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Posted by: Myles Constable on June 21, 2016 at 4:53 pm

The following data visualization films were created by Andy Yan as part of the Your Future Home: Creating the New Vancouver exhibition at the Museum of Vancouver.

The videos provide statistical context to each of the exhibition's four themes: public space, housing affordability, residential density, and transportation in the City of Vancouver.

The Land and Public Space

These data visualizations and maps on the land characteristics, history of settlement patterns, and public space in the City of Vancouver.

Residential Density

These data visualizations and maps on residential density, population demographics, and land use zoning in the City of Vancouver.

Housing Affordability

These data visualizations and maps on housing affordability, housing types, and building age in the City of Vancouver.

Transportation and Transportation Networks

These data visualizations and maps on transportation and transportation networks in the City of Vancouver

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Posted by: Myles Constable on April 22, 2016 at 12:31 pm

The Museum of Vancouver is honoured to have been chosen by the readers of the Vancouver Courier as a top destination in the Art Gallery/Museums category for Stars of Vancouver 2016.

Read an interview with our Collections Associate Jillian Povarchook, and discover her choices for best of Vancouver!

 

Posted by: Myles Constable on March 17, 2016 at 11:59 am

This workshop series invites participants to explore the wider issues and challenges in Vancouver through a design lens.

Sunday afternoons (2:30-5:00pm) throughout April, the Museum will curate a series of playful explorations and thoughtful workshops in conjunction with the Your Future Home exhibition and its central themes: Affordability, Density, Mobility and Public Space. Each workshop session can be experienced as a standalone event, or participate in all of them for maximum engagement!

 

April 3: Modify Vancouver: An Introduction to Design Fiction

Hosted by the Vancouver Design Nerds, this workship will introduce participants to Design Fiction through the research of guest speaker Ian Wojtowicz. It will spark creativity, collaboration and a methods for generating conceptual ideas as they pertain to local issues around Vancouver’s mobility and public space.

Participants will work in small groups to put theory into action, re-imagining a Vancouver without any limits. Designers use the practice of Design Fiction to propose and provoke discussion about what is and what could be, to produce projects that sit between the plausible and imaginary. This is a unique technique that takes a speculative approach to creative work; think science fiction for the present! Join the Design Nerds and use your creative imagination to design near future realities around such areas as public transportation and public space.

Workshop leaders and registration info.

 

April 10: Dear Vancouver: An Experimental Letter Writing Campaign on Public Space

This workshop invites participants to brainstorm and create a new and experimental campaign for communicating with, through and across the city of Vancouver. Workshop coordinators - Justin Langlois and Alicia Medina Laddaga - will lead participants through creative forms of writing to synthesize letters that will be documented and subsequently distributed though post and/or online.

Letter writing campaigns have long been the first line of action by citizens asking for change in their communities. Whether writing to city hall, letters to the editor, or even posters in public places, the ways in which we address our city and one another goes a long way in shaping how we think about and live within Vancouver. Dear Vancouver workshop will implement collective letter drafting of enthusiastic praise, important demands, and open-ended questions to get to know where we live, and how we live in Vancouver. No experience in letter writing is necessary. Non-English speaking community members are highly encouraged to attend.

Workshop leaders and registration info.

 

April 17: Make It Rain

This workshop, facilitated by members of The Vancouver Public Space Network (VPSN), explores the concept of making public spaces in rainy climates usable and enjoyable all year round. Participants will review and discuss precedent studies, followed by a “live” analysis of remote video feeds from around the city of Vancouver. In an effort to work through solutions for more rain friendly city spaces, participants will be asked, ‘what are the impacts of a predominantly rainy climate on the design of public spaces?’

This workshop will develop materials and documentation that will be used as a basis for advocacy and education directed towards making Vancouver’s public spaces better adapted for the rainy months. After participating in the Make it Rain workshop you will be inspired to connect and celebrate one of Vancouver’s most overlooked assets: the rain.

Workshop leaders and registration info.

 

April 24: Improv-ing the City. Designing Policies through Participative Theatre

Alec Balasescu and Jonathan Bleackley of Civic Renewal Lab host a role-playing and improv workshop that will explore Vancouver’s development, housing, and affordability policies. Guided by the question, "for whom is the city built?" and borrowing from similar policy-based theatre work, participants will be led in acting out the impact of key housing policies and policy questions, with an interest towards helping residents understand the stakes, opinions and goals of the various players involved, and why finding solutions can be difficult.

