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Canadian Urbanism Uncovered

Seeing Consciousness

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I walked into a room one day, and for a moment I could literally see the fierce neural blaze of consciousness in the people around me, and the shimmering flux of neuroelectricity radiating from their nervous systems.

In the weeks preceding this experience I’d lost two family members, so was probably more attuned than usual to the great privilege and possibilities of being alive. My own mind was in overdrive, and I started seeing in a new way.

The insight was revelatory. People were lit up like tungsten filaments. It made me want to bypass these crude digital communications and just hack into individual human consciousnesses directly.

I didn’t mention it at the time. I talked about the weather instead because it seems to make people more comfortable. Snow in April? Well, I never. You are the pure cold fire of consciousness. Pass the brie.

This is how I know my people. The light in your eyes is clear and playful and sparkling and alive, and as powerful and piercing as a searchlight.


Derek DeLand has done tall towers, urban tech hub, entertainment, art schools, theatres, residential, seniors housing, Passive Haus, master plans, skateplazas, skateparks, public art + competitions. Vancouver-based with built work in BC, Canada, Seattle, UK, Mexico + even Paris. Educated at UofC + UBC SALA. Featured in Migrating Landscapes for the Venice Biennale of Architecture. Won IOC/IAKS, BCRMCA + Ontario Concrete awards. Writer for Architizer, Canadian Architect, Spacing, international design books + magazines. Public speaker in Los Angeles + the UK. Derek’s architecture is idea-driven, sculptural, movement-oriented, tectonic + experiential.


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