News & Events

The Unbuilt Campus

Posted by admin on November 1, 2012

November 2 to December 30, 2012 | Curated by Dr. Gary Genosko | Curator Talk: Friday, November 16 at 7:30pm


Scale Model of Campus (Fairfield and Dubis), 1967. Photographed by
Panda Associates, Toronto, Lakehead University Archives Campus Photographs,
Digital Scan and Fine Art Print, 55.8 x 76.2 cm.

The Unbuilt Campus is Lakehead University's architectural ghost story. Visions of what might have been and may yet, in fact, come to pass in one form or another, continue to haunt the campus. LU is not unique in this respect. However, over the course of the university’s history, certain visions of renewal were realized in some measure, and others were subject to modification, as buildings and budgets progressed and needs changed; still others were never realized yet persist in the collective imagination; some notions came and went without a trace. Emerging from the preserved traces of what might have been is another campus that doesn’t exactly correspond to today’s map and, therefore, provides a guided tour of a familiar place that has not yet really been seen. By using the architectural concept of the unbuilt, this exhibition provides insight into how campus projects as varied as an Aboriginal centre, a sports multiplex and the extension of the campus across Oliver Road, persist not only in the archives but in the minds of those with campus connections. The reinvention of the campus in the late 1960s was a monument to concrete Modernism. Although the major structures are still in place, the coherence of the plan has eroded under the need for upgrades and desire to construct new buildings that depart radically from that formative plan. The unbuilt campus holds out hope for some projects, fear for others, and relief that some have been forgotten. Come visit some of Lakehead University’s architectural poltergeists.

- Gary Genosko, Guest Cuarator

Gary Genosko was Professor of Sociology and Canada Research Chair at Lakehead University from 1999-2012. In 2010 he received the Ontario Association of Art Galleries Award for Design and Installation for his curated exhibition Fashion and Mimesis at Rodman Hall in St. Catharines.