Imagination Zone

Five experiments in art and engagement in Northeast False Creek.




Centre for Dialogue


SFU Semester at CityStudio


  • Duane Elverum
  • Janet Moore

City of Vancouver:

  • Emory Davidge | NEFC Planning
  • Public Art Team


During the Fall 2016 term, participants in SFU’s Semester at CityStudio designed and launched 5 experiments in North East False Creek with a term-long project we called the Imagination Zone. These experiments ask what future behaviours would make our city more engaged, liveable and sustainable?

Inspired by the Dublin Studio and DCC Beta, Vancouver’s Imagination Zone is a place of prototypes and experimentation that aims to move the dial on city goals. The projects brings citizens, artists and city staff together for trial and learning – as opposed to trial and error – about how our city works and feels. This project aims to start a conversation with artists and the public, to begin envisioning and prototyping with what could become part of our City in an Imagination Zone. The Imagination Zone project demonstrates that this is a space for trial and learning- as opposed to trial and error. We hope that our pilot projects will invite the participation of citizens in collaborative city building.

Vancouver, BC – On Saturday, November 26th 2017 students enrolled at SFU’s Semester at CityStudio are launching The Imagination Zone: public experiments in False Creek for a healthy and creative city. The daylong event showcases five experiments aimed to help the City achieve its livability, vibrant waterfront, healthy city and entertainment zone goals for the emerging North East False Creek development. Vancouverites are invited explore the following projects from 12:00-7:00pm on Saturday:

  1. Umbrella Taxi
    Vancouver’s Driest Conversation and walk through North East False Creek inspiring friendly citizen behaviour
  2. TeaTalk
    A traveling mobile tea cart offering rich conversations over free cups of tea.
  3. StareChairs
    An urban furniture installation that invites community members to sit and participate through interactive mural art on the steps of the Plaza of Nations.
  4. Illumilane
    An illuminated interactive cyclist and pedestrian path through Creekside Park that integrates art into transportation to promote walking and cycling as safe and fun transportation choices.
  5. Food Recovery Project
    A food waste reduction initiative aimed to build a Zero Waste Food Future located at the Science World Gazebo

The Imagination Zone was developed collaboratively with the City of Vancouver’s Public Art Program. Students engaged city staff, artists, urban planning mentors and other local creatives throughout the project development process. “The uniqueness of the CityStudio approach and model allows the City to directly support artists to collaborate.” says George Rahi, Hadden Fieldhouse Resident Artist.

“I am really excited to bring more public art to the North East False Creek,” says Nick Gregson, Vancouver mural artist. “It is my hope that painting interactive murals in the Imagination Zone will really help shift people’s perspectives about interacting with and becoming a part of art in Vancouver.”


Stuart Ward & Ben Z Cooper, Hfour
Nick Gregson, Vancouver Mural Artist
Michael Bean, Biz Studio
George Rahi, Hadden Park Fieldhouse
Bryce Aspinall, Visual Artist
Clara Tsang, SFU Systems Engineering Student

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