York University alumna Candace Iron, (Humanities, '16) is this year's winner of the Phyllis Lambert Prize for the best doctoral dissertation on the subject of the built environment in Canada. She received the award last month at the 43rd Conference of the Society for the Study of Architecture in Canada (SSAC).
Candace’s PhD dissertation focused on the career and church architecture of the Canadian architect Henry Langley (1836-1907).
"Receiving the Phyllis Lambert Prize for the best doctoral dissertation on the topic of architecture in Canada is a true honour and quite a surprise," said Iron. "I was very lucky to have a supportive dissertation committee in the Humanities Department at York, and my supervisor, Malcolm Thurlby, in particular, was a constant source of advice and support throughout my PhD."
Looking particularly at architecture’s usefulness as a social, cultural, and historical text, Iron's dissertation examined how Langley’s buildings are reflective of dominant cultural practices and denominational rivalries that were prevalent in 19th-century Ontario.
The Phyllis Lambert Prize is a biennial (every two years) award presented by the SSAC to a PhD candidate or recent graduate with the best doctoral dissertation on the subject of the built environment (architecture, architectural history, theory, critic or conservation) in Canada. The prize consists of a certificate of recognition and a $1,500 scholarship.
"In 2007, the inaugural year of the prize, I had the privilege of listening to Phyllis Lambert speak at the annual conference of the Society for the Study of Architecture in Canada, which was held in Montreal, Quebec," said Iron. "She is passionate about architecture and her reputation as a female architect, historian, and heritage advocate is truly inspiring. I am very proud to receive an award that honours her name and her legacy.
"I cannot be more grateful to the SSAC for recognizing my work and am honoured to be added to the prestigious list of scholars who have received the Phyllis Lambert Prize."
Iron has published several articles on Canadian church architecture and has chapters in two international scholarly anthologies, most recently being included in the book Gothic Revival Worldwide: A.W.N. Pugin’s Global Influence (2017). She has also presented her research at more than 30 national and international conferences.
Iron is currently a partial-load professor in the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Humber College in Toronto, where she teaches courses in religious history and aesthetic theory.