Hallucinating in Public: Creating Environments That Are Beautiful and Disruptive, the second workshop in the Upcycled Urbanism March series, got off to a mysterious start. Bill Pechet of SALA and Ian Lowrie of Spacing Vancouver gave a packed room of urban design enthusiasts an introduction to design process: a matter of creating poetry with an "immaculate corpse." They combined images of playful, practical and interactive urban realm installations with fun fur because, of course, it's fun!
Students of Bill's studios at SALA are no strangers to this nouveau-surreal approach to public place making. Those just being exposed to the approach were intrigued by and drawn into the design-making process. By playing with “hallucinatory” systems as a catalyst for more creative civic engagement and participatory place making, participants used design thinking to create potentially richer public realm projects.
They brought together the various poetic elements in conceptual drawings and scale models (constructed from modular blocks created by SALA students). Some projects explored possible public spaces which incorporated interactive permeable walls. Others provided communal sheltered spaces with moving bookshelves for an outdoor library. Others played with lighting, while others used sculptures as multi-faceted sensory vignettes to help people better connect with one another.
Images by: MOV Volunteer Linnea Zulch
Bill Pechet of SALA and Ian Lowrie of Spacing Vancouver
Participants start to layer their hallucinations onto the site.
Collaborative modular forms start to take shape rooted in previous Immaculate Corpse layering process
A week later, Block Talk: Creating Spaces That Connect People ( the third Upcycled Urbanism workshop) brought together local design enthusiasts with town planning students from the University of Dortmund in Germany.
The sold-out workshop was co-lead by Mari Fujita, a professor at UBC School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, Jonathan Bleakley and Zanny Venner from Vancouver Public Space Network.
The central challenge? Use a public feast as a driver for communication and connection between friends and strangers. The concept was inspired in part by the leader’s own innovative projects. In 2005, Fujita’s Space Agency project (2005) invited designers to reclaim Vancouver’s little-used alleyways. The winner saw giant balloons lodged in a rarely-used Gastown alley. In the summer of 2012, Vancouver Public Space Network’s Lunch Meet initiative used a half-block long dining table to draw strangers to share their lunches together.
Workshop participants were guided to think about innovative models of public furniture and collaborative community activities using blocks designed by students in SALA’s Material Culture Studio.
The workshop produced some tremendous ideas. There were prototypes of multi-generational spaces promoting play and performance. There were clustered spaces for napping and “romantic meetings.” Teams used the modular blocks to prototype flexible and multi-use street furniture at seated and standing scales, as well as interactive forms which could shift to create solid or permeable structures to allow for human connection through sight and sound. The German students, amused that Vancouverites are not permitted to drink alcohol in public, proposed interesting ‘bar’ tables, sparking conversation around policiy and cultural differences that shape public drinking.
Mar. 17 images by Kellan Higgens.
Zanny Venner of VPSN, Mari Fujita of SALA, Jonathan Bleakley of VPSN
Ready, set, charrette!
New innovative modular forms emerge to create public feast spaces
All Mar. 17: Kellan Higgins - http://www.kellanhiggins.com
Don’t Miss Your Chance to Participate in the LAST Upcycled Urbanism Workshop:
Surprise and Juxtaposition in the Public Realm
with SALA, Spacing, and Maker Faire
Design forms and images seem to reappear through life--whether in architecture, nature, or even in the food we eat. How can forms from seemingly disparate realms provide inspiration for imaginative public space interventions that draw people together, hold them, and perhaps even change them?
No need to have a design background, just bring your creative and curious mind!
Upcycled Urbanism is a partnership between MOV, the School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (SALA) at the University of British Columbia, the Vancouver Public Space Network, Maker Faire Vancouver, and Spacing Magazine. With generous support from Mansonville Plastics and Vancouver Foundation.
Location: Museum of Vancouver
Date: Sunday, March 24
Cost: By general admission | MOV members and project partners free