Pat Christie - SPACE
Designer, fabricator and community builder Pat Christie saw an opportunity in an empty commercial space on Clark Drive in East Van and started SPACE. Since its opening the coworking dedicated to designers has forged numerous cross-disciplinary collaborations, sucessful projects and has recently opened a new location. Pat is opening our spotlight series for Vancouver Design Week 2018.
1 How do you define design?
Design is a supportive practice that facilitates the emergence of solutions that support human needs and our happiness in a complex world.
2 How do you measure the impact of your work and what impact are you striving for?
When I design I look at the full life cycle of what I’m designing. Impact is about the value created for people at all stages of the process, from material sourcing to end user experience. By focusing on people and their involvement, impact can be measured by the wellbeing of those who contribute to the outcome. Happy people, happy results, happy planet.
3 What makes Vancouver design unique and what impact is it having globally?
Vancouver design is so young, which is what makes it unique. We are teenagers trying to find our identity - its confusing and awkward, but energetic and explorative at the same time. Our impact globally stems from who we are as Canadians, which is about who we are vs. what we design. We have such amazing diversity in our city, with converging perspectives and cultures. If this can be considered as our identity matures, we will have something really special to share.
4 What impact is design having on our city?
Design has yet to really make its impact on our city at a human level, but events like Design Week signal a change in our culture. Our city has been shaped objectively by the design disciplines of urban planning, architecture and interiors, but yet to focus on the diversity of human centred practices. If anything, I’m of the opinion that the impact of “design" on our city is not positive. Its process has been driven by alternative forces that don’t consider the needs of the people in our city. In parallel, at a grassroots level there are many independent artists, designers and explorers leading a new wave of change and having immediate impact in their communities. This is the future.
5 What impact do you see / would you like to see possible in the future and what do we need to do to empower it?
Lets reconnect to the word “Design” and get familiar with our relationship with this word. Design is not an outcome (noun), but a process of working towards an outcome (verb) that is based on human needs and the sustainability of our planet. Finding ways for art and design to have an equal seat at the table alongside business and development would improve the impact of projects. We need to support spaces and programs that are hosting activities that bring convergence of cultures, practices and age groups. Our world is in a new phase of discovery and by letting the exploratory practices of Art and Design run more freely, we will empower new ideas to emerge - locally and globally.