Winners of the National Exhibition of Migrating Landscapes have been announced! This nation-wide, open ideas competition is the main process for creating Canada’s official entry to the 2012 Venice Biennale in Architecture, entitled Migrating Landscapes. Themed around migration and cultural identity, entrants comprised of young Canadian architects and designers, ages 45 and under, where invited to reflect on their migration experiences and cultural memories, and design dwellings onto a new landscape that would be showcased through a series of seven regional exhibitions across the country. Together with the Winnipeg-based Migrating Landscapes Organizer (MLO), the jury has selected 18 winners out of 26 finalists to represent ‘Team Canada”. Continue after the break to review the winning competitors.
184 / BC / D’Arcy Jones, Amanda Kemeny, Daan Murray, Melani Pigat
Project Description: A childhood migration from an established neighborhood to a new house in an unsettled subdivision exposed the author to the frontier of an unfinished basement. Embracing the banal, this entry celebrates commonplace construction methods that typify the Canadian building culture. Everyday materials become the ingredients of fantastic new spaces that re-think how a typical suburban plot of land might be used. Construction itself becomes synonymous with settlement and habitation: digging, cutting, layering, pouring, trenching and joining. Critical of the relentless pursuit of the new and the complete, this entry celebrates settling as a work-in-progress that is never finished.
Bio: D’Arcy Jones Design (DJD) was founded in 2000, immediately after D’Arcy Jones completed a Master of Architecture degree. D’Arcy has gained invaluable design, technical, and artistic experience through his own creative process of trial and error. DJD has grown to be an agile design practice working on a wide range of projects at diverse scales.
DJD’s award-winning work has been widely published. In 2009 their projects were featured in the Twenty + Change 02 Exhibition and their Form & Forest cabin prototype The Cowboy earned a Canadian Architect Award of Merit. In 2010 D’Arcy Jones was awarded the inaugural Arthur Erickson Memorial Award.
204 / Maritimes / Marianna de Cola
Project Description: The model is a summary of a design project that responds to current and historical migration within Newfoundland. The province has experienced resettlement and migration since its birth due to the fluctuations of the cod fishery. The model displays two communities on the southern coast, Grand Bruit; recently resettled, and Burgeo; the main host town.
The design exemplifies themes of shifting through a mobile energy, and research infrastructure. Two conditions exist in the model, one where Grand Bruit is inhabited, and one where it is abandoned. The shifting design is an architecture that exchanges, converses, and reciprocates with its habitat.
Bio: Marianna de Cola is a Toronto-based designer at Kohn Partnership Architects. She completed her Masters of Architecture at the University of Waterloo. Her thesis research and design was set in Newfoundland and involved the study of mutable landscapes, shifting populations, fluctuating resources, and possible versatile infrastructural solutions. She has presented her graduate work at the ACSA Fall conference in 2011 in Montreal and her research and photography has been published in ‘Bracket II: Goes Soft’, ‘On-Site Magazine’, and ‘Ground: Landscape Architect Quarterly’. Preceding her graduate work Marianna has spent time working and learning in Toronto, New York, London, and Rome. Special thanks to Michael Panacci for all of his help installing the project at the exhibitions.
189 / Maritimes / Stephen Kopp, Monica Adair, John Leroux, Jessie Croll, Alicia Halas
Project Description: Changing the question from why New Brunswick? to this is why.
Set within a province that has difficulty drawing settlers within the larger context of Canadian migration, our model chooses to promote an articulated sense of identity and place for New Brunswick by envisioning a re-energized destination for migrants at Saint John’s waterfront.
The design depicts New Brunswick’s forested landscape with an intervention on the edge of Saint John’s waterfront. Between the two, an existing bisecting highway underlines its reputation as the ‘drive-through province.’
Grey is part of the collective psyche of Saint John, a city that fog knows well. The design juxtaposes this environment by the introduction of bold colour found within the structure of its animated roofscape. It further depicts an intertidal landscape that at once reveals the wonder of this dynamic place and represents its potential transforming state.
