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InsightMar 19, 2024

City Design Tour: Vancouver

Written by Maria Sinisterra RGD, Tardigrada Design Studio

Maria Sinisterra RGD, Designer & Co-Founder at Tardigrada Design Studio, shares the design experience of her city, Vancouver.

What makes your city’s design scene special/unique?

Vancouver's most valuable asset is its people and the natural landscapes. We are a rich tapestry of cultures and ethnicities and this diversity often finds expression in the city's design, where you can see a fusion of various artistic styles, traditions and influences from around the world. The city has great universities and design programs that welcome international students year-round.

Vancouver's stunning natural surroundings, including mountains, forests and the Pacific Ocean, often influence the city's design aesthetic. Many designers draw inspiration from the natural environment, leading to a design scene that incorporates organic shapes, sustainable materials and a strong emphasis on environmental consciousness. Many people enjoy a work-life balance and curious minds can discover a lot of intriguing design shops, interesting-shaped buildings and colourful graffiti.

Is there a place/landmark in your city that helps inspire you as a designer?

I enjoy exploring all the city landscape contrasts with my camera; that is my main source of inspiration. That involves meeting local artists, talking to them and looking at their work, which is a great source of inspiration. We have an event that I am particularly excited about and it involves 500+ artists on Vancouver's Eastside opening their studios to the public. The Eastside Culture Crawl is a Visual Art, Design and Crafts Festival that happens every year for four days.

What do you wish your city had that designers would really love/benefit from?

It would be great to have a cross-disciplinary design event. An event that could contribute to breaking down silos between design disciplines and promoting a more holistic and integrated approach to problem-solving and creativity. By bringing together diverse perspectives, innovation and creativity are fostered. The exchange of ideas and approaches from different disciplines can spark new insights and solutions that may not have emerged within a single, isolated discipline. It would also provide a platform for designers to connect with professionals outside their immediate field, allowing them to learn a broader spectrum of the latest trends, methodologies and best practices in different design disciplines.

Are there any challenges that designers in your city face?

I like to think of challenges as opportunities. And I haven't experienced a local chapter or community for graphic designers in Vancouver. I believe this could be an interesting initiative to explore and bring together local graphic designers, providing a platform for them to meet, exchange ideas and build a supportive community. A local design chapter in Vancouver can especially provide significant benefits for students pursuing design-related fields, offering them opportunities for growth and professional development.

Maria Sinisterra RGD

Tardigrada Design Studio

Maria is the co-founder of Tardigrada Design Studio, a branding and interior design studio based in Vancouver. A Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) alumni and Registered Graphic Designer (RGD) who brings over a decade of graphic design expertise, mentorship and global work experience. Her passions include photography and typography.


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