Actors will be assigned diverse roles such as homeowner, renter, real estate agent, foreign investor, contractor banker. They will be provided with a current or proposed policy and be asked to act out the implications of that policy. The eventual goal of Improv-ing the City is to help participants better understand the complexity of the issues, what is causing the real estate crisis, and identify what policy changes Vancouver could adopt moving forward to address the problem.

This event has been canceled but may be rescheduled in the future.

Posted by: Myles Constable on October 16, 2015 at 4:44 pm

Today was a very special day for the team that created c̓əsnaʔəm, The City Before the City. The collaborative series of exhibitions was recognized at Rideau Hall in Ottawa, where the curators were presented with  the 2015 Governor General’s History Award for Excellence in Museums, by His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston.

The award recognizes individuals or institutions that have made remarkable contributions to a better knowledge of Canadian history. This year’s winning project is c̓əsnaʔəm, The City Before the City. The exhibition tells the story of c̓əsnaʔəm, one of the largest ancient Musqueam villages and burial sites upon which Vancouver was built. It was jointly curated by the Museum of Vancouver (MOV) in collaboration with the Museum of Anthropology (MOA) at UBC, Musqueam First Nation, and Susan Roy from the University of Waterloo.

“Winning such a prestigious national award is a testament to the hard work, creativity and perseverance of the curatorial teams,” says Nancy Noble, CEO of MOV. “This important exhibition has allowed the Museum to confront its own colonial past, acknowledging the actions of our predecessors and hopefully, in some small way, reconciling the many misconceptions about the Musqueam people, their history and their continued contributions to Vancouver and Canadian society.”

The three-location exhibition intends to generate public discussion about indigenous history, and to raise awareness of the significance of c̓əsnaʔəm for the Musqueam people and for Vancouver. The ancient village of c̓əsnaʔəm was founded about 5,000 years ago at what was then the mouth of the Fraser—the southern border of today’s Marpole neighbourhood.

“c̓əsnaʔəm was a place where families lived and put their people to rest and was a sophisticated society. That’s why the exhibit is called ‘The City Before the City,’ says Jordan Wilson of the MOA and co-curator of the exhibition. “All too often there’s a picture painted of these villages as quite small and primitive, but in fact it was quite a large site, and the Musqueam people played a significant role in shaping the City of Vancouver.”

“Museums are no longer just passive buildings that store old objects. They play an active role in sharing new knowledge,” says Janet Walker, President and CEO of Canada’s History Society, which administers the award. “c̓əsnaʔəm, The City Before the City is a perfect example of how a museum exhibition can counter an existing narrative—that Vancouver is a young city of immigrants—and replace it with a more truthful version of events. In this way, museums help shape our future as well as our past.”

The joint exhibition opened earlier this year at the Museum of Vancouver, the Museum of Anthropology and the Musqueam Cultural Centre, and continues through January 2016. Each location explores different aspects of c̓əsnaʔəm, through artifacts—collected mainly in the 1920s and ‘30s—and new technologies such as 3-D printing.

You can find more information about the exhibition at www.thecitybeforethecity.com.

Posted by: Myles Constable on September 4, 2015 at 3:58 pm

Since April 23, more than 30,000 visitors to the Museum of Vancouver have had the exciting and astonishing experience of seeing Stefan Sagmeister: The Happy Show in person (a few people didn't actually like it).

With all those visitors, came crazy numbers of social media posts. Thousands of pictures - of gumballs, yellow walls, a giant monkey, digital spider webs, and people riding the stationary bike with a huge neon sign - have filled the people we follow's feeds.

Check out a sampling of those shots below...

Posted by: Myles Constable on August 14, 2015 at 4:01 pm

Lively Objects brings together artworks that vibrate with mechanical, digital, and magical forces. Installations hidden throughout the Museum’s history galleries awaken our fascination with objects that come to life. The following works will on display through October 12, 2015.

 

Phone Safe 2 (2015) by Garnet Hertz

Phone Safe 2 is a custom-built safety deposit box that invites people to publicly and voluntarily deposit mobile phones for a set period of time. In doing so, they commit to a short separation from their ubiquitous digital companions.

 

Topographic Table (2013) by Germaine Koh

Topographic Table recreates the contours of the mountains north of Vancouver. Sensors and Internet-connected electronics embedded in the table’s frame cause it to tremble in response to nearby vibrations and news about earthquakes in the Pacific Northwest. This piece of furniture models the geology and the psychic condition of living near the Cascadia fault line.