Ultimately, a destination for tourism and habitation for new migrants is put forth, sustaining and enhancing Saint John and New Brunswick’s geographical character.
Bio: Stephen Kopp, Monica Adair, John Leroux, Jessie Croll, Alicia Halas work together at Acre Architects. The group draws upon the expertise of the acre collective, a small group of talented artists, landscape architects, writers and architects. The idea is simple: bring together the right team for the right project. The collective finds fresh ways to tackle projects and produce new outcomes. At the heart of each new endeavor is a collaborative spirit of playfulness and exploration. With Saint John as its home base, the Acre aims to promote a greater understanding of the role of contemporary architecture in shaping the culture and identity of New Brunswick.
216 / BC / Mira Yung, IMu Chan
Project Description: A Kite Story
While the experience of immigration can be real and tangible to an adult, the geographic and cultural transformation to children may lack specificity and not readily comprehensible. The apprehension is particularly poignant for migrating preadolescents to which the experience becomes part of growing up, of coming to terms with their shifting identities, their subtle physical and emotional transformations – all of which are at a crossroad with the unknown affects of the new world. Setting in the backdrop of a migrating landscape from Hong Kong to Vancouver, KITE reflects on the moment when lingering footage of childhood memories in one place interweaved with the anxiety of growing up in another, and how the immigrating youth and the young city find the meaning of coexistence in the formative years of transformation.
Bio: In one sense the crossing paths of Mira Yung and IMu Chan is never a coincidence. Both were born in Hong Kong, moved to Vancouver in their adolescent time, and have their childhood memories deeply buried in the tenor of their migratory experience. The image of a kite, increasingly suffused with the narrative power that may pull their two worlds together, has provided the kernel of this collaboration. Formerly trained as an industrial designer, Mira is currently completing her architectural degree at University of British Columbia. IMu is the principal of FSOARK, an open creative platform where ideas cross disciplinary boundaries and innovations are executed collaboratively.
155 / Ontario / Andrew Batay-Csorba,Jodi Batay-Csorba
Project Description: SEMI (DETACHED)
After 15 years of absence from our Canadian home, our migration back to Toronto gave us a new set of eyes for which to view and uncover latent potentials. Toronto’s urban living of opposing density, climate, lifestyle, and use of public space and landscape all lead to a process of re-questioning. The project challenges the residential typology that dominates Toronto and the role that landscape plays within this authority. Toronto’s declining housing stock consists of carefully arranged dense rows of single and multi unit Victorian, Arts and Craft and Bay and Gable style houses intermixed within the density of the city; lining the streets in identical fashion with a prescribed boundary of vegetative space. While preserving the imprint of history and its strata of cultural memories we provide new organization by allowing contemporary culture to influence the role of the dwelling.
Bio: Andrew Batay-Csorba and Jodi Batay Csorba created the migrating landscape submission and also form the Batay-Csorba collaborative. They work together in a multi-disciplinarian design studio which was founded by the two. Their practice was created in Los Angeles, California and moved to Toronto in 2010. With their move they bring to Toronto 14 years of work experience at internationally renowned firms and an unmarked outlook to the progression of design at all scales. Batay-Csorba approaches each project by questioning typical typologies and premeditated ideas in search for contemporary alternatives to how projects are approached, function and perform. Their thought driven process explores the interfaces between building organization, structure, circulation, materiality and environmental building systems in order to co-notate new formations of space and performance.
220 / Manitoba / Jason Hare
Project Description: META
This project focuses on the interconnected relationship between the urban and the rural dwelling. The perceived contrast of these two environments continues to breed a sense of disconnect between where it is we call home and where we go to escape the home. How one begins to ‘settle’ between these two places leads to the physical manifestation of form. As the dwelling settles within the physical landscape of which it belongs to, the model shares this same settling act within the abstract migrating landscape of which it belongs. In doing so the dwelling and the landscape are ultimately bound to each other, sharing a distinct relationship, defined by the processes that enacted them. This project is ultimately exploring how a dwelling can have its own identity while simultaneously existing within the greater environment of which its form was generated from.
