Adrian Blackwell

Adrian Blackwell, Associate Professor of Architecture and Urban Design at the University of Waterloo School of Architecture, Toronto, Canada

What inspired you to want a life in Architecture and the creative industries?
 I loved drawing, math, writing and building things with my hands. Architecture seemed like a fusion of those things. 

Who inspired you in finding your path to Architecture and the creative industries?
I had privileged access to architecture, because my father was a structural engineer who worked with very creative architects so I was able to visit construction sites and was excited by the process. 

How you unlock obstacles and overcome bias in your work.
I think it’s important to speak from your convictions. People trust you if you express your own positions in a respectful way. 

What improvements you feel are required to promote effective change in the academic and working environment?
I think there is a long way to go to shake up the architecture education system, but architects are creative people and both the profession and schools in Canada have made a lot of changes to create more inclusion and equity in a very short time. In schools, curricula need to change to better uplift diversity and inclusion, reading lists need to refer to diverse sources, and the repertoire of precendents students refer to as evidence need to be greatly expanded to reflect the diversity of citizens. The design studio is such an open and creative space of experimentation and yet the performativity of critique and the many conventions of the profession, serve to limit this openness and the range of creativity propping up status quo ideas. So studio pedagogy still has a long way to go to. 

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