Canadian Architect


DBR design-build students create installation for TED2016

March 19, 2016
by Canadian Architect


Photo by Ema Peter.

University students from Vancouver-based design-build school DBR have created a striking architectural installation for the TED2016 conference held in Feburary. 

Entitled ELEVATE, the installation is a collection of wood warming huts—each 16 feet wide by 30 feet long—that sit on the plaza of the Vancouver Convention Centre and offer a unique place for TEDsters to share ideas between sessions of the conference.

The structures were fabricated and erected by 16 students from universities in the Lower Mainland, as part of a three-month DBR design-build course. They are inspired by high-alpine shelters and the BC winter backcountry winter experience.

Screen Shot 2016-03-14 at 6.49.20 PM

Photo by Ema Peter.

The warming shelters were built using Laminated Veneer Lumber (LVL), an advanced wood product donated by METSA Wood, and sculpted with CNC technology. The structure is enclosed with shrink wrap to shelter TEDsters from the elements and create a warm interior with exposed natural wood. A large table and stools were constructed for each hut to turn the warming shelters into a large seating area where visitors can gather to meet and retreat.

ELEVATE huts are not just for TEDsters to enjoy—after the conference, the shelters will be retrofit by a new class of DBR students this summer, and then permanently installed in one of BC’s outdoor recreation sites.  Here they will serve a community of climbers, backcountry skiers and other outdoor enthusiasts.


Photo by Ema Peter.

Photo by Ema Peter.

Photo by Ema Peter.

DBR is a non-profit school, founded by architect Michael Green of MGA, that teaches design and construction as an agent of social change. The programs teach hands-on design and construction skills to empower students to bring ideas to reality through building.

ELEVATE marks the third DBR installation for the TED conference in Vancouver.  Past installations include the TED2015 Lions Marquee, which was donated to the Downtown Eastside Market Society, and the TED2014 Community Stage.


Canadian Architect

Canadian Architect

Canadian Architect is a magazine for architects and related professionals practicing in Canada. Canada's only monthly design publication, Canadian Architect has been in continuous publication since 1955.
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