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Posted by: Myles Constable on November 19, 2014 at 2:54 pm

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.

Posted by: Jillian Povarchook on November 18, 2014 at 2:30 pm

The MOV’s current temporary exhibition, From Rationing to Ravishing: The Transformation of Women’s Clothing in the 1940s and 1950s, draws from the private collections of fashion historians Ivan Sayers and Claus Jahnke. In its collection, MOV also has a large amount of fashion related artifacts, and while very few of them are seen in From Rationing to Ravishing, a great number of them are now available on the MOV’s online collections database, openMOV.

Over the past 6 months, with financial aid from the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre’s BC History Digitization Program, MOV staff have digitized over 2400 accessories from this collection of fashionable artifacts, including hats, shoes, handkerchiefs, fans, and jewellery.

To view all of the artifacts digitized in this project, search the keyword phrase BC Digitization 2014 on openMOV. Here, though, we share a few artifacts that would fit in perfectly with the stunning pieces featured in From Rationing to Ravishing, as well as the stories of the women to whom they belonged.

Pink skullcap hat with black braid, c. 1955-1965: H984.128.11
Donor: Estate of Mrs. Iby Koerner

Born to Hungarian-Jewish parents in 1899, Ibolya (Iby) Koerner became actively involved in community life in Vancouver after arriving with her husband and daughter shortly before the outbreak of the Second World War.

During the war years, Mrs. Koerner was an active volunteer at the Shaughnessy Hospital Red Cross Lodge, as well as a member of the Vancouver Art Gallery Women’s Auxiliary Committee. After the war, she served on the board of the Community Arts Council, later becoming heavily involved with the Vancouver International Festival and the Community Music School, now the Vancouver Academy of Music.

After her death in 1983, a donation of clothing and accessories was made by her estate to the Museum, including this hat. It is representative of the variety of hats Mrs. Koerner would have worn to various charity and cocktail funtions.

Navy straw picture hat, c. 1948-1955: H985.33.10
Donor: Miss Nora Nedden

Purchased in Vancouver sometime between 1948 and 1955, this hat belong to Miss Nora Nedden. Miss Nedden was born in England in 1903 and educated at a convent in Ireland. She came to Vancouver in the late 1910s to live with an aunt and uncle, Captain and Mrs. Nedden and remained in Vancouver for the rest of her life, save during the Second World War when she served with the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force in the RAF.

Miss Nedden was a noted South Vancouver socialite, active in the Southlands Riding Club and in charitable organizations such as the Alliance Française, CNIB, and St. John’s Anglican Church.

Royal Canadian Air Force handkerchief and mailer, c. 1940-1945: H980.62.2
Donor: Miss Jane Rittenhouse

During the Second World War, Jane Rittenhouse joined the WRENS (Women’s Royal Navy Service), working mostly as a supply clerk in Halifax. After working a variety of jobs in Toronto after the war, Ms. Rittenhouse moved to Vancouver, where she began an active volunteer career, working largely within Kitsilano.

For some time, she spent more hours than a full-time work week working on volunteer activities with organizations such as the Kitsilano Neighbourhood Association. She served on the Local Area Planning Committee, the Community Resources Board, and the Parents Book Committee, among others, bringing her expertise to numerous projects such as the development of local day care centres, seniors’ activities, and the production of a Roger's Cable documentary.

It’s likely this handkerchief was one of many mass produced for fundraising purposes. It would have been folded into the mailer and sent to those deployed in service overseas.

Flower shaped brooch, c. 1950s: H997.26.28
Donor: Ms. Sonya Kraemer

From a very early age, Sonja Kraemer adored jewellery, for she saw it as a means to feeling beautiful and being accepted by others. Born in Vancouver in 1958, she moved with her family to rural Richmond when she was six years old. Her mother came from a middle-class family in Germany where the proper clothes and the right appearance and image were very important.

Kraemer was in her early teens, c. 1968-1972, when she began to purchase jewellery for herself; her first purchase was at Woodward's. Between the years of 1980 and 1981, Kraemer worked in a curio shop, "Aleksandra's" where she took jewelry in lieu of a salary until she became a sales clerk. "Aleksandra's" was at 312 W. Hastings Street, Vancouver, until it closed in 1981. Most of the jewelry in this collection came from Aleksandra's.

This brooch features rhinestones with an “aurora borealis” treatment, so called because it gives the stones an iridescent quality similar to the Northern Lights. The treatment was introduced by Swarovski in 1955 and became a very popular trend in 1950s costume jewellery.

