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Lateral office & InfraNet Lab:
NEXT NORTH/THE ACTIVE LAYER

December 15, 2010 - June 15, 2011

The myth of Canada is of­ten preceded by the unique ge­og­raphy of the Cana­dian North—a vast, sparsely populated, fragile, and sublime territory. Yet with one of the most dramat­ically chang­ing cli­mates on Earth and an es­ti­mated quar­ter of the plan­et’s undiscovered energy resources, this Arctic region has emerged as a site of signif­icant eco­nom­ic and devel­op­mental spec­u­lation. It is a fron­ti­er, again. The region’s unique combination of cli­mate, cul­ture, and ge­og­raphy produce complex infras­truc­tures, settle­ments, and sociopo­lit­ical negotiations.

A wider under­standing of an envi­ron­ment that unpre­dictably oscillates be­tween freeze and thaw, dark and light, ac­cessible and inac­cessible, tra­dition and technology offers a more po­tent reading of building opportunities. How might building in the North be adapt­able, responsive, and temporal? How might new buildings and landscapes in the North fuse exis­t­ing systems with emergent ones to cat­alyze a network of ecolo­gies and economies and a new public re­alm in the Arctic?

The exhi­bi­tion presented here merges explorations of the unique, ev­er-chang­ing landscapes and ecolo­gies of the North, with spec­u­lations on how to reconsid­er building in this dynam­ic con­text that is fur­ther complicated by intensifying cli­mate change.

Next North/The Active Layer” is a collab­oration of Lat­eral Office and InfraNet Lab, both based in Toronto. Project Team: Ma­son White, Lola Sheppard, Maya Przybylski, Neeraj Bha­tia, Fionn Byrne, Nikole Bouchard, Andria Fong, Ceara Wat­ters.

Lat­eral Office is an award-winning experi­mental design research office which op­erates at the inter­section of ar­chi­tec­ture and landscape ar­chi­tec­ture. They are recipi­ents of the 2010 Prix de Rome in Ar­chi­tec­ture from the Canada Council for the Arts for their project Next North.

InfraNet Lab is a design research lab that inves­tigates new roles for infras­truc­tures in an age seeking fresh ideas for lim­ited resources and threat­ened ecolo­gies.

No.9: Con­temporary Art and the Envi­ron­ment is proud to present the exhi­bi­tion Next North / The Active Layer 2010/2011. Support­ing the public dissem­ination of research and design solutions in response to the ef­fects of cli­mate change is crit­ical to No.9’s mis­sion of stim­u­lating pos­itive social and envi­ron­mental change.