Re:Building Vancouver explores the connection between social unrest and architecture

A new exhibit at the Architectural Institute of British Columbia Gallery offers a unique perspective on social unrest: the connection between human behaviour and our urban surroundings.

Titled Re:Building Vancouver, the presentation takes a unique look at the events of June 15, 2011, when rioters took to the streets of downtown Vancouver. It features insight and commentary from leading British Columbia architects and designers. Each voice offers a distinct perspective on what took place, and what it says about modern society.

“Conflict is a part of existence,” offers architect Gregory Henriquez, MAIBC MRAIC AIA RCA. “Citizens in a truly civil society understand that true democracy needs to embrace the reality of unpleasant thought and actions.” Henriquez is one of those offering a candid, personal take on riotous behaviour and its relationship to architecture. Others include: Peter Busby, C.M. AIA FRAIC MAIBC MAAA MOAA BCID LEED® AP DSc (Hon.); Bruce Carscadden, MAIBC MRAIC; Derek DeLand, IA B.Sc B.Arch; Bruce Haden, MAIBC OAA MRAIC LEED® AP; Ian Ross McDonald, MAIBC; Glen Stokes, MAIBC, Urban Arts Architecture.

As broken storefront windows were replaced with temporary plywood boarding, citizens claimed the spaces as blank canvasses for impromptu, heartfelt commentary. A selection of these plywood panels, capturing the spirited sentiments of Vancouverites and others who responded to the damage done to the city and its reputation, provide the backdrop to this exhibit.

At its heart, the exhibit explores the complex intersections between society and the built environment. The result is an illuminating study of the contrasts, contradictions and indelible connections between people and architecture.

“Our hope is that this display will provide a meaningful opportunity for members of the design community to contribute their vision and voice to the ongoing, unfolding current affairs in our urban environment,” explains AIBC Executive Director Michael Ernest, MAIBC.

Re:Building Vancouver  runs until August 31, 2011. The AIBC Gallery is free and open to the public from Monday to Thursday, 8:30am to 5:00pm and Friday from 8:30am to 1:00pm. It is located at #100 – 440 Cambie Street in Vancouver, BC.