---

MOV wishes again to thank the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre’s BC History Digitization Program; without their financial support, this project would not have been possible.

 

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Posted by: Myles Constable on November 12, 2014 at 12:07 pm

Design Sundays returns to the Museum of Vancouver this November with the series Housing for a Connected City. Part I, JUXTAPOSE, was held on the afternoon of Sunday November 9, 2014.

Laboratory of Housing Alternatives board member Alicia Medina introduced the overarching topics of the series, namely housing affordability, loneliness, and social engagement and connectedness – and posed the question to the audience for group discussion: How engaged do I feel in my current living situation?

Paul Kershaw (founder of Generation Squeeze) and architect Marianne Amodio presented on the work they're currently involved with. Kershaw revealed startling statistics that suggest current Federal and Provincial level subsidization policies exclude young Canadians from financial support in areas, such as raising children, that might otherwise indirectly alleviate the pressures of Vancouver housing costs. Amodio detailed recent high density, multi-adult housing projects she's developed that maximize footprints for communal amenities, while keeping private space functional and minimizing underused spaces (foyers, formal dining rooms, etc.) – all without undervaluing the beauty of form. The pair then led an insightful and engaging Q&A session that saw input from a multigenerational audience composed of the likes of students, designers, business owners and even candidates in the current municipal elections. Participation was wide and incredibly considerate of the issues at hand, and had us thinking about investing in what might not normally be considered capital to offset inhospitable economic climates, breaking away from traditional conceptions of home ownership and life achievement; and to closely evaluate the design and context of public space to potentially counteract loneliness and social disengagement.

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

November 16: Part II, REFRAME: Reframing Housing in Vancouver with THNK School of Creative Leadership. Tickets

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.

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Posted by: Myles Constable on October 9, 2014 at 3:48 pm

Monday evening, the Museum of Vancouver played host to the 3rd annual Legacy Awards Dinner that honours individual, families and companies who have shown outstanding vision and commitment to building a city that is ranked as one of the most impressive in the world.

The MOV invited well recognized city historians, urban planners, influencers in the business and philanthropic sector, as well as representatives from the MOV Board of Directors to the selection table. They spent two months reviewing over 50 nominees who have helped mould the city as we know it today and who continue to influence its path to tomorrow.

The 2014 winners were Wade Grant, Dr. Julio Montaner, Morris J. Wosk and Yosef Wosk.

Grant, the son of former Chief Wendy Grant-John and Councillor Howard E. Grant, was presented with the Emerging City Visionary Award for his work bringing together First Nations and New Immigrants, and forging new relationships between Aboriginal people and the City of Vancouver. Dr. Montaner was recognized with the City Shaper Award for his dedication to HIV/AIDS treatment as prevention, resulting in a decrease in infections and mortality. The MOV Legacy Award was presented to Yosef Wosk for his, and his father’s (Morris J. Wosk) extensive history of philanthropic work, benefitting diverse non-profit organizations, both locally and abroad.

Each of the award winners delivered gracious and moving acceptance speeches. Grant reminded guests of the value of multiculturalism; Montaner urged the public to put pressure on the federal government to adopt the UN AIDS treatment strategy; Yosef Wosk read an insightful poem he wrote specifically for the event, entitled ‘Museum as Matter and Metaphor.’

Museum of Vancouver CEO Nancy Noble explained the significance of the award winners: “At the MOV we see the city as a living artifact, and part of that is recognizing the work that has been done by people to make it what it is today. In this third year of awards we’re really starting to see what incredible minds and initiative we have within our city, and we’re excited to be recognizing this group of honourees for their contributions to our city’s story.”

Posted by: Myles Constable on August 19, 2014 at 12:28 pm

Please join us on October 6th, at the 2014 Legacy Awards Dinner, as we recognize Morris J. Wosk and Yosef Wosk, Dr. Julio Montaner and Wade Grant  for their commitment to shaping a better Vancouver.

Guests at this fundraiser will enjoy an exclusive evening of good company, interesting ideas, a sit-down dinner, complimentary beverages, live entertainment, and a silent auction benefiting our non-profit society. (more info here)

*Tickets are available here. You will receive a tax receipt for a portion of the ticket price.

