Two plywood partitions snaked across the back room of the Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA)’s exhibition on Casablanca and Chandigarh during the fall and winter of 2013–14. The mounted reproductions of planning grids first displayed at CIAM (Congrès International d’Architecture Moderne) IX, Aix-en-Provence (1953), exemplified an innovative approach to exhibition design by the Tokyo-based firm Atelier Bow-Wow and cocurators Tom Avermaete and Maristella Casciato. Openness to multiple modes of display—photographs, models, original drawings, film, information graphics, and facsimiles—conveyed a desire to engage with the complexities of modern planning during a period of decolonization.

The exhibition was organized around three themes: exploring, planning, and designing the civic fabric. The projects for Casablanca, a planned development of the ancient Moroccan city’s periphery, and Chandigarh, a new capital city for the postpartition state of Punjab, India, mirrored each other along a vertical axis centered on the “Transnationalism”–themed room, with both projects converging in...

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