Awards of Excellence — 2017 Special Mention | Royal Architectural Institute of Canada

Awards of Excellence — 2017 Special Mention

Artist in Residence (AIR) Program
Award Category: 
Awards of Excellence
Allied Arts Medal

HCMA  Architecture + Design 

In 2014, HCMA Architecture + Design founded the Artist in Residence (AIR) program to explore the potential for its work to contribute to social sustainability and to challenge the preconceptions of the limits of architectural practice. Since then, there have been six Canadian artists in residence.

HCMA financially supports each artist with a materials budget and honorarium. Artists are self-directed, and most residencies last a few months. Artists bring new ideas and perspectives to the architecture practice. In turn, the HCMA team’s creativity inspires and influences the artist’s work.

The program seeks to:

 • Explore themes related to social sustainability;

 • Broaden the discourse between architecture and other creative disciplines;

 • Encourage exploration of themes that have direct impact on our communities;

 • Stimulate discussion, internally to HCMA and externally in the broader community;

 • Provide a series of different influences into the work of HCMA;

 • Further HCMA’s research goals.

“By taking part in workshops, we learn new skills, get out of our comfort zone, and experience how trying, and failing, is a crucial part of the creative process,” says HCMA in a statement.

 AIR has led to artist collaborations with HCMA on architectural projects. For example, Scott Sueme and Michael Rozen created a mural for a new secondary school designed by HCMA. Heather Myers created a custom dance piece for the HCMCA-designed Grandview Aquatic Centre.

Jury Comment(s): 

The presence of an artist in residence in the HCMA Studio is stimulating to the architects. It challenges their perception and broadens their perspective.

The program is a source of inspiration to other firms, providing them with a model to emulate.

It is very clear that this program has tremendous value.

Click for full version: 
Still from Solid Liquid Ether film by Heather Myers

Photo: Black Rhino Creative 

Still from ‘Solid Liquid Ether’ by Heather Myers at HCMA-designed Grandview Heights Aquatic Centre

Photo: Black Rhino Creative 

Foundation by Scott Sueme + Michael Rozen at Royal Bay Secondary School

Photo: Martin Tessler Photography 

A Stable World That Will Last Forever by Krista Jahnke

Photo: Krista Jahnke Photography 

Krista Jahnke's final piece at the Olympic Village Skytrain Station

Photo: Krista Jahnke Photography 

The Faraday Café by Julien Thomas

Photo: HCMA

Without wifi, The Faraday Café encouraged social interactions

Photo: HCMA