Nothing is softer or more flexible than water, yet nothing can resist it.
Lao Tzu
My fake plants died because I did not pretend to water them.
Mitch Hedberg


Water is both the blood of the landscape and its architect, connecting the mountain forests to the richness of the ocean, communicating life to all that it touches, and continuously sculpting the earth. Water’s subtle power of its creeks and rivers have shaped the North Shore’s most prominent features and allowed its inhabitation by both indigenous and colonial people.

culvert and stream

Many original creeks continue to divide the landscape. Although invisible to the eye, their flow contributes to culverts and storm sewers calcified beneath the streets. Where they surface, creeks assert their presence in the uneasy regulation of development within their domain. Urban life on the North Shore’s slopes is both facilitated and complicated by water.

plan diagram

Riparian Setback explores this contradiction of our dependence on and struggle with water. A series of powder-coated steel pipes are capped with custom-crafted finials. Their form and arrangement references a grove of trees, such as one might find defining the bank of a creek, but their material and colour are industrial, referencing both the substance of the City and the manner in which water is conveyed within it.


Short-list finalist for Chief Mathias Joe Park, North Vancouver
Project Partner: Kate Stefiuk, B.F.A., M.L.A.
Budget: $30,000