Pearson’s eye for de­sign scans the city

BEST OF VAN­COU­VER IN­DUS­TRY EX­PERTS

The Georgia Straight - - Best Of Vancouver - By

ANNE PEARSON

When Anne Pearson opened Van­cou­ver Spe­cial in 2008, there was noth­ing quite like the cheery, dream­ily cu­rated con­cept bou­tique in the city. In fact, that was the point: the young ar­chi­tect wanted to in­tro­duce Van­cou­ver to a ver­sion of the in­spir­ing, all-en­com­pass­ing de­sign stores she had come across in places like Ky­oto, Los An­ge­les, and Berlin dur­ing her trav­els—a spot that com­bined clever, unique, and well-de­signed and -priced home ob­jects like col­lapsi­ble whisks, colour­ful ra­dio clocks, and origami-in­flu­enced ta­ble mats un­der one roof.

What’s more, she wanted the shop to be more than a place where one-way trans­ac­tions hap­pened. “I wanted to pro­vide a space that didn’t just func­tion as retail,” she tells the Straight by phone. “I wanted it to be a hub for de­sign­ers and a place where we could also hold events, book sign­ings, lec­tures, and par­ties for the creative com­mu­nity in Van­cou­ver.”

Work­ing un­der the be­lief that “good de­sign should be ac­ces­si­ble for all peo­ple and not just the elite”, Pearson strives to show­case the lat­est in­no­va­tions by young and up-and-com­ing de­sign­ers—many of them from right here in Van­cou­ver. So, when it came to this year’s Best of Van­cou­ver is­sue, we couldn’t think of any­one bet­ter to pin­point the re­gion’s most stun­ning, sur­pris­ing, and must-see de­sign­cen­tric peo­ple, places, and things.

BEST LO­CAL FUR­NI­TURE DE­SIGNER

Knauf and Brown

Ship­way Liv­ing De­sign

Greg Papove

All of them use ma­te­ri­als in unique ways or in­vent their own ma­te­ri­als, which I think is im­por­tant. For ex­am­ple, Ship­way uses a lot of re­claimed ma­te­ri­als, so he [owner and de­signer Rom­ney D. Ship­way] is go­ing around find­ing off-cuts of mar­ble from kitchen man­u­fac­tur­ers, and mak­ing prod­ucts out of that mar­ble.

BEST IN­DE­PEN­DENT DE­SIGN SHOP OTHER THAN YOURS

Wal­rus

3408 Cam­bie Street

It’s my go-to for gifts. They have great jew­ellery, and the own­ers are just lovely.

BEST LO­CAL LIGHT­ING DE­SIGNER

And­light

They have lights that are ap­pli­ca­ble to both res­i­den­tial and com­mer­cial en­vi­ron­ments, so they’d be great for your liv­ing room, for a restau­rant, for an of­fice. They re­ally bridge all those en­vi­ron­ments.

BEST ON-A-BUD­GET HOMEFURNISHINGS STORE BE­SIDES IKEA Muji

Var­i­ous lo­ca­tions

I used to live in Ja­pan, so I’ve al­ways been a big fan of Muji—es­pe­cially their stor­age so­lu­tions: the clear plas­tic bins of all sizes. And I re­ally love their bath­room ac­ces­sories and sta­tionery, of course.

BEST HID­DEN DE­SIGN GEM Shop­pers Drug Mart

586 Granville Street

If you go up­stairs, there’s an old mu­ral—a 40-foot glass mo­saic mu­ral by B.C. Bin­ning—and it’s per­fectly pre­served. You can go up there— and above all the greet­ing cards, sham­poo, you can see this in­cred­i­ble mu­ral. It’s there be­cause the build­ing was orig­i­nally built as the main branch of the CIBC in the 1950s.

BEST LO­CAL AR­CHI­TECT Patkau Ar­chi­tects

This firm doesn’t have a par­tic­u­lar aes­thetic that they ap­ply to every project. They treat each project sep­a­rately; they look at the site, they look at the client, they look at the pro­gram. And they de­velop the lan­guage of the ar­chi­tec­ture around those, rather than man­dat­ing a cer­tain style on each project, so every sin­gle one

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of their build­ings looks com­pletely dif­fer­ent.

BEST LO­CAL IN­TE­RIOR DE­SIGNER Laura Melling, creative direc­tor at Laura Melling In­te­rior De­sign + Styling Alyssa Lewis, creative direc­tor at Stu­dio Block An­drea Mclean, co­founder of the Aviary and owner of An­drea Mclean De­sign Of­fice

They’re in­cred­i­bly tal­ented women and they have a very sim­i­lar aes­thetic to my style, which is very Scan­di­na­vian and min­i­mal­ist. And they’re not afraid of colour.

BEST CHEAP THRILL

Goods by Lind­sey Hamp­ton, who is both a ce­ramist and graphic de­signer. I get a lot of joy from her colour­ful and geo­met­ric mugs and vases. BEST RESTAU­RANT DE­SIGN Botanist

1038 Canada Place

Pepino’s Spaghetti House

630 Com­mer­cial Drive

St. Lawrence

269 Pow­ell Street

Craig Stanghetta, who’s the de­signer at Ste. Marie [Art + De­sign, the firm be­hind these restau­rants’ in­te­ri­ors], has a re­ally eclec­tic sense of styling. He has a way of cre­at­ing a space that fully im­merses you into an­other place, into an­other time, into an­other world. His level of at­ten­tion to de­tail is re­ally in­cred­i­ble.

BEST RETAIL OR BOU­TIQUE DE­SIGNS

Nada

675 East Broad­way

They’ve done a re­ally in­cred­i­ble job with that space. It’s very white and crisp and plain; they have re­ally punchy, pink-and-white graph­ics. BEST MU­SEUM STORE

The Poly­gon Shop at the Poly­gon Gallery

101 Car­rie Cates Court,

North Van­cou­ver

I al­ways rec­om­mend that peo­ple go check out the new Poly­gon Gallery in North Van­cou­ver. Their mu­seum shop car­ries lo­cal jew­ellery and ceram­ics, and they have an amaz­ing se­lec­tion of pho­tog­ra­phy books.

BEST AREA FOR DE­SIGN-SPOT­TING Univer­sity of

Bri­tish Columbia

2329 West Mall

UBC has the best col­lec­tion of new and old ar­chi­tec­ture in the city. They have re­ally suc­ceeded in cre­at­ing build­ings that I think you wouldn’t be able to pull off in other places in Van­cou­ver, be­cause they have their own plan­ning guide­lines.

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