Friday, June 26, 2009

Reece Terris - Ought Apartment

The Vancouver Art Gallery is currently hosting an exhibit by artist Reece Terris. The installation, called Ought Apartment, consist of a tower that rises from the main floor to the full height of the central rotunda, in which sections from six apartments are stacked one on top of another. Each apartment is furnished with discarded items from the 1950s (on the lowest level) up to the present decade (at the top). Through this process of “making strange,” Terris invites viewers to consider their relationship to the consumption and construction of domestic space and the role this space plays in locating a public as social subjects.

Walking through the installation is like walking through time. What is most amazing is that Ought Apartment is made up entirely of reclaimed materials - thus showing how easy it is to furnish an apartment of any era with recycled goods.

World Changing Careers Symposium

From July 23-27 is the World Changing Careers Symposium at UBC. Come to design a sustainable future through your career - whether you’re interested in science, governance, education, business, health, economics, media, cleantech and energy, or agriculture. This is a rare opportunity to engage with the best minds, the brightest ideas, leaders of today, and visionaries of tomorrow. It’s your chance to learn skills and ideas to drive the world in an exciting new direction and give you the inside track on the jobs of the future. For more information visit

You can also view a poster for this event here.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Melting Men

Although this installation is about 6 month old, I thought I'd bring it back to light as we are now in the northern hemisphere summer. Brazilian artist, Nele Azevedo's installation of frozen men attempts to show how the effects of melting ice can be felt worldwide. The artist metaphorically brings the Arctic ice melt to the equator by showcasing a number of thought-provoking figures, carefully sculpted out of ice, who seem to sit in contemplation as the midday heat slowly erodes their bodies.

Reference: Iconocast

Friday, June 19, 2009

The Pain of Bike Riding

I have recently started biking to work and around town a lot more often. In the past, I haven't had the best 'bike karma' - from passing out and landing in a gutter in Bali to flailing out of control and skidding down a dirt path in China. As such, I now tend to be a bit more cautious while riding my bike.

Bike riding is an incredibly efficient, clean and healthy way to get around. The video "Bicycles, Rolling Stops, and the Idaho Stop" from Spencer Boomhower on Vimeo briefly discusses how efficient bike riding is.

However, due to the fact that bikers share the road with cars, buses, trams, etc. many accidents still do occur. The Guardian is running a discussion on What's your worst cycling accident? While this is not an attempt to scare bike riders off the road, it does point out that we all have to be careful when using our shared roadways.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Apartment Rooftop Wind Turbine in Sweden

A Swedish property developer goes green by powering an apartment building with a rooftop wind turbine.

Source: Thomson Reuters

Friday, June 12, 2009

Transformational Thought, Design, People

Cascadia has recently released their 2 Quarter 2009 edition of trim tab. Some of the articles that this edition features includes the South Lake Union Discover Center, how passion and the power of the individual can make transformative change, economic benefits and living buildings and thoughts surrounding density and sustainability.

In the article 'Density and Sustainability - A Radical Perspective', the author, Jason McLennan, asks the question, "What building heights and urban densities result in the maximum benefits to culture, society and the environment?" The author argues the excessive urban density is not the most sustainable answer and that there should be limits to the density of our cities and to the heights of the buildings. He discusses a "sweet spot" or optimal range that results in the kind of urbanity that best meets our needs and should guide our long-term vision of the cities of tomorrow and outlines that the "sweet spot" tends to be in the 4 to 8 story height range at densities between 30 and 100 units/acre. The author argues that In this proposed range, the best results are achieved: enough density to allow for car-free living in a city that is resilient and walkable, while keeping us close enough to the ground to maintain our relationship with the earth and with one another - thus looking at density from both a spatial as well as a vertical perspective.

To learn more about Cascadia and trim tab you may visit the following link.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Mega Van #1 Electric Vehicle

A very cool little van...