Posted by: VPSN | May 15, 2012

New public space activations coming this summer

Pop Rocks - Early Concept Drawing

Early concept for Pop Rocks by Matthew Soules Architecture &
AFJD Studios (final design not yet completed).  Image from City of Vancouver powerpoint presentation.

Earlier today City Council approved a suite of temporary public space activations through its Viva Vancouver program.  This is exciting stuff and we’re stoked to see the range of initiatives in play here.

First and foremost, we’re grateful for Council’s support for a series of projects that the VPSN is involved in.  These include:

  • Lunch Meet, a downtown long-table affair that celebrates the city’s culinary character while bringing people together to share in a communal outdoor meal;
  • Laser Graffiti, our popular outdoor digital projection system – which will once again be lighting up building walls around the city with citizen-generated art;
  • Outdoor Karaoke, a project that was initially conceived and launched by our friends at Urban Republic.  We’re looking to lend a hand this year and roll out the ol’ karaoke machine for a few more rounds of urban space karaoke!

In addition to these projects… we’re also particularly excited to see the 800-block of Robson Street closed down for two whole months this summer.

Between July and August, the existing space of Robson Square will be expanded to take over the road between Hornby and Howe.  Vancouver’s grand gathering place will be coming back to life with an zero waste installation called Pop Rocks – jointly created by Matthew Soules Architecture and AFJD Studios.

The project, as one City staffer described it, is “boulders meet beanbag chairs” – and will take shape as series of large scale seats stitched out of material repurposed from Canada Place sails. The early concept drawing (and the creators want to stress that the final design is still taking shape) even give it a bit of a Henry Moore feel.  We look forward to seeing how people interact with the project.

Finally, on a related note… we’ll be having the next meeting for our Downtown Public Realm Project on Tuesday, May 22 @ 6:00pm.  We’ve been documenting all the plazas and public space features in the downtown core.  If you’d like to join in the fun please drop us a note!  (Our walks last a couple of hours and involve some fairly straightforward inventorying and photo-documentation of spaces).  Digital cameras are a plus, as are bikes. We also have walking routes available.  Details and meeting locations can be had via robsonsquare [at] vancouverpublicspace [dot] ca.



  1. Hey there !

    I’m wondering where I should go on friday/saturday to enjoy the laser system. the link in this post links to last year’s event. Any clue ?


    • Hello, there is detailed info on the blog now. Look forward to seeing you there!

  2. How uninteresting: a grip of architecture students and an architect with a bloated ego making some completely empty statement justified by zombie academic jargon. These guys have been going to school for at least 5 years now including a MATERS OF ARCHITECTURE program and this is what they have to show? I look forward to being terribly dissapointed, just like I was with picnurbia.
    If this is the statement that this generation is making with architecture our future is fucked!

  3. […] and commissioned by the City of Vancouver, they produced a series of large scale soft sculptures as public art objects. Using recycled polystyrene and re-purposing material from the original Canada Place sails, they […]

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