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Yours + Mine >> 2015 Best Nine on Instagram



Image Details (L to R): Hillhurst Kitchen Renovation, Hillhurst Kitchen Renovation, Feature Contributor: Avenue Magazine - Hiring for a Renovation, Panel at entry to Hyatt Stillwater SpaBeakerhead 2015 Installation, Peace Bridge by Santiago Calatrava, Ice Heaving on Lake Windermere, BC, Planning, Wonderland by Jaume Plensa.

When I review my 2015BestNine on Instagram it’s clear that the architecture and public art Calgary has to offer are tops on the list. This is quite exciting to me as a designer.

A year can feel like a long, unproductive, slogging time. Seeing it compressed into nine standout images is a great way understand how much gets accomplished and how the seemingly unconnected pieces of a puzzle form an image.

It's also a good way to understand the spirit of something. I spend a good deal of time thinking about placemaking. When I work with a client on creating a home that they love, I am designing an environment unique to them. Seeing Calgary’s efforts at placemaking reflected so clearly in my photographs is great.

Designing a business, a life, or the inside of a home is very much like that process, too. It’s the details you fill in that create the character.

How those details are selected, collected and presented creates an energy and feeling in the space. It’s a process and a skill.

Calgary is on a very exciting journey in this respect and has made giant strides in recent years.

One example is the Peace Bridge. I’m a big fan. I know that’s not always a popular viewpoint, but I am.

It’s an iconic design.

It’s a tourist attraction that enhances one of the greatest assets in the city, the Bow River Pathway system.

It’s functional and necessary to creating walkable infrastructure. Anyone who walks or bikes knows eliminating a few kilometres on a trip makes a rather large difference, especially when it’s below zero.

The cost is a (highly visible) rounding error on the annual infrastructure budget and what the bridge contributes in terms of elevating and identifying the city is immeasurable.

It’s not just a bridge and I think many miss that point.

The second thing I love (aside from that kitchen reno project) is the nighttime image from Beakerhead.

We are so lucky to live in a talent-filled city where people can imagine, create and produce experiences that the entire community can step into. It really gives me hope for what we can become with that kind of heart and vision.

Placemaking is a process in that way. The elements that make up the whole come to define the city over time.

Individually they can make you shrug, but in collection - wow.

That’s what the 2015BestNine brought out for me.

Did you take a look at yours? What did you notice?