Bio: Jason Hare is deeply interested in how individuals and collective groups engage with their surrounding environments and the objects that reside within them. His passion manifests itself through the physical act of making and the exploration into material and processes. His research focuses on the metabolic processes of materials and the identity shift that occurs through assemblages. Jason is driven by a desire to keep his feet on the ground and his head in the clouds. He is presently undertaking his masters in Landscape Architecture at the University of Manitoba.
206 / Ontario / Kfir Gluzberg, Liana Bresler
Project Description: Unfolded box; the first moment of rest
This entry is a reflection on the entrants’ experiences of continual migration. It addresses the first moment of rest upon arrival in a new place. The object is scaled to the human body and derives its form from a box or piece of luggage. Here, the box is unfolded to create a place of rest. Each surface is made of many hinged components which allow it to conform to the landscape and support itself. If migration occurred again and the box were to be removed and placed onto another landscape, it would serve the same function, however it would bear a new form by creating a new interaction.
Bio: Kfir Gluzberg and Liana Bresler both immigrated to Toronto from Israel. Kfir pursued his interest in digital tectonics at the IaaC in Barcelona where he exhibited his ‘Heliobot’ project at DHub. He continued his architectural graduate studies at McGill University. Liana exhibited her thesis work, completed at the University of Waterloo, both in Canada and abroad, as part of a collaboration entitled “In-Between Cities”. She has taught design studio with the University of Waterloo both on campus and in Rome. Liana is currently practicing at Levitt Goodman Architects in Toronto while Tel Aviv is the site for Kfir’s ongoing work.
212 / Quebec / Felix Tue
Project Description: The concept illustrates a transitory state where two mental spaces are merging into a heterogeneous structure that has not settled yet, but is supported by one’s aspirations and experience.
The two spaces are not only different in scale and morphology, but also chronologically since they cannot be perceived at the same time. The passageways between these spaces have sharp edges and are hardly accessible. On one side, the original landscape is organic and has been shaped as the individual developed over time. It displays the freedom of a play ground, but not the stability of a home. On the other side, Montreal is cut at right angles as the buildings are. Its Christian past is present throughout by the names of its places. This new landscape is surrounded by borderless territories, which makes it feel enclosing and protecting. It’s slowly changing into a home.
Bio: Felix Tue is a Romanian Canadian architect who was born on March 19th, 1972 in Găieşti near Tậrgovişte where he lived until the age of 19. In 1991 he moved to Bucharest to study architecture. After graduating at UAU Ion Mincu, he lived in Bucharest until 2002 when he immigrated with his family to Canada. He is presently living in Quebec and occupies an architect position in the Montreal based firm FSA architects. His professional experience has a strong background on airport projects yet covering a variety of other projects types such as residential and commercial. He participated to numerous architectural competitions, mostly focused on urban design.
219 / Manitoba / Andre Silva, Chris Gilmour, Kory Kaspersion
Project Description: They will arrive one day: a network of anchors that adapt and stabilize an immigrating family.
Our submission to migrating landscapes is based on the social relationships created and left behind during the migration of a family to Canada over an extended period of time. Our project is reflective of the complexity of leaving a dense reliable network (of relationships) and arriving in an uncertain, unfamiliar place. Anchors act as the adjustable and dynamic relationships that help us unsettle from where we come and settle in the places we go. Similarly, the landscape in which our model sits, offers the dwelling opportunities to unsettle and settle in its journey from one condition to another. The physical model consists of several anchors attached to the landscape in multiple unique conditions and a dwelling held in the tensile and compressive relation created by the anchors holding it in place.
