Posts Tagged ‘Canada’

Dance vs decor

Saturday, February 6th, 2010

Dance by takeSomeCrime, via David John at You have been here sometime. Question: Is the relationship between the decor and the moves inversely proportional – the sketchier the room, the better the moves are? Or is the room just irrelevant? Is this decor Canadian, or is the Canadian location just incidental? Are these questions rhetorical if nobody answers them?

Canada’s Shanghai Expo 2010 architect is…Cirque du Soleil.

Sunday, January 17th, 2010

Seemingly impossible, but true. Similar to the way the statement “Arnold Schwarzenegger is Governor of California” is true. The Canadian Pavilion at Expo 2010 in Shanghai is to be designed by Cirque du Soleil’s in-house designer. This is someone without architectural training or larger architectural insight beyond interior stage set design – and kitschy set design at that. Not surprisingly, the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada is underimpressed by this decision, and a multitude of others feel the same way. Just look at this thing! Read the whole Globe and Mail article here. This Harper Conservative government – which in its rightwingery, its bold, uninformed appropriation of responsibilities it is ill-equipped for, and its generally arbitrary approach to power is starting to look Sarah Palinish – doesn’t know anything about architecture, but it knows what it likes. Tra la! The design and arts sector in Canada is increasingly under siege by this type of government interference and stupidity, and it can either lie down and wait for its supplies to run out, or it can prepare for a big fight. From the Globe:

“A fully engaged architect might have referred in the design to the pavilion site located within an old industrial district on the Pudong side of the Huangpu River. But urban context matters not at all to creators of theatrics. Treating space as a stage set – one that comes with a VIP lounge affording views on the interior courtyard – is how the Cirque approaches architecture. That’s okay when you’re designing tents, but it’s hardly the way to communicate deep architectural insight.”


Thursday, January 14th, 2010

Vancouverism is, as Wikipedia defines it, an urban planning and architectural technique named (obviously) after the city that pioneered it. It is “characterized by mixed-use developments, typically with a medium-height, commercial base and narrow, high-rise residential towers to accommodate high populations and to preserve view corridors.” An exhibition by the same name opens tomorrow at a university space in Woodward’s, one of Vancouver’s newest mixed-use building projects. Created by architecture critic Trevor Boddy, Vancouverism has travelled to Paris and London and is now back in Vancouver for the Olympics. If you’re going to be in Vancouver, it’s worth taking a look, or you can visit the websites. View of a component of the exhibition at Canada House in London below:

More from Wikipedia:


You asked for half a cup of coffee

Monday, November 16th, 2009

Owl half mug of coffee, wood handle, Canada crest, made in Japan

Owl half mug of coffee, wood handle, Canada crest, made in Japan

Owl half mug of coffee, wood handle, Canada crest, made in Japan

Mixed-concept mug for friends of owls who only want half a cup of coffee, and who don’t mind if their faux-wood-handled Canadiana is made in Japan.

Log Driver’s Waltz and The Big Snit on your iPhone

Sunday, November 1st, 2009

Almost everyone in Canada knows this animation from the National Film Board of Canada. It’s by John Weldon, 1979, with music by The McGarrigle sisters. The NFB has always been a brilliant organization, and now they’re offering Canadian films and animations for free in their iPhone app. Watch this and The Big Snit on your phone. For free. Long live public arts funding in Canada.

Sial ceramic vase, Quebec 1970s

Thursday, October 29th, 2009


From the Canadian Design Resource. Late 70s Quebec vase from the Sial company.