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Canadian architecture school receives second invitation to international design exhibition

on Tuesday,December 22,2009 20:12

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The Venice Biennale is one of the most prestigious exhibitions in modern architecture. Each year, the event showcases the finest works of architects representing countries across the globe, and for the second year in a row the University of Waterloo will serve as the Canadian representative in the momentous presentation.

Philip Berkely, an architecture professor at UW, will helm the Canadian pavilion with his unique installation called Hylozoic Ground.

Resembling a collection of fishnets and tangles of fiver optic cables adorned with spider webs and snowflakes suspended from the ceiling, the installation is littered with thousands of sensors that detect human movements, changes in air pressure, body heat and sound. The end result is a luminous breathing room that replicates a shimmering, backlit forest setting.

"It''s really quite stunning," says the school''s director Rick Haldenby, in a statement to The Record. "The thing behaves like a kind of organism. Movement in one part induces movement in other parts."

The name hylozoic ground is a reference to a philosophical concept that believes that all matter has life.

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