Thün and Velikov’s practice RVTR opens solo exhibition at Ryerson University in Toronto

Thün and Velikov’s practice RVTR opens solo exhibition at Ryerson University in Toronto

Associate Professor Geoffrey Thün and Assistant Professor Kathy Velikov are pleased to announce the second showing of an international travelling exhibition of their research on megaregional systems and speculative design proposals for the Great Lakes Megaregion entitled InfraEcoLogi Urbanism. The work will be exhibited from Feb 25th – April 6th 2014 at Ryerson University’s Paul Crocker Gallery in Toronto with a reception on Tuesday March 4th. The opening will coincide with the launch of an exhibition catalog by the same name co-edited with Lecturer Dan McTavish.

InfraEcoLogi Urbanism is the result of a three year program of design research that reconceptualizes the boundary of the Great Lakes Megaregion (GLM) and examines the metabolic material and non-material flows within this territory through a range of lenses to expose the economic, energetic, mobility, technological, aqueous, atmospheric and intellectual exchanges that constitute various ‘ecologies’ present within the region. Within this field, their work positions design as an agent capable of producing significant change through interventions within its constituent systems, structures and actor networks. The design manifesto leverages the anticipated yield of near future renewable energy towards alternate social ends and imagines the future of urban centers and peripheries through this lens. In this détournement, a new infrastructural network is knit within current systems, linking grid-tied high-speed rail, environmental remediation and emerging industry sectors, while staging a series of urban-scaled architectural artifacts designed to organize flows and house new public megaregional institutions. The proposal begins with a restructuring of the highway’s constituent DNA from a simple, single-purpose and single-access surface to an intelligent network of bundled modes of mobility, energy and services. This viaduct is networked with other local and international systems of conveyance, transit and transport, forming an open and interconnected corridor. Situated as a fragmentary urban utopia, infrastructure is appropriated for social and inclusive ends, bringing together diverse populations of individuals to constitute a megaregional public from which alternative political and architectural formations emerge. To illustrate the potential of this re-tooled, bundled network, three major points of intervention are explored at an architectural scale in Chicago, Detroit-Windsor and Toronto.

The exhibition of InfraEcoLogi Urbanism has been supported through major funding via a (2009-2012) Research/Creation grant from the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), and subsequent support for the exhibition preparation from the University of Michigan OVPR Artistic Productions and Presentations program, the Université du Québec à Montréal and Ryerson University.

Image: Thün and Velikov’s InfraEcoLogi Urbanism at Paul Crocker Gallery, Toronto