Hey and welcome back to my blog. The time has yet again passed where the entire PLP community showcases our learning from the year in our annual Spring Exhibition. Finally being the most senior class in the program, we were able to act as the culmination of the event and the biggest display. Our topic was community, which ones we’re part of, people who have shaped them and specifically community impact makers on the North Shore.
What is a community impact maker you may ask. Well, the definition our class had was that a community impact maker is someone within a community who identifies a problem and then figures out and implements a solution to such problem, leaving an impact on that community and making the world a better place.
We were tasked to choose who we thought was an important community impact maker, and there was a very wide variety of individuals our class picked. For mine I decided to go a while back in time to the 1930s, when the North Shore was a sparsely populated area vastly separated from the rest of the Lower Mainland. One man decided he could change all this though, and his name was Alfred James Towle Taylor.
He envisioned a bridge to cross Burrard Inlet and to have it allow the North Shore to prosper as an early suburb of Vancouver. There were however many obstacles both political and financial in nature, but Alfred solved them all by cleverly leveraging the municipality of West Vancouver to sell large amounts of land to the Guinness Family to be populated as what are now the British Properties and in return the Guinness Family would fund the bridge and municipal infrastructure. Alfred then worked to design both the British Properties and the Lions Gate bridge. This bridge was so crucial because it allowed the North Shore to become a connected and the nominally suburban community that we are today, and has defined our local economy, employment, recreation and culture. An isolated north shore just wouldn’t be the same especially population wise. Due to this huge impact I think it’s a shame how little recognition he gets, and how the Guinness Family is assumed to be behind everything.
Here is my little write up displayed at the exhibition to give context to Alfred.
Having chosen my individual, I had to decide on a way to adequately represent him as a portrait. When thinking about this I came up with the idea to 3d design and print a structure which would appear from one angle to just be a bridge yet from another it would appear as Alfred’s face. This would fit my individual perfectly as he was a quiet individual who didn’t like to be very recognizable in the public eye. The line I used during my exhibition presentation was “You always see the bridge but not who’s behind it”, which I think encompasses the situation and my portrait perfectly. Here’s a photo of the Lions Gate Bridge which I based my portrait on.
I was able to accomplish my plan fairly successfully, as I was able to use an traced outline of Alfred that I made and turn it into a 3d shape, which I could then add pillars to and duplicate, to get the two pieces of my end product. I could then use a soldering iron to melt off and melt together the necessary parts. I then used some wire to make the bridge cables. You can see my final product just below from the two angles.
For the exhibition I was placed into the business related group, which made total sense due to the capitalistic nature of my impact maker and his goals. This group was dominated by grade 10s but the two of us grade 11s managed to effectively communicate with them and organize our group with the necessities for the exhibition to go smoothly, which it did.
Throughout the evening I presented my portrait to various individuals, who virtually all complimented its originality, message and apparent cleverness, with one person even saying it was the best they saw all night. I think that this is reflective of the deep thought and representation built into my portrait, since it works to not only relate an individual to the community, but to characterize their achievements in a practical and straightforward way. It uses not words but rather images the audience can recognize and relate to so it can tell it’s story.
I think my biggest takeaway from this project is that change is permeative and spreads exponentially throughout a community, affecting and likely leading to unfathomable numbers of events and other changes that wouldn’t otherwise be possible. The Lions Gate Bridge and it’s impact is a perfect local example of this and how it relates to our lives today.