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Why I Design - Q&A with Felix Böck

What do you design?
ChopValue™ designs high performance home decor products - entirely made of recycled bamboo chopsticks. We create composite materials with a wooden texture ending up as tiles for walls and flooring, coasters and small objects as well as shelving - even table tops. 

Why do you design?
We design because we are builders, young designers, product developers and carpenters by heart with the motivation to add value to under-utilized urban waste resources. With our background in working with wood and bamboo for new materials we founded ChopValue to tell the story on how to redefine waste as new resources for a second life. 

Why do you do this in Vancouver?
Vancouver is not only one of the most livable cities in the world but also home for its popular Asian cuisine. Being as a society very perceptive to recycling with initiatives like Zero Waste or Circular Economy, ChopValue started its collection campaign for chopsticks with local restaurants in Vancouver neighbourhoods to set an example of how to involve businesses, communities and households in designing new products out of a material that any Vancouverite can identify with.  

Meet Felix and get a closer look at this products at Why I Design: Friday, November 4.

Why I Design - Q&A with Kody Baker

What is your design and what are you presenting at Why I Design?
We have designed a fully enclosed, pedal-electric trike for use in one-way sharing networks that we call Veemo. It is regulated as an e-bike, meaning it can ride in bike lanes and doesn't require a driver's license, yet offers much of the functionality of a small car.

Why do you design?
I design to solve modern environmental and sustainability issues.

What is your design background?
Mechanical Engineer from UBC. I have been pushing the boundaries of 3D CAD design for a very long time.

What about Vancouver inspires you and your work?
Vancouver has been the prototypical city to inspire the creation of our Veemo. We have a lot of rain and hills, increasing bike lane infrastructure, concerns about cyclist safety, significant issues with bicycle theft, great support for carsharing, good urban density, and a healthy and active population interested in clean air and less gridlock traffic.

Meet Kody Baker and see a demonstration of this incredible vehicle at Why I Design: Friday, November 4.

Transporting Expo 86 - Bikes, Beers and Bali


On June 2, 2016 we concluded our 30th Anniversary Expo ’86 celebration with a fun night centred on Expo’s main theme of transportation. With a bike valet readily available outside the museum, we encouraged our guests to bike down to the event in spirit of Bike to Work Week and of course the theme of the night.

We had music sets from Bali styled troupe, Gamelan Bike Bike, who incredibly, play instruments that are made out of discarded bike parts. After Happy Hour and Gamelan Bike Bike’s first set, the event proceeded with three special presentations from architecture and design experts Henry Tsang, Alana Green and Jenni Pace. The evening was hosted by Westender writer/ CBC personality Grant Lawrence who - along with the panel - shared his personal experiences of Expo ’86.

Henry Tsang - who actually worked at Expo fresh out of graduating from post-secondary - shared his initial impressions and the history of how the False Creek area developed after the major event. Tsang, whose media installations have been exhibited internationally, shared his interactive mapping project, “Maraya” (meaning “mirrors” in Arabic) which drew interesting design parallels between False Creek/Seawall and Dubai’s waterfronts and walkways.

Alana Green - who was only six when Expo ’86 happened - began her presentation by pointing out the appreciation of Expo’s design from a child’s perspective, noting its vibrant colours, whimsical shapes and sheer comical scale of objects like the Swiss Swatch Watch display. To this day, Green contemplates if this early introduction to these particular design aesthetics has influenced her design approach as an adult.

Originally from Alabama, seasoned architectural historian Jenni Pace, had no direct link to Expo ’86. However, as an outsider looking in, she shared how this gave her a unique view and exploration of the design and transportation themes of Expo. Her research concluded that the massive “Highway ‘86” sculpture/art installation which stretched 217m long was the major highlight for most people who attended. She deconstructed the sculpture’s post-apocalyptic and brutalist design and presented its possible connections to other sculptures and buildings around the world.