Date: Monday, October 6, 2014

Schedule: 5:30pm Cocktails & Silent Auction; 6:30pm Dinner & Awards

Location: The Museum of Vancouver in Vanier Park, 1100 Chestnut St. Vancouver, BC

Dress code: Elegant

Tickets: $225/person; $2150/table of 10; $2,500/sponsored table of 10.
Purchase by phone: 604-730-5320 or use the widget below:

Thanks to our sponsors:

 

 
Posted by: Myles Constable on August 15, 2014 at 11:12 am

In mid-July we launched an awareness campaign inspired by the idea that the CITY is our greatest artifact. It is the Museum's vision to hold a mirror up to the city and lead provocative conversations about Vancouver's past, present, and future. To that end, we're asking YOU to share thoughts and images (on Instagram) that you think are particularly "of Vancouver."  

For the next 2 weeks we'll be giving away a daily prize! Show us what #ofVancouver means to you! Every day, we'll select one #ofVancouver tagged image to feature. One grand prize including an MOV t-shirt, bag and membership will be awarded on August 29th. We're compiling your outstanding shots at here and hope to put some of the best in an exhibition in the Museum one day.

Posted by: Myles Constable on April 17, 2014 at 10:23 am

Today the Museum of Vancouver (MOV) reaches a major milestone, as a collector of precious artifacts from around the world and the protector of Vancouver’s past. In recognition of 120 years, MOV will host a celebration on May 29th when admission will be $1.20 (always free for members). Following the Annual General Meeting that evening, birthday cake will be served and BC Place will be lit in the Museum’s colours.

MOV’s celebration will continue on their social media channels with photos of artifacts representing 120 years of accessions, shared daily at 1:20pm. Check out this timeline of artifacts that were acquired into our collection.

MOV’s 120th anniversary is not only an acknowledgment of history, but of Vancouver’s history. As MOV CEO Nancy Noble explains, “In Canadian terms, we are an old museum with an old collection. For 120 years this museum has been the repository of the material culture and collective memory of this city. We are a reflection of Vancouver’s identity over time. That is valuable in and of itself.”

In 1894, a group of visionaries formed Vancouver’s Art, Historical and Scientific Association. Soon after, the City Museum was created at the Carnegie Library location at Main and Hastings. In 1967, the city announced the construction of the current landmark building in Vanier Park as part of Canada’s centennial. Designed by well-known architect Gerald Hamilton, the Museum’s distinctive dome top was inspired by the shape of a woven basket hat made by Northwest Coast First Nations people. In 1981, the Centennial Museum was re-named the Vancouver Museum and featured permanent displays, exhibitions and educational programs about the natural, cultural and human history of the Vancouver region.

Society continues to transform and museums have had to adapt to that change. In 2008, the Museum underwent a visioning process that resulted in a shift in focus, taking a cross-disciplinary approach and engaging the community in dialogue about contemporary issues of our city. To reflect the new vision, the Museum changed its name to the Museum of Vancouver in 2009.

“We don’t collect the way colonial collectors did, nor do we communicate information in the same way we did 120 years ago,” Noble explains. “As a contemporary museum, MOV wants to push the boundaries of our role. We believe that the power of history and collections bind the community together, but we want to go beyond that to engage our community in building our collections, telling their own stories, debating contemporary issues and hopefully shaping the future of Vancouver.”

 

Posted by: Myles Constable on March 10, 2014 at 12:23 pm

On Saturday, Dec 14th, families, youth, MOV members, architecture students and the community of the curious got their chance to celebrate the creative spirit of the late Vancouver Architect, Daniel Evan White - with LEGO!

“DIY Daniel: LEGO Build Day” featured two big rooms overflowing with LEGO supplied by The Vancouver Lego Club and the Vancouver Lego Games. The family friendly build day featured an opportunity to view Lego models, connect with expert Lego geeks and opportunities to build some amazing creations.

Folks built very detailed life-sized bust of Captain Vancouver (with nautical captains hat!), a near perfect façade of the Vancouver Art Gallery, 6-foot tall mega skyscraper, as well as very precise abstract forms inspired by Daniel Evan White’s Architecture floor plans made available at each table in simple black and white shapes.

The day started with a Modern Masterpieces: Speed Building contest that was swiftly won by budding LEGO whiz, Aidan Wilson. His dexterity and spatial intelligence was impressive! Later that day, another youth, Kai Darrell placed first in: Make Yours Look like Daniels: DEW Inspired Build. For this contest, Kai built his own creation using basic white bricks in order to make a 3 dimensional interpretation of a DEW blueprint. The judges for this event were the DEW exhibit co-curators: Greg Johnson and Martin Lewis.

Other highlights included Johnathan Vaughan Strebly’s custom designed instructions (download PDF) that helped participants build Daniel Evan White’s famous Maté House out of LEGO!

