Winter Stations Competition 2021

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Winter Stations Competition 2021

Winter Stations Competition 2021 now is over!

Winter Stations Competition 2021: The Winter Stations, international annual competition is calling on the design community to reimagine the lifeguard stations along Toronto’s east end beaches for the winter, submiting their visions under the theme ‘Refuge’.

Short description

Launched in 2014, Winter Stations invites the international design and art community to reimagine the lifeguard stations along Toronto’s east end beaches for the winter.

Winter Stations is a single-stage international design competition held annually in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Participants are tasked with designing temporary winter art installations which incorporate existing lifeguard towers spaced strategically across the city’s Kew and Woodbine beaches.

The structures (not in use in the wintertime) must not be ignored in the design and can be used as either an armature for the installations, a central feature, or other- wise linked to the installation.

As in previous years, Winter Stations intends to build approximately four winning proposals for a six-week exhibition along the waterfront, funding permitted.

While Toronto beaches are not typically as well visited in the colder seasons, Winter Stations has captured the imagination of the city. Designers can expect their designs to be well-visited, and should anticipate public interaction.

The theme for 2021 competition is ’Refuge’.

"For the Winter Stations 2021 edition, we may reflect back on the year we have left behind and consider what refuge means to each of us: a shelter; a place of comfort and security, a sanctuary. As a community we may offer refuge. As individuals, we may protect one another, providing respite from danger or insulation from harsh realities. Refuge evokes discovery and the idea of exploring remote places. It reflects a renewed appreciation of the outdoors, while highlighting the importance of our safe spaces. Each Winter Station practically acts as a refuge from the elements, so this year organiser suggests design competitors play with the literal and figurative, exploring what refuge means as they re-examine the importance of public space. How can we evoke refuge in an exhibition that will necessitate physical distance between visitors? And how can we promote interactivity when our ability to relate with the stations may have to omit physical touch in the name of safety.

The Lifeguard Stands
The lifeguard stands are essentially identical. They are sturdy steel structures to which the installation can be fastened. The method of fastening is up to each competitor, however it must not result in any damage to (or modification of) the structure.
Please assume minimal security and the possibility of vandalism or simply wear and tear from the curious. There would be no power or utilities available. Installations should not propose use of electricity or fire. Proposals should indicate how materials would be disposed of, recycled and/or repurposed at the end of the display period.

Submission requirements:

The entries must be submitted electronically as two separate PDF files not exceeding 7MB each and should contain (in English):

Page 1 - 11 x 17” (279mm x 432mm) - Project Summary
1 page maximum
A maximum of 150 word text describing the project and presenting the experience offered by the visitors
Layout of selected images and drawings describing the project

Page 2 - 11 x 17” (279mm x 432mm) - Images and Drawings
1 page maximum
4 main views or elevations of the installation indicating size and specification of materials

The winners will be announced on January 6, 2021.

Who may enter?

The competition is open to everyone in the world.


An honorarium will be provided to winners and allocated as follows:

Page 1 Design Fee - $3,500.00 CAD
Page 1 Artist Travel and Expenses - $1,500.00 CAD (if applicable).

Entry fees

There is no entry fee to participate!

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