Why I Design 2016 -

Friday, November 4, 2016 - 19:00

Designers! Drinks! Discussion!

Designers talk about what they do
and why they’re doing it in Vancouver.

You are invited to explore and celebrate innovation in action. Dozens of designers, stationed throughout the museum, discuss their work with you during this special evening.

Attendees will discover the stories behind the development of everyday technologies and cool things they’ve never seen before. Felix Böck from ChopValue will present his innovative products made from recycled chopsticks, and Hapa Landscape Architecture Collaborative will discuss some of the city’s most exciting new building projects. People can get a firsthand look at VeloMetro’s fully-enclosed, electric assist cycles, and ask The Alinker about their three-wheeled walking bike designed to help people stay active.

Ask the designers—ranging from those launching their careers to innovators in international corporations— what motivates them, how they do what they do, and why Vancouver inspires them to keep doing it.

+ Cash bar!

One Night Only!

Friday, November 4, 7:00-11:00pm. *The party begins when you arrive.



Adults: $18.00 in advance, $23.00 at the door;

Members/Students: $15.00 in advance, $20.00 at the door. 






Name Presenting Bio

Oldooz Pooyanfar, Electronics Engineer / Simon Fraser University


Sensors for monitoring bee colonies

Oldooz Pooyanfar received her BASc in electronics engineering from SFU in 2014. She is currently doing her MSc in the Mechatronics Department. Her work is aimed at helping agriculture and apiculture industries by observing the health of bee colonies.

Felix Böck, Wood Technology and Industrial Engineer / ChopValue Manufacturing


Repurposed bamboo for furniture/decor

Wood technology and industrial engineer Felix Böck is working towards his PhD at UBC. His firm is a product development and design start-up that innovates with recycled chopsticks as its raw material.

*Read an interview with Felix here.

Joe Dahmen, Co-Director / AFJD 


Sustainable masonry

Joe Dahmen, of design and research firm AFJD, is Assistant Professor at the UBC School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture. He is an expert on sustainable building technology and a 2016-17 scholar at the Peter Wall Institute of Advanced Studies.

Riley McFerrin, Founder / Hinterland Design


Pillowy Bench: A wood and upholstered bench

Riley McFerrin is a visual artist, designer, and builder at Hinterland, whose woodworkers and craftspeople build by hand with natural materials, including salvaged, local, and eco products.

Patrick Christie, Wood Product Designer + Danielle Gilday and Logan Gilday, Co-Founders / Yew WoodShop


Wood Design

Patrick Christie operates design studio Daly Co. out of Yew WoodShop, a small-scale production workshop. Logan Gilday, an industrial designer who runs Yew WoodShop with his partner Danielle Gilday, upcylces wood in order to produce functional furniture.

Barbara Alink, Inventor / The Alinker


High-tech walker / walking aid

Barbara Alink travelled the world for 10 years managing reconstruction and restoration projects. She brings the diversity of her experiences to connect people through design, in order to help build a more inclusive global community.

Read an interview with Barbara Alink here.

Alex Henderson, Founder / Henderson Dry Goods


Laser cut wood works Alex Henderson studied fine arts at Langara College and earned a degree in industrial design from Emily Carr University in 2006. She worked for John Fluevog as a designer and manufacturing liaison before founding Henderson Dry Goods.

Pierce Jordan, Industrial and Graphic Designer / Pierce Jordan Designs


Wax beam light fixture Pierce Jordan designs experience-based installations with an emphasis on sound-and-movement-reactive lighting. His work melds historical reference with minimal modern design.

Shannon Mortimer, Industrial Designer / Objects with Personality


Ceramics / 3D Shannon Mortimer is a designer-ceramicist and recent grad from Emily Carr University’s Industrial Design Program. Her work explores the intersection of digital manufacturing technologies and traditional craft practices.

Radu Postole, Entrepreneur and Engineer, and Jeremy Takada Balden, Consultant / TetraGear Inc.


Innovative safety devices for people with disabilities TetraGear co-founder Radu Postole, who studied integrated engineering at UBC, began with Tetra as a volunteer student, designing and building innovative devices for people with disabilities. Jeremy Balden coordinates tasks required to bring TetraGear's lights to the market; he has a building engineering background.

