Innovative designers use their skill and ideas to make cities. They manipulate form to create useful artefacts. Designer Omer Arbel and consulting engineer Eric Karsh are two leaders in Vancouver’s design community. Each has won global acclaim for innovative assemblies, objects, fixtures, and buildings. These two designers will present how they design—the alchemy they perform with the dross of wood, glass, concrete, steel and wire. Architecture critic/curator Trevor Boddy will moderate the evening.
The globular clusters of Omer Arbel’s hand-blown glass light fixtures have received international design prizes. Some have previously been installed in the lobby of London’s Victoria and Albert Museum. A South Surrey house designed by Arbel won the inaugural NewCity Design Award in 2012. Erick Karsh is one of Canada’s leading innovators in engineered wood. His projects include the UBC Earth Sciences complex for Busby Perkins Will and, with Michael Green Architects, the Ronald McDonald House and North Vancouver City Hall.
Based in Vancouver and Berlin, Omer Arbel explores the intrinsic mechanical, physical, and chemical qualities of materials as fundamental departure points for making work. His interdisciplinary practice spans multiple scales and cultural-economic contexts to include building, industrial design, materials research, sculpture, invention, and high craft manufacturing. Arbel’s work has been exhibited at the Victoria and Albert Museum, Spazio Rossana Orlandi, Mallett, and the Monte Clark Gallery, among others. Full bio here.
In 1998, Eric Karsh co-founded Equilibrium Consulting Inc. Always sensitive to efficient design and careful detailing, Eric has extensive experience in all common building materials. Since his arrival in British Columbia however, Eric has become a leader in timber engineering and construction, and has earned international recognition on a number of landmark timber projects such as the multiple award-winning Prince George Airport, the Raleigh-Durham Airport expansion and the recently completed and innovative UBC Earth Sciences Building. Full bio here.
Trevor Boddy is a critic/curator of contemporary architecture/urbanism and a Vancouver-based consulting urban designer. Full bio here.