Thursday, June 23, 2011

Early work, 1970s

Some photos of early co-design work pioneered by Stanley King.  In this case, the site was a huge parking lot in downtown Vancouver.  Stanley organized a "City on the Wall" and also a "Design- in". During the site walk, teens analyzed the car lot for sight, smell, sound, movement and circulation.  The resulting drawings illustrated public desire for activities supported by abundant green space, a dome with a skating rink, outdoor eating, water features.  

People asked for car-free pedestrian spaces for relaxing, socializing, eating.   The ideas, drawn from ordinary citizens, demonstrate how co-design can sensitively tap into citizen's desires for how they wish to live.  Drawings were given to the design team led by Arthur Erickson who designed Robson Square.  Erickson asked Cornelia Oberlander to design the landscape:  the first roof garden in North America. 
These still shots are from Chairs for Lovers, a documentary film directed by Barrie Howells for the National Film Board of Canada.
Robson Square Before
Robson Square (after) designed by Arthur Erickson

children ask the artist to draw a dome with skating underneath

the parking lot that became Robson Square: view of the law courts, now the Vancouver Art Gallery

Stanley King starting the "city on the wall": "imagine you were here when the land was new...."
Stanley encourages kids to draw anything they want in a city

city on the wall: "Do you want to live here?"  They answer "no".

teens analyze the site for its environmental features:  light levels, sound, smell, movement and circulation, mood.  After walking the site, they asked for trees and green space, places for socializing, eating, and "chairs for lovers".

eating outdoors, sidewalk cafes, (rare in the seventies in North America)
designers responded to the desire for greenspace by creating the first roof garden in North America

water features

In the early seventies, the public asked for pedestrian spaces when, at the time, it was popular for planners to design with the automobile in mind