Museum of Vancouver invites Vancouverites to explore and celebrate innovation in action. 25 designers stationed throughout the museum’s galleries discuss approaches to their practice in this personable, lively single afternoon and evening event.

Why I Design spotlights the process of invention and immersion. This year’s Why I Design pays particular attention to the emerging forces behind a Circular Economy, which include elements of wholeness, inclusion, knowledge, connection, and community in addition to reconciliation and decolonization as a regional factor. The curation of this year's exhibition reaches beyond traditional design to include people who are making design happen by bringing together people, systems, and materials which are striving to develop meaningful impact within their communities. The “Why” behind their actions and developments are the distinguishing features that separate a Circular Economy from an Industrial Economy. The critical functions of the circular economy are the human factors of relationships, connections, sharing, and personal health and growth. This year's event aims to gather a diverse group of people who represent elements of this new economy; a practice that embraces purpose-driven sustainability, material repurposing and reimagining how we do business.  Assembling local contributors in the same room will foster key discussions about what the impacts of a circular economy can, or potentially should be.

Why I Design extends beyond traditional art display or trade show. It provides an alternative to standard presentations by removing walls between disciplines and between designers and the public. Why I Design is a rare local opportunity to interact with the designers of the products and environments that shape our lives. The participating designers represent enormously diverse creativity. Join them to learn about their latest ideas and developments.

Cash Bar available with proof of age. Snacks will be served.

Date: Saturday, November 2, 2019

Time: 7:00pm -10:30pm

Admission: *$20 Advance | $25 General Admission + At the Door | $22 MOV Members

*Advance ticket price ends October 25 at 5pm. Prices to do not include GST.

Event Ticket includes FREE admission to our afternoon (1-3pm) Panel Discussion. See Below. Event Ticket additionally includes free admission to our feature exhibitions Haida Now, and Wild Things: The Power of Nature in our Lives (Reg. $20.50).

Why I Design: Unpacking a Circular Economy

What constitutes a circular economy? What are designers responsibility to its health and development? How can local design practices build and sustain a working circular economy under current global demands? These questions will be addressed by our panelists, all of whom are working in various components of the local design community.  It is a challenge to talk about models for a circular economy in design as case studies about it have emerged from many different (academic) sectors and disciplines. The goal for this year’s Why I Design is to gather a diverse group of people who represent elements of this new economy in an effort to unpack its challenges and accomplishments. Once these contributors are gathered in the same room we can effectively begin to talk about what the circular economy is. Our discussion will reflect Why I Design’s curatorial approach which extends beyond those who might call themselves designers to include people who are making design happen by bringing together people, systems, and materials to develop meaningful impact within their communities.

Our panel features: Adam Corneil of Unbuilders Deconstruction, Lara Kehler of Fraser Valley Free Learners, Dr Victor Martinez of Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Colienne Regout of Look4Loops, Michelle Lorna Nahanee of Decolonizing Practices and moderator Jocelyn Macdougall.

Date: Saturday November 2, 2019

Time: 1:00pm – 3:00pm

Admission: Free with Why I Design evening program ticket.

Designer Highlights

Binners Project is a group of waste-pickers aided by support staff dedicated to improving their economic opportunities, and reducing the stigma they face as informal recyclable collectors. Through their programs, they empower binners as part of the circular economy -- building a community from the bottom up. They offer community economic development programs for binners to develop skills in waste education and sorting. These programs help residences, offices, and events increase their social impact and waste diversion.

Rangate was started in 2007 by Greg Godbout with the intention of supplying high-quality tooling and equipment to small to medium-sized woodworking and joinery shops. Over the years, Rangate has evolved its business model to provide a range of products and services that support their customers through the journey of designing and crafting projects from solid wood. Today their company stands by their pillars; Knowledge, Product and Connect, and operates an ecosystem of companies which include CutterShare - A tool sharing program and Alpine Workshops  - a series of technical workshops hosted between Colorado and Vancouver.

Ronnie Dean Harris aka Ostwelve, is a Stō:lo/St’át'imc/Nlaka'pamux multimedia artist based in Langley, BC. He has worked on number of media projects, as an actor and composer and has also been very active in creating and facilitating workshop programs for youth in media arts and hip-hop. Currently, he is working as the Program Director for “Reframing Relations” with the Community Arts Council of Vancouver delivering programming for indigenous and non-indigenous artists to interface with students and youth in schools and communities around the concept of reconciliation.

Tantalus Labs is committed to Sungrown cultivation of world-class cannabis products. Wholly owned and operated in British Columbia, we are a group of specialized scientists, engineers, and designers committed to the advancement of agricultural science.  They are leading a cultural revolution in sustainable cannabis cultivation, using the ideal, naturally occurring conditions found in beautiful BC to create an enhanced growing environment while reducing the negative impact on the planet’s resources.

InWithForward is a team of social scientists & designers who work with people, professionals and policymakers to make, test and spread social services and neighborhood networks. They do this by collecting local ethnographic data, testing & tweaking interventions, and creating immersive learning experiences to spread the thinking and practice. Over the last 10 years, InWithForward has worked across social issue areas in Australia, Europe, and Canada. Their specialties include behavior change, program development, policy implementation, service commissioning, service prototyping, policy development, social innovation, social impact, professional development, service design, user-centered design, ethnography, research, and social R&D.

Why I Design 2018 Highlights


Partners in reconciliation:


Institutional Partners: