TSA calls for virtual pride float submissions

The Toronto Society of Architects (TSA) is inviting students, art collectives, emerging practitioners and established practices of the architecture and design community to build virtual floats during this year’s Pride Week.

Photo by Kurtis Chen via torontosocietyofarchitects.ca.

From June 20 – 28, the TSA is launching a series of virtually inhabitable spaces where designers will have the opportunity to share the stories behind their designs and will be open for any group to host virtual meetups during Pride Week and beyond.

In a time we must all stay in, the organization suggests that the digital floats should explore the theme of “out.”

“To be out means to be yourself. It means relief from constant concealment of your gender, sexuality and identity, and it carries with it connotations of public and private. It is liberating, and it is political; in some places, it is even criminal,”says the TSA. “The spaces we design and inhabit, whether we know it or not, manifest physically the notions of outness—from the victorian house on Church Street, colourfully co-opted to become a club, to a set of stairs transformed into a modern day gay agora.”

The virtual float is a space designed to be inhabited in an online 3D-world where groups of avatars (people) will be able to walk around, look around, and talk to each other. The event is open to all participants, queer or allies, who wish to reflect on this theme and issues of diversity and inclusivity in the architecture, design and construction industry.

“We especially encourage submissions of LGBTQI2S designers and teams, and encourage all submissions to carefully reflect on the community and issues this initiative is built around,” says the TSA.

The celebration will take place on Mozilla Hubs—an open-source, non-profit, virtual 3D environment. Hubs works on any device, including smartphones, VR sets, in-browser, without the need to install any software and permits multiple users (up to 25 simultaneously) to interact with each other in a space which can include music, videos, and other effects.

Participants are welcomed to design in the 3D modelling software of their choice making sure to include all critical design elements such as form, texture and colour into their models prior to exporting.

On Thursday, May 21, 2020 at 6:00pm, the TSA will host an Online Technical and Information Session to explain how all this will work including how you will upload your model into Hubs.

To register for the information session, email tsa@torontosocietyofarchitects.ca with your name, email and whether you are planning to enter as an individual or group (and which group you are representing).

All floats must be submitted as Spoke scenes. Instructions will be shared in our resources page closer to the deadline and discussed during the Online Technical and Information Session.

For more information, visit: http://torontosocietyofarchitects.ca/event/call-for-submissions-virtual-pride-floats-2020/