I'm working with a young architect, an up-and-coming public artist, a new and innovative social enterprise, the BCIT ironworkers program, and a talented photographer to develop one badass parklet: a public space that takes over street parking.
Consulting for the owner of Prado Cafe on Commercial Drive, we are one of only a few parklet teams accepted into the City's 2013 parklet pilot program, and we are the only team on the Drive. As a resident of the neighbourhood, it's important for me to bring together a great team in order to create an interesting public space for our community.
The architect and I have sought to honour the conversational qualities of this new space by working with Jordan Bent, a visual artist with a prolific portfolio of work. Ever seen those huge blocks of text above the Cambie or Granville bridges? Or on the walls of the Little Mountain Gallery, Chapel Arts, or Bitter? He did those. We will work with Jordan to garner the words and sentences of passersby, after which he'll distill and synthesize them into abstract metaphoric images.
We''ll then bring the imagery to Derek from the Laser Cutter Cafe, who will laser etch the designs onto the wood structure. We believe this is the right aesthetic and conceptual choice for our design: the wood will actually embody the words of the community! It's going to look slick.
We have reached out to students at BCIT, who will be welding and fabricating our table and bench structures. Since they are students, their work is inexpensive! We also wanted to give them an opportunity to work on a project with real consequences, one they can visit and share with friends.
Finally, while building the structure a photographer will be creating a time-lapse video of the process, and looping it in the cafe for patrons to view. I hope you'll agree that we have maximized this collaborative opportunity for a really awesome endeavour. Come, sit and enjoy when it's completed over the next few months!
Funded by Vancouver, BC (November 2013)