Global Citizen: The Architecture of Moshe Safdie, an unprecedented exploration of the renowned architect’s work and philosophy, will premiere at the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa on October 6, 2010 and subsequently tour to Chicago, Los Angeles, and Bentonville, Arkansas. The exhibition guides viewers on a journey from Safdie’s groundbreaking Habitat for Expo ’67 in Montreal through his most recent projects in China, India, Singapore, and the U.S. Curated by Donald Albrecht, an independent curator and curator of Architecture and Design at the Museum of the City of New York, the exhibition underscores Safdie’s extraordinary career as a leading architect, urban planner, theorist, educator, and author.
Global Citizen is divided into five sections, each dedicated to pivotal points of development in Safdie’s design philosophy, termed “progressive contextualism.” Flowing from his early, formative years through his vision for the future, the exhibition illuminates Safdie’s belief that a building should be an extension of its physical, historical, and cultural environments through models, sketches, photographs, and newly commissioned films of 30 building projects. To further contextualize the architectural and humanist dimensions of Safdie’s work, Global Citizen includes monitors of audio and video, periodicals, and other archival material that parallel the developments of the projects. The exhibition’s concluding section is titled Habitat of the Future, and is an evolutionary reworking of Habitat–Safdie’s radical solution for quality, affordable housing. The culmination of two years of design research, created especially for Global Citizen, Habitat of the Future proposes new design strategies that innovatively address the growing density of global cities—an ever more pressing issue today.