Why not an ibus stop in Ottawa?

Although Ottawa is most probably far from being ready to adopt this caliber of design in the city (still I keep hoping for a miracle), it would be neat to have bus stops like the new ones that will be installed in Florence, Italy next year. Called EyeStops and designed by the SENSEable City Lab of MIT, this 21st century concept bus stop interacts with passengers the same way an iphone can.

The solar-powered booths will be outfitted with touchscreen displays that will show necessary information such as bus schedules and the shortest route for a certain destination. People will also be able browse the web, check the air quality, see the exact location of their desired bus, interact with a mobile device and use the booth as a community message board to post announcements and ads using the next generation of epaper.

A bus pole version of the EyeStop with similar mapping, info, and communication tools will also be introduced in 2010. But wait, there’s more! It glows brighter as the next bus nears the stop to signal pedestrians from afar. How cool is that?

About 200 bus shelters and 1,000 bus poles are expected to be installed. What I love about these, besides the fact that they are awesome, is that they are really in tune with the times and how people live today in the 21st century. Of course, those opposed to change will not like this, but it's only a matter of time before items such as these become common practice.


Timeraiser : Speed Dating for Volunteerism in Ottawa for the Second Year

Ever heard of Timeraiser? Part volunteer fair, silent art auction and night on the town, this innovative program helps busy socially and locally minded people to connect with causes they feel are important to them. Here's how it works :
Throughout the evening meet with different agencies and match your skills to their needs. Once you have made your matches, you are then eligible to bid on artwork. The big twist is rather than bidding money, you bid volunteer hours. If you have a winning bid, you have 12 months to complete your pledge before bringing the artwork home as a reminder of your goodwill.

This year, Ottawa Timeraiser will take place on Saturday, November 14, 2009 at the Canadian War Museum, 1 Vimy Place, 7:00 PM. Tickets are $20 (a 20 volunteer hours over a 12 month period pledge is recommended).

You can also preview the auctioned art here.

To date, Timeraisers across Canada have generated more than 50,000 volunteer hours, encouraged 5,000 Canadians to pick up a cause, invested $300,000 in the careers of Canadian artists and supported the efforts of more than 250 non-profit organizations. Other Canadian cities include Toronto, Vancouver, Hamilton and Calgary.

For more information contact Jen at jgrebel@timeraiser.ca or 1 (800) 263-1178 x232.


What will it take for Ottawa to break out of its mold of complacency?

Check out my guest post on Designing Ottawa and let me know what you think!

Here's the deal : The Laurentian high school site was up for grabs not too long ago.

An agreement has recently been reached, the site will probably end up looking like this:

Photo : SmartCenter Commercial development in Montreal, QC

... when it could have looked more like this:

Photo : Médiacité, alternative commercial development in Liège, Belgium

I think spending less time finding excuses and more time finding solutions would be a big step. What do you think? More details on Designing Ottawa blog.


Modern Ottawa on Flickr

Ginger from At Home in Ottawa sparked this great idea to start a Flickr group of unique architecture in Ottawa. So I followed through. If you have pictures of some great modern buildings in the city of Ottawa, I invite you to add them to Modern Ottawa - Unique Architecture.


EQ3 Clearance Sale

If you like modern furniture and you're looking for a bargain, you might want to check out EQ3 on Merivale road. Sadly the store will be closing on November 1st so everything must go.

EQ3 Ottawa Merivale
EQ3 Ottawa Merivale
EQ3 Ottawa Merivale

Festival in Wesboro Village : Witch on stilts

Modern Ottawa : Festival Westboro Village Ottawa Witch on Stilts
Modern Ottawa : Festival Westboro Village Ottawa Witch on Stilts


Great bench options for Ottawa

I'm not sure what's going on with Ottawa's Integrated Street Furniture Program. That section of their website doesn't seem to have been updated for a while. (Perhaps most of the efforts are being concentrated on Lansdowne?) Technically contracts should be awarded by now and the installation should start in July 2011. In the mean time I found some interesting bench options for Ottawa because they really need an update!

