“The Canadians” is the first Canadian Pavilion at the London Design Biennale. In response to the 2018 theme of Emotional States, this installation takes visitors on a cross-country journey through towns, villages, crossroads, and coves whose names are inspired by emotions.
BMD travelled throughout Canada, from Happy Adventure, Newfoundland, to Hope, British Columbia. Mixing film and digital photography, videography, and audio recording, the team created a video that paired footage of these places with ambient sounds and interviews with local residents. This video was projected in a gallery space of a forest of mirrored tubes and reflective surfaces, creating a 360-degree immersive experience that transports the audience from coast to coast as they reflect on Canada and its residents. By exploring the emotional qualities of Canada’s diverse landscapes, BMD goes beyond typical representations of Canadian life and culture to reveal the complexity of a nation.
The installation is rooted in the connection between Canada’s vast geographies and the range of emotions they produce. While notions of design have traditionally dwelt on technologically-driven design or manmade intervention, “The Canadians” considers how a country’s natural ecology shapes the socio-cultural environment, and, more broadly, provokes inquiry into how our surroundings make us feel.