What a Hubbub!

On December 5th 2019, we held our first Hubbub at North Vancouver City Hall. It was a fantastic showcase of student work from our first cohort of students.

Imagine walking into City Hall on an average Thursday morning; something feels a little different. There’s excitement in the air and you hear a buzz of activity down the hall – a wayfinding sign tells you that “CityStudio Hubbub #1” is this way. Around the corner, you see a crowd of people milling about. You approach a table hosted by two volunteers who welcome you and provide you with three origami stars. These are your voting stars: you will give them to the student groups that you think came up with the most exciting, creative, and impactful ideas for the City of North Vancouver.

You grab a cup of coffee and a scone from the refreshments table, then begin to make your way around. Students are standing near large posters, holding green voting receptacles labeled “Vote here.” They are keen to tell you about the projects they worked on this term, and they use a lot of hand gestures to convey with excitement why their idea is innovative, creative, and could help to make North Vancouver a better place. The crowd is an unusual mix of university faculty members, students, city staff, municipal officials and community members. You overhear many questions: how would this work?

Inspired by the new ideas and questions all around, you start to imagine how some of your own work challenges could be tackled in new and innovative ways. All sorts of new possibilities spring up organically in a kind of collective brainstorm. Luckily, there is an “Idea Generation Station” set up for you to capture them. You write several thoughts on sticky notes and add them to the large piece of paper set out for this purpose. As a thank-you for your contribution, a volunteer hands you a sour “key to the city” candy.

At 11AM, everyone is invited into the Council Chamber to kick off the second part of the event. Adele Therias, the CityStudio North Vancouver Project Lead, describes the enthusiasm and innovation the initiative has already inspired across the city and the university, and introduces three keynote speakers who played a pivotal role in bringing CityStudio North Vancouver to life.

After these thoughtful speeches, it is time for the student pitches! Groups are called up one by one to share a 1-minute pitch of their idea. Finally, the top 3 audience choice winners are announced and are called up to receive their prizes: gift cards to local businesses as well as skating, fitness and swimming passes to local community centres. You leave City Hall with a bit of spring in your step, feeling hopeful about how this kind of collaboration and creativity could help us address some of the most complex and urgent challenges facing our cities.

Congratulations to our Hubbub #1 Audience Choice winners!

First place: Protect our Nature

In order to raise awareness about a Park Regulation Bylaw that prohibits fire or lit material in parks, Kalli Christianson, Michelle Abbott and Negar Issari developed a video prototype that shows the devastation caused by forest fires and offers an alternative “reality” in which park users follow the bylaw and the environment stays pristine.

Second Place: Illuminate the Shipyards

In an effort to ideate engaging ways to animate the new Shipyards development, Melissa Phillips and Vanessa Kong developed a proposal for “Illuminate the Night,” a public art light installment for the Burrard Dry Dock Pier. The installation is designed to promote safety along the Pier by The Shipyards and increase evening traffic so that the Pier can be fully appreciated day and night.

Third Place: Digital Interactive Information Board

In brainstorming ideas to engage the public with the Shipyards, Alex McCorquodale , Anne Horst, Sam Connors, Tracey Barnard & Victoria Bohl developed a proposal for a permanent, interactive, digital information board in the Shipyards. The goal of this interactive information board would be to address improvements identified in the 2018 Roving Ambassador survey by providing more information on events, histories, directions, and create a greater sense of community.

Thank you to everyone who made Hubbub #1 a success!
See you in April for Hubbub #2.

More photos can be viewed and downloaded here. Photos by Rob Newell / Capilano University.