Push, Pull, Bend, Bind: Enacting Architecture Through Behaviour and Consequence
LANCELOT COAR, University of Manitoba
Informality in Bogotá: Housing, Rapid Urbanization, and Public Space
JORGE COLÓN, University of New Mexico
Poetic Action for Autism: An Intersubjective Approach
Black Contemporary: Act of Construction
PETER P. GOCHÉ, Iowa State University
Experiencing the Three-Legged Stool: Social, Economic and Environmental Education
Through the Mariposa Redevelopment

MARIANNE BELLINO HOLBERT, University of Colorado-Boulder


Clouds of Action: Rethinking Urban Contexts as Differential and Participatory Fields 
HANNAH HOPEWELL, Auckland University of Technology


Inhabiting Difference: Integrating Rule Based Design and Cultural Ritual
JASON S. JOHNSON, University of Calgary
Exposing Experiences: Research Based Placemaking
JENNY KEMPSON, Framework Cultural Placemaking (Seattle)
Turbulence and the Creation of Home
GRAHAM LIVESEY, University of Calgary


Heaven on Earth: Transient Dwelling and Adaptation in Downtown Houston
GREGORY MARINIC, University of Houston
Digital Surrogacy in Ephemeral Sites
URSULA EMERY MCCLURE, Louisiana State University
Returning Anew: Sequential Experience in the Jewett Art Center
KEVIN MOORE, Auburn University
Patterning Temporary Atmospheres: Installations for the Experience of Sound and Light
CLAY ODOM, University of Texas
Photography as a Phenomenological Tool in Architectural Representation
ERIKA PETRIC, Technical University of Graz
Apocalyptic Architecture: Designing Within Resilient Detroit
ZIAD QURESHI, Iowa State University
Free Zoning: Designing a Framework for Typological Evolution and Continual Building Acts
GEORG RAFAILIDIS, State University of New York at Buffalo


This paper presents the project Free Zoning, winner of the international ideas competition “Strip Appeal: Reinventing the Strip Mall,” organized by the City-Region Studies Centre at the University of Alberta in 2012. The competition asked designers for strategies to address the increasing number of vacant strip malls in North America.


While typologies for shopping centers change, on average, every fifteen years, the actual, physical buildings remain, with a much longer potential lifespan. How could this mis-match between typological relevance and physical lifespan be addressed in a productive way?


In Free Zoning we use a derelict Buffalo strip mall – Central Park Plaza – as a case study, and re-imagine it as a potential quarry for building materials. We suggest that opening-up building and zoning guidelines could offer radical, new possibilities for the site and spur a heterogeneous mix of building acts. Instead of relying on a single commercial developer to revive the building, declaring the site a zone of radical deregulation would kick-start a process of continual construction and building acts from the bottom-up.


We propose the following measures: 1/ that all building materials be demounted and sorted so they can be used freely for any new building activity on site; 2/ that the existing foundation, which is the most expensive building part to build as well as to demolish, be re-used as a seedbed for new construction; and 3/ that all uses be allowed, requiring no zoning variances.


This model would not require any significant monetary investment. Instead of designing a new form or proposing a specific use, this project designs the legal, economic and socio-political framework from which new forms and uses can emerge. It is an architectural solution to monetary lack and economic change. The result is a specific economic and legal zone triggering open-ended typological evolution of continual building acts.

Blind Spot: The User Usurps the Dwelling Act and the Designer’s Attention
NATALIJA SUBOTINCIC, University of Manitoba
Toward Anonymity in Architecture: An Augmentation of the Historical Project of Autonomy
JOSHUA M. TARON, University of Calgary
Call Before You Cut! The Importance of Tree Protection
ANNA THURMAYR, University of Manitoba


The Lightest Material

AARON J. WEINERT, Wentworth Institute of Technology


The Architectural Lessons of Anselm Kiefer’s La Ribaute: The Material of History and the Space of Dramatic Representation
STEPHEN A. WISCHER, North Dakota State University


Reclaiming Space

PAOLA ZELLNER, Virginia Tech


The 2014 Atmosphere Committee consists of: Lisa Landrum, Chair (Architecture), Rae Bridgman (City Planning), Alyssa Schwann (Environmental Design), Lynn Chalmers (Interior Design), Marcella Eaton (Landscape Architecture); with web design and graphics support from Thalia Andreoglou (Masters of Architecture student), and administrative support from Brandy O’Reilly (Faculty of Architecture, Partners Program).


Questions? Please contact Lisa.Landrum@umanitoba.ca


Atmosphere is generously supported by the Faculty of Architecture Endowment Fund and the following professional associations: the Manitoba Association of Architects (MAA); the Manitoba Association of Landscape Architects (MALA); and the Professional Interior Designers Institute of Manitoba (PIDIM).                  

Aspects of Atmosphere 2014 ACTION are being presented in collaboration with StoreFront Manitoba and aceartinc.