Mississauga Announces Zaagaasige by SOFTlab

Preliminary rendering by SOFTlab. The future park at M City will be located at 505 Webb Drive, Mississauga, ON.

The City of Mississauga is excited to announce its new commission for public art at the future park at M City – Zaagaasige by SOFTlab. Watch the video here.

About the Artwork

Inspired by the Ojibwe word “Zaagaasige”, the sun shines between and out of, the sculptural canopy is created by an organic cellular structure made of wood that filters sunlight into a landscape of color below.

The lily pad-like upper form comes down into three pillars creating a vaulted gateway for the park. The cellular structure uses the same behavioral algorithms found in nature to create what looks like a solid form from a distance, but is visually porous as you move through it. Each cell is a different shape and clad with mirrored composite panels in various colours offering kaleidoscopic views of the sky and the surrounding context.

As sunlight is cast through the canopy it takes on the colours of each cell giving visitors the sense that they are immersed in a magical atmosphere created from a mix of light and colour. As the sun moves overhead, patterns of coloured light shift and change in unexpected ways, “painting” pedestrians and the ground with colour.

This is a preliminary rendering of the artwork. The final version may change during the design process.

About the Artists

SOFTlab is a design studio based in New York City founded by Michael Szivos. The studio was created by Michael shortly after receiving a graduate degree in architecture from Columbia University. SOFTlab combines a research-based design practice with an interest in how technology, craft, and materials come together in ways that explore the boundaries between art, architecture, other disciplines, and the public.

The studio’s work is driven by the idiosyncratic nature of the world and the expectations people have of how they engage with that world and each other. Rather than rationalize or give order to that world, they are inspired by its peculiar messiness and seek to reframe it through our work. While technology can be seen as simply an alibi for innovation or progress, SOFTlab sees technology as an opportunity to enable new perspectives of where we might find unexpected possibilities, playfulness, and beauty in an increasingly complex world. Ultimately, SOFTlab strives for their projects to elicit a sense of wonder and a rethinking of our relationship to each other and the world around us.

Along with running the studio Michael is also a senior critic at Yale University’s School of Architecture where he teaches graduate design studios.

More Information

To learn more about the artwork, the art selection process and the City’s public art program, visit mississauga.ca/publicart, or contact public.art@mississauga.ca.

Instagram @saugaculture
Facebook @saugaculture
Twitter @saugaculture