Kody Baker, Co-Founder / VeloMetro Mobility


Electrically-assisted, fully covered bikes

Kody Baker, who holds a BASc in Mechanical Engineering from UBC and a Management of Technology MBA from SFU, is a technology manager and entrepreneur. He has brought to market products such as electric vehicles, biomass energy systems, and process control systems.

Read an interview with with Kody Baker here.

Glenis Canete, Landscape Architect and Vivianne Harms, Landscape Designer / Hapa Collaborative


Models of the Jim Deva Plaza Megaphone and the Foot of Londsdale Plaza Megabench

Glenis Canete has a design sensibility grounded in urban and landscape planning. Vivianne Harms brings professional experience in architecture and public art.

Char Kennedy, Industrial Designer / Char Kennedy Design


Table mirrors

Char Kennedy, who received a degree in industrial design from Emily Carr University, works in an East Van creative design studio. She focuses on objects that engage interaction and question the everyday.

Melissa Higgs, Architect, Steve DiPasquale, Intern Architect, and Ali Kenyon, Designer / HCMA


Design for Social Impact Architect Melissa Higgs is passionate about creating innovative public buildings where communities come together. At architecture and design firm HCMA, she focuses on recreation facilities and arts and culture projects. Steve DiPasquale is an intern architect. Ali Kenyon has a background in product and exhibition design.

Brian Giesbrecht, Product Designer / Form3 and Noel Buckley, Owner / KNOLLY Bikes


Mountain bike Brian Giesbrecht, a Bachelor of Design Emily Carr graduate, is an industrial design consultant who works at Form3. He has collaborated with clients ranging from start-ups to corporations. Form3 client Noel Buckley of KNOLLY bikes has a degree in physics, experience in manufacturing, and a career in engineering..

Gabe Lam, Footwear Designer and Developer / Native Shoes


Apparel A lifelong sneakerhead, Gabe Lam has had the privilege of combining his passion for shoes with his background in industrial design as a designer and developer at footwear company Native Shoes.

Evan Roche, Designer and Hardware Engineer / Jimmi


3D bioprinter In 2015, Evan Roche co-founded Jimmi, a firm that focuses on designing for applications of digital fabrication technology. He also launched the Buildclass workshop series, which educates participants about hardware development for 3D bioprinting.

Rory McGuire, Game and Design Director, and Taylor Fales, Lead Designer / Blackbird Interactive


Video Games

Rory McGuire has worked for 13 years on AAA hardcore games like Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak, as well as titles such as Disney's Where's My Water? For 10 years, Taylor Fales has designed gameplay at Relic, Smoking Gun and Blackbird, an independent game studio.

Clotilde Orozco and Alejandro Sanguino, Founders / Abubilla Design Studio


Baby crib

With a playful passion for wood, modernity, and recycling, architects Clotilde Orozco and Alejandro Sanguino founded their studio in 2012. Their first design collaboration was their daughter’s crib.

Nancy Knaggs, Program Head / MAKE+, BCIT


Instrumented hockey skate

Nancy Knaggs works in applied research at BCIT, from which she received her diploma in robotics and automation in 2005. Nancy lends her skills in programming, designing, fabricating, and documenting to a wide range of applied research projects with companies, inventors, and entrepreneurs.

Jeremy T. Lee, Industrial Designer and Founder / Konisa Studio


Stackable kid's chair 

Jeremy T. Lee, an industrial design graduate of Emily Carr University, runs Konisa Studio, a wood design innovation start-up centered around sustainability and lean production.

Lexie Owen, Project Director and Curator / WNDW


Light installation Lexie Owen, artist-in-residence at Burrard View Fieldhouse 2015-2017, is an interdisciplinary designer of sculpture, craft, social practice initiatives, and curatorial projects. She is project director and curator of itinerant gallery space WNDW.

Alixzandar Morle, Product Designer and Mural Artist / Engine Design Studios


Brand concept Alixzandar Morle’s design work focuses on strategic branding, user experience, package design, and furniture and home products, with an emphasis on using sustainable materials.



Visionary Partners: