Photo by Henry Mai

Ryerson is one of three design schools chosen to showcase artwork at the fourth annual Winter Stations International Design Competition.

The competition was open to designers around the world to submit proposals to produce pieces of artwork that adorn the lifeguard stations in The Beaches neighbourhood in Toronto. The installations will be up for six weeks from Feb. 19 to April 1.

Fourth-year architectural science students Adrian Chiu, Arnel Espanol and Henry Mai designed Nest to go along with this year’s theme of RIOT.

“The main concept for ours was this idea of how in this world today, there’s so much chaos and a lot of you are bombarded with so much information. So, our idea for our winter station was trying to create this exterior that was very chaotic and about how life is very messy, and then when you enter the inside, it is more calm and orderly – it’s an area where you could view the world in a more clear lens,” said Chiu.

Photo by Henry Mai

A blind jury of design professionals examined 300 global submissions before selecting proposals from three Canadian design schools and four international teams. OCAD University and the University of Guelph are the other academic university teams representing the local design and art institutions, along with Ryerson.  

“This year, we wanted to pick a theme that would elicit responses that were somewhat in tune with the political and ideological issues that we’ve been dealing with throughout the world,” said Aaron Hendershott, one of the founders. “We were looking for proposals that were somewhat disruptive, whether that meant that they were a riot of colour or provided opportunities for the public to engage in dialogue, or to interact with these public artworks in new ways.”

Photo by Henry Mai

The team is in the process of building prototypes for Nest, which will have a curvilinear shape along with webbing and straps woven around the exterior. The interior of the installation will include burlap covered in white paint to create a more unified and calm effect. Viewers will have the chance to climb the lifeguard station within the installation and peer through its oculus.

Winners were given an honorarium of $3,500 for the design fee and $1,500 for artist and travel expenses, if applicable.

“Because we’re all in fourth year, this is a really big project because we’re leaving and the opportunity to represent Ryerson in such a big event is just a really good opportunity,” said Chiu.

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