Neil Minuk
Assistant Professor
224 Architecture 2 Building
t 204.474.7405
f 204.474.7532
din@mts.net

Education
M.Architecture, University of Manitoba, 1998
B.A. (Native Studies and Art History), University of Manitoba, 1989

Research

ENACTMENT: building a process for making felt, immersive architecture that recognizes the uncertainty and multiplicity of reception and is predicated on a non-linear unfolding of meaning set out from a real and subjectively constructed site and narrative.

Professor Minuk's research is situated in a critical practice operating under the firm name DIN Projects. We are working on a number of projects of varying scale exploring enactment and proximity as a way to imagine new living realms.

Since 2008 we have been collaborating with DPA and PSA on the new University of Winnipeg / PLUGIN 50,000 sq ft. building on Portage Avenue at Colony Street in downtown Winnipeg which opened Fall 2010.

The building explores a simultaneous seeing and being seen within the context of a diverse hybrid program of university business teaching, contemporary art gallery, café/bar, continuing education teaching and busy urban context. Carefully curated apertures and layers of space enable multiple glances, and interacting sounds and smells. Conceptually, the project site extends beyond the property line into the public realm. The public is brought into the building, literally, by means of a pedestrian shortcut portal, and the building is brought into the public domain by means of ambiguity of boundary between territories - public, private, interior, exterior, front, back.

The dynamic exterior environment of the building is received, filtered and reenacted by the building’s skin, a pearlized white metal clad finish with reflective white tabs that reiterate the site’s colour, light and actions. The building is consciously present and absent providing an ever-changing setting for the actions of the site and building program.

Another ongoing project is a DIN cottage situated in a sand dune on the shore of Lake Manitoba at Twin Beaches, northwest of Winnipeg. The project, currently under construction, explores an evolving transitional process where a narrative and cast of characters, both real and imaginary, are animated or enacted in a constructed model, on site and through the building’s construction.

In her book, Architecture from the Outside, Elizabeth Grosz considers buildings as potential texts. In opposition to a Derridian understanding of text as textile, an interweaving that produces a closed striated space, Grosz, after Deleuze, sees texts as rhizomatic. To this way of thinking, architecture works to embed texts like “little time bombs that, when they do not explode in one’s face, they scatter thoughts and images into different linkages and new alignments without destroying them. Ideally they produce unexpected intensities, peculiar sites of difference, new connections with other objects and thus generate both affective and conceptual transformations that problematize, challenge and move beyond existing intellectual and pragmatic frameworks.”