Competition Entry

Matter collaborated with the sound artist Charlie Morrow to propose a series of warming huts and listening posts to be installed along the Assiniboine River Trail in Winnipeg, Canada. Considered the world’s longest skating trail at 10 km, the frozen river offers an alternate route of transportation and recreation during winter months.

This warming hut is inspired by the physiological response of our skin to the cold - the contraction of the follicle ‘muscles’ – and the English language moniker for this phenomenon. Perhaps it is no coincidence that the reference would be to the goose, whose feathers have been stripped and destined for a down jacket.

Adopting the construction model of this warming blanket, two layers of colored performance fabric are quilted together in a pattern to form a pre-fabricated, lightweight pod. The water-proof exterior and warming interior layers sandwich insulating material, which simultaneously expresses the hut’s form and gives relative rigidity to its skin. Strategically inserted thin wall tubes will allow light and sound to enter at concentrated points and will provide additional structure to form a hybrid compressive fabric.

Solar powered listening tubes will alter and transmit the sound of water rushing below the ice, a reminder that the frozen cold is but surface deep.


Matter project team
Alfred Zollinger, Sandra Wheeler, Christopher Malloy, Shawn Faulkner, Eri Yamagata