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Germaine Koh, our first Engineering Artist-in-Residence

Art in Engineering unveiled across Vancouver all summer

July 5 2019 –

Our first Engineering Artist-in-Residence, Germaine Koh, has been creating a series of art installations which will be publicly unveiled over the course of the summer. The purpose of the artist in residence is to build opportunities for infrastructure, design, and creativity to come together.

See the projects

Here are some of the exciting projects coming your way, and how you can get involved: 

Sewer Pipe Time Capsule: Painting on the sewer lines — July 13, 11am to 4 pm

This colourful event, taking place on the Charles St boulevard east of Nanaimo, invites the surrounding neighbourhood to paint a section of pipe that will later be installed through the area’s sewer separation as part of the Nanaimo Street Upgrades.

The event will enable residents to directly connect with public works and place their own mark on infrastructure that will run right beneath their feet. Local street and mural artists will be on site to assist with painting and take suggestions from participants.

“Demo Model” of deconstruction materials – summer 2019

This project uses materials from Vancouver houses deconstructed as part of the City’s Green Demolition bylaw to build a small model of what those structures looked like in their prime. The resulting small-scale structure, which will be designed to match the craftsman cottages that once rested on West 19th Ave, will begin its new life as a book depository outside the Zero Waste Centre.

This model — made possible by material donations from deconstruction contractor UnBuilders and materials recycler Habitat for Humanity ReStore — is meant to simultaneously pay tribute to Vancouver’s heritage and explore the potential for construction material reuse and call attention to the volume of construction waste that could be diverted for upcycling. 

"Sewerscape" installation on Charles Street Boulevard – early 2020

It can be easy to forget about the vast network of pipes connecting resident’s homes to water and sewer systems. What better reminder than a visible, interactive example of this infrastructure brought up to street level?

This installation will take a piece of the largest pipes used in these infrastructure projects — 140 centimetres in diameter — and nestle it in a green space along the completed Nanaimo St sewer and traffic project. The result, which will have the interior lined with a fine wood, will be part gathering space and part playful street furniture. 

More projects

Other projects underway by Koh include artfully-designed electric fast-charging stations and a human-and-solar-powered pedal charging station. Each of these concepts aims to inspire resident reflection on overall energy use, both personal and utility-based.  

About Germaine Koh

Germaine Koh is a Canadian visual artist based in Vancouver known for making work exploring the systems that surround and shape our everyday lives. Her exhibition history includes, but is not limited to, Musée d'art contemporain in Montreal, QC, The Power Plant in Toronto, ON and Vancouver’s own Contemporary Art Gallery, and Vancouver Art Gallery.

Formerly an Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art at the National Gallery of Canada, Koh was a recipient of the 2010 VIVA Award and a finalist for the 2004 Sobey Art Award.

Find more information on her work