The Wa-Wa exhibit at University College – Image courtesy of Bustler

Look out below when you walk through University College’s Sir Daniel Wilson Quad – you might see yourself looking back. Since September 21st, a collection of 130 oversized, reflective glass droplets have decorated the grass in a ring, 40 metres in diameter.

The installation was designed with the site’s urban greenery in mind. Conceptually and physically inspired by two forms of the Japanese ‘Wa,’ the model is so named “Wa-Wa.” Finding form in a hazy ring shape (輪), the installation centers on the Japanese philosophies of harmony (和) and unity in social communities. Not only do these shining surfaces pique curiosity, but their unusual perspectives offer the public a newfound intimacy that “act[s] to unify within the complexity of the urban setting.”

With this philosophy in mind, you can see the careful thought and attention given to even the smallest of details to unify the installation with its surroundings. From the circular mirrors and arrangement to the smooth shine of the reflected landscape, every feature embodies and evokes a sense of harmonious living. In one of their subtler moves, the designers consciously shifted the reflective ring away from the centre of the quad to “delineate the existing zoning’s regime of control.”

Proposed by award-winning Toronto-based architecture studio, UUfie, Wa-Wa was chosen from among nine design proposals to the University of Toronto’s Art Museum Making Models project to be created in full scale. Making Models focused on experimental architecture and the blending of contemporary art and architecture within social spaces, driven by the theme “Meet Me There.” For the jury members who selected the full-scale rendition, Wa-Wa creates an intricate discursive “network of architecture, infrastructure, furniture, vegetation, and movement of people.”

On display until November 25th, Wa-Wa is the ideal space for a change in pace and renewal. So maybe it’s time to take a breather and find a few friends to “Meet Me There.”


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