Guest Lecture: Dr. Carola Hein - Landscapes of Oil

Image of a building
Monday, October 17, 2016 - 10:00pm

The Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences School for Interdisciplinary Studies presents: 

Dr. Carola Hein - Global Landscapes of Oil

Petroleum – its extraction, refining, transformation, and consumption – has shaped our built environment in visible and invisible interconnected ways around the world over the last 150 years. Industrial structures, buildings, monuments, urban forms, and infrastructure stand as material witnesses to the ubiquity and power of petroleum. Many people will orient themselves in space referring to gas stations, others will point to oil headquarters as local urban icons, and a select few will be aware of local oil industry facilities or the educational, housing or leisure facilities of the petroleum industry employees. But while observers recognize the connection to oil in select buildings, they do not picture the enormous collective presence of oil in the built environment, its impact on production processes, financial flows, and associated social and cultural patterns in our everyday environment, or the long history of oil’s impact on our lives. Using local case studies from the United States, Northern Europe, and China, this lecture explores physical spaces and cultural manifestations of oil on a global scale.

Carola Hein is Professor and Head, Chair History of Architecture and Urban Planning at Delft University of Technology. She trained in Hamburg (Diplom‑Ingenieurin) and Brussels (Architecte) and earned her doctorate at the Hochschule für bildende Künste Hamburg in 1995. She has published and lectured widely on topics in contemporary and historical architectural and urban planning—notably in Europe and Japan—and has authored several articles and books on capital city issues in Brussels, Strasbourg, Luxembourg, Berlin, and Tokyo. From 1995 to 1999 she was a Visiting Researcher at Tokyo Metropolitan University and Kogakuin University, focusing on the reconstruction of Japanese cities after World War II and the Western influence on Japanese urban planning. Among other major grants, in 2004, she held a grant by the Brussels-Capital Region Government to investigate the urban location and architectural expression of the European capital function. In 2005-06 she has been working with a grant from the Lincoln Institute for Land Policy for research on Regional integration and land policies affecting the future development of Tallinn, Warsaw, and Budapest. In 2007, she received a Guggenheim Fellowship to pursue research on The Global Architecture of Oil.With an Alexander von Humboldt fellowship she investigated large scale urban transformation in Hamburg in international context between 1842 and 2008. Her current interest is the study of international networks and the transmission of architectural and urban ideas along these networks, focusing specifically on port cities and the global architecture of oil.


Carola Hein has authored The Capital of Europe. Architecture and Urban Planning for the European Union (Praeger, 2004), and has edited Port Cities: Dynamic Landscapes and Global Networks London: Rutledge 2011; (with Pierre Laconte (eds,)) Brussels: Perspectives on a European Capital. Brussels: Publication of the Foundation for the Urban Environment, 2007. Bruxelles l’Européene: Capitale de qui? Ville de qui?/ European Brussels. Whose capital? Whose city? Brussels: Cahiers de la Cambre-Architecture n 5, Brussels: La Lettre Volée, 2006; (with Philippe Pelletier (eds.)). Cities, Autonomy and Decentralization in Japan. London: Routledge, 2006/2009: (with Jeffry Diefendorf, and Yorifusa Ishida (eds.)), Rebuilding Urban Japan after 1945. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003. She has also published numerous articles in peer-reviewed journals, books, and magazines.

Venue & Address: 
100 McCaul Street, room 190

How Canada can be 100 per cent reliant on renewable energy by 2050

Strategic Foresight student Ryan Church
Friday, June 5, 2015 - 6:00pm

“If countries like Norway can do it, we can too," says OCAD University student Ryan Church. He’s created what he calls a realistic plan to get Canada completely off fossil fuels as his project for the Strategic Foresight and Innovation program.

Ryan used integrated cybernetics to create the plan that includes ideas such as switching to HVDC cables (high-voltage, direct current) for our long-distance power transmission cables and creating a biomimetic energy grid. 

Originally from Maple Ridge, BC, Ryan previously studied science pre-med and art history. He chose the Strategic Foresight and Innovation program because he likes to dabble in business, sciences and the design world, and OCAD U is unique in offering that combination.

Ryan’s renewable energy plan is currently in the hands of the federal and BC Green parties, and Ryan has already received some positive feedback. On top of school, Ryan has his own company, BiomeDesign which combines biomimicry, design and thinking about the future. His company’s latest project is developing a more efficient wind turbine.

You can learn more about Ryan’s project and the exciting work of other innovative Strategic Foresight and Innovation students at their graduate exhibition, xFutures, on now until June 17 at 49 McCaul Street, Toronto.