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Winter is a defining feature of life in Alberta and the cold climate is often seen as a challenge to navigate. We design with winter in mind, but too often this means isolating us from the elements rather than deliberately connecting us to a beautiful season. The exhibition Sheltered + Exposed offers a discussion on the duality of shelter from and exposure to winter conditions, and the ways in which architecture and design can help to create a balance between these two positions. The exhibition features over 20 recent projects from across the province of Alberta that exemplify ways in which Albertans can enjoy winter life with the support of architecture and design elements. Complementing the built work, Sheltered + Exposed also presents conceptual projects and public artworks that reinforce strong winter design principles. Notably, this exhibition does not dwell on the technical aspects of building science. However, most of the projects included are highly energy efficient, and incorporate passive features into their design allowing building users to experience winter in novel ways.

Alberta features some of the sunniest winters in Canada. The combination of the sun, relatively cold temperatures and dry prairie air creates an environmental and visual experience which is unique in this country. In this context, the consideration of outdoor comfort in cold climates is of prime importance, and the ways in which individual buildings shape the public domain and our day-to-day lives requires a strong discourse. To that end, the exhibition Sheltered + Exposed aims to educate the public on winter design and to foster a critical discussion around the role of winter in projects both built and speculative. Sheltered + Exposed is a challenge to Alberta-based architectural and design professionals to make the enjoyment of winter a key consideration in their practices.

This exhibition was inspired by both the exhibition Vivre et concevoir avec la neige au Québec, produced by Montreal's Maison de l'architecture du Québec (MAQ), and the City of Edmonton's Winter City Strategy. Vivre et concevoir avec la neige au Québec is being presented in english for the first time in conjunction with our Alberta-based Sheltered + Exposed. With our partner Latitude 53 Contemporary Visual Culture, we are pleased to highlight successful Quebec-based examples of architecture and design which confronts winter head on. We aim to create a framework for dialogue about design between these two provinces for whom winter is a defining experience. Latitude 53 members and guests are invited to attend this exhibition between February 15th, and April 1st, 2017.

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