Calgary’s MoDA designs a trophy that celebrates both the designer and their support network.

For the fourth year now, we’ve asked one of our reigning Designers of the Year to contribute to the design of the award for this year’s winners. And we’re thrilled to announce that our 2017 winner of the Arthur Erickson Memorial Award for an emerging architect, the team at Calgary’s Modern Office of Design and Architecture (MoDA), has jumped on board to take on the task.The inspiration for this year’s design, a tumble of scale models encased in resin, came from the team’s experience at last year’s awards ceremony. “We wanted to come up with something that was more than a trophy, but was meaningful and had a story to it,” says MoDA’s co-founder Ben Klumper. “We know how much work it is and how much it takes to get a point to be recognized for one of these awards. And there’s so many people involved to make that happen—we’re not designing in a vacuum. And that goes for all disciplines.”The team decided to create an award that recognizes not just the individuals winning the award, but everyone involved in it. Working with Mercedes and Singh, they’ve designed the resin trophy to contain actual scale models of figures—the same pieces used in architectural designs. “We’re still working out the manufacturing process, but the thinking is that we’ll create a mould, and have a clear epoxy resin. We’ll pour a layer, then place the figures, and then add another layer. It creates real depth—you’ll be looking through a field of people cast into the resin.”Several drafts have resulted in this prototype—the final production of which will be ready for winners to take home with them, come awards night. “It’s a great honour for us to be able to contribute to something like this,” says Klumper. “It’s fun to do something that’s not architecture, but to think about how we think about architecture, and translate it into something else.”

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