October 26, 2017
by Canadian Architect
To celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Constitution of Canada, Québec city’s Alliance Arc-en-ciel initiated the project of Place of Diversity, a new architectural installation that tells the story of LGBTQ+ rights in Canada — the piece celebrates milestones reached whilst also questioning the road ahead. Designed to be easily relocated, this ephemeral installation will soon be ready to travel to new scenes in an effort to fill its main purpose, which is to inform and raise awareness.
The work of two young designers —Audrey Morency and Jessy Paquet-Method — Place of Diversity proves an eye-catching and engaging installation. While the colourfully immersive work was assembled with a fairly modest $5,700 budget, the 37 square metre installation nonetheless stakes a strong presence.
In order to be a symbol to the LGTBQ+ community, the authors felt the installation ought to give the tone of its subject, expressing the various meanings of the term gay. The use of the rainbow — having been prominently and universally recognized as an emblem to the LGBTQ+ community since the 1980’s — appears here as perfectly fitting. Through the use of colour, light and curvilinear shapes, the piece proposes a playful take on this nonetheless important and significant symbol.
Place of Diversity takes the formal identity of a covered walkway. The installation is composed of a delicate three-dimensional structure to which a series of transparent multicoloured panels are aligned and fastened as to create the impression of a tunnel. By the meshing of colour and light, la Place des diversité offers spectators an immersive and spirited experience as they pass through a myriad of colours punctuated at times by unique apertures which intend to initiate user interactions within the installation.
Although the piece’s main purpose is to raise awareness on LGBTQ+ rights, it is also, for its authors, a reflection on our relationship with others as well as to one’s self.