Professor Mason White — along with the other members of Toronto design firm Lateral Office, University of Waterloo's Lola Sheppard and Daniels Faculty alumnus Matthew Spremulli — spoke with ArchDaily following their Special Mention win at the 2014 Venice Biennale. In the video, the designers discuss their project Arctic Adaptations: Nunavut at 15, which presents innovative architecture proposals by five design teams for Nunavut, Canada's largest territory. Each team is made up of a Canadian school of architecture, a Canadian architecture office with extensive northern experience, and a Nunavut-based organization. Each team’s proposal examines one theme — housing, health, education, arts, or recreation — and is rooted in Nunavut’s distinct land, climate and culture.
In the interview, the team talks about the history of interventions in northern Canada as well as the possiblity of a more responsible and inclusive approach in the future. As Lola Sheppard explains,
"There's a long history in Canada's north of imposing southern models of housing, of language, of education, and a lot of that has been exemplified in a colonialistic architecture. Nunavut Futures is about asking how can architecture learn from its environment both climatically, geographically, and culturally and take cues in a smarter way and adapt to the environment rather than resisting or superimposing."
Lateral Office has received a lot of media attention following their participation and Special Mention win in the Venice Biennale. Here are more related news stories:
- Arctic Adapations: Nunavut at 15 recognized by the 2014 Venice Biennale Jury
- Mason White and Lateral Office chosen to represent Canada at the 2014 Venice Biennale
- U of T's Mason White and Lateral Office at Venice Biennale
- Architecture embraces the Canadian arctic at upcoming Venice Biennale
- Venice Biennale exhibition, Arctic Adaptations, explores how architectural design can enhance daily life in Nunavut
- Mason White works with Nunavut carvers to produce stone models of arctic buildings for the 2014 Venice Biennale