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Migrating Landscapes

Migrating Landscapes was a nation-wide architecture competition and series of exhibitions that explored how Canadian architects and designers ages 45 and under had been influenced by migration and immigration. The winners would represent Canada at the prestigious 2012 Venice Biennale in Architecture. The Ontario Regional Exhibition, hosted by Brookfield Place, featured videos, in which 26 young Ontario entrants talked about how their experiences of migration had affected them as designers, together with original architectural models of dwellings that reflected on those experiences. The videos and models were placed into a wooden exhibition infrastructure, representing an act of ‘settling’ into a ‘new landscape’.
Our model, made-up of resin cubes, represented a dwelling for a poem we wrote based on our migration experience. Each cube contained a key word extracted from the poem. The structure was fabricated with readily available objects that accommodated our vision and design. The model sat on the landscape without altering it. It adapted to it but maintained its unique character in the same manner a migrant should when arriving to a new destination.
There was a video component where participants had to describe their migration experience. We decided to read the poem we wrote based on our migration experiences.
A dwelling for a poem…

Wings… they lift me
Above the lush green
Above the horizon
Into the great blue

Behind… all that was known
A familiar comfort, home
Ahead… anticipation The challenge of the unknown

Resistance, negation
Stall

As I walk in this new land
A stranger in a strange land
Adaptation is accepting
Understanding is essential
Recollection… fundamental

Observation, introspection
Growth

The diversity of this land
The opportunity to exchange
The prospect of growth
Home

As I walk in this new land
I must stop to reminisce
The lushness of the green
The blueness of the blue
The stranger that I once was

Wings will lift me again
Above the great white
Above the horizon
Above the great blue

And I’ll try and leave behind a grain of sand
So that others can one day stand and understand
My home

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