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Canadian Urbanism Uncovered

Viva VDW!

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Alas, all good things must come to an end, and so it was just over a week ago the Vancouver Design Week (VDW) wrapped up, successfully having combined Vancouver Fashion Week with several well-known annual design events, including IDS West, Pecha Kucha, along with the announcement of the winners of the first ever City of Vancouver Urban Design Awards. Other highlights included the open studios and open houses (including LWPAC’s Urban Award winning Monad) that were open to the public. Congratulations to the organizers for finally getting what has been for so long just an idea off the ground, as we all look forward to future iterations of the event!

As would be expected of such an amphorous cross-disciplined happening, the best moments were the ones where different design realms suddenly became intertwined, such as the Built City @MOV lecture Fashioning Performance: Fabric and Urban Form, with Christopher Sharples, Principal of SHoP Architects in New York, who also spoke the morning after in the Dialog hosted Breakfast for Architects – put on by the Metro Vancouver Chapter of the RAIC.

And for those familiar with the recently released documentary Coast Modern, directors Gavin Froome and Mike Bernard spoke at Vancouver Special for one of their Parties for Architects (P4A). HCMA also opened their doors to their office, hosting an ‘architecture block party,’ which quickly became a wall-to-wall architect party, once the rain cleared the patio.

And while the VDW did so much, there is the potential for it to be much, much more, as it most certainly should’ve incorporated the talk by Swiss architects Herzog and DeMeuron’s and their musings on the new VAG (no design yet) in its fold. Neither could the organizers have known that Vancouver-based Urbanarium would put on its city wide Doors Open Vancouver the weekend after it finished, but such as it was.

In New York City, the AIA refers to October as ‘Archtober,’ as it is similarly a month of design inspired events, including the annual AIA conference of the NYC Chapter. With Buildex, the Vancouver Home + Design Show, and the AIBC annual conference all happening in October here in Vancouver, perhaps next year the VDW could become VDM. Either way, long live Vancouver Design Week/Month, and kudos again to Jennifer Cutbill and all the other hard working volunteers and contributors!

As a media sponsor for Vancouver Design Week, Spacing Vancouver will look forward to continuing the dialogue with the organizers of VDW.