Migrating Landscapes Organizer (MLO) launches national competition for young Canadian architects for the 2012 Venice Biennale in Architecture

The Migrating Landscapes Organizer (MLO), consisting of 5468796 Architecture Inc. and Jae-Sung Chon, is pleased to announce the launch of an open competition for young Canadian architects 45 and under. This nation-wide competition will be a key part of generating Canada’s official entry to the 2012 Venice Biennale in Architecture, entitled Migrating Landscapes.

Themed around migration and cultural identity, Migrating Landscapes examines how we as Canadians express our diverse cultural memories and the settling/unsettling dynamic of migration in contemporary settlements and/or dwellings. The competition invites young Canadian architects and designers to reflect on their migration experiences and cultural memories, and to design dwellings onto a new landscape, an exhibition infrastructure designed by MLO.

“The focus is indeed not on the social or anthropological dimensions of migrations and movement, but mainly on the physical transformations they engender. Flows, migrations and encounters between different places and cultures inevitably raise architectural issues and trigger physical consequences. Such movements – forced, encouraged or desired – open up the opportunity and possibility for transformation and challenge the contemporary approach to architecture and urbanism.” (Journeys, Giovanna Borasi)

The competition begins with today’s call to Canadian architects (includes practitioners, academics and designers working in architecture-related fields, as well as full-time students). Each entrant will be asked to submit two things: a short video in which they talk about an unsettling memory from their own history of im/migration and an original design for a dwelling that responds to, or attempts to “settle” this unsettling memory.

The intention of the competition is to bring the Venice Biennale to Canada, by promoting and exposing the up-and-coming generation of Canadian architects and designers to the Canadian public before showcasing them in Venice. The goal is to build a young architectural Team Canada to represent Canada in Venice.

The Migrating Landscapes competition process will unfold in stages and result in regional exhibitions and competitions in seven cities across Canada: Vancouver, Calgary, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Toronto, Montreal and Halifax. The winners of each regional competition will advance to a national exhibition and competition in Winnipeg, where the final team will be selected to represent Canada at the 2012 Venice Biennale in Architecture (August to November 2012). Both the regional and national winners will be selected by high-profile juries, consisting of some of Canada’s best-known architects.

This eight-month tour across Canada will be a great opportunity to identify young and diverse next-generation architects and designers across the country, to generate excitement about their work and architectural culture in general, and to build relationships between various cultural, educational, institutional, corporate, and industrial communities across Canada.

The registration deadline is September 15, 2011, followed by the submission deadline of October 1, 2011.

For more information on Migrating Landscapes and MLO, and for eligibility and rules of the Migrating Landscapes competition, please visit www.migratinglandscapes.ca.