By Lana Hall
Next month, beachgoers braving the icy wind near Toronto’s boardwalk will be able to take shelter inside a public art installation designed by two Ryerson students.
Lily Jeon and Diana Koncan, both students in the architechtural science program were selected to be part of a project transforming five lifeguard stands along a stretch of shoreline in Toronto’s Beaches neighbourhood, south of Queen Street East.
Jeon and Koncan’s project, titled “Snow Cone,” is a colourful play on an oversized pinecone made from a translucent acrylic material that will be fastened directly to the lifeguard stand and allow people to take shelter inside it.
Their project began last year when RAW Architects, a Toronto based firm, launched a competition called Winter Stations.
The project challenged artists, designers and architects to imagine pieces of functional public art using metal stations that line the boardwalk as a foundation. Four winners would be chosen and the firm extended an invitation to students from Ryerson’s Faculty of Engineering and Architectural Science to contribute a design for the remaining fifth lifeguard stand.
“We wanted to reach out and give students the opportunity to design and build and collaborate on a project that’s not something you get to do every day,” said Aaron Hendershott, Ryerson alumnus and a spokesperson for RAW Architects.
In response to the invitation, architecture professors Vincent Hui and Baruch Zone compiled projects submitted by some of their students and reviewed them before ultimately deciding on Jeon and Koncan’s design to represent Ryerson.
“It’s playful,” said Hui of the design. “But it’s not simply an ornament, it makes sense in terms of addressing the climate.” Hendershott said the contest organizers were also intrigued by the students’ project. “We were quite impressed with the quality and presentation,” he said. “It’s a very colourful and compelling design.”
Snow Cone, which is being brought to life with the help of Ryerson’s Design Fabrication Zone, will be unveiled with the other winning installations at a waterfront ceremony on Family Day weekend.