February 24, 2014
I've always cared a lot about our planet. I was the kid asking other kids not to dig all the clay out of the creek bed at our elementary school. I'll never forget coming home from a trip at age nine to find a forest off the main road gone. Or at age ten seeing clearcut mountains on the way to Tofino. It hit home for me. I understood the issues. After all, this was the age of Captain Planet. But I think kids generally "get it." I never understood why people litter (because garbage magically disappears, right?). I stomped on tin cans a lot to recycle them and was brought up to not waste food. I have an obsession with trees that's visible in my drawings going back, well, forever.
February 19, 2014
I felt sad when I finished reading "Happy City" the other day. Vancouver author Charles Montgomery weaves together stories, interviews, culture and information in such a compelling way that I felt like a month-long conversation had ended. When I began reading it, I gushed about it on Facebook and with good reason. It has something for any city dweller — from the history and science of happiness and behaviour, to impacts of transportation on wellbeing, to dwelling types influencing social interaction. I returned it to the library reluctantly after my initial 14-day restricted loan period was up, and waited anxiously to get it back until another copy was returned six days late. (I guess the other person liked it even more than I did.) I felt its absence like a close friend.
February 5, 2014
A few years ago I wrote about a Mark Lakeman event, which I did not attend, so my interest was piqued when a friend of mine mentioned an upcoming event with Lakeman's name on it.
"Cracks in the pavement: Placemaking and the remaking of the modern city with Mark Lakeman" (tickets still available at Eventbrite) will be Lakeman's public talk this Friday evening "on Placemaking and Redesigning The Commons" ahead of a 9-month course on the subject.
Placemaking, the creative reclamation of public space was the brainchild of Mark, an urban designer, and his neighbours in 1996 when they transformed their own intersection into a place for community gatherings and interaction — starting a mini revolution in Portland, OR that has spread throughout the city and inspired the creation of City Repair, an organization that engages citzens in transforming places. (Read more.)
February 1, 2014
I volunteer my time and design skills to an awesome burgeoning group called Changemakers Vancouver, which is "a network of people who want to learn, share, and act so to make the world a better place." On February 13th, we're teaming up with Late Nite Art for an evening around what insights we can gain when we engage our creativity.
Late Nite Art is a facilitated workshop that brings community together to collaboratively explore thought-provoking ideas and issues through visual arts. We achieve this by combining fresh local food, gratuitous beats, and explorative artmaking in one tasty package.
You definitely don't have to be artistic to participate. In fact, I think the more diverse a crowd we have, the more interesting and fun our evening and outcomes will be!
Really good food is included in your $35 ticket, which you should get today since capacity is limited.
See you there!
January 26, 2014
I've been driven for at least six years by a desire to make a positive impact on my community and the world. It's a major reason I worked for the David Suzuki Foundation (and loved it), and a factor in my decision to start my own business. It wasn't a career choice I'd ever seriously considered for a number of reasons. But I reached a point where my need to affect change, help organisations I’m excited about, and use all my professional skills outweighed some obvious downsides of going solo. (Yes, I do miss having a team.)
Gratefully, it turns out I quite like it.
Here are a few highlights from my first year (well, almost), which includes volunteer work. (Because why not?)
December 18, 2013
My godsister showed us how to make a perfect snowflake over twenty years ago. Below are easy steps to fold and cut a beautiful snowflake, and tips on making it intricate.
Supplies you'll need:
- Light-weight white unlined, acid-free paper* (I've been using old paper from school)
- Good, sharp scissors that are comfortable to hold
- Weights such as a couple heavy books
- White putty to hang snowflakes
- Your imagination!
* Paper that's not acid-free will yellow over time. You don't want that!
Make sure your folding is as accurate as possible on edges, and press down your folded edges.
November 13, 2013
Friday, November 29th, 2013
6pm - 10pm at The Ironworks
If you've attended any of the previous Practivism speaker events, you probably don't need convincing to attend this one. Now in its sixth year, the annual event brings change-making creatives from Vancouver and beyond to talk about their projects and the designer's role in influencing change, whether it be social, environmental or in our practice. This year the keynote speaker is artist and educator Jer Thorp. "Coming from a background in genetics, his digital art practice explores the many-folded boundaries between science, data, art, and culture."
Our 6th annual Practivism event will explore the opportunities that lay in front of each of us within the vast amount of data we pass by on a daily basis. A panel discussion with Alex Beim, Casey Hrynkow, and Eric Karjaluoto, moderated by Amanda Gibbs will further explore the possibilities and challenge individuals to take action — to envision and mobilize a better future.
The event has grown a lot since its sustainability-focussed beginnings. I'm looking forward to seeing what Thorp offers the event and audience on November 29th.
Get your tickets online now. Practivism sold out last year!
See you there.
I am a communication designer in Vancouver, BC. Most of my writing and community activism are in the interconnected issues of public transit, local eating and food security, politics, health, environment, and sustainability in general. At heart, I'm a geek and a total treehugger. Nature, tea, good food and great company make me happy.