We are currently planning the next City Builders Camp for Spring 2016.  Please consider joining our email list to keep up to date, and read on to find out more about the first edition of the camp.

Urban Idea’s City Builders Camp took place over four Fridays between September 12 and October 3, 2014. Eleven young people from across Winnipeg spent their days using art, design and experiential learning to discover how cities are built, planned and work. Set in the classroom of downtown Winnipeg, the students received instruction from artists and design professionals and took part in hands-on creative workshops, field trips, and presentations.

Through the arts, City Builders learned about how cities operate, mounted a photography exhibition, built scale models, developed public art proposals, and created an interactive map of the Exchange District. Each day was focused on a different investigation into an element of architecture, planning, or infrastructure with a short lecture from someone who works in the field. The students then met an arts professional and learned a bit about their practice before heading into the city to create!

Week 1:

Students learned about the history of the city and the basics of architecture from Candace Karhut of Republic Architecture and architectural historian and curator Abigail Auld. They toured the West Exchange District on foot, making sketches and taking measurements and spent the afternoon creating a scale model of the area.

Week 2:

Photographer Lisa Stinner-Kun gave a lecture on photography and showed students some of the ways the City has been documented. A tour of City Hall from Historian Murray Peterson and Manager of Urban Design John Kiernan was followed by a field trip to some of Winnipeg’s important facilities: Justin Lee led us through the Brady Road Landfill and Jonathan Borland of Winnipeg Transit gave students free access to Winnipeg Transit headquarters. A collection of photos taken by the students is currently on display at Platform Gallery in the Artspace Building.

Week 3:

Public Art was the order of the day, with a lesson on Urban Design from the university of Manitoba Assistant Professor Orly Linovski and a tour of Winnipeg’s Public Art collection with the Winnipeg Arts Council Public Art Manager Tricia Wasney. In the afternoon the students worked with artist Erica Swendrowski to design their own public art projects for a site adjacent to Old Market Square. Each student conceived, designed, and built a maquette of the installation they would like to see. Students created everything from seating and fountains to libraries to large sculptural installations.

Week 4:

The final week of the program was spent discussing wayfinding and map-making. Planning student Ryan Segal gave an introduction to the concepts of wayfinding, and then artist cam bush set the students to work documenting the Exchange District by drawing, photographing, writing about, and recording video of distinct elements of the area. All of the day’s work was compiled into an interactive map that can be found at bit.ly/1vGJaEa.

City Builders participants (Photo: Molly Johnson)

Photo: Molly Johnson