MONTREAL, June 20, 2019 – Canada’s science minister Kirsty Duncan announced the April and October 2018 Canada Research Chair Awards, including one in Architecture, Competitions and Mediations for Excellence, granted to Université de Montréal architecture professor Jean-Pierre Chupin.

One of the few Tier-1 chairs in Canada dedicated to the study of contemporary architecture, it will help Professor Chupin better define the attributes, parameters and criteria for recognizing quality in architecture and understanding its renewal in current practices.

To what extent and through which criteria do architecture experts and users perceive the qualities of public buildings differently? An answer may be gleaned from a review of buildings given prizes or selected by peer juries in Canada since the 1980s as the winning entries in architectural competitions.

As part of his work as a Canada Research chair, Professor Chupin will examine the ability of public buildings to meet the highest aspirations for quality. He will address contemporary issues – be they environmental, technological, economic or cultural –, in Canada and elsewhere, by considering awards and competitions as mediation devices, filters that help identify exceptional buildings and to analyze them in a comparative way.

In addition to expert judgments, his research aims to better understand how people and communities live with and recognize great architecture. Making unpublished data on building characteristics, design criteria and the appreciation of qualities available for scrutiny, and emphasizing qualitative judgments, Professor Chupin wants to invite disciplines such as sociology, political science and ethics to share in his investigation of the relationships between people and built environments.


About Jean-Pierre Chupin

A professor at the School of Architecture of the Faculty of Environmental Design at Université de Montréal, Jean-Pierre Chupin directed the university’s Research Chair on Competitions and Contemporary Practices in Architecture from 2012 to 2018. In 2002 he helped found the Laboratoire d’étude de l’architecture potentielle (LEAP) at the Université de Montréal, which now includes 10 researchers from the four Montreal universities as well as a dozen doctoral students and as many research assistants. A recognized expert for his work on the role of analogical thinking in architecture theory and design, Professor Chupin has also worked for almost 20 years on architectural and urban design competitions. He is founding director of the Canadian Competitions Catalogue, a comprehensive documentary database on architectural, landscape and urban design projects. A member of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada and the Ordre des Architectes du Québec, he is currently a member of the advisory committee on Québec’s architectural strategy.

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