First published in Lunch, Volume 11: Domestication
A cross-section of kids describe their version of a “dream house” so that their ideas can be visually rendered with the seriousness and earnestness afforded to any adult-conceived design proposal. The resultant images, combined with their corresponding children-authored captions, aim to expand how we typically view the house by enabling marginalized voices to contribute their thoughts on domesticity.
Roisin, age 4
My house is... a red and white house with windows and carrots on the roof... lots of bricks... windows made of sticks and they would be triangles, very yellow.
Violet, age 7
My house... has ACTIVITIES! A ball pit... monkey bars... swimming pool... hot tub... a room for clothing, it would be like a maze... a real library... you could say the book you wanted in the speaker... and it would just have an arm, and it could pull out the book. Like a robotic arm... I would have a puppy room. People could adopt them. Or borrow them. Like a library book.
Brothers Cooper, age 7 and Anderson, age 9
My house is... Pink plastic with lollipops all over it... a trampoline floor... rock climbing walls... and raining candy.
A giant gummy bear would live next door.
Verabella, age 5
My house would be a big, tall rectangle. The walls would be like a jungle, because I want my house to be beautiful and interesting. SPARKLES. I love sparkles. Sparkly windows.
Charlie, age 4
My house looks like a terrarium. The walls look like footballs, the shape of footballs. The rooms look like Spiderman. There are fifteen rooms just in case someone wants to sleep. The funnest part is the TOYS!
Mass Times Acceleration
H.264 video, 97 seconds, 2015. A version of this piece has screened under the title Taking Flight.
Screened as part of CINECITY 2015 at Loop Gallery in Melbourne.
First Choice Selection of CINECITY 2015 Judge Kasper Guldager Jensen.
Winner of the Audience Choice Award at the 2015 Australian National Architecture Conference in Melbourne.
Received Honorable Mention at the ArchiShorts 2016 Short Film Competition, Winnipeg.
Upon its completion in 1973, Ron Thom declared the Robarts Library to be an “illustrated dictionary of architectural miseries.” While aesthetically risky and initially hated, decades later the building has evolved into a celebrated icon of Brutalist style. This perceptual inversion is an instance of architecture having the ability, over time, to be liberated and take flight from the shackles of negative foundations.
A Play-Full City brings outdoor play to Calgary’s remnant and vacant spaces left over by official planning processes. It proposes an infrastructure of games and sports overlaid onto existing sites which are under-used yet well-suited to host these activities. By distributing activities in all neighbourhoods, opportunities are created for social and physical activity that are freely accessible to Calgarians of all locations and financial situations.
Setting up A Play-Full City involves leveraging Calgary’s existing resources, both physical and human. Rather than investing capital in expensive new recreation centres, time is spent examining the dimensions and surface conditions of the traffic islands and alleyways already maintained by the city. These locations are then matched with a game or sport of corresponding size and required features. The selected sites are prepared by posting the Rules of Play, providing second-hand equipment, and transcribing the game layouts using a few chalk or paint lines. Neighbourhood residents and partner organizations work together as stewards of the game sites, sharing the responsibilities and reaping the rewards of being active participants in their city.
Calgarians can find game sites by downloading the free smartphone app or by using the ‘analogue’ paper map. Either way, participants might discover a downtown location to play handball over lunch hour or visit a new neighbourhood while hunting for the best croquet lawn. Previously invisible vacant sites become destinations drawing people together in the spirit of sport.
White Cube, Determined
Mixed media collage, 2014.
White Cube, Determined was presented as part of the TBD Exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, 6 September to 26 October, 2014.
It is the future: Toronto’s condominium construction boom has burst. Abandoned by investors and tenants, partially-erected and partially-occupied towers are left to be determined. Like so many factories, fire stations, and power plants of the past, condos join the list of urban spaces ready for renewal and reprogramming.Insert the contemporary art gallery here.
The Stop Night Market Food Cart
Momofuko Toronto / The 47 food cart designed and constructed for The Stop Night Market 2015 fundraising event.
