Impostor Cities exhibition to represent Canada at the 2020 Venice Biennale in Architecture

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T B A y David Theodore.
Project Team
Project manager.- Thomas Balaban. Project designer.- Jennifer Thorogood.
Graphic designer.- Pawel Karwowski. Communications manager.- Sarah Mackenzie. Film curation and research coordination.- Alannah Thain, Mikaèle Fol and Nick Cabelli.
Venice Biennale in Architecture.
Canada pavilion, Venice, Italy.

Thomas Balaban Architecte TBA

Thomas Balaban Architecte. TBA is an architecture practice specializing in contemporary design. Established by Tom Balaban in 2009, the office is currently involved in residential, commercial, and small-scale institutional projects that focus on making cultural contributions, while also providing meaningful social and physical experiences. Stemming from a comprehensive approach and a clear and elegant concept, the studio’s achievements are both memorable and sensitive to contemporary culture. T B A seeks to challenge the standards that condition the practice, to develop new conventions and create better environments.

The firm’s recent projects, often incorporating the transformation of an existing structure, engage in an open discussion between past, present and future. Among these, the Saint-Jude Spa, a church transformation into a Nordic spa and gym, won a Canadian Architect Award of Excellence in 2012 and a Grand Prix de Design in 2013. The exhibition design for Mapplethorpe: Focus Perfection at the Montréal Museum of Fine Arts and the Holy Cross Residence also garnered Grand Prix du Design awards in 2016 and 2014.

T B A was among the nineteen young Canadian offices represented in the exhibition and book Twenty + Change 03: Emerging Canadian practices. In 2016, the studio was selected as one of 14 emerging talents, by Canadian Architect.

Tom Balaban, OAQ AAPPQ MRAIC received his professional architecture degree from McGill University. He has worked for Frank O. Gehry & Associates/Gehry Partners for several years in Los Angeles as well as for Saucier+Perrotte in Montreal. In 2012 he was appointed professor in practice at the School of Architecture at Université de Montréal. He was previously an adjunct professor at McGill University’s School of Architecture, teaching design studio from 2006 to 2012. Tom Balaban is originally from Bucharest.

David Theodore David Theodore

David Theodore is the Canada Research Chair in Architecture, Health, and Computation at McGill University. An active design critic and journalist, he has written for the RIBA Journal, Frame, Architecture, and the Phaidon Guide to 21st Century Architecture. He is currently corresponding editor for Azure and regional correspondent for Canadian Architect. As an exhibition curator, his work has been shown at the Vancouver Art Gallery, McGill University McLennan Library, Subtle Technologies, Power Plant, Design Exchange, and the Mcmillan-Bloorview Hospital.

He was part of the team that won the Pierre Burton Award in 2008, the highest award for history education in Canada, for the ground-breaking website Great Unsolved Mysteries in Canadian History. David Theodore’s recent scholarship explores the history and theory of computers in the organization, construction and management of institutions. He has published on the history of medicine and architecture, and has received research support from FRQSC, CFI, SSHRC, CIHR, the Graham Foundation, and the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation.



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