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A Dialogue of Cities: A Public Celebration of the Museum in the Metropolis

and the Metropolis as Museum


A special symposium presented by CICA and the UBC Museum of Anthropology

Thursday, June 1 – Saturday, June 3, 2006



Vancouver’s place amongst the great cities of the world is the focus of a timely public event sponsored by the UBC Museum of Anthropology in association with CICA, the International Architecture Critics’ Association, and guest curator and critic Trevor Boddy.


For three nights in June, eight leading architecture critics and urban writers will explore current urban issues and museum-building in some of the world’s most fascinating cities: Mexico City, Rome, Hong Kong, Havana, Dubai, Nairobi, London, Lower Manhattan – and, of course, Vancouver.


The first two evenings comprise illustrated lectures at downtown venues (SFU Graduate School of Business and UBC Robson Square) by Louise Noelle Gras, Joseph Rykwert, Desmond Hui, Roberto Segre, Samia Rab, Yasmin Shariff, Dennis Sharp, and Michael Sorkin, who will discuss recent design and urban trends in their respective cities. The third and final evening will take place in the stunningly beautiful Great Hall of the Museum of Anthropology (designed by Arthur Erickson), where the audience will be invited to engage with the critics on the future of Vancouver. Entitled “Vancouver Viewed and Reviewed,” this forum will also include participation by prominent local Vancouver architects and community representatives.


Tickets are $10 per evening or $25 for a three-evening pass. To purchase, please go to or contact 604.257.0366 or





Thursday, June 1, 2006

Doors open 6:00 pm, Illustrated talks 6:30 pm

Segal Graduate School of Business, Simon Fraser University, 500 Granville Street


Moderator – Trevor Boddy

MEXICO CITY – Louise Noelle Gras

ROME – Joseph Rykwert

HONG KONG – Desmond Hui

HAVANA – Roberto Segre


Friday, June 2, 2006

Doors open 6:00 pm, Illustrated talks 6:30 pm

Theatre C300, UBC Robson Square, 800 Robson Street


Moderator – Trevor Boddy

DUBAI – Samia Rab

NAIROBI – Yasmin Shariff

LONDON - Dennis Sharp

LOWER MANHATTAN – Michael Sorkin


Saturday, June 3, 2006

Reception 5:30 pm, Public Forum, “Vancouver Viewed and Reviewed,” 6:30 pm

Great Hall, UBC Museum of Anthropology, 6393 N.W. Marine Drive


OPEN FORUM – Louise Noelle Gras, Joseph Rykwert, Desmond Hui, Roberto Segre, Samia Rab, Yasmin Shariff, Dennis Sharp, and Michael Sorkin offer their impressions of recent city-building in Vancouver, followed by an open forum. The evening will be moderated by Trevor Boddy, with the participation of additional prominent local architects and community representatives.




Speakers’ Profiles


MEXICO CITY, Louise Noelle Gras: While pollution and public transport remain key issues for the oldest and largest metropolis in the Americas, Mexico City continues to build ambitiously and extensively, as described by the Unam Professor and leading writer on Mexican architecture and urbanism.


ROME, Joseph Rykwert: The Polish-born, London-based president of CICA and prominent author of “The Seduction of Place: The City in the 21st Century,” will speak on the Eternal City and how new museums are being constructed within its architectural legacy.


HONG KONG, Desmond Hui: University of Hong Kong architecture professor Desmond Hui is highly regarded for his direct critical commentary and interpretive insights on this former entrepot and industrial hub, now re-positioning itself as an information-based knowledge centre, complete with significant investment in new cultural buildings.


HAVANA, Roberto Segre: Dividing his year between university appointments in Havana and Rio de Janeiro, Segre is the dean of Latin American architecture critics. Known for his wit and contrarian take on the cities south of North America, he will look at Havana as a living museum.


DUBAI, Samia Rab: The fastest-growing city in the Arab world, Dubai has become a hub of extravagant, tourist-oriented hotels, malls, and condos. American University Sharjah architecture head Samia Rab casts a critical eye on what some are calling “Las Vegas on the Persian Gulf.”


LONDON, Dennis Sharp: A designer of both exhibitions and buildings, Sharp is one of the leading writers and conservators of 21st century modernist architecture.


NAIROBI, Yasmin Shariff: East Africa’s great metropolis demonstrates cultural richness but an impoverishment of infrastructure, as discussed University of Westminster architecture professor Yasmin Shariff, who has recently completed her Ph.D. on urban issues there.


LOWER MANHATTAN: Michael Sorkin: For many years the architecture critic for the Village Voice, City College of New York Urban Design Program Director Michael Sorkin has advanced progressive ideas of city-shaping, whether for the re-building of lower Manhattan or coastal Mississippi.


May 2006


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