CCA-WRI Research Fellowship 2023

Window Research Institute

10 Aug 2022

This fellowship program, launched jointly with the Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA), is open to accomplished professionals who hold a doctoral degree or have substantial work experience and a commitment to publishing, exhibiting, and/or professional practice.
The program offers a residency at the CCA for one to three months between June and October, during which fellows will address a research theme that explores the relationships between current societal issues and architecture based on the CCA collection. Each fellow will have a private office and receive monthly stipends and additional financial support for travel expenses.
We are now seeking three fellows for our 2023 program, “Above/Below/Between: Light on a Damaged Planet.” Applications are now available on the CCA application portal until September 25, 2022.



CCA-WRI Research Fellowship
Above/Below/Between: Light on a Damaged Planet

The recognition of the manifold meanings and architectural mediations of light, which are becoming only more salient in our era of ecological crises, is common to both the CCA and the Window Research Institute. This emergent ecological reality is creating new practices, designs, and other social and material manifestations of architectural design that are above, below, and between; atmospheric, underground, and attentive to increasingly damaged landscapes all around us. Whether through increased average temperatures, more prevalent drought patterns, or sea level rise, light on this damaged planet is materially responsive to our human-impacted ecosystem. Apertures condense and make palpable this source of light and the need to question its root causes.


This affinity has led to our working with the WRI to jointly provide conditions for deep inquiries into the phenomenon of light. This collaboration represents a new model of fellowship for the CCA; whereas our institution observes an ever-expanding array of architectural subjects, the WRI holds a specific focus on light and windows, in their technological, cultural, and societal dimensions.


The second iteration of the CCA-WRI Research Fellowship

Program Above/Below/Between: Light on a Damaged Planet continues to seek to understand architectureʼs varied relationships to the changing material constitution of the light spectrum. In 2023 we will welcome three CCA-WRI Fellows for periods of research of up to three months, with Fellowsʼ turning their attention to the second element in the diffusion of light across our solar societies: below, and the underground with its relative absence of light. The design of underground spaces, whether for retail, data storage, safety from warfare and climate disaster, is an ongoing concern. The CCA holds a unique collection of materials related to the Underground Space Center (USC) at the University of Minnesota. The USC, founded in 1978, was dedicated to the study of ʻearth-sheltersʼ as a response to the 1970s oil crisis and the need for more efficient means to heat and cool domestic environments. This is one entry point into an array of CCA Collection materials that can articulate how contemporary experiences of solar damage extend into the history of design.


While 2023 Fellows may focus on the underground as a space of experimentation, future domesticity, and/or extraction, we welcome applications that address a range of topics, particularly those that take the theme of damaged light and solarity as a social condition more broadly in new directions:

-The underground and expanded definitions of ʻshelterʼ

-Underground urbanisms (in relation to density, climate, real estate speculation, etc)

-The underground and anti-verticality

-Underground spaces and nostalgia/disuse/retreat/illicitness

-Solar design, particularly as a material

-Light as a form of social capital

-Solar landscapes, whether dry, arid, or desert

-Luminescence as a historical, geographical, and social process



Name Andrea Dutto
Affiliation RWTH Aachen University
Title Earth-Shelter Builders and the Code

Name Oxana Gourinovitch
Affiliation RWTH Aachen University
Title The Subdued State: The Under- and Overground Built Environments of the Uranium Industries in the GDR

Name Tomomi Miyata
Affiliation Tokyo Institute of Technology
Title Visual Function in Earth shelters from the View Point of Emergency Sustainability


About the Partnership

The CCA operates in the spaces between architectural culture at large and academic discourse through exhibitions, publications, public events, and research programs. As an international research institution, it is concerned not only with building new knowledge but also with making that knowledge productive. To do this, it applies architectural perspectives to topics beyond their usual disciplinary scope and methods from other fields to traditionally architectural subjects. It aims to adopt new ways of investigating that combine cultures and perspectives emerging from architectural practice, curatorial and publishing practice, and academic study.

For over a decade, the WRI has implemented research programs focused on windows and openings. Windows––which play multifaceted roles in lighting, ventilation, viewing, security, and energy conservation––serve as intersections for various technologies and constitute one of the most fundamental elements that characterize architecture. As the contact point between the outside and inside, windows relate closely to not only architecture but to surrounding climates and peopleʼs lifestyles. With our view of windows through a multifaceted lens—as a reflection of our society, culture, and technology—we seek to understand architecture in a fresh light to explore its role in society.

In this partnership, we aim to establish a cross-institutional fellowship program that tackles urgent public issues by combining the CCAʼs comprehensive insight, collection, and research system with the WRIʼs unique expertise.


Canadian Centre for Architecture

The Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA) is an international research institution and museum premised on the belief that architecture is a public concern. We produce exhibitions and publications, develop and share our collection as a resource, advance research, offer public programs, and host a range of other activities driven by a curiosity about how architecture shapes—and might reshape—contemporary life. We invite collaborators and the wider public to engage with our activities, giving new relevance to architectural thinking in light of current disciplinary and cultural issues.

Window Research Institute

The Window Research Institute (WRI) advances and implements research and cultural programs focused on windows. For over a decade, we have explored the role of architecture in society through our uniquely cultivated perspective. We conduct research, provide grants, and present our findings through publications, exhibitions, and lectures. Reaching beyond architecture, the Institute collaborates with a range of prominent institutions and individuals at home and abroad to develop multifaceted discussions.


Media Contacts

Julia Albani
International Press and Public Relations
Canadian Centre for Architecture
+351 911 191 898


Motomichi Kunugiza
Program Officer
Window Research Institute
1-1, Kanda Izumi-cho
Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan 101-0024