Landing, Take Off
In December 2022, the first of three winning concepts was installed on the Downsview Wind Rose following a competition for emerging designers. "Landing, Take Off" is by Fion Kong, Georgia Sa, and Natalie Ko: first year Master of Landscape Architecture students at the John H Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design at the University of Toronto.
Their installation celebrates the industrial history and biodiversity of Downsview Park. The overall form was inspired by the flight of the Red-tailed Hawk as it adapts to the howling wind and the geometries of aviation.
Sixteen panels stretch across the arches, inviting park visitors to climb up and take a closer look. To decorate the panels, the team took inspiration from the plumage of the birds of Downsview Park’s past and present. These include: the American Kestrel, the Bobolink, the Cooper’s Hawk, the Horned Lark, the Red-tailed Hawk, the Long-eared Owl, the Northern Shrike, and the Short-eared Owl.
The installation invites people to look up, explore how the panels play with the arches, observe the details of local birds, and listen in — you may just hear the sounds of birds all around you.
Meet the Team
Fion, Georgia, and Natalie met at the start of their Master of Landscape Architecture program. This is their first competition.
Fion Kong recently moved from Vancouver where she completed her undergrad at the University of British Columbia’s Environmental Design program. Outside of school, Fion has been exploring Toronto and its many neighbourhoods. For Fion, the ecology and cityscapes are very different and exciting, and this competition provided the perfect opportunity to explore Downsview Park and a different part of the city. Fion’s interested in learning about how design can improve equity and inclusivity of public spaces, and ecological resilience.
Georgia Sa holds a Bachelor of Arts in Architectural Studies with a specialist in architectural design and a minor in forest biomaterial science from the University of Toronto with high distinction. After graduating with her bachelor’s degree, she wanted to bridge her interests in design and concerns for the environment, which she discovered through landscape architecture. Throughout her studies at the Daniels Faculty, she wishes to explore how landscape design can address issues of inequity while creating spaces that are both ecologically and socially robust. In her spare time, Georgia enjoys spending time outdoors hiking and learning about tree identification.
Natalie finds her passion in designing attractive and functional public space in urban environments. After completing her study in Urban and Regional Planning at Toronto Metropolitan University in 2021, she decided to enrich her knowledge by enrolling in the Master of Landscape Architecture program at University of Toronto. Through her travel and living experience in Asia and in North America, Natalie has seen various types of landscape design in public parks and residential areas reflecting the history, culture and unique natural environments. She will continue her learning in the planning and design journey of landscape architecture.
The Downsview Wind Rose
The Downsview Wind Rose is a radial network of 16 square arches arranged in a compass-like formation on the highest mound in Downsview Park. It is named after a time-honoured tool invented by meteorologists that maps the direction and speed of the wind in a specific location.
Since fall 2021, the Downsview Wind Rose has hosted a range of community installations, and in fall 2022, emerging designers from across the GTA were invited to propose new temporary works for the structure. A panel of local and city-wide public art experts selected three winning proposals. These concepts will be installed, each for around 10 weeks.
The Competition Proposals
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This installation is part of XOXO Downsview, a local arts and culture initiative of Northcrest Developments and Canada Lands Company — landowners who are collaborating on a new development adjacent to Downsview Park.
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