POP // CAN // CRIT is an annual, national, symposium that promotes excellence in architecture through constructive, critical, professional and academic discourses on contemporary professional practice and its peripheries.


POP // CAN // CRIT is an edgy, lively, and provocative platform for architects, design professionals, academics, and the public ⎼ with diverse viewpoints ⎼ to openly discuss, debate and advocate for the future of architectural practice within a Canadian context.

At POP // CAN // CRIT we are fascinated by the lines between // whether those that divide the popular from the critical, the academic from the practical, or the mainstream from the fringe. It is that in between space that wish to explore as we work to challenge the ways we see and understand architecture, current practices, contemporary issues, and propose new solutions for the future of architecture and its practice in Canada.

Formed in 2016, as the PhD ‘Project of Architecture’ for POP // CAN // CRIT-founding organizer Kristen Gagnon, the inaugural SSHRC-funded event was held in Ottawa and focused on the current conditions of popular architecture criticism, including its alleged state of crisis, interactions with social media, the democratization of the press, and its future trajectories. Following its success, Brynne Campbell took over as lead organizer for the second edition in Toronto, with the event also acting as the ‘Project of Architecture’ for her doctoral research, through a second SSHRC grant. The 2017 event focused on the promotion and marketing of architecture within a Canadian context, and filled the house for an exciting day at the Design Exchange in Toronto.

Picking up on strands from the previous two symposia, 2018’s gathering marked a new chapter in the organization of POP // CAN // CRIT, with both Brynne and Kristen acting as co-organizers, and separating it from a formal relationship with their own academic research. The third edition, which saw POP // CAN // CRIT go west to Vancouver, went on to explore the business of architecture in Canada, including the lines between art and business, architectural communications, the increasing presence of women in the profession, and how the education and internship processes are shaping the future of architecture and architectural practice. The third year also saw the introduction of structure continuing education hours through the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC) and the first live-stream of POP // CAN // CRIT across the country.

The planning for POP // CAN // CRIT 2019 is now underway! We are excited to share that the theme will be Education and Emergence of Architects in Canada, and will be taking place on October 26, 2019 at the Design Exchange in Toronto, Canada. The 2019 event will once again be partnering with the RAIC, this year to host the symposium in conjunction with the 2019 RAIC Conference: The Future of Architecture.  


POP // CAN // CRIT is the leading annual, national, architecture symposium in Canada that brings together nationally-acclaimed professionals from across the field, for a day-long, discussion-based event focused on the critical fringes of architectural practice in Canada.


POP // CAN // CRIT provides an educational and advocacy platform for the critical exploration of popular topics related to the practice of architecture, within a Canadian context.


Criticality – POP // CAN // CRIT ensures that the contemporary discourse on architecture remains critical, academically-linked, and nuanced.  

Inclusivity, Diversity + Equality – POP // CAN // CRIT works to ensure that all voices are brought to the table in a fair and equal manner.

Education + Advocacy –  POP // CAN // CRIT believes that a strong profession must continually further its understandings and responsibilities, through its own continued education and external advocacy.   

Founding Partners

Founding Sponsors