Also for the kids, we had photographer Ben Cooper, take Polaroid photos of their unique creations in order to give them a keepsake to remember the day. As a child of the 80’s Ben enjoyed the astonished reactions of the kids of today who have been raised in a digital age as they watched the picture of their creation slowly appear in-front of their eyes.

If you want to come check out the exhibit that inspired this event, you have only a few weeks! Playhouse: The architecture of Daniel Evan White closes March 23rd, 2014.

- Adrian Sinclair

Posted by: Myles Constable on February 28, 2014 at 4:08 pm

 

Visitors to the Museum of Vancouver's Rewilding Vancouver exhibit may be inspired to help REWILD Vancouver.

The following is a list of local organizations who are doing their part to preserve and improve our environment. Please consider lending your support to one or more of these groups:

 

Pacific Salmon Foundation

www.psf.ca

604-664-7664

 

GENERAL ENVIRONMENT – NATIONAL

 

The David Suzuki Foundation                                             

www.davidsuzuki.org

(604) 732-4228                      

 

Green Peace                                      

www.greenpeace.org/canada           

604-253-7701             

 

Pembina Institute                                         

www.pembina.org

604-874-8558             

 

Ecojustice                                          

www.ecojustice.ca

604-685-5618             

 

 

GENERAL ENVIRONMENT – PROVINCIAL

 

Sierra Club of Canada (BC Chapter)                                               

www.sierraclub.bc.ca

250-386-5255             

 

Evergreen BC

www.evergreen.ca/en/evergreen-bc                    ...

604-689-0766

 

BC Stewardship Centre                                            

www.stewardshipcentrebc.ca

1-866-456-7222                     

 

South Coast Conservation Program                                               

www.sccp.ca

 

Fraser Basin Council 

604-488-5350             

 

 

GENERAL ENVIRONMENT – LOWER MAINLAND

 

Society Promoting Environmental Conservation (SPEC) 

www.spec.bc.ca

604-736-7732             

 

The Lower Mainland Green Team               

www.meetup.com/The-Lower-Mainland-Green-Team              ...

 

Better Environmentally Sound Transportation                                        

best.bc.ca

(604) 669-2860                      

 

Raincoast Applied Ecology

www.raincoastappliedecology.ca      

604-742-9890             

 

Metro Vancouver Regional Parks Ecological Restoration Team

www.meetup.com/Regional-Parks-Connect-Metro-Vancouver

 

Kits Eco-Arts                                      

kitsecoarts.wordpress.com

 

Still Moon Arts Society

stillmoon.org

 

Langley Environmental Partners Society                                       

www.leps.bc.ca                             ...

 

Earthwise Society (Boundary Bay)               

www.earthwisesociety.bc.ca

604-946-9828             

 

Ceed Centre Society (Maple Ridge & Pitt Meadows)

www.ceedcentre.com

604-463-2229             

 

 

GENERAL ENVIRONMENT - YOUTH

 

Environmental Youth Alliance

www.eya.ca                               ...

604-689-4446             

 

Catching the Spirit Youth Society              

www.catchingthespirit.com

604-562-0583  
                     

 

Young Environmental Professionals (CEP Vancouver)     

www.cepvancouver.org                          ...

 

 

WATERSHEDS

 

BCIT Rivers Institute, School of Construction and the Environment

commons.bcit.ca/riversinstitute                    

 

Fraser River Discovery Centre                     

www.fraserriverdiscovery.org

604-521-8401

 

Fraser Valley Watersheds Coalition            

fvwc.ca           

 

False Creek Watershed Society

 

St. George Rainway              

mtpleasantwatershed.wordpress.com                                  

 

Friends of Semiahmoo Bay Society/Birds on the Bay

www.birdsonthebay.ca

604-536-3552             

 

 

STREAMKEEPERS

 

Pacific Stream Keepers Federation                                     

www.pskf.ca

604-986-5059             

 

Fraser Riverkeeper

www.fraserriverkeeper.ca

604-786-0888             

 

North Shore Streamkeepers                                               

www.nssk.ca  

604-990-2410             

 

West Vancouver Streamkeepers Society

 

Stoney Creek Environment Committee                                         

scec.ca                                   

 

Squamish Streamkeepers    

www.squamishstreamkeepers.net

 

Byrne Creek Streamkeepers            

byrnecreek.org

 

Mosquito Creek Stewardship Society        

www.mosquitocreek.org

604-986-6715             

 

Cougar Creek Streamkeepers                      

www.vcn.bc.ca/cougarcr

 

Kanaka Education and Environmental Partnership Society

www.keeps.org

604-970-8404

 

