A University of Waterloo professor who reconstructed key evidence used in forensic analysis of the architecture of Auschwitz has received an award for his extraordinary contributions.
Robert Jan van Pelt, a professor of architecture and cultural historian, is receiving the Connection Award – one of five Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Impact awards honouring Canadian researchers identified as outstanding scholars for generating new knowledge through research in the areas of people, culture, and human thought and behaviour.
Professor van Pelt, along with professors Anne Bordeleau and Donald McKay, independent art curator Sascha Hastings, and a team of Waterloo architecture students created The Evidence Room. The exhibit is a powerful installation that through plaster cast models presents key artifacts and evidence of genocidal use which were used in the forensic analysis of the architecture of Auschwitz. The objects were introduced as evidence in a court case to demonstrate that Auschwitz was purposely designed as a death camp.
The Connection Award recognizes an outstanding initiative that facilitates the exchange of research knowledge within or beyond the social sciences and humanities community to generate intellectual, cultural, social, or economic impact.