WINNIPEGGER Jason Hare got a remarkable 29th birthday present on Thursday: the news that he would be part of Team Canada at the Venice Biennale in Architecture this September through November.
Hare is a student in landscape architecture at the University of Manitoba who expects to graduate this year. His entry in the nationwide Migrating Landscapes competition -- consisting of a scale model and a three-minute video -- was one of 18 chosen to represent Canada at the world's most prestigious architecture event, often compared to the Olympics.
The competition/exhibition for entrants under age 45 -- which is considered young in the architecture field -- was curated by three Winnipeg architects, Johanna Hurme, Sasa Radulovic and Jae-Sung Chon. All immigrants to Canada, they won the right to organize the Biennale installation and wanted to explore how migration stories influence architecture. Entrants were asked to draw on cultural memories and design a dwelling for a migrant to a new landscape.
Hare said young people in the field "tend to do more of the grunt work," so the contest was an amazing opportunity to show creativity and innovation.
Hare's design, which won the people's choice award when regional entries were shown at The Forks last month, looks something like an upside-down version of the abstract wooden landscape on which all the entries are "settled." People have told him it suggests the torn-up roots of a tree -- perhaps a metaphor for the uprooting of migration.
The winners were announced Thursday night at the packed opening of the Migrating Landscapes show at the Winnipeg Art Gallery, which is on until April 29.
The five-person jury was expected to choose 13 winners from 26 finalists, but ended up selecting 18. Besides Hare, the Manitobans who made Team Canada are partners Travis Cooke and Jason Kun, and the team of Andre Silva, Chris Gilmour and Kory Kaspersion.
The other winners are: Tiffany Shaw-Collinge (Alberta), Amirali Javidan (B.C.), a team from Loose Affiliates (B.C.), a team from D'Arcy Jones Design (B.C.), Mira Yung and IMu Chan (B.C.), a team from Acre Architects (New Brunswick), Marianna de Cola (Atlantic region), Andrew Batay-Csorba and Jodi Batay-Csorba (Ontario), Erica Pecoskie and George Simionopoulos (Ontario), Kfir Gluzberg and Liana Bresler (Ontario), Jean-Nicolas Bouchard and Philippe Charest (Quebec), Anca Matiyku and Chad Connery (Quebec), Enrique Enriquez (Quebec), Felix Tue (Quebec) and a team representing five Saskatchewan architecture firms.