Made from 100% recyclable high-density foam board, a commonly used building material, this cart weighs less than a toddler and can be assembled in a matter of minutes! Each piece friction fits easily together, requiring no tools other than your own two hands. The cart breaks down into a flat pack of 6 easy pieces and can be toted around on foot or in a mini-van. The simple design adapts to any environment and can be used over and over. All components of the cart can be recycled at the end of use. In partnership with Erin Leslie.
The Virtues of Inefficiency
Multimedia collage, digital drawings, 2010
Given the status, pedigree, and formative role Mies’s Toronto Dominion Centre has played in shaping the fabric and the image of the city’s financial district, The Virtues of Inefficiency looks at what design methods one could critically approach the TDC today. This project initially analyzes the site in terms of efficiency in spacial organization and movement through space. In this post- Google Campus era, new forms of office buildings have emerged, advocating workplaces less concerned with direct efficiency and more concerned with raising employee morale. Access to natural light, atria, employee canteens, recreation facilities, nap rooms, and even slides for circulation are just a some of the programmatic and spacial features being introduced in the corporate environment. Here, “inefficient” spaces are carved out of the TDC floor plates to reveal spacial qualities that range from the domestic to the public to accommodate new uses.
Title: Inquiry & Interpretations Concerning the Observations, Findings, and Notes from Space-Gazing, Atmosphere-Exploring, Landscape-Investigating Instruments, Their Experiments and Other Tasks.
Built in 1905, the Dominion Observatory in Ottawa was Canada's primary reference point for time measurement. By tracking the movements of the Sun relative to the Earth, a construction of time was determined and dictated to the country. The Observatory closed in 1974 when its duties were succeeded by the more precise atomic clock. This shift from astronomical observations to the atomic clock meant a shift from an ontologically continuous (“what is”) experience to an analogical one (“what is like”). The Observatory was abandoned because its technological functions were no longer needed. However, as Gideon(1) and Mumford(2) have noted, with the demands of pure functionality we run the risk of only operating technology rather than experiencing it.
The distinction between the pleasure of experience and pure functionality recalls architecture's current quest to balance the act of drawing with its computational representations, while the distinction between a model of nature and nature itself brings to mind the discipline's ongoing attempt to build reality from representation.
The proposal for the Observatory is a reformulation of the existing site to host new “instruments” that swing between registering the physicality of nature and demonstrating its scientific abstractions. This proposal is explored through of physical drawing combined with computer-aided forms. The resultant visualizations incorporate representative materials (digital ink, charcoal,spray paint) with actual proposed building materials (leather, wax, magnets). During the conception of these “instruments” through drawing, different interpretations of the Observatory are gleaned.
The Instruments - A Brief Description.
Windrose De-Abstractuator -The observatory is notorious for being on one of the windiest spots in Ottawa. Monthly windrose diagrams for the area are translated into a 12-story staircase, each step aligned with a cardinal direction in plan. Fine leather lashings are hung from the metal grating of the steps and translate the wind directly onto the skin of the user.
Inverted Telescopic Solar Magnifier & Tracker -The disused observatory telescope is inverted to magnify the solar rays back into the building to melt wax. The result is an accumulation of effects that render the solar movements in an immersive, habitable space.
Magnetic Meridian Fluctuator - The Canadian Prime Meridian, which runs through the site, is made tangible with a row of magnetic benches that can be pivoted to momentarily break the longitudinal line. The benches oscillate between true north and magnetic north.
Zone of Intermittent Saturation Registrator - The copper dome of the former photo-equatorial building is inverted to funnel rain into a cellulose sponge that stretches down to the water table. Users circulate through the sponge’s cavities that shrink and expand in response to the surrounding saturation levels.
Micro-seismic / Micro-tremor Periscoping Amplifier - Micro-seisms and micro-tremors imperceptible to humans are registered by geophones and amplified through an 8-sided periscopic enclosure with spring-mounted mirrors that visually vibrate the surrounding buildings.
