DIALOG and Fast + Epp have come together to give timber a second life by creating public furniture made of offcut cross-laminated timber (CLT) for the Vancouver Street Dance Festival in downtown Vancouver on August 6.
The ongoing research collaboration came out of a conversation between DIALOG Intern Architect, Edward Park, and Fast + Epp’s Concept Lab Manager, Brandon Sullivan, when they saw Fast + Epp had an excess stock of CLT leftover from their structural testing program, all going to the landfill.
Ideas of redirecting the excess CLT away from landfills and repurposing it as public placemaking for the local community inspired the opportunity to build furniture for the Robson Square for the Vancouver Street Dance Festival – a great starting point to provide simple furniture to support a volunteer-led, non-profit public event.
The Vancouver Street Dance Festival showcases diverse street dance culture with a day of free performances, dance battles, live music and DJs, and workshops. Nine benches were created for the festival, used as DJ decks, dance props, and a place of rest for the hundreds of spectators. All benches were donated afterwards to individuals in the community.
In addition to public placemaking, Fast + Epp’s research Concept Lab recently purchased a milling robot arm – a further potential for experimenting with the fabrication capacity of offcut timber, whether it be for furniture, art, or public and cultural installations. DIALOG has been working with Fast + Epp’s Concept Lab to use computational design to automate the fabrication of these various installations. To take circular use of mass timber one step further, DIALOG is also looking for ways to incorporate even more of this excess timber material into its office renovations.
The bulk material has also been given to a local community maker space, MakerLabs in East Vancouver, for local creators to experiment with, as well as conversations started with local non-profits like Fatimia in Surrey, BC, to provide outdoor furniture to their organizations. DIALOG has also submitted for a City of Vancouver placemaking grant.
About the Vancouver Street Dance Festival
Put on by the Vancouver Street Dance Association, VSDF’s mission is to provide opportunities for all people to learn, experience, and celebrate street dance culture while strengthening its communities. It provides programming taught by highly skilled and knowledgeable local and international artists to the Vancouver Street Dance Community. VSDF offers financial support to individuals demonstrating dedication, excellence, or extraordinary ability within the Vancouver Street Dance Community. It organizes events that provide opportunities for dancers to gain knowledge, demonstrate their skills, and compete for recognition & awards.