CCA : ahead of digital memory


Always in the forefront, the Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA) is innovating yet again by venturing into the preservation and dissemination of digital architecture, which emerged in the 1980s and 1990s as a result of developments in information technology. The museum is initiating a major research project that, within three years, will lead to the world’s first digital architecture database. The CCA plans to acquire archives from 25 key projects from this richly experimental period.

As the source of a true digital revolution, the computer has changed the way architecture is designed. Its use and the creation of specialized software have given rise to a new architectural language and made it possible to design complex structures that were practically impossible to achieve before. The digital documents bearing witness to those major changes are, however, at risk due to how quickly various computer media become obsolete. Enter the serious challenge of their conservation. Fortunately, the CCA recognizes what a critical historical issue this is and has begun to safeguard this heritage for future generations.

The exhibition Archaeology of the Digital, curated by Greg Lynn, was a first step in this research initiative.