Bio: The MLO entrant team 00107960 is a group of Young Winnipeg Designers: group includes Andre Silva, Chris Gilmour and Kory Kaspersion. Andre Silva and Chris Gilmour have created an open studio environment, where they invite students, practitioners, and likeminded designers to collaborate on architectural investigations, ephemeral installations and design competitions. There studio explores the parts of the real and the plausible in architecture that enriches human experience: work investigates the inexpressible elements of architecture that affect our sense of place. Kory Kaspersion, design professional and fellow graduate of Chris and Andre, joined the team to contribute to the MLO studio investigation.
191 / Quebec / Enrique Enriquez
Project Description: As when you are sick you are aware of your body (you hardly feel the presence of you body when you are healthy), the same happens on «the act of migrating»; you feel your body is wide awake. The place you came from or where you are established become less relevant; «you become the place».
“The space does not contain the performance rather it is the performance that constitutes the space.” -Dan Graham
Bio: Taking a look behind my first decade in Canada I realize the enormous impact migration has had on my work. Originally from Mexico, I was trained in architecture and arts in Mexico, USA, Canada and Italy. My concerns for the relation between body and space allowed me to collaborate in diverse projects touching architecture, urbanism, theatre, film, television, art-installations and special events with people from various nationalities and diverse professions.
Since 2005, I have participated in regional, national and international competitions, showing my personal views about architecture.
202 / Manitoba / Travis Cooke, Jason Kun
Project Description: The Winnipeg Condition
Our entry is an exploration of the effect of migration from the perspective of the people and places that are left behind. We were both born, educated, and now practice architecture in Winnipeg, and have watched countless friends, family members and colleagues, leave our city. This phenomenon, which we have termed “The Winnipeg Condition”, has left an indelible void on the physical and psychological landscape of our city and its inhabitants. Conversely, departure leaves a space for new people, cultures, and ideas to dwell. The project endeavors to illustrate the result of these migrations, exploring concepts such as solid vs. void, part vs. whole, loss vs. gain, and here vs. there.
When you leave, does a part of you stay? When someone leaves you, do they take a part of you with them?
Bio: Travis Cooke and Jason Kun are registered members of the Manitoba Association of Architects and the Royal Architecture Institute of Canada. Both Travis and Jason were born and raised in Winnipeg. Since graduating from the University of Manitoba in 2002 and 2004 respectively, they have collaborated on national and international award winning projects at their previous offices. Travis and Jason are now Principals of 1×1 architecture inc., along with Glen Gross and Markian Yereniuk. They operate out of a 292 square foot windowless office space on the outskirts of Osborne Village, but hope to migrate to a new space in the near future.
158 / Quebec / Anca Matyiku, Chad Connery
Project Description: Pickle House
The act of “dwelling” within a landscape is a relationship based on an accumulation of repeated necessities. It is a kind of mundane ritual that accrues meaning over time and so it is both a repeated same-ness and a constantly evolving relationship to place. Beginning with the basic necessity of obtaining and preserving nourishment, we playfully wonder how a “dwelling” might manifest as a “pickling” of the landscape; how the architecture engages the living landscape through a metabolical process of preserve-making. An organism that is simultaneously the pickle and the process of pickling, the dwelling is composed of a series of metabolical vessels and armatures that facilitate the flows within. Its “bricks” are repeated containers that grow, hold, and preserve food. They construct and re-construct the architecture according to the cycles and seasons of its landscape. Over time, the dwelling accumulates within it the subtle temperaments of its landscape and the shifting needs of its inhabitants.
Bio: Teasing out alternative modes of living, learning and working, Anca Matiyku and Chad Connery entertain an appetite for all things architectural while wondering what potentials lie in the discarded and disregarded ephemera of mundane existence. Their physical and imaginary drifting through the world has nurtured a slight obsession for how time reveals the fragility of the seemingly permanent and the accumulations of the seemingly insignificant. Anca completed her architectural education at University of Waterloo and University of Manitoba. Chad is currently undertaking his Masters of Architecture at the University of Manitoba.
