MOV invites Vancouverites to envision—and create—new urban designs

Feb. 27, 2013

MOV invites Vancouverites to envision—and create—new urban designs
Upcycled Urbanism provides an opportunity for everyone to design and build new public space interventions together

(VANCOUVER, BC) — The Museum of Vancouver continues to push the boundaries of the role of museums by partnering with local organizations to allow Vancouverites the chance to learn with their hands. Upcycled Urbanism, a series of creative workshops starting in March, invites us to reimagine and rebuild Vancouver’s public realm.

“Have you ever wished you could redesign and rebuild part of your city? This is your chance,” says Charles Montgomery, Curatorial Associate at Museum of Vancouver. “Upcycled Urbanism invites people to do more than just talk about design. It will bring people together to actually build their ideas.”

Working alongside design professionals from UBC’s School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (SALA), Vancouver Public Space Network, Maker Faire Vancouver, and Spacing Magazine, teams will brainstorm, sketch, and model their public space creations using modular blocks designed by students from SALA.

Building blocks are made of expanded polystyrene that contain material salvaged from the construction of the Port Mann Bridge. The project takes advantage of pioneering work by Langley-based Mansonville Plastics, which rescues old EPS blocks bound for the landfill and grinds the material down for use in new blocks.

“By creating a space where people can ‘learn with their hands’ as well as with each other, we open up the conversations people can have about design and public space by moving it away from policy and academia, and by making sense of it together,” says Hanna Cho, Curator of Engagement and Dialogue at MOV.

“The project has given SALA students the opportunity to explore issues of sustainability by working with recycled polystyrene to create a set of building blocks," says SALA lecturer, Bill Pechet. "Now it's up to our partners and the public to envision how they can be imaginatively assembled to transform public spaces."

In July, teams will come together again at an outdoor design/build spectacle to create life-sized renditions of the creations that come out of March’s workshops. Everyone is welcome to participate. Register at

Upcycled Urbanism is a partnership between theMuseum of Vancouver, the School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (SALA) at the University of British Columbia, the Vancouver Public Space Network (VPSN), Maker Faire Vancouver, and Spacing Magazine, with generous additional support from SALA, Mansonville Plastics, and the Vancouver Foundation.


For more information, contact:

Charles Montgomery,
Curatorial Associate, Engagement and Dialogue
Museum of Vancouver


Wednesday, February 27, 2013