Friday night was the CityStudio Holiday Blast. Held at the Wise Hall off the Drive, the event was a celebration of the first year of the Studio’s incorporation of innovative energy and ideas produced from students in six post secondary institutions with the practical expertise and resources from the City of Vancouver to implement projects in Vancouver.
Growing from a concept to develop dialogue, design and implementation for projects that promote and facilitate the goals of the Greenest City Action Plan, the CityStudio aims to “make big ideas impact reality on the ground.” The function of the program as stated by its Co-Directors Janet Moore and Duane Elverum is to promote:
1) Learning – through innovative projects with opportunities to co-create solutions between students and professionals,
2) Leadership – by allowing students to take leadership in projects that may have real-world impacts,
3) Launching – of projects, ideas and competitions with access to resources and partnerships to ensure that impact is possible.
The varied work displayed at the event ranged from waste management video projects, to bench designs that capture waste wood, to urban repair site plans from BCIT’s Architectural Science students.
A panel of presenters also presented a prize for the top two student groups. The prize being dinner with Mayor Robertson.
The winning projects were two groups each looking at:
- Ways of identifying and re-energizing Orphaned Spaces – ‘empty’ and underutilized plots throughout the city.
- Systems and strategies around food waste in a Compost Collective.
Logan Sturrock, one of the group members for the Orphaned Spaces team of undergrad students, suggested that the value of his and the other students work was in seeing where “good sparks fly” when barriers of the City’s process were pushed. The value in learning through a collaborative design studio environment is that it they as students are “connecting people to spaces and developing a City Literacy”.
Not only a showcase and recognition of the work done by students and staff of the studio so far, the Holiday Blast was also a launch of the projects and opportunities anticipated for the CityStudio’s second year.
In 2013 the CityStudio looks forward to launching a much expanded in scale and scope Orphaned Spaces Project. Students are gearing up to identify, examine and map the underutilized spaces throughout the City of Vancouver.