Arctic Adaptations: Nunavut at 15
October 8, 2015 - December 13, 2015
This exhibition marked the 15th anniversary of the founding of Canada’s newest territory, Nunavut, in 1999, and its rapid rise. Arctic Adaptations: Nunavut at 15 surveys a century of arctic architecture, an urbanizing present, and a projected near future of adaptive architecture in Nunavut. Each of these components documents architectural history in this remarkable but relatively little known region of Canada, describes the contemporary realities of life in its communities, and examines an adapting role for architecture moving forward. Visitors delved into the realities of contemporary life in this sublime yet fragile region, exploring philosophies of adaptation, ingenuity, and the intersection of technology and tradition.
Concepts were illuminated through soapstone carvings of significant architectural works, topographic models and photographs of Nunavut’s 25 communities, and replicas of structures enhanced by animations which suggest innovative solutions in the delivery of housing, health, arts, education, and recreation. Arctic Adaptations explored modernism’s legacy within the contextual particularities of the North. The exhibition documented architectural history in this remarkable but relatively unknown region, describing the contemporary realities of life in its communities, and examines the role for architecture moving forward. It argued that modern Inuit cultures continue to evolve and merge the traditional and the contemporary in unique and innovative ways, and questions whether architecture, which has largely failed this region can be equally innovative and adaptive. The exhibition, which was organized and curated by Lateral Office, was originally shown in 2014 at the 14th International Architecture Exhibition - la Biennale di Venezia. It was presented and coordinated by the Winnipeg Art Gallery with assistance from the Museums Assistance Program, department of Canadian Heritage, and presenting sponsor Manulife.