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2016 News and Information

Lulu Series: Art in the City opens with a look at public gathering spaces

March 7, 2016

The act of gathering in the public realm is a universal behaviour that dissolves social distinctions and fosters community connection. Unfortunately, in spite of Greater Vancouver’s wide recognition for urban design, our region lacks significant outdoor spaces for the public to convene, according to architect Brian Wakelin. Find out how his firm, PUBLIC, has responded to this issue on Thursday, March 24 at 7:00 p.m., when Richmond’s annual Lulu Series: Art in the City program hosts the first of three free lectures at Richmond City Hall.

Recognizing that our region lacks a meaningful gathering place and that detached homes with large yards are becoming unattainable for much of the population, PUBLIC has focused almost exclusively on modest commissions in the public domain since opening in 2008. Through trial and error, they have mined parking lots, streets and setbacks to frame and define spaces for public life. In fact, the core of PUBLIC’s activities consists of designing temporary pavilions, small public buildings and urban infrastructure. Rather than monumental public spaces, these structures are fragments of an incomplete and evolving puzzle that make up the city.

Brian WakelinBrian Wakelin is the co-founder of PUBLIC, a Vancouver-based multidisciplinary design practice working at the intersection of architecture and communication media. The studio’s work has earned Lieutenant-Governor’s awards at the Medal and Merit levels as well as two Architectural Institute of BC (AIBC) Innovation Awards. In 2015, PUBLIC received the Professional Prix de Rome in Architecture.
This talk will be preceded by a short performance by emerging poet-musician, Sam Herle.

Wakelin’s presentation is the first of three events in the Lulu Series: Art in the City program. Michael Rohd, founder of the Center for Performance and Civic Practice (Evanston, Illinois) will discuss how art can be a potent tool for public impact and collaboration on Thursday, April 21, and visual artist, Norie Sato, (Seattle, Washington) will describe her creative process developing site-specific works for public places on Thursday, May 19. For more information, visit

All Lulu Series: Art in the City events are free and start at 7 p.m. at Richmond City Hall Council Chambers, 6911 No. 3 Road. Seating is limited, so please reserve your seats by emailing