• CCA Singles
    Giovanna Borasi and Albert Ferré
    Esra Akcan, Robert Kett, Kayoko Ota, Bas Princen, and Graziani Stefano
    Canadian Centre for Architecture, 2020
    Canadian Centre for Architecture

3.2. Gymnasium in Baghdad, Iraq, by Le Corbusier, with Presénté Agency, Iraq Consult (Rifat Chadirji, et al.) and Mitsui Company. Copyright Fondation Le Corbusier. Photo: Esra Akcan

The CCA Singles book series develops a space between the long-form web essay and traditional book formats as a means to foreground singular perspectives that prompt new ideas of architecture. Featuring snippets of content from across the Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA)’s collection, research activities, and public programs, each “single” conveys the unmediated voice of one author on one subject, exists independently—to be circulated, be read, and be referenced—and benefits from the space of the printed page to sustain modes of reading that may be discontinuous or spread over time. The series, designed by Norm, responds to the need for economy and short production times through a set of predefined templates that simplify layout and printing while accommodating a wide diversity of publication materials. With releases planned every three to four months, CCA Singles form a disparate assemblage of architectural stories. Titles include Stefano Graziani, Documents from Gordon Matta-Clark’s personal library; Robert J. Kett, Prospects Beyond Futures: Counterculture White Meets Red Power; Itsuko Hasegawa with Kozo Kadowaki and others; Esra Akcan, Abolish Human Bans: Intertwined Histories of Architecture; Hiroshi Hara with Mikio Wakabayashi and others; and Bas Princen, The Copies.

Giovanna Borasi is an architect, curator, and director of the Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA). Her research focuses on contemporary architecture, with a particular attention to alternative ways of approaching architecture and how contemporary issues influence today’s built environment. Borasi has conceived numerous exhibitions and publications including: A Section of Now (2021); Besides, History (2017); The Other Architect (2015); Imperfect Health (2011); Journeys (2010); and Sorry, Out of Gas (2007). She is currently working on a three-part documentary series that examines the ways in which changing societies, new economic pressures, and increasing population density are affecting the homes of various communities.

Albert Ferré is responsible for the Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA)’s publishing program, which brings together print, electronic, and online publishing as interrelated components of the institution’s efforts to catalyze dialogue in contemporary debates on architecture. While most of this work is developed through collaborations with specialized independent publishers, the launch of the CCA Singles series helps to consolidate the role of the institution as publisher. Trained as an architect in Barcelona, Ferré joined the CCA in 2012 after serving in numerous editorial positions at the magazine Quaderns, the Prince Claus Fund, and Actar. He is coeditor of the CCA’s annual publication first published in 2019, The Museum Is Not Enough (CCA and Sternberg Press, 2019).

NORM (Dimitri Bruni, Manuel Krebs, and Ludovic Varone) is a Zurich-based studio specialized in visual identity, the design of art books, and typography. Their projects include the creation of a new typography for Cologne–Bonn Airport, the unrealized winning entry in a competition to redesign Swiss banknotes (2005), the visual identity of the Triennale di Milano, and their self-published books Introduction (2000), The Things (2002), and Dimensions of Two (2020). NORM received the Jan-Tschichold Award in 2003 and the Swiss Grand Prix of Design in 2011, and their work was the object of the 2020 exhibition It’s Not Complicated presented at the Museum für Gestaltung Zürich and at l’ÉCAL (Lausanne).

Stefano Graziani is active at the crossroads of photography, art, and architecture. His work has been exhibited internationally by institutions such as Fondazione Prada in Milan, the Venice Architecture Biennale, the Chicago Architecture Biennial, and the European Art Biennial Manifesta. His work is featured in publications such as Questioning Pictures (Fondazione Prada, 2017), Nature Morte, Fictions and Excerpts (Galleria Mazzoli, 2016) and Fruits and Fireworks (a+m bookstore, 2016), and is part of numerous public and private collections including the CCA (Montreal), Fondazione Prada (Milan), Maxxi (Rome) and Fondazione Fotografia (Modena). He develops regular collaborations with architectural offices including Baukuh, Christ & Gantenbein, Office KGDVS, Piovene Fabi, Studio Mumbai, and 51N4E, and currently teaches photography at Università luav di Venezia (IUAV) and at ISIA Urbino.

