Authors | Robin Simpson

Robin Simpson is an art historian, curator, and student based in Vancouver where he is enrolled in the Ph.D. program in Art History at the University of British Columbia. His dissertation investigates video art of the 1970s through to the early 80s, reexamining the socio-political stakes in the critical diagnosis of video’s narcissism.

Articles on Amodern by Robin Simpson

PRESENT SENSE AND FUTURE AMENITIES

Ken Coupland’s Restaurant at Rochdale College

Between 1968 and 1975, Toronto’s Rochdale College was North America’s largest free school. At its foot sat The Same 24-hour Restaurant. Designed by Ken Coupland, this futuristic and sensorial space served as a liminal site between Rochdale’s new society and the world outside. This paper traces the development of the restaurant’s designs and operations through the college’s printed ephemera, considering this material in light of Harley Parker’s exhibition designs. Where Parker was concern with the contemporary relevance of the museum experience in regards to the “participatory wakefulness” of its audience, I propose that Coupland’s futuristic design aimed to advance a utopian project embedded in Rochdale’s contested late-Brutalist form.