The Carleton Urban Research Lab (c-url) at the Azrieli School of Architecture & Urbanism supports design-based thinking and collaborative projects centred on the entwined issues of water, cities, and equity. Historically architecture, whether at the scale of the room or the city, is based on understanding and imagining environmental conditions and technical interventions in terms that are simultaneously social, political, cultural, and artistic. New challenges around globalization, urbanization, environmental change, infrastructure, mass migration, and energy use increase the need for this type of thinking, which equally values human factors alongside quantifiable data.
The Urban Research Lab was founded by Professors Ozayr Saloojee and Catherine Bonier in January of 2017, with the support of Azrieli School Director Jill Stoner, to promote this type of design thinking, and to expand research, teaching, and engagement connected to the Lab’s three central themes. Professors Saloojee and Bonier look forward to building upon their own expertise in the areas of architecture and urbanism to establish ongoing transdisciplinary collaborations with university, government, and private entities within Canada as well as internationally. C-url hosted its inaugural symposium and workshop, Fluid Infrastructures, on March 3-4, 2017. With assistance from partners in the National Capital Commission and the help of visiting designers and researchers, students investigated Ottawa’s past and present relationship to its river through tours, lectures, discussions, and design workshops. The next c-url symposium in Summer of 2018 will bring together international students and experts to envision urban waterfront redevelopment around the issues of infrastructure, environment, and equity.