Reducing Plagiarism & Improving writing: A Lesson from Chinese Painting

December 22nd, 2020 by Dennis
My article Vol. 3 No. 2 (2020): CPAI – Volume 3, Issue 2 of Canadian Perspectives on Academic Integrity has just been published  Volume 3, Issue 2 — Special issue capturing Canadian perspectives of academic integrity during COVID-19.

Finalist – Italian Monument Competition, 2006

December 10th, 2020 by Dennis

Italian Monument Competition: Statement  

Unfortunately, the competition was cancelled before the final judging. You can view the model here

Preamble

New places; new language; new customs; a new way of life – this is what faced not only the Italians but all other peoples as they immigrated to our nation.

Fitting in.  For every change we make, something is gained and something is lost.  How do we maintain our identity while being a part of the social fabric of this new land?  It is a delicate balance-one that the Italians have, over the course of years, managed to maintain.

The monument is an acknowledgement of the contributions Italians have made to Alberta.  It is a monument to their spirit – a spirit that has allowed them to embrace a new land and way of life.  As such, it can also be considered, in part, a tribute to their ability to maintain pride in their past (often under adverse conditions) and the effort to keep their cultural heritage intact.

Just as culture operates on multiple and complex levels, so too does our proposal for the monument.

The Assembled Aggregate

The assembled aggregate calls to mind the large glacial erratics one would find in the Rockies of Alberta. The qualities and textures of the pieces, while giving the monument a sense of familiarity, also raises the questions: What is it? What is it doing here?

This is a question that most, if not all, early immigrants asked themselves.  What are we doing here?  For many, Canada was a refuge; an opportunity; and a place to create a new life.  In short, a place to build, work, grow and contribute.

The assembled aggregate is hard.  This signifies both the duro (lit. hard; tough; strong) nature Italians needed to survive and flourish in this new land.  It also represents the hardships they would have to endure.

An observer will notice that there are two textures to the assembled aggregate.

  • The first texture is smooth and washed. It is raw aggregate.  It has not been worked.
  • The second texture show signs of being worked. This signifies two things:
    1. It shows the beginnings of the process of change.  The task is difficult.  Stone must be worked slowly.  One must understand and explore the complexities of the material.  This is also true when trying to find your place in any group or society.  How do we work the stone further (develop your life) without losing or destroying the underlying base or what we have already accomplished? How do we work and transform from new immigrant and outsider to that of a productive member of the Canadian community? Character, like stone, is also a building material.  You can make beautiful things with it. You can use your skills and character to make a place so much more than what it was when you first arrived.
    2. On a more literal level the working of the rock surface also signifies the job of coal mining – an occupation many early immigrants took as a means to raise a family and help provide for a better life for the generations to come.

The Base

The base surrounding the monument is composed of 3 different pavers each displaying one of three subtle colors within them.

  • Black – recalls the early mining work.
  • Blue – recalls both the ocean Italians crossed to arrive here.  It also signifies the blue sky of Alberta.
  • Yellow – recalls the wheat fields of the prairies. 

The colors are placed randomly to reflect the various patterns and times of Italian immigration (e.g., prior to and after World War I; in the late 1940s, and so on).

The grass is allowed to grow between the pavers.  This symbolizes the integration of Italians with the rest of Canadian society.

The Aedicule & Garden 

At the front of the monument is an Aedicule.  A finished piece, constructed from stone, the Aedicule signifies the contributions that Italians have made and continue to make to the building (both literally and figuratively) of Canada.  Created from raw bedrock, these architectural orders of civilization reach back into the rich cultural past of the Italian people.

While some may construe the aedicule as a Mannerist piece, the elements are modified.  Although we may try to maintain our language, culture, history, religious and social beliefs, we often have to modify how we preserve these things.  This ‘compromise’ (of sorts) is necessary in order to maintain the balance between the ‘old country’ and the ‘new country’.

The Aedicule faces the reflecting pool of the legislature.  This, combined with the visual screen of plantings, allows one to sit on the bench in the facade and reflect both on the past contributions of Italians to Alberta as well as those yet to come.

Besides the reflection of the pool, the Aedicule itself mirrors elements of the legislature building – a seat of government.  The integration of monument and building truly demonstrates that the Italian people are part of Canada.

 

Pavilion of Abandoned Technology

November 3rd, 2020 by Dennis

Meditation Space for Reflecting on Abandoned Technology  by Jennifer Noval, BID, & Dennis Rovere, B.Arch. cum laude, MA

I hired an architect – now what do I do?

April 23rd, 2020 by Dennis

North Carolina Business article by Tip Scott & I. Reproduced and distributed by several US architectural firms for the edification of their clients.

Reflections on Leaving Architecture

November 23rd, 2019 by Dennis
Filling Station Magazine Article

Farewell, Caro Maestro Tip Scott

August 11th, 2019 by Dennis

“In the House of the Poet There is No Tears” – Carlo Scarpa

Tip Scott & I in Indiana c. 1995

One of my oldest and certainly dearest friend Tip Scott passed away suddenly. We met in architecture school in 1982 in Cincinnati and worked together on numerous projects (until 2009 when I retired). We discussed many things over the years. The material from our conversations formed the basis of my award winning master’s thesis.

He was a true intellectual in the vein of Umberto Eco and Jorge Luis Borges- both of which he introduced me to through their writings. He was also an award winning architect who always remembered the small details.

He was known as Uncle Tip by my children Adrienne Rovere & Anthony Rovere whom he loved as his own. He never failed to remind me of how smart and wonderful they both were.

We will truly miss you & will always love you.

His favourite poet was Walt Whitman. The quote and photo montage is from my daughter Adrienne from an afternoon when Tip read Walt’s work as we drank coffee 

“Why are there trees I never walk under but large and melodious thoughts descend upon me?” -Walt Whitman

Esoteric Writing in Xingyi as an Aid to Practice

August 9th, 2019 by Dennis
Chinese Painting by Dennis Rovere

Esoteric Writing