Alouette River Management Society                                 

www.alouetteriver.org

604-467-6401             

 

 

WETLANDS

 

Balance Ecological    

www.balance-ecological.com           

 

North Shore Wetland Partners                               

www.nswetlandpartners.com                        

 

Burns Bog Conservation Society                                         

www.burnsbog.org

604-572-0373             

 

The Crazy Boggers (Camosun Bog Restoration Group)

camosunbog.org                                

 

 

OCEAN & SHORELINES

 

Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup                        

www.shorelinecleanup.ca                 

1-877-427-2422                     

 

Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation

Burrard Inlet Restoration Pilot Program

1-800-387-9853                     

                       

West Vancouver Shoreline Preservation Society             

www.westvanshoreline.ca

 

North Vancouver Save Our Shores Society                       

www.nv-saveourshores.ca

 

Wreck Beach Preservation Society

www.wreckbeach.org

 

 

PARKS

 

Canadian Parks & Wilderness Society (BC Chapter)                                 

cpawsbc.org

604-685-7445, ext. 0  

 

Pacific Parklands Foundation

www.pacificparklands.com

604-451-6168             

 

Pacific Spirit Park Society                

West Area Park Office                                   

604-224-5739                                     

 

Hastings Park Conservancy

www.hastingspark.ca

 

Jericho Stewardship Group                         

 

Stanley Park Ecology Society                                              

stanleyparkecology.ca                                   

604-257-6908 

 

Lighthouse Park Preservation Society                   

www.lpps.ca

 

Burnaby Lake Park Association

www.burnabylakepark.ca      

604-520-6442             

 

Friends of Cypress Provincial Park Society

www.cypresspark.ca                          

           

Minnekhada Park Association

www.minnekhada.ca

 

 

FORESTS

 

Canadian Urban Forest Network

tcf-fca.ca/programs/urbanforestry/cufn                  

 

Tree Canada

treecanada.ca                        

613-567-5545

 

Wildlife Tree Stewardship Program

 

Tree City                    

treecitycanada.ca                              

604-215-1914             

 

Tree Keepers program                                 

treekeepers.ca                       

 

Old Growth Conservancy Society               

ogcs.ca

 

Sunnyside Acres Heritage Society              

www.sunnysideacres.ca

604-501-5158             

 

 

URBAN FARMING

 

Edible Garden Project                                              

ediblegardenproject.com

604-987-8138, ext. 231          

 

Fresh Roots Society                                      

freshrootsurbancsa.wordpress.com  

778-862-3276             

 

The Sharing Farm Society                                        

www.sharingfarm.ca

604-227-6210

                       

North Surrey Organic Garden Society       

nscommunitygarden.wordpress.com                        

 

 

LAND CONSERVATION

 

Nature Trust of BC                                       

www.naturetrust.bc.ca

604-924-9771             

 

Land Conservancy of BC                                          

blog.conservancy.bc.ca

 

 

WILDLIFE

 

World Wildlife Foundation                                     

www.wwf.ca

1-800-26-PANDA (1-800-267-2632)               

 

The Pacific WildLife Foundation                                         

www.pwlf.org

 

BC Wildlife Federation                                             

bcwf.net

604-882-9988

 

Native Plants Society of BC (NPSBC)

www.npsbc.ca

604-255-5719

 

Invasive Species Council of BC

www.bcinvasives.ca                           

1-888-933-3722                     

                       

Wild Bird Trust of British Columbia                        

www.wildbirdtrust.org

604-922-1550             

 

Pacific Salmon Foundation

www.psf.ca

604-664-7664

 

Coastal Painted Turtle Project                    

www.facebook.com/paintedturtleproject                             

 

Amphibians of the Sunshine Coast                                     

rainfrog.ca                             

 

Fraser River Sturgeon Conservation Society                     

www.frasersturgeon.com

604-664-7664, ext. 107          

 

North Shore Black Bear Society                  

northshorebears.com

604-317-4911             

 

 

NATURALISTS

 

Nature Conservancy Canada (BC Chapter)

www.natureconservancy.ca/en/where-we-work/british-columbia

1-888-404-8428 (in BC)

 

BC Nature - Federation of BC Naturalists

www.bcnature.ca

 

Young Naturalists' Club of BC

www.ync.ca

604-985-3057

 

Nature Vancouver (Vancouver Natural History Society)

www.naturevancouver.ca

604-737-3074

 

White Rock and Surrey Naturalists

www.facebook.com/WRSnaturalists

                      

 

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Posted by: Charles Montgomery on January 15, 2014 at 5:06 pm

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!

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