 

Silent Spring (2008) by Wendy Coburn

Silent Spring is a bronze replica of a pesticide sprayer that Coburn found in her neighbourhood. The artist has etched the names of loved ones on the sprayer – a found object re-cast as weapon, monument, and talisman. The sculpture takes its name from Rachel Carson’s 1962 text Silent Spring, which warned of the dangers of synthetic pesticides.

 

Fable for Tomorrow (2008) by Wendy Coburn

Silhouettes of insects swarm over the imploring bodies of two Victorian ceramic babies. This poignant work by Wendy Coburn is named Fable For Tomorrow after the first chapter of Rachel Carson’s book Silent Spring – an allegory describing a rural village that falls prey to a strange silence as white dust covers the countryside.

 

Phantom House (2010) by Judith Doyle / Technical assistance: Ian Murray

After the sudden death of her mother and father, Judith Doyle began building models of her family home in game engines and virtual environments. Phantom House is a ghostly suburban dwelling, constructed in SecondLife. The luminous structure is suspended somewhere between real and virtual, remembered and forgotten, inhabited and abandoned.

 

Splish Splash One (1974) by Norman White

This prototype for a large light mural commissioned for the foyer of CBC’s Vancouver offices simulates raindrops falling on the surface of a pond. It is an early example of an artistic exploration of the complex effects that emerge from the simple lifelike system of a cellular automaton – a light/logic grid in which each cell is programmed to switch on or off in relation to its neighbours.

 

Go Go Gloves (2005) by Kate Hartman

Put these gloves on and, like a digital puppeteer, you will be able to control the movement of the dancers on screen. With images drawn from 1960s McCall Needlework & Crafts magazine, Go-Go Gloves pays homage to the history of women’s “handiwork” and draws attention to the ways in which the female body is manipulated through fashion.

 

End of Empire (2011) by Simone Jones and Lance Winn

Andy Warhol’s 1964 film Empire is a single shot of the Empire State Building that lasts eight hours and five minutes. In End of Empire Simone Jones and Lance Winn revisit this iconic film post-9/11 and the 2008 financial collapse. A custom-built machine projects a video image of the Empire State Building onto the gallery wall, eventually revealing its disappearance from the Manhattan skyline with an eerie, mechanical neutrality.

Device for the Elimination of Wonder (2012-) by Steve Daniels

This simple kinetic system is obsessed with quantifying its environment. A metallic bob takes measurements, which the device renders in grey scale, continuously dropping pages of data to the floor below. This single-minded machine inhabits the gallery with a useless intensity.

 

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Posted by: Myles Constable on June 2, 2015 at 5:10 pm

The Canadian Committee on Public History awarded its 5th annual Public History Prize Tuesday at the annual meeting of the Canadian Historical Association in Ottawa. The winning project emerged from a curatorial partnership between the Museum of Vancouver, Museum of Anthropology, University of Waterloo, and Musqueam Nation. The collaboration culminated with the creation of əsnaʔәm: the city before the city, a multi-site exhibition project.

This multi-disciplinary, community-based Indigenous research project resulted in a series of three museum exhibitions (all currently on display) at the Museum of Vancouver (2015-2020), Museum of Anthropology, University of British Columbia (2015-2016), and Musqueam Cultural Education Resource Centre (2015-2016).

c̓əsnaʔәm: the city before the city examines the history of Vancouver from the point of view of the Musqueam First Nation. It brings a critical history of city building, colonialism and dispossession, museum collecting practices, and Indigenous activism to public audiences. The project also engages many varied groups in discussions about conflicting and complex interpretations of Indigenous history and heritage sites as well as current debates about heritage and development in the city.

As Musqueam cultural advisor Larry Grant explains, “c̓əsnaʔәm: the city before the city aims at ‘righting history’ by creating a space for Musqueam to share their knowledge, culture and history and to highlight the community’s role in shaping the City of Vancouver.”

“We are thrilled that the committee has recognized this project as an example of innovative scholarship and public engagement,” says Susan Roy, historian at the University of Waterloo and MOV guest curator.

The award recognizes work that achieves high standards of original research, scholarship, and presentation; brings an innovative public history contribution to its audience; and serves as a model for future work, advancing the field of public history in Canada.