The night couldn’t have been completed without one more dazzling set from Gamelan Bike Bike. Michael Trenzer, a composer and Gamelan music aficionado, introduced the group and spoke about the beloved Indonesian music and how Expo ’86 actually hosted the first International Gamelan Festival. As the bike bars and gears clanked and clinked away, everyone sipped their last drops of beer, now full of knowledge on all things Expo ’86.

Big thanks to the presenters, Grant Lawrence, Gamelan Bike Bike and to our supporting partners at Westender, The Bicycle Valet, HUB and Red Truck Beer Company.

To see more photos from the event visit: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10153491358226433.1073741885.9...

 

Sharing Happiness

Myles Constable's picture

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...

Stefan Sagmeister describes feeling like a '10'

Myles Constable's picture

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.

Stefan Sagmeister takes Vancouver by storm

Myles Constable's picture

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!

Thinking constructively about the problems of affordable housing

Myles Constable's picture

Design Sundays returns to the Museum of Vancouver this November with the series Housing for a Connected City. Part II was held on November 16, 2014 with REFRAME: Reframing Housing in Vancouver. This interactive workshop was facilitated by THNK School of Creative Leadership.

Participants worked together in teams of three using a reframing technique as a means of overcoming intellectual barriers impeding our ability to think constructively about problems of affordability in Vancouver’s housing market. By systematically identifying core negative beliefs about housing and affordability, further identifying the beliefs supporting those initial key principals, formulating beliefs in direct opposition to the supporting beliefs in the previous step, and then subsequently summarizing these opposing supporting beliefs to form new core beliefs, fresh perspectives became suddenly and unexpectedly apparent. As one participant summarized during the wrap up, by arguing for points of view we normally wouldn’t identify with, it becomes easier to accept solutions we might otherwise too easily write off as unfeasible. The results were eye opening for those involved, and the exercise allowed us to step outside of repetitive configurations and ways of thinking, aiding us as we move forward and strive for change.

Design Sundays: Housing for a Connected City continues...

November 23: Part III, RALLY: Rally for Connection with #bemyamigo Tickets

November 30: Part IV, CONNECT: Design Nerd Jam with the Vancouver Design Nerds Tickets

A key part of the Museum of Vancouver's mission is to strengthen Vancouverites’ personal connections and civic engagement. We believe that connection is critical for resilient communities, sustainability, and health. We are pleased to be partnering this month with Laboratory of Housing Alternatives, Generation Squeeze, marianne amodio architecture studio, THNK School of Creative Leadership, #bemyamigo, and the Vancouver Design Nerds to present the latest iteration of our annual four-part Design Sundays series: Housing for a Connected City.

More event photos can be seen here.

Happy City Machine: standout student experiments

By Seth Geiser

Can art and design make us kinder? Can we design more trust or altruism into the city?

MOV invited students from CityStudio, Emily Carr University of Art and Design, Kwantlen Polytechnic University and SFUs School of Interactive Art and Technology to consider these questions through design.

The challenge? To create experiments and designs to test or boost feelings of trust and connection among total strangers.

On Nov 23, students tested their designs on hundreds of members of the public during two events at the Museum of Vancouver. We called this experiment The Happy City Machine. The student work was eye-opening, thought-provoking, and often great fun. Guest judge Marten Sims of the Vancouver Design Nerds helped choose three standout experiments. Here they are:

Now You See Me (ECUAD students)

Seated in adjoining isolation booths, pairs of participants were asked to don a pair of headphones and gaze through a long, narrow tunnel at eye height. Initially looking into darkness, each participant discovered at the switch of a light that a stranger was gazing back at them from the other end of the viewing tunnel. They were left to gaze at each others’ eyes for the duration of a song, such as "It's a Wonderful World." The experience led them well past the point of social comfort. Some shut their eyes. But most did not back away from the intimacy. After each round, the strangers would be introduced and invited to chat about their experience. Participants reported engaging in all kinds of ocular communication, from winks to moving their eyes in time with the music in a kind of playful dance. Most described the experience as positive, which is surprising given our general fear of eye contact with strangers.

