Skip to content

Monthly MOV: The future of Van's cultural spaces

PROVOKE, ENGAGE, ANIMATE. Our vision at the Museum of Vancouver (MOV) is to hold a mirror up to the city and lead provocative conversations about its past, present, and future.

PROVOKE, ENGAGE, ANIMATE. Our vision at the Museum of Vancouver (MOV) is to hold a mirror up to the city and lead provocative conversations about its past, present, and future. Linking the historical record and the living experiences of its visitors to what is happening socially, politically, and culturally NOW; we honour the material culture of the city: mixing history, archaeology, visual arts, design, architecture, urban planning, music, performance, new media, design, fashion, popular culture, and photography. Check us out on our blog, talk to us on Twitter, or stay up to date through Facebook.

Architecture matters, but isn’t always understood beyond academics or industry. Understanding

this area, even as a non-expert, helps us to see how urban development, design, and related social and civic issues can shape our daily life.

Now in its third year, Built City is a series of lectures and dialogues (co-curated by the MOV and Architecture Canada), that invites city thinkers from all disciplines and areas to explore urban design issues as they relate to Vancouver. This year, we’re looking at “Uncommon Views”. What’s that? Basically, we’re looking at the non-traditional and unexpected ways that Vancouver’s urban spaces are formed, understood, and navigated.

Vancouver is a young city and an ever changing metropolis, and through Built City we take an interdisciplinary approach to thinking about architecture and urban design. With this in mind, we’re pleased to announce a set of explorations in 2013-2014 that investigates how we can use urban design and architectural practice as a lens to better understand the city’s built relationship to artistry, gentrification,

sociability, science, well-being, natural capital, and more.

We launch this year with “Cultural Spaces” (October 10), a dialogue with architect Brian Wakelin (PUBLIC Design) and documentary filmmaker Michele Smolkin (Radio-Canada) that looks at Vancouver’s future as a creative city in the face of disappearing and evolving cultural spaces.

That is, there is much talk and worry these days about Vancouver’s future as a creative city and home to the arts and culture: are we creating/keeping the spaces we need for the arts and new businesses? Has our city become too expensive to nurture our creative classes? Are we too focused on traditional spaces for creative production and undersensitized to emergent and new forms of creation and cultural place making?

City boosters and governments have eagerly touted Vancouver’s prominence as a vibrant ‘creative city’ in a manner aimed at attracting and retaining creative workers, key industries, and investment. But critics of creativity-led urban planning and policy initiatives are quick to point out the contradictions. Cultural producers are often dislocated or their creative spaces are marginalized and the city is ripe with homogeneous and commercially profitable performance spaces and institutions. Where is the diversity?

Because of this dichotomy, there is a big opportunity to reconfigure and reframe what, how, and where cultural and creative facilities can operate.

Join us on October 10, 2013 at the MOV for a great night of thinking! 

What’s coming up:

Built City Part Two (Nov 21): The audience will be invited to participate in a meeting of neuroscience and architecture, with University of Waterloo researcher Dr. Colin Ellard and Vancouver architect Ian Ross Macdonald, in a critical discussion of how design and psychology are vital to urban sociability, well-being, and effective use.

Built City Part Three (January 16, 2014): J.B. MacKinnon, author and MOV guest curator of “ReWilding Vancouver” (an exhibition at MOV that takes a view of the city’s historical ecology and landscape architect behind the False Creek Habitat Island) and Margot Long (PWL) lead us in a conversation about how natural capital in Vancouver has changed and evolved over time, both in popular understanding, and professional practice.