Living atlas of quality
in architecture and the built environment

CIS #1: Can Awards of Excellence Define Quality? by Jean-Pierre Chupin (Université de Montréal) - 20.10.2022

Processes & policiesProcesses & policies

First Common Integrative Seminar Succesfully Implemented

On 20th October 2022, around 40 students gathered virtually to attend the first common integrative seminar of the partnership. Given by Prof. Chupin, project director and teacher at Université de Montréal, this first iteration of the seminar looked into awards and their role in defining quality in the built environment.
This seminar reflected on a potential correlation between awards of excellence and the definitions of quality in the built environment. Conceptualizing award systems as qualitative processes, however, does not guarantee that they will be able to capture shareable, understandable, and reproducible attributes of built environments. We summarized a literature review identifying three current sets of theories on quality: (1) a theory centered on definitions of the discipline and relying on synthetic captures of quality; (2) a theory centered on managerial approaches and relying on quantification; and (3) a more recent theory examining the ontology of quality from an ethical perspective that is attentive to inclusive practices. These non-mutually exclusive categories are then used to make distinctions between representative awards at regional, national, and international levels.

About the lecturer:

Jean-Pierre Chupin, PhD, is a professor at Université de Montréal’s School of Architecture, where he holds the Canada Research Chair in Architecture, Competitions and Mediations of Excellence. Conducting research on contemporary issues in architecture, he has published on design thinking, analogical thinking, architectural quality, sustainability, tectonics, judgment, and imagination. An expert on architecture competitions and awards, he is the chief editor of two online databases of projects and buildings: the Canadian Competitions Catalogue (CCC; www.ccc.umontreal.ca) and the Atlas of Research on Exemplarity in Architecture and the Built Environment (AREA-BE; https://architecture-excellence.org). He is the project director of the SSHRC partnership: Quality in Canada’s Built Environment: Roadmaps to Equity, Social Value and Sustainability.