Dal‑based publishing house wins national award for showcasing unique voices of Canadian architecture

- July 10, 2023

A Royal Architectural Institute of Canada medal on display in front of some Dalhousie Architectural Press publications. (Provided images)
A Royal Architectural Institute of Canada medal on display in front of some Dalhousie Architectural Press publications. (Provided images)

Dalhousie Architectural Press (DAP) has been at the forefront of documenting Canadian contemporary architecture, design and planning for decades, publishing original, scholarly books celebrating unique voices of architecture from coast to coast to coast.

This spring, the small, not-for-profit press operated out of Dalhousie's Faculty of Architecture and Planning was recognized on the national stage for this work and its profound impact on Canadian architecture and architectural education.

DAP received the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC)'s 2023 President’s Award for Media in Architecture at RAIC’s 2023 conference in Calgary, Alberta in May. 

“This award means a great deal to the press as a recognition of the value of our work over many years by the architectural community in Canada,” says Dr. Susanne Marshall, DAP’s publications manager.

The RAIC Architectural Journalism and Media Awards recognize an architect, architectural practice, or individual that presents a narrative about architecture that promotes public understanding and awareness of architecture, the role of architects, and their impacts on society. 

“The ability to celebrate the unique voices of architecture across Canada is predicated on the dedication of journalists and media focusing time and resources that are increasingly scarce and more global in focus,” observed members of the RAIC jury panel. 

“A review of the publications produced by Dalhousie Architectural Press shows that for over 40 years, it has covered the breadth and depth of Canadian architecture from coast to coast.”

Critical review and reflection

DAP, which began as Tech Press at the Technical University of Nova Scotia in the mid-1980s, was later re-established in 1993 by then-Dean Essy Baniassad and visiting professor Brian Carter. 

“DAP provides unique opportunities for faculty and student engagement through series, exhibition pairing, and curricular integration,” reflects James Forren, director of the School of Architecture. “It’s an important academic-practice link between the culture of Canadian architecture and the practice of critical review, reflection, and historicity.” 

The press documents works by significant designers, notable architectural archives and competitions, and unique Canadian scholarship, with the goal of fostering a wider appreciation of architecture and its allied disciplines in Canada. 

The RAIC jury panel highlighted DAP’s dedication to positioning Canadian architecture within a broader international context, and to bringing carefully curated and beautifully published books to the public. The press’s book series include Documents in Canadian Architecture and Architectural Signatures Canada, studies of practitioners; the architectural history series Canadian Modern; and new series Design Matters, on contemporary issues in architectural practice, and Land/Forms, addressing landscape, infrastructure, extraction, and the built environment. 

DAP’s vision has always been to support the growth of scholarship and practice that engages with the challenges and opportunities of today and tomorrow. 

“This 2023 RAIC Award is gratefully received on behalf of all of our team,” says board member Brian Carter. “It will be invaluable in advancing DAP’s work and enabling further considerations of ideas about contemporary architecture in Canada.” 

Book proposals on Canadian subjects are always welcome from scholars and practitioners across the disciplines. For more information, contact Susanne Marshall.



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