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Winnipeg architects chosen for Venice Biennale

Winnipeg's Jae-Sung Chon and 5468796 Architecture Inc. will reflect on how Canadians' diverse cultural backgrounds show up in design across the country at the Venice Biennale of Architecture in 2012.
Winnipeg's Jae-Sung Chon and 5468796 Architecture Inc will represent Canada at the 2012 Venice Biennale. (Migrating Landscapes/Canada Council )

Winnipeg's Jae-Sung Chon and  5468796 Architecture Inc. will reflect on how Canadians' diverse cultural backgrounds show up in design across the country at the Venice Biennale of Architecture in 2012.

Chon, a University of Manitoba professor, and design firm 5468796 Architecture have been chosen as Canadian representatives at the Venice Biennale, the Canada Council for the Arts announced Monday.

Winnipeg-based 5468796 Architecture recently won the RAIC award of excellence  for the innovative OMS Stage  or Cube that creates an outdoor performance venue in downtown Winnipeg.

Chon will lead a project called Migrating Landscapes that will ask emerging Canadian architects and designers to create original designs for dwellings, based on their own cultural memories.

"Cultural memories migrate with people. Whether we are first, second, third or more generation Canadians, each of us brings unique memories of living from around the globe. These migrated memories modify and transform as we settle into unfamiliar landscapes and architectural contexts," the team said in the proposal for the project.

They plan to ask architects across the country to work those memories into their designs in a national competition that will determine what goes to Venice.  The Venice Biennale in Architecture runs from September through November 2012.

The Venice Biennale, an arts festival that alternates between art and architecture, is considered an important international forum for new ideas in architecture. Last year's Canadian entry was Philip Beesley's futuristic experiments with architecture that responds to its environment.