City of Vancouver has generated a document which outlines its commitment to make environmental sustainability, housing affordability and livability a primary goal in all city planning decisions - the EcoDensity Charter. Architecture for Humanity - Vancouver sought to use this document as a stepping stone to a larger discussion of urban issues.
AfH-v sought to engender discussions exploring how humanity, sociability and density may be achieved through innovations in the interlinked disciplines of architecture, urban planning, industrial design and communication design. A public event was conceived that would address how urban densification can promote better communities, sustainability, as well as culturally stimulating experiences.
The format for the resulting project consisted of two complimentary components: an exhibition and a full-day forum session. Both were located at Vancouver's Grace Gallery.
The exhibition consisted of a body of works that addressed different scales and registers of urban life. They ranged from residential building design to household products to even web-sites that served as a locus for individuals interested in smart densification to communicate.
The forum was a one-day event featuring presenters representing a variety of disciplines, from architects to urban planners, and industrial designers to academics. They addresses a variety of issues on urban densification and sustainable design in Vancouver. Topics included laneway and secondary housing, participatory strategies for neighbourhood density planning, and monetary and social incentives available for encouraging urban densification and sustainability.
The week-long exhibition had a full-house opening night that was attended by the former Director of Planning Brent Toderian, as well as various city councillors. The accompanying essay and presentation that Pat Chan wrote and gave for the exhibition was eventually rewritten and published as a chapter in The Domestic Space Reader edited by Profs. Kathy Mezei and Chiara Briganti through the University of Toronto Press.
Patrick Chan - organizer
In association with:
Neal LaMontagne + Katherine Isaac (Urban Planners, City of Vancouver)
Joaquin Karakas (Urban Designer, HB LANARC Planning + Design)
Bryn Davidson (Architect, Rao-D Cityworks/ Dynamic Cities Project)
Robert Chester (Architect, Robert Chester Architects)
Maged Senbel (Professor of Urban Design, UBC)
Peter Cardew (Architect, Peter Cardew Architects)
Pat Chan (Design Lecturer, Emily Carr University)
Michael Barber (Designer/Lecturer, BCIT)
Theresa Fresco (Graduate, University of the Fraser Valley)