in order to feed the Québec Strategy for Architecture. The cities of Quebec and Montreal will be particularly challenged in particular by virtue of their respective status as capital and metropolis.

The development of the Québec Architecture Strategy corresponds to Measure 19 of the Government Action Plan for Culture 2018-2023. (Excerpt from press release)

Read the full press release of the Ministry of Culture and Communications.

March 28, 2019: Lucie Palombi received the scientific prize, the public prize and the prize for the best summary of the Symposium Perspectives 360 organized by the Association of Higher Cycles of the Faculty of Planning for the presentation of her doctoral project in 6 minutes. The funds were donated by the Ivanhoé Cambridge Observatory.

October 25, 2019: On the occasion of the launching ceremony of the Royal Architecture Institute of Canada Festival, Lucie Palombi was awarded a $ 5,000 scholarship for the writing of a 1000-word essay.

His text takes the form of a letter to Le Corbusier. She writes that the descriptions of her travel diary inspired her, as did descriptions of North America in the 19th century, Paris in the 20th century, and the gardens of Versailles from various authors she read over the years. years. These readings led her to ask “Can we carve the world with words and paper? The journeys described in places far removed by reading have allowed him to understand that “stories, real or fantasized, give meaning to the most silent places”. Jury Comment: The text is intelligent and original in form and content, and is beautifully written. It reveals a new analytical mind, able to contribute to the discipline in thought and action.

Friday, June 7, 2019, at the Research House of the University of Toulouse, Tiphaine Abenia, PhD student in co-supervision between the University of Toulouse (Jean Jaurès) + ENSA Toulouse and the School of Architecture of the University of Toulouse Montreal has defended a thesis entitled: Potential Architecture of the Great Abandoned Structure: Categorization and Projection. Under the chairmanship of Professor isabelle Alzieu (University of Toulouse) and in addition to the thesis supervisors (Daniel Estevez and Jean-Pierre Chupin) the jury was composed of: Dominique Rouillard (Paris-Malaquais rapporteur) and Dieter Dietz (EPFL rapporteur), Pierre Boudon (University of Montreal).

Angie Arsenault (Concordia, dir. Cynthia Hammond), Morteza Hazbei et Aristofanis Soulikias (Concordia, dir. Carmela Cucuzzella), Aurélien Catros et Lucie Palombi (UdeM, dir. Jean-Pierre Chupin).

Tiphaine Abenia will give a lecture entitled De l’abandon et du potentiel en architecture at the University of Montréal on March 18, 2019. This public lecture is organized by the Laboratoire d’Étude de l’Architecture Potentielle (LEAP).