Many Norths

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    image of book cover
    Many Norths: Spatial Practice in a Polar Territory, Lola Sheppard and Mason White / Lateral Office, Actar, 2017.
Planet in Crisis: Territories, Cities + Landscape
Project Team

Lola Sheppard

Mason White, University of Toronto, Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design

Julia Smachylo

Suzanne Harris-Brandts

Project Date

Many Norths: Spatial Practice in a Polar Territory charts the unique spatial realities of Canada’s Arctic region, an immense territory populated with small, dispersed communities. The region has undergone dramatic transformations in the name of sovereignty, aboriginal affairs management, resources, and trade, among others. For most of the Arctic’s modern history, architecture, infrastructure, and settlements have been the tools of colonialism. Today, tradition and modernity are intertwined. Northerners have demonstrated remarkable adaptation and resilience as powerful climatic, social, and economic pressures collide. This unprecedented book documents—through the themes of urbanism, architecture, mobility, monitoring, and resources—the multiplicity of norths that appear and the spatial practices employed to negotiate it. Using innovative drawings, maps, timelines, as well as essays and interviews, Many Norths reveals a distinct northern vernacular.

Many Norths is organized into 5 themes – urbanism, architecture, mobility, monitoring, and resources. It contains 30 analytical case studies of spatial practices, 15 interviews with northerners and northern experts, 5 illustrated timelines, and 6 in-depth essays. The book is supplemented with over 250 photographs and original drawings.