Robert Kett is an anthropologist and curator of design based in the Bay Area. He received his PhD from University of California, Irvine, and is currently assistant professor of design anthropology at ArtCenter College of Design. Kett has held previous positions at the San Francisco Musem of Modern Art (SFMOMA), the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, the Getty Research Institute, and was the CCA’s 2017–18 Emerging Curator. His projects have examined experimental and interdisciplinary practice; the intersections of design and technology; and the place of indigeneity in modern aesthetic and knowledge practices. His writing has been published in Representations, Design Observer Quarterly and Getty Research Journal among other publications, and he is coauthor of Learning by Doing at the Farm: Craft, Science, and Counterculture in Modern California (Soberscove Press, 2014). Recent exhibition projects include Fabien Cappello: Sillas Callejeras (UC Berkeley, 2019), Designed in California (SFMOMA, 2018), and Mexico 68: Design and Dissent (SFMOMA, 2018).

Kayoko Ota is an architectural curator and editor based in Tokyo. From 2018 to 2020 she curated the CCA c/o Tokyo program, which included a series of research-based interviews with Toyo Ito, Hiroshi Hara, and Itsuko Hasegawa. Ota is currently engaged as editor and researcher in the Japan Urban Research initiative run by the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. The publications in English she edited include Project Japan: Metabolism Talks… (Taschen, 2011) and Post-Occupancy (Editoriale Domus, 2005). The exhibitions she curated include the Japan Pavilion at the 14th International Architecture Exhibition, Biennale di Venezia (2014), Waist Down (2005–9), Content (2003–9), 4) and other exhibitions with AMO, the creative think-tank arm of OMA in Rotterdam where she worked from 2002 to 2012. From 2004 to 2007, Ota was vice editor and editorial board member of Domus magazine.

Esra Akcan is Michael McCarthy Professor in the Department of Architecture and the director of IES at the Einaudi Center for International Studies at Cornell University. Her research on modern and contemporary architecture and urbanism foregrounds the intertwined histories of Europe and West Asia, and offers new ways to understand architecture’s role in global, social and environmental justice. Akcan received awards and fellowships from the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies at Harvard University, Graham Foundation, American Academy in Berlin, UIC, Institute for Advanced Studies in Berlin, Clark Institute, Getty Research Institute, Canadian Centre for Architecture, CAA, Mellon Foundation, DAAD and KRESS/ARIT. She is the author of (Land)fill İstanbul: Twelve Scenarios for a Global City (2004), Architecture in Translation: Germany, Turkey and the Modern House (Duke University Press, 2012); Turkey: Modern Architectures in History (with S. Bozdoğan, Reaktion Books, 2012); Open Architecture: Migration, Citizenship and Urban Renewal of Berlin-Kreuzberg (Birkhäuser, 2018). Her upcoming books are Building in Exile, Abolish Human Bans, and Right to Heal

Bas Princen is an artist and photographer living and working in Rotterdam and Zurich. He was educated as industrial designer at the Design Academy Eindhoven and studied architecture at the Berlage Institute. Through the use of photography, his work focuses on how Image defines landscape and architecture, through books, exhibitions and large scale in-situ installations. His recent exhibitions include Image and Architecture (Vitra Design Museum Gallery, 2018), Breuer Revisited (The Met Breuer, 2017), Earth Pillar (Solo Galerie, Paris, 2016), Constructing Worlds (Barbican Art Gallery, London, 2014), and Room of Peace (part of Monditalia, 14th International Architecture Exhibition, Biennale di Venezia, 2014). Princen received the Charlotte Köhler Prize in 2004 and the Venice Biennale’s Silver Lion in 2010 for his collaborative work with Office Kersten Geers David van Severen. He was one of the participants in the CCA’s multidisciplinary research project Architecture and/for Photography (2016–17).

The Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA) is an international research institution operating from the fundamental premise that architecture is a public concern. It was founded in 1979 by Phyllis Lambert as a new type of cultural institution, with the specific aim of increasing public awareness of the role of architecture in contemporary society and promoting research in the field. We produce exhibitions, publications, and a range of activities driven by a curiosity about how architecture shapes—and might reshape—contemporary life. We invite architects, scholars, and the wider public to engage with our collection, deepening our understanding of the past and giving new relevance to architectural thinking in light of current disciplinary and cultural issues.