Addicted to novelty since 2001

Future Friendly Design in Robson Square

Last Saturday night, I went to the opening of Swell – Future Friendly Design, an exhibit which runs all this week in the old skating rink at UBC Robson Square. It’s part of 30 Days of Sustainability, “annual celebration and affirmation of sustainability and its natural role in the world”. Raincity Studios designed the site, and I’m pretty sure Sarah Pullman’s involved in some way or other.

The exhibit itself was pretty cool, and an effective use of some underused downtown space. Here were some of the niftier items I spotted:

The exhibit was on the small side. I’m sure it’s all volunteer organization, but it could easily have been two or three times as big. My other complain involves the ‘Do Not Touch’ signs everywhere. Most of the items weren’t art–they were commodities that you could buy. Yet I wasn’t allowed to shake the flashlight or pick up a bamboo plate. This is foolish, because the event is as much marketplace as it is exhibit. Apparently the future isn’t friendly to interactivity.

I also spotted what must be one of the more obscure periodicals on the planet: Solar Cooker Review. The exhibit is open until March 20, so if you’re downtown, it’s worth checking out.

6 Responses to “Future Friendly Design in Robson Square”

  1. Anonymous

    The flashlight looks like something else you can shake to power up!

  2. Aaron

    The flashlight looks like something else you can shake to power up!

    Allright . . .

    But seriously, were they scared of someone walking away with an entire BENCH?


  3. dumklevor

    Seems to me in an exhibition context, esecially involving small and in some cases valuable objects, to invite handling of some objects would imply fair game on the rest. This is a slippery slope where a free to the public event is concerned. I visited the same show and noticed even with the “do not touch signs”, there were footprints and coffee stains on the exhibits. I personaly think the exhibit walked the accessibility vs. security line on the more trusting side.

  4. melanie watts

    hey that flashlight is way cool, if you can remember to take it with you. On a recent wilderness trip we lost our way and ended up slipping and sliding down the side of the mountain in the dark. When, by chance, we eventually stumbled upon the parking lot and the car, I was handed this very flashlight, to use while I exchanged my wet and muddy boots and pants for cleaner ones.

    I found it took me a lot of shaking before I got the light to stay on but when I suceeded the light was super bright. I would buy one in an instant. Do you
    know where to get them?

  5. Dave Hylands

    I like the windup flashlights available from Costco – 2 for $21 or something similar.

    I’ve put one in my vehicle, so I don’t have to deal with the leaky chemicals from the regular flashlights that get forgotton in the glove compartment.

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