Philip Beesley’s Living Architecture

ASTROCYTE Philip Beesley & Alex Willms; 2017 | Photo Credit: ©

A Philip Beesley Installation Coming to The Gaslight District

As the Grand River weaves through Galt it reminds us of our past and how we built our industry and prosperity.  But, to the surprise of many, the Grand River can also teach us how to prosper in the future. For those who venture on and into the river, it reveals stories of a complex system that is rippling with life. Our meandering Grand River contains optimism. 

The river we experience today wasn’t always optimistic. Due to the impact of industrialization, it was once little more than a storm-water drain that carried away our community’s waste. However, today it teams with life as nature positively responds to our efforts to understand, and work within, nature’s structure.  The Grand River Conservation Authority (GRCA), Canada’s first watershed management agency, acts as custodians of nature. The result is a powerful example of hope for the world’s sustainable future.

SIBYL Philip Beesley Sydney, Australia 2017
Photo Credit: ©

Aegis Philip Beesley – Toronto, Canada – 2018
Photo Credit: ©

Meander, a living architecture sculpture by world renowned artist and University of Waterloo School of Architecture faculty member – Philip Beesley, creates a physical representation of nature’s structure. It is both a stunning work of art and a teaching tool for what we need to learn from the world around us. The art installation is constantly shifting and moving. It rises and flows like the meandering currents of the Grand River.

Sustainability and abundance are found when thinking and working in systems where boundaries are soft and flowing as opposed to rigid walls. That is nature’s way.  When you look up at Meander you will know it is art, but also a collaborative web of science, technology, engineering and chemistry.  When seen this way, the sculpture, and our river, become a metaphor for nature’s network and how to problem-solve difficult issues in complex environments.  Meander will equip the next generation of Waterloo Region inventors with inspiration for thinking in new ways to solve challenges.

For a community with a history of innovative problem solving, the symbolic impact of Meander, the first permanent installation of a Beesley living architecture sculpture, will be profound. 

All Photo Credit: ©