Global Citizen explores the design and building process of Moshe Safdie’s projects in Jerusalem, North America, China, Singapore, and India. It makes its only Canadian stop at the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa, a fitting start, since the Gallery project was a booster stage in his own career in the 1980’s. Into this space, that Safdie himself designed, will come his sketches, building mock-ups, photographs and newly commissioned films of 30 building projects.
The exhibition underscores his deep impact on architectural practices and the realization of his design philosophy and is divided into five sections, each dedicated to pivotal points of development in Safdie’s design philosophy, termed “progressive contextualism.” The first fittingly centres on Habitat, followed by an area concentrating on his work in Israel. Section three, showcasing his North American works, begins naturally with the Gallery.
The next part takes him, and his three passports (Canadian, American and Israeli), global, with commissions west and east. 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, that includes models and a film.