Mani Mahmoudian image

Seth Geiser image

Rock the Boat (ECUAD students)

This installation consisted of a small wooden boat under a broad umbrella, onto which video was projected from below. Volunteers were invited into the boat's snug seating, where they were prompted to share secrets and jokes, and explore the idea that "we're all in the same boat." It's often hard to nudge strangers into proximity, but Rock the Boat succeeded, using clever design, intriguing projections and cozy arrangement to lure people together.

Mani Mahmoudian image

Mani Mahmoudian image

Laughing Dresses (SFU-SIAT students)

Laughter is contagious. But what if the laughter emerges disembodied through a hidden speaker and is accompanied by twinkling lights? This kinetic fashion experiment explored the idea using a motion-sensing dress that emitted the recorded sounds of the dress wearer's laughter. The intensity and pattern of laughter was determined by the movements of the wearer. The dress triggered an almost-viral chorus of laughter among party-goers.

Charles Montgomery image

It was wonderful to see the student designs getting so many strangers talking and playing together. The program convinced us to take things up a notch in 2014. Our new program, Urban Cortex, empowers students to take their social devices into the public realm. Stand by for event news!

Building blocks and hallucinations

[What is Upcycled Urbanism? Learn more here.]

Upcycled Urbanism is off to a roaring start on our journey to design and build new public space interventions, together!

Your block, my block

On March 3 we unveiled prototypes for the building blocks we’ll be using to create our designs. These unique prototypes were designed by Minnie Chan and Jessika Kliewer, students of UBC’s School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture. Congratulations, Minnie and Jessika! Your work will be transformed into hundreds of big blocks of expanded polystyrene by our friends at Mansonville Plastics.

SALA students Minnie Chan (left) and Jessika Kliewer (right) introduce their building block prototypes. Image on right: Kellan Higgins.

Designing together

Last week’s workshop was a blast. After a primer on participatory design by Vancouver Design Nerds Marten Sims and Kim Cooper, participants came up with some wild and wonderful ideas for animating moribund spaces in our city. A giant slide. A waterfall from the Burrard Bridge. A giant Pac-Man board on Granville Street. Check out their ideas here

Participants at March 3 workshop present their ideas, including...Human Plinko! (Kellan Higgins image.)

Hallucinating in public

Now it’s time to figure out just how we’ll use these blocks to transform public spaces in Vancouver. This Sunday, March 10, join SALA and Spacing Magazine for the first of three workshops. Workshop leaders promise to lead participants into what they call the hallucinatory state needed to imagine new designs. The mind reels. Join us!

RSVP: http://march10upcycledurbanism.eventbrite.com/

Upcycled Urbanism is a participatory project that invites students, artists, designers, makers, and anyone with a even a smidgen of creativity to reimagine and rebuild parts of Vancouver’s public realm. Working together, teams of participants will design and build prototypes using modular blocks of expanded polystyrene containing material salvaged from the construction of the Port Mann Bridge. 

Upcycled Urbanism is a partnership between Museum of Vancouver (MOV), UBC's School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (SALA), Vancouver Public Space Network (VPSN), Maker Faire Vancouver, and Spacing Magazine, with generous additional support from SALA, the Vancouver Foundation and Mansonville Plastics.

Twitter: #upcycledurbanism

[What is Upcycled Urbanism? Learn more here.]

Upcycled Urbanism: UBC SALA Material Culture Studio Visit

[What is Upcycled Urbanism?]

We popped in to help crit the very inventive modular unit designs the students in Bill Pechet's Studio have been creating for Upcycled Urbanism. We were really inspired by all the fabulous designs the students created and very excited to sit on a panel with Marlon Blackwell!

Work by UBC School of Landscape Architecture and Architecture Material Cultures Studio Students - Mahmoud Bakayoko, Minnie Chan, Lindsay Duthie, Jessika Kliewer, Margarita Krivolutskaya, Eric Lajoie, Mallory Stuckel, Shiloh Sukkau, Avery Titchkosky, Lorinc Vass

Photo Credit: Shiloh Sukkau, UBC SALA Student

[What is Upcycled Urbanism?]

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