203 / Ontario / Erica Pecoskie, George Simionopoulos
Project Description: The core of our submission is a memory mass (rendered in white paper) that holds the accumulative joy, pain, and longing of our ancestors. The volume of our memory mass as it moves through our three phases of dwelling remains unchanged, but its shape is transformed by both its evolving context and our imagined responses to that context. In the first phase: an existing condition is known, but inhospitable. The second phase: a period of transition is marked by an initial exhilaration, a reassessment of identity, a nervous anticipation, and then a tender commitment to a new way of living – coexistent with the weight and responsibility of memory. In the third phase: balance; is a negotiated act of place-making where memory is atmosphere, and a richer interpretation of what might be possible in life exists…whole, at
Bio: Erica Pecoskie is a graduate of both the University of Toronto’s and Dalhousie University’s Faculties of Architecture. Each assignment, to her understanding of design, begins and ends in the depths of its cultural framework, making them as much excavations as they are constructions. George Simionopoulos is a graduate of the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Architecture. Thought, action, and product are inseparable when George is at work, and his resultant aesthetic is one that has been distilled and is embodied in the process of making. Together, their sensibility is rooted in a belief in craft and their practice is quality-driven and dedicated to the synthesis of context, necessity, and delight.
239 / Alberta / Tiffany Shaw-Collinge
Project Description: The 3 models that were created replicate the frame of the cabin that Tiffany Shaw Collinge’s Great Grandfather, Jean Paulin built on the trap line near Ft. McMurray. One of the cabins was constructed from deer hide sourced from her family in Ft McMurray, another cabin with crocheted fabric and the last cabin with zip ties. The method of construction incorporates materials and techniques passed down from her Métis family emphasizing craft and technology.
Bio: Tiffany Shaw-Collinge was born in Calgary, AB in 1982 and raised in Edmonton, AB. In 2004 Shaw-Collinge received a Diploma of Fine Arts from Grant MacEwan University (Edmonton, AB) and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from NSCAD University (Halifax, Nova Scotia) in 2006. Shaw-Collinge is currently in her final year at the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) in Los Angeles, CA in pursuit of her Masters degree in Architecture.
142 / BC / Amirali Javidan
Project Description: Dance of the Minarets is a personal reflection on the social discourse that took place in Iran during the Islamic Revolution of 1979 and the subsequent Green Revolution of 2009. My childhood memories are filled with fear, agony and civil unrest. The days of Revolution were marked with erratic tension and chaos as mass uprisings took over the streets. However, as the sun went down, another social phenomenon took place. The citizens rushed to urban rooftops from where they chanted emphatically into the night.…‘Allah-o-Akbar! Allah-o-Akbar!’ (God is great). As these waves of proclamation intensified, they resonated throughout the city, bolstering a sense of hope and unity. By way of memory mapping, I explored the translation of these polarized gestures into tectonic form. During the process, I was awakened to the new public domain that had transformed buildings into instruments of social order. I also realized the dialectic of fragmentation and unification that lies within the nature of the collective.
Bio: Amirali Javidan developed a keen interest in public Architecture and the social sustainability of cities during his Master’s thesis at McGill University. As an Architectural Designer with the RAIC Award-winning Vancouver-based firm, Bing Thom Architects, Amirali has been passionately committed to several key urban revitalization projects throughout North America over the last decade. As Project Manager with BTA, he was instrumental in the design and construction of the Tarrant County College Downtown Campus and Trinity Uptown Master Plan projects in Fort Worth, Texas. He was also a key member of the Arena Stage Theatre project in Washington, DC which was the recipient of the 2011 AIBC Lieutenant-Governor of BC Medal.
