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Winter Stations not stymied by COVID; may become ‘Spring Stations’

DCN-JOC News Services
Winter Stations not stymied by COVID; may become ‘Spring Stations’
WINTER STATIONS — Every year, the winning Winter Stations submissions are joined annually by a higher education partner. This year an installation from Sheridan College will be displayed alongside the winning designs entitled Embrace created by students Colin Laplante, Grace Im, Ziyu Li, Brayden Popke, Nicole Ruiz, Reem Yunis from the Bachelor of Craft and Design Program.

TORONTO — The winning designs for the seventh annual Winter Stations competition have been announced and are still being celebrated for their creative endeavours, but the installations will not be on display until the provincial lockdown restrictions are lifted in Toronto.

“For now, there is no exhibit timetable as Winter Stations is working with local officials on when to proceed,” indicates a release. “An extended exhibit calendar of events will be announced in consultation with city officials and could see the stations debut in the spring or later.”

An International design competition, Winter Stations, founded by RAW Design, Ferris + Associates and Curio, were initially a way of using design to get Torontonians to visit the beach in the winter. Although installations are usually temporarily constructed around the Woodbine Beach area, one of the new partnerships will see three winning installations debut at The Distillery District before relocating to the beach.

This year, over 400 submissions were made and four designs were selected by the jury. Designers were invited to respond to the theme of refuge — a shelter, place of comfort and security, a sanctuary — and reflect on the pandemic. They were also asked to anticipate more socially distant exhibits.

The Beach BIA, with assistance from ArtworxTO, will fund a station that will be exhibited at Kew Gardens, which the BIA hopes will draw more Winter Stations visitors up to Queen Street East to support local businesses.

“Partnering with The Distillery District and the Beach BIA allows us to extend our exhibition by several weeks, while also giving Torontonians a chance to experience the installations in different settings,” said Roland Rom Colthoff, founder of RAW Design, in a statement. “We continue to work with city officials on our plan for the exhibit, being mindful of the acute need for safety. Our plans and contingencies are in place and we are committed to launching the installations sometime this year. If that means postponing our event until restrictions ease, we might need to call them ‘Spring’ Stations, and bring safe, outdoor experiences to our city.”



Winning stations include:

  • ARc de Blob by Aleksandra Belitskaja, Ben James and Shaun McCallum, Austria/U.K. ARc de Blob is a colourful landmark that mixes physical materials with the ability to digitally interact and connect through a Mixed Reality App. The installation creates virtual worlds, a figurative refuge where people can interact, connect and play.
  • From Small Beginnings by Jack Leather and Charlie Leather, U.K. The great outdoors has been where many have found solace over the past year. Through shelves bearing a future forest, the installation allows visitors to seek refuge from harsher elements, while encountering strangers from a safe distance or simply enjoying a place for quiet reflection. Upon entering the seating and standing areas of the installation the brighter interior is revealed which is symbolic of the opportunities that rise from challenging periods such as the year gone by.
  • The Epitonium by M. Yengiabad — Shahed M. Yengiabad, Elaheh M. Yengiabad, Alemeh M. Yengiabad and Mojtaba Anoosha, Iran. Nature includes not only the external environments but also buildings, components and building materials. By building structures with forms familiar to humans in nature, architecture has depth and volume and therefore it can complement nature and be a part of it. The Epitonium, which is a type of seashell, creates a beautiful and functional landscape, causing a natural shelter to become a refuge.
  • THROBBER by Heidundgriess — Alexandra Grieß and Jorel Heid, Germany. The reasons why people seek refuge are diverse, but they all have one thing in common: they wait. The walk-in installation consists of 10 small shelters lined up next to each other in monochrome but in combination they form the colour spectrum of a rainbow. From an aerial view, the shelters form the shape of a throbber, which is often used to indicate waiting on digital devices.
  • Embrace by Colin Laplante, Grace Im, Ziyu Li, Brayden Popke, Nicole Ruiz, Reem Yunis, Bachelor of Craft and Design Program, Sheridan College. We all need a hug this year. Embrace represents that universal desire, providing a refuge from the real and imagined winds that buffet our beings. The flowing form, suggestive of a beneficent and humorous character, reaches out to embrace the lifeguard tower and the public alike, protecting all from the environment and standing calmly on the beach in all weathers.

For more on the winners visit

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