Upon accepting the award in Ottawa, Roy shared, "The c̓əsnaʔәm exhibition team is honoured to receive this acknowledgement that recognizes the importance of developing highly collaborative curatorial practices to reflect and promote new understanding of Indigenous history in Canada."

More information about the c̓əsnaʔәm: the city before the city exhibitions can view found here: www.thecitybeforethecity.com.

More information about past Public History Prize winners can be viewed here: http://www.cha-shc.ca/english/what-we-do/cha-prizes/public-history-prize.html#sthash.h4gwPXSu.LEMb9OLQ.dpbs

Posted by: Myles Constable on May 20, 2015 at 11:00 am

The Happy Show asked "How Happy Are You? The results are in...

There's a definite trend towards the high end of the graph here, with #10 being the first tube to be cleaned out. The gumball machines were refilled today, so we can start this experiment over again. What do these indications of our happiness mean? Exhibition designer Stefan Sagmeister sheds some light on Vancouver's overall happiness levels (remember this report?), and feeling like a '10.'

Below is an excerpt from Sagmeister's interview with Vancouver Review Media...

VRM: The timing couldn’t be more perfect. Your show opens in the same week a study is reported to show that Vancouver is the unhappiest city in the country!

Sagmeister: I saw that too and I understand that the research was pretty good, meaning that it had been conducted by proper people with proper methods. But the interpretation of it, I thought, was a joke. If you just read down to the fifth or sixth line it shows that the average person in Vancouver feels like a 7.8.

I have a lot of data on myself from the last six years using exactly the same system (of measuring people’s happiness on a scale of 0 to 10). If I had a 7.8 week, well, that was a damn fantastic week, an excellent week! So that there would be any complaints about “Oh my god! We are unhappy because we are only 7.8 on an average!” is ridiculous. Secondly, they were complaining that only 30% of people in Vancouver feel like a 9 or 10. I mean, who the fuck feels like a 9 or a 10? I don’t know anybody who feels like a 9 or 10 on an average.

In a period when I was on drugs and had fallen deeply in love I had several “10” days in a row, but this was a very particular and singular time in my life. I don’t know anybody who could say of them selves that they feel like a 10 for any prolonged period. But to me all this stuff is inconsequential. The fact that some people in some town in Quebec feel 0.3 points better or whatever, is immaterial. At the same time I do understand the problem of if you’re young, and the real estate costs are so beyond you that you can’t aspire to it, then that’s a real problem.

Read the full post here.

Posted by: Myles Constable on May 8, 2015 at 3:55 pm

It's been a rather thrilling time to work at the Museum of Vancouver. Not only have we launched an exhibition about one of the most important stories in Vancouver's history - c̓əsnaʔəm - but then we brought one of the most prolific designers in the world - Stefan Sagmesiter - to launch The Happy Show and give a few presentations.

After overseeing the finishing touches on the exhibition installation, talking to the media, writing on the walls and bathroom stalls, Sagmeister welcomed MOV Members and special guests at our opening reception.

On April 23, Sagmeister with friend (and local designer) Marian Bantjes had a conversation about design. This event was co-presented with the Graphic Designers of Canada, BC Chapter and moderated by Mark Busse. See video below.

Later that day, Sagmeister gave a lecture "On Happiness" which provided additional details behind The Happy Show and insight about his quest to better understand his happiness. Video to come.

Happy days indeed!

Posted by: Myles Constable on March 17, 2015 at 2:47 pm

The 2015 TED Conference is currently taking place at the Vancouver Convention Centre (March 16 to 20), but Vancouverites don’t need to spend big bucks to enjoy these "ideas worth spreading". For the second year, TED will stream the entire conference at select locations around the city, including:

  • Vancouver Public Library
  • Science World 
  • University of British Columbia, Faculty of Education and main library branch 
  • Vancouver International Film Centre
  • Potluck Café Society 
  • Langara College
  • Emily Carr University of Art + Design 
  • YWCA Metro Vancouver 
  • The AMP
  • Vancouver Community Network
  • Wolrige Foundation 
  • Stratford Hall Secondary School
  • David Suzuki Foundation
  • Grouse Mountain Theatre in the Sky

 

Stefan Sagmeister, the creative force behind our upcoming exhibiton The Happy Show, has spoken at TED on numerous occassions. Follow these links to watch his Ted Talk "Happiness by Design" where Sagmeister takes the audience on a whimsical journey through moments of his life that made him happy, and 7 Rules for Making More Happiness.
 

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