160 / BC / Alana Green, Philipp Dittus, Katy Young, Olena Chytra
Project Description: We are continually curating our belongings, our memories, and our experiences, but we re-evaluate everything when we move. Size and weight are suddenly of great importance. We weed out the valuable pieces and leave others behind. Some parts remain, others will get lost along the way. We pack our things together and when we arrive at our destination, we unpack and arrange every thing to suit our new surroundings. Soon we begin accumulating new belongings, memories, and experiences specific to that place. The collection continues to grow until the time comes to re-evaluate again. Every move makes a mark and every thing leaves a mark. These colorful shapes are placeholders for our belongings, memories, and experiences. They can be assembled to form a package that meets the maximum allowable size for carry-on luggage. Feel free to move the pieces around – sorting, re-arranging, or re-assembling.
Bio: Alana Gren, Philip Ditus, Katy Young and Olena Chytra come together for this submission to migrating landscapes. They also form Loose Affiliates — a group of like-minded creatives with architecture degrees. Their work is largely unsolicited, often speculative, and always optimistic. They look for hidden gems in unassuming places, explore issues of interest to them, and work to make things that are accessible and engaging. Enjoy!
148 / Quebec / Jean-Nicolas Bouchard, Philippe Charest
Project Description: In between the countryside and the city
Here, the distances that separate us between the city and the countryside allow us to enter in close contact with the landscape. This landscape leaves us in a state of wonder and contemplation but also emanates a feeling of isolation. These notions stimulate our imagination to create an architecture that seeks to protect us from the contrasts of our climate and, at the same time, that opens itself to the landscape that we cherish. In every space that travels through us, we try to recreate the landscape of our memories, the one we admire while we travel between the countryside and the city.
Bio: As students at University Laval Architecture School since 2010, we encountered in our first studio. We learned to know each other while participating in architectural contests, a primary ground to develop our critical thinking, explore ideas and ways of making things. We like to think that architecture can cultivate experiences while seeking a balance between abstraction and reality. By assembling materials, how they touch, the patterns of textures they create, architecture is for us a medium that can stimulate dreams but also appeal to our mind and knowledge.
229 / Saskatchewan / Sony Mark Sin,Robyn Robertson, Victoria Yong-Hing, April Hiebert, Brad Pickard
Project Description: re settlements
The landscape represents the combined timelines of five young intern architects. It expresses how the interaction of personal experiences, backgrounds and cultures can influence the environments of others. Five models inhabit the landscape by infilling space, just as one seeks to establish a sense of place in new surroundings. Carved voids are visible at varying levels of transparency when viewed from different perspectives. The voids — an absence of a presence — are an imprint of the alterations left behind through the process of migration. Layers of the model are built up experiences in which we burrow, adapt and inhabit. The choice of material reflects resourcefulness but utilizes a modern process to create form. Overall, the project represents our continual search for identity and a reconciliation of place through habitation and migration.
Bio: April Hiebert, Brad Pickard, Robyn Robertson, Mark Sin and Victoria Yong-Hing currently work in five different architecture firms and reside in province of Saskatchewan. Collectively they have formed Open, a collaborative of the 5 Dalhousie architecture graduates. All with diverse backgrounds, upbringings and experiences, they have started the process of settling in Saskatchewan after years of studying and living across Canada and abroad. Collectively, their education, travel and work experiences have given them a broad perspective of the built environment and prompted them to be part of the dialogue and change in their communities. The mandate of OPEN is to engage the public and to challenge perceptions through discourse, social experiments, public art and architecture. OPEN hopes to promote new ways of thinking about and experiencing the built environment of the prairies.
The National Exhibition of Migrating Landscapes, including all of the ﬁnalists and the National winners, will be on at the Winnipeg Art Gallery from March 16 to April 29, 2012.
Official Canadian participation in the 2012 Venice Biennale in Architecture is coordinated and generously supported by Architecture Canada | RAIC and the Canada Council for the Arts. For more information on Migrating Landscapes, please go to the official website here.
“We were extremely impressed by the depth and breadth of the Canadian talent and very excited for the selected teams,” says co-organizer Johanna Hurme. “It’s not surprising given the cultural fabric of our country that so many talented people stepped forward to tell their personal stories in this way.”
*All images are courtesy of the official Migrating Landscapes website.