This year’s official TED conference held at the Vancouver Convention Centre will benefit Downtown Eastside residents in an unsuspecting way.
A wooden marquee canopy, sitting at Jack Poole Plaza near the Digital Orca sculpture, was built for the 2015 conference by 17 students from the University of British Columbia, Kwantlen Polytechnic University, British Columbia Institute of Technology and Emily Carr University of Art and Design.
During the conference, the canopy is being used as a structure to shelter participants during the breaks between speeches and presentations.
The project was led by the non-profit Design Build Research Institute and its Douglas-Fir lumber features were donated by Interfor Corporation from its sawmill in Adamas Lake, B.C.
The design of the canopy features ‘two peaks’ to mimic the twin peaks of the Lions in the North Shore mountains.
“When TED organizers asked us for a structure to shelter participants during breaks, we chose wood – the best structural material on earth,” reads a statement by Michael Green, an award-winning Vancouver architect who co-founded DBR. “It let us capture the essence of the North Shore’s Lions mountain peaks, and is easily repurposed for future use in the community.”
After the conference ends on March 20, the canopy will be dismantled and moved to the Downtown Eastside Street Market, which runs every Sunday to provide the neighbourhood’s residents with a way to earn extra money for themselves. The market supports hundreds of vendors from the neighbourhood, with as many 200 vendors and 10,000 visitors every weekend.