Winter Stations winners announced

25 January 2021
Credit: From Small Beginnings
  • ARc de Blob
  • From Small Beginnings
  • The Epitonium
  • Throbber



Toronto, ON


Annual contest concludes for beachside installations in Toronto

The winning designs for the seventh annual Winter Stations competition in Toronto have been revealed. Founded by RAW Design, Ferris + Associates, and Curio, the contest for temporary installations was conceived as a way of using design to inspire city residents to visit the beach during winter. This year, four designs were selected by the jury from over 400 submissions from around the world. Contestants responded to the theme of refuge, which invited designers to reflect on the ongoing pandemic and consider the meaning of refuge as a shelter, a place of comfort and security, or a sanctuary. The design brief also asked designers to anticipate a more socially distant exhibition than in previous years.

Taking inspiration from the solace found by many in nature and the outdoors during the pandemic, From Small Beginnnings by Jack and Chalie Leather from the UK contains shelves bearing a future forest. Approaching the exterior, the stained and sombre timber provides stark contrast to the lively spruce seedlings which are free to the elements and symbolic of the opportunities that rise from challenging periods, such as the year gone by. Also taking its cue from nature is The Epitonium by M. Yengiabad, Shahed M. Yengiabad, Elaheh M. Yengiabad, Alemeh M. Yengiabad and Mojtaba Anoosha from Iran. The structure is inspired by an epitonium, a type of seashell, demonstrating that nature includes not only external environments such as clouds, trees, sea, mountains and animals, but also buildings, components and building materials. 

The entry ARc de Blob by Aleksandra Belitskaja, Ben James and Shaun McCallum, from Austria and UK, creates a colorful landmark that mixes physical materials with the ability to digitally interact and connect through a mixed reality application. The arch acts as a frame for a virtual portal seen in digital worlds in order to create playful interactions between real and virtual realities. THROBBER by Heidundgriess - Alexandra Grieß and Jorel Heid from Germany - demonstrates another aspect of the digital by using the idea of the ‘throbber’ icon that is seen on computer screens while waiting to a programme to activate or progress. This echoes the nature of a refuge, in which people wait until it is safe to emerge. Ten small trapezoidal rooms form the colour spectrum of a rainbow, in the shape of the throbber icon from above.  

For now, there is no exhibit timetable for the installations as Winter Stations is working with local officials on when to proceed to keep in line with restrictions brought in to control the spread of COVID 19. 

 Lucy Nordberg

TenderStream Head of Research

This competiton was first published by TenderStream on 21.10.2020 here

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