Design Residency in Memory of Tom Sutherland – The Vancouver Edition
Each year, we fund an annual design residency program to honour the memory of Tom Sutherland, our former managing principal who passed away in 2015. Tom was passionate about making a difference in our communities, and helped establish this as a core value of our culture. He loved to create in a workshop environment and always led with talent, commitment, and ambition in support of finding the very best solutions for our community. He was also a believer in the importance of investing in young talent.
The DIALOG Design Residency is an amalgamation of all of those things.
Students from universities across Canada – and this year, one US institution – are brought to a DIALOG studio to participate in a week-long design sprint, where they are presented with a challenge unique to that city and asked to come up a solution that they will present to the studio at the end of the week.
The 2020 Design Residency took place in Vancouver between February 17 and 21, 2020. This year’s design challenge involved Vancouver’s iconic English Bay waterfront. While being a postcard feature of Vancouver’s urban form, this beach-lined city edge turns the gaze of residents and visitors outward. The city’s core is left behind, absent of the plazas, squares, and markets that typically define urban public life.
Nine students from across Canada and the United States were brought to Vancouver and tasked with reimagining English Bay. This iconic destination within Vancouver is regularly challenged by highly-used bike and pedestrian routes, an influx of summer tourists, and seasonal festivals. Design Residency participants were tasked with developing a strategy to re-connect this space to the city and bring new life to it for Vancouver residents.
The cohort analyzed the site, listened to guest lectures, and were prodded by questions from our Vancouver studio to embolden their week-long design process. The outcome of their tremendous effort was a new vision of English Bay as a site of sociability, human wellbeing, and environmental restoration.
Have a look through the video, slideshow and final presentation below to learn more about the students’ experience during their time in Vancouver, and their insightful solution to the design challenge.
An Unique Design Experience – Wrap-Up Video
We had a video crew follow the Design Residency participants for their highly immersive week in the Vancouver studio and at English Bay to document the process.
Watch this short video to see exactly what the students experienced, and what they came up with!