July 31, 2007

Future Wood exhibition

How is one of the world's most ancient building materials getting a high-tech makeover?

VBD found out with a visit the Architectural Centre Gallery in Vancouver and the exhibition, "Future Wood".

The exhibition features building designs and concepts that use wood with a high-tech treatment. Whether it involves laser cutting or computer-aided wood routing, the projects are intended to show off wood as a material of the 21st century.

Oliver Neumann curated the show. He's a professor of architecture at the University of British Columbia and practices architecture in Vancouver. And he gave VBD a tour.

Helvetica, the second screening

VBD hasn't bothered to mention Helvetica, the film, because it was sold out in Vancouver. Even more depressing, Helvetica director, Gary Hustwit, above, will be taking questions at the screening that you aren't going to be able to attend. Awww - but wait, despair not!

The Graphic Designers of Canada have just announced it, there's going to be a second screening. Hurrah. Details.

How can you say no to a feature length film about typography on its 50th anniversary. That's right. You can't.

July 30, 2007

Portrait of three young designers

A decade ago, Jill Anholt, an instructor at Emily Carr Institute of Art + Design, Greg Boothroyd of Patkau Architects, and Alex Percy of Acton Ostry Architects graduated from architecture school in Vancouver.

In a three-part interview, Vancouver By Design, spoke with these three young designers about the past, present, and future of architecture in Vancouver and the role they think they should play.

VBD met them in a busy Five Acres pub at the nexus of Gastown, Chinatown, and the Downtown Eastside and bought them a few rounds and recorded Minus Ten Plus Ten.

July 27, 2007

The Flare of Wide-Leg Jeans

My latest denim pronouncement in the Georgia Straight. Actually, I just cribbed advice on wide-legs from Jo Ha of Dutil and the seasoned softball catcher and Dish Denim designer Christina Yeung.

July 9, 2007

Kind of like the Sartorialist but for BC architecture

Received a nice note from Dave. A fellow architecture/design blogger: Pacific Northwest Regional Architecture.

Verdict on his site: like it. Here's Dave's mission:

"This is a blog about a style of architecture found in the Pacific Northwest. The style is often referred to as Westcoast Contemporary or Northwest Regionalism. My plan for this blog is to just post as many pictures and information as I can. If you have any pictures of houses or buildings that fit this style or you have any info to share about this subject, send me an email: dave@pnwra.com"

But WHO is Dave?

July 6, 2007

Woodlands Memorial Garden opens

Arthur Thomas Davis had epilepsy. In the 1920s he was committed to the Woodlands Institution, a residential hospital for the developmentally challenged and people with mental disabilities.

Davis died there in the 1930s and he was buried at the Woodlands Cemetery with 3000 deceased patients from Essondale (now Riverview), the Colony Farm facility for the elderly, and Woodlands.

Jump decades ahead. Woodlands became a residential school for children with mental disabilities. As determined in a 2002 report, the students were subjected to physical, mental and sexual abuse.

In this period, hospital administrators decided to remove headstones. The headstones were tossed into a ravine or used to pave a picnic patio for staff. For many, the memory of the cemetery is forgotten.

Then the school was shut down. An oral history project was started by Simon Fraser University. Former patients and staff talked about a lost cemetery. The information spurred a patient family and survivor group to find out who was buried where.

Arthur Thomas Davis' descendants and other patient families began to lobby the provincial government to address the desecration of the cemetery. Erik Lees, landscape and memorial designer, took on the job restoring the site.

Davis' headstone was found and set with 600 other headstones into a series of plinths and memory walls and a garden is built.

On June 22, the Woodlands Memorial Garden officially opened and the descendants of Davis gave VBD a tour.

July 4, 2007

Design bytes - Chloe Angus comeback kid, Mara Gottler in the Hobbit House

Chloe Angus gave VBD a tour of her studio in advance of the Leo Awards last month. Chloe's clothes would be featured on trophy bearers at the awards show. But having something to drape on the back of any models is a credit to Chloe because earlier this year things looked to be on the brink of disaster. Check out her comeback story.

Mara Gottler is a designer by night but by day she is a wardrobe designer for Bard on the Beach. Things are underway but the job isn't done. Here's what Mara wrote to VBD about the latest at the Bard:
"This week as we are in the homestretch for the final show at Bard and I am trapped in the wardrobe all day and some evenings too, depending on previews.

We are currently working at the Observatory (at Vanier Park), in what I call, "Hobbit House," as it is the small room left of the telescope. It is all ivy-covered on the outside and set into a hill, so it's adorable. The real bonus is the air-conditioning and the flush toilets, not a small thing considering Bard's camper-style accomodations at the tent..."
Sounds like Mara found her little piece of the Shire (commode and all) at Bard. The clothes are lovely (I saw them at their off-site workshop at the Vancouver Playhouse's warehouse), Mara, so bravo and break a leg.