How Embarrassing by Michelle Linden

So, the World Expo 2010 is taking place in Shanghai, and many of the world's best architects have contributed designs. Many countries have hired the best architects found in their own country, while others have ventured out beyond their borders... but most designs have something in common... trying to articulate the priorities and passions of their home country, exuding confidence and creativity. Of course, I say most because the US is one glaring exception. What does our pavilion say about us? We could be locate along any highway in any suburb. We value conformity and corporate culture (which we can directly link to many of the problems plaguing our nation). We don't really have any place for innovation or creativity and we certainly don't value our architects, which is why we hired a Canadian to design a metal panelled representation of an eagle (there is that lack of creativity and ingenuity again).
Very Frustrating. An expo is not an office park.

South Korea

Pretty Organic for Brick by Michelle Linden

The organic forms of both these projects (Canadian Museum of Civilization, top and St. Mary's Church, bottom) by Douglas Cardinal Architect both make wonderful use of a modular building material like brick. While many people don't expect such sensual curves to be created with bricks, DCA proves adept at pushing the usual material expectations while designing monumental structures. In practice since the 60s, this Canadian firm has got a bit of a mod look to it... and I really like it!

Integral Jean Beaudoin by Michelle Linden

The Fjord Museum in Labaie Quebec is a sweet project by Canadian firm Integral Jean Beaudoin. The firm has a fairly wide body of work, both unbuilt and built, but this particular project appealed to me because of the exterior skin. I wonder what kind of material is used for cladding (stone veneer?)... I also wonder if there is a reason other than aesthetic that the shading devices extend beyond the fenestration onto the cladding. Anyone have any additional information? I had trouble finding information on the site (at least in English)...