Windrose De-Abstractuator Ideation Diagram
Black leather on digital print, with chalk. Markings indicate pain and pleasure points from skin-on-skin contact.
Windrose De-Abstractuator Ideation Diagram
Digital print. Wind speed markings on skin.
Windrose De-Abstractuator Section
3D wireframe model and graphic crayon on mylar. Monthly windrose diagrams for the area are translated into a 12-story staircase, each step aligned with a cardinal direction in plan. Fine leather lashings are hung from the metal grating of the steps and translate the wind directly onto the skin of the user.
Windrose De-Abstractuator Plan
3D wireframe model and graphic crayon on mylar.
Windrose De-Abstractuator Vignette
Graphite crayon on photograph. View from inside the Windrose De-Abstractuator.
Sign indicating the Canadian Prime Meridian
Open source photograph.
Magnetic Meridian Fluctuator Ideation Diagram
Magnetic tape, iron filings, digital print, pencil, carbon transfer on card.
Magnetic Meridian Fluctuator
Plexiglass, magnets, ironfilings, thumbtacks, foamcore, ink. The Canadian Prime Meridian, which runs through the site, is made tangible with a row of magnetic benches that can be pivoted to momentarily break the longitudinal line. The benches oscillate between true north and magnetic north.
Inverted Solar Tracker Ideation Diagram
Photo collage. The disused observatory telescope is inverted to magnify the solar rays back into the building to melt wax. The result is an accumulation of effects that render the solar movements in an immersive, habitable space.
Inverted Solar Tracker
Wax, paper, metal clips. The Bennet Sun Angle Diagram is cut into individual layers, on for each month's sun path, and dipped in wax.
Inverted Solar Tracker Model
Cardbord, glue, wax.
Inverted Solar Tracker Plan Throughout Time
Photographs printed on mylar. These plans show the change of the space at 15 different points in time.
Inverted Solar Tracker Section and Plan
Wax, glue, digital print on mylar. This section shows the passage of time made visible by the melting of wax.
Micro-seisms and micro-tremors imperceptible to humans are registered by geophones and amplified through an 8-sided periscopic enclosure with spring-mounted mirrors that visually vibrate the surrounding buildings.
The design of the The Scoop operates at the urban scale, using its corner site as an opportunity to organize the arrival of disparate clientele whilst expressing the dual program of a hotel and hospitality school as a legible massing strategy. The school’s entrance is on Spadina and is a modified bar building oriented along the south boundary of the site. Hotel guests arrive through an exterior forecourt on King Street and stay in the guestroom tower oriented east-west along the north edge of the site. This “splitting” of program creates a volumetric relationship of two solids with a void between. This void is enclosed by a glass atrium, filled with light and activity that is visible from the street at night. Circulation flows through this space, creating an interior street connecting King and Spadina and traversing the spectacle of the lobby. Sectional relationships are articulated so guests overlook the bar and restaurant on the level below, viewing the performance created by the interaction of hotel and school programs. Descending to this lower level emphasizes the experience of arrival, an escape from the bustling city above and outside. The enclosure strategy for the building further emphasizes the volumetric parti of “carving”. Both the school and the hotel appear monolithic and yet subtly reveal program variations within. (In partnership with Jen Davis.)
Chaucer's Canterbury Tales follows a disparate group of wine-swilling, story-telling pilgrims as they make their way to the Canterbury Cathedral.
The Wall proposes a hotel along the outside of boundary wall separating the Canterbury Cathedral from the secular world. Pilgrims are invited to inhabit the boundary wall, now thickened with programs to help them clean-up for their holy visit. (i.e. hangover recovery). The original stone boundary wall is retained to serve as one of the hotel walls, a visible reminder to the pilgrims of their ultimate destination.
Action Figure Battle Scene
3' x 5' inkjet plot on mylar, 2010.
150 individually photographed action figures from Brian's collection, assembled in one epic battle scene.