Yongwook Seong: Over a millennium, the Inuit have inhabited in the Arctic/Sub-Arctic areas, which include the currently northern regions of Canada. The Inuit celebrates enriched histories that have long survived in the harsh environment. Today, Inuit cultures and traditions have remained resilient with active political activism and cultural renewal movements.
In a way of paying a tribute, the designer attempts to imagine Arctic and Sub-Arctic architecture that are inspired by the Inuit traditions. The Inuit have treated the land as a sacred being. It is the place where every animate and inanimate being is created from. Every entity is bonded with the land. Likewise, a human being is deeply attached to the land and is therefore told to treat it as part of himself/herself.
According to Uqalurait (An Oral History of Nunavut), any objects contains a soul (inua). And these souls travel across different beings. Inuits are told to be respectful when they hunt animals as they share the same inua. It is believed that animals sacrifice themselves to one that they find worthwhile. And Inuit are not advised to show off their catch. When they mistreat a particular animal, the offended animal would make themselves impossible to be hunted by humans.
Nunangat Vault: The snow covered vault leads to an archive of Arctic/Sub-Arctic storytelling and traditions. Ear canal shaped entrance invites visitors to rich oral histories of Inuit cultures and traditions.
Amauti House: Amauti (parka) grows into a house on her burial site.
Nanuq Den: Nanuq or polar bear is a highly regarded spirit among Inuit. As Nanuq enters into a house (den), he or she removes fur skin and transforms himself/herself into a human being inside the house.
Ijiraq: Ijiraq turns itself into a giant caribou to lure and hunt another caribou. Ijiraq is a mythical being that can transform into any form. It would be quite difficult to discern it as they can be disguised as animals or humans.
Issitoq Observatory: Issitoq (a flying eye in Inuit myth) lands on the ground in search of taboo breakers.
Arviq Pavilion: Arviq (bowhead) whale has long been an invaluable being for Inuit. As one of the most favourite beings by the creator in Inuit mythology, it provided Inuit with valuable resources for survival. The pavilion celebrates the return of Arviq and abundance of marine life.
Aiviq House: Aiviq (walrus) turns himself/herself into a house.
Stargazing Tepee: This snow hut provides a warm and intimate space for stargazing.
Ceremonial House: Music and dance elevate Inuit and their spirit, and they are a medium to transcend their physical world and communicate with sacred realms and beings.
Mosaic Igloo: Mosaic Igloo is an architectural aspiration for “Cultural Mosaic.”
Yongwook Seong [ joŋuk sʌŋ ] is a designer, holding a Master of Architecture degree from University of British Columbia, Vancouver. His interest lies in various fields including architecture, furniture design, lighting design, visual arts and etc. He lives in Banff, AB, Canada.