As an artist and a designer Becki's work attempts to interpret and respond to cultural, historical and architectural features of a place using a design language that is influenced by minimalist form and the repetitive use of simple elements. Her work often aims to engage visitors in a playful and open-ended experience, inviting participants to question the relationship between functional design and art.
MEANDERCanada 150 Artist Designed Modular Seating, Richmond, 2018. (Winning Entry)
Meander was commissioned by the City of Richmond Public Art Program to commemorate Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation. These unique modular seating units are designed to activate civic plazas and support the City’s annual major events program.
The design was inspired by the Fraser River and its winding paths that define Lulu Island and the Fraser Delta. The shape and colour evoke the spirit of water and can be used in many different configurations to provide audience seating and informal gathering spaces and seating areas.
NEIGHBOURHOOD BENCHHighlands Branch Library Public Art Project, Edmonton, 2014. (Winning Entry)
The new library design takes its inspiration from the neighbourhood vernacular of houses with pitched roofs. I decided to take this notion of community inspiration somewhat literally. Having studied the common house types in the neighbourhood, I propose to transform them into slightly abstracted concrete miniatures. The new, mini neighbourhood of gabled houses playfully interacts with the scale of the library and the large elm tree, all the while providing a seating arrangement that fosters various types of occupation by individuals and groups. I would hope it also brings smiles to people’s faces; there is something elemental about the small, simplified form of a house that brings to mind children’s doodles and dollhouses.
Articles: ArchDaily, 2014-10-10; Design Boom, 2014-10-10; Canadian Architect, 2014-10-13
TELUS GARDEN ART COMPETITIONTelus Garden, City of Vancouver, 2014. (Finalist Entry)
For this project, I try to take a more metaphorical approach and use a forest to show the audience the beauty of staying connected. Conceptually, this piece is about Community Building. A forest is built upon trees, but a community is built upon people. By staying together and helping each other, we build a better community. When I see a forest, I feel as if all of the tree branches are reaching out and trying to hold hands. Together they can face the winter (see photo by Janske below). This idea inspired me to create a landscape piece.
I will be using Douglas Fir to create the trees and copper thread to act as branches. The copper thread will be woven between trees to tie the whole piece together. At the same time, the copper will also create a beautiful textile. The trees themselves willl be made of a few long vertical Douglas Fir strips, held together by copper threads. Hopefully, this piece will get people’s attention, inspire them to a little action and help build community.
ATRIUM ART PROJECTCity Operations Atrium, North Vancouver, 2013. (Finalist Entry)
Conceptually speaking, I imagine taking a small section of a tree trunk and pulling it out to reveal its inner dynamic. The wood is stretched to fill the entire void of the lobby, to full height. The tremendous tension thus created in the material threatens to break it. The proposed sculpture represents this tenuous moment before the material fails, its breaking point. This is stop motion capture.
Each of the strings within the piece is made of abstract wood fragments. These fragments evoke seeds. They are at the same time the substance of the wood at its breaking point, and the mere promise of more nature germinating in the future. This aspect of the piece is inspired by the plant nursery housed at the operations centre, as I would like the art installation to refer back to the inner workings of the site.
CLOCK INSTALLATIONThe Community Office, Toronto, 2015.
CONCRETE SMOKING BENCHLasserre Building, University of British Columbia, 2006.
This bench was designed for the smoking area outside the School of Architecture building at UBC. The concrete elements come together to form a larger bench for singles or couples. They can also break apart, allowing for larger gatherings or for people to sit at various spots around the building. The form and construction of the bench are minimal and easy to maintain.
LASSERRE BOXLasserre Building, University of British Columbia, 2007. (Winning Entry)
This was a winning entry in a design competition to redesign the Lasserre Building lobby. Lasserre houses the Schools of Architecture and Planning, as well as the Dept of Fine Arts, at University of BC. The building itself is a great example of 1960's Vancouver institutional modernism - very simple and clean in its expression and highly functional. The insertion of a this seating box, which can also serve as an occasional projection screen or pin-up board, into the space harkens back to the simplicity of the building itself. The benches along the exterior of the box are made out of recycled material from the building itself. The box very deliberately avoids a direct engagement with the existing structure, and touches down on its site in a minimal manner; it, nevertheless, radically transforms the space of the lobby and invites more engagement of the space by the building's occupants.
Design Team: Becki Chan, Mike Wartman, Phil Lew