Benches along the Rideau River

Imagine having Tititkaka benched (design by by Naoto Fukasawa for B & B Italia) along the Rideau river with a redesigned landscape.
Or a series of Valencia benches (designed by Jose Gandia and Pablo Girones for Gandia Blasco) all along Sparks street. They're a lot sexier than the ones that are there right now. But of course you can't change the benches without changing the whole street (new stores, new façade, new vibe, etc.). It's looking old and tired right now.

Benches on Spark Street

Some portions of Sparks street are the perfect location for Astral benches designed by Per Borre. I love how they wrap around and give more of an opportunity for people to talk which is very fitting for Ottawa people because from my own experience , people are very much into talking to strangers just cause. So why not have furniture that fits the personality of the population.

source : StylePark

Street "performer" in the ByWard Market


Ottawa needs piano stairs!

I recently came across this really neat video about a project in Stockholm where public stairs were retrofitted to sound like the keys from a piano as people walk on them. It's a fun way to get people to use the stairs more often. It seems to also brighten the day of people who got to experience it.

The same group also introduced a sound effect to a public trash bin in order to give the impression that the bin was very deep. I think Ottawa could use a bit of fun like that in the city.


Ottawa's Google Street View is addictive :)

I assume most of you already know that Street View is now available in Ottawa. After finding out on Apt. 613 I just had to try it. It's really interesting to be able to virtually roam the streets and get the beat of the city. It's going to be very useful when looking for a particular address or comparing cities.

Street Meat


Ottawa Home & Design Show - A step in the right direction

So I went to the Home and Design Show and I am happy to say that I noticed a bit of a difference between this show and the Home and Garden Show. Although not as impressive as SIDIM or IDS, it seems like they are moving in the right direction.
Ottawa Home & Design Show
The best booth design was the one from Stereo Plus & Design. They had actual fully furnished rooms on display. You can see right away that they got help from an interior designer. People were not only going inside the boot, they were sitting down and talking with the representative.
EQ3 had an attractive setting with various arrangements and a nice color palette. They were easy to spot with the bright red accents.
AH Design had nice pieces but they could have used the help of a designer or decorator. The booth looked more like a bunch of cool pieces thrown into an open space as opposed to a designed room. I don't get the short black curtain on one side or why they left the other side open. It creates a cluttered look and kind of cheapened expensive and attractive pieces. That's too bad.
I don't like the chairs used in front of the stage. I find them boring. If it was up to me I would have used more interesting chairs like the one that can be rented at Luxe Rental (eg. 1,2,3,4)
Alteriors had some great pieces. I found out the store changed owners and is now run by a husband and wife team. They are bringing a lot of pieces made in Canada like izm on top of the Italian lines the company was already carrying.

Aside from that, two other companies grabbed my attention. The first one is Devine Finishes which specializes in resurfacing counters, cabinets, floors, tubs and more. It's a good and perhaps an eco-friendly alternative for those who want to improve the look of their space without replacing everything.

The other one is Modulex, a company in Quebec that specializes in prefabricated home. What I like about prefabricated homes is that they usually are very energy efficient and well built since the components are constructed in a climate controlled environment. They have a model call Ibiza that I just love. It's interesting that it's called Ibiza, who knows, maybe it will be my house in a few years :)

Ibiza Model photo: Modulex


Ottawa Home & Design Show

Apparently the the Ottawa Home and Design Show, October 2-4, is a first in Ottawa. There should be an important design and decorating component to this show compared to the likes of the Home Renovation Show. I'll probably go check it out. I'm hoping for less knick knacks and clutters booths and more creative and inspirational spaces.

I wish I could have participated. But I'm still new to Ottawa and I don't have all the proper contacts to make it happen, but if I could I would have participated and presented something like this, a life size 400 sq. ft condo unit. I think it would have been really neat. You can find out more about my ideas for this show here.

Anyway, maybe next year. I did speak with some people who might want to participate with me next year, and I'm planning on finding others who want to participate as well. 

Deadmau5 at Parliament Ultra Club


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