Architecture Exhibitions International

CCA Montréal (Québec)

The Things Around Us
51N4E and Rural Urban Framework

Sep 16, 2020–Feb 14, 2021
51N4E, A site meeting in Tirana, Albania, 2008. © 51N4E

We see the museum as a platform for dialogue. Through a series of exhibitions, we invite architects from different geographies and contexts to share their perspective on pressing issues in the discipline and to critically reframe their work in a process of exchange and debate.

Embedded in politically and economically charged sites in the Pearl River Delta, Mongolia and the European Union, Rural Urban Framework (Joshua Bolchover and John Lin) and 51N4E (Johan Anrys and Freek Persyn) operate in expanded ecologies of architectural practice, questioning the role of the architect today. By collaborating with policymakers, local contractors and NGOs and engaging their respective labs at the University of Hong Kong and ETH Zürich as key sites of research, both offices investigate new forms of cooperation and dialogue as crucial design strategies.

RUF and 51N4E work at the seams of urbanization, with projects situated in transitional settlements in Ulaanbaatar, in the new vernacular of rural China, in the transforming centres of Western European cities and in Albania’s shifting public spaces. Comparing their research and design processes, this exhibition and publication question the extents and certainties of architecture against backdrops of indeterminate notions of citizenship, unstable stages of urbanization, and insecure economies and ecologies.

Curator: Francesco Garutti, CCA
Concept: Johan Anrys, Joshua Bolchover, John Lin, and Freek Persyn
Curatorial research and coordination: Irene Chin with Andrew Scheinman and Jann Wiegand
Exhibition design: 51N4E (Freek Persyn with Roxane Le Grelle and Sebastian Roy), Brussels; Rural Urban Framework (Joshua Bolchover and John Lin with Chiara Oggioni), Hong Kong
Design development: Sébastien Larivière, Jasmine Graham
Graphic design: Something Fantastic (Julian Schubert, Elena Schütz and Leonard Streich), Berlin

The CCA gratefully acknowledges the support of the ministère de la Culture et des Communications du Québec, the Canada Council for the Arts, Canadian Heritage, and the Conseil des arts de Montréal.