passive critic 613


Historically, I’ve viewed my hometown with a rather critical eye, failing to reflect properly on her creative strengths and her enduring charms. I’ve been here since my first year of existence and left only for short fugues, always returning to reconsider my surroundings. A city that hasn’t invested properly in planning, developers taking over everything, banality… I readily attributed inspirational pursuits to traveling and my home base with the need to repair.

As a fledgling architect in the throes of frustration, a wise man over at n-product, turned to me and said: 

you’ll never find a Capital with so much potential.

And I started to see my city more clearly; a finely assembled dish, rotations of graffiti under the bridge, thoughtful product design, quirky breweries (i wish i liked beer!), dynamic businesses, painters, bands, photographers, tattoo artists, that café, that festival…

…a burgeoning urban scene framed by a thriving rural scene…

A year ago I was asked to participate in a design event for #Support613, an experience that immersed me in a pool of active creativity. Here was the evidence of a community that applied themselves to many forms, leaving their trails throughout the city for others to follow.

Finding these traces is remarkable, reading them telling, creating within and contributing to their fabric should be viewed as a real privilege. 

The process towards the architectural object is typically seen as resulting in [traditional] building. The understanding that this process can be manifested in varied acts of creating and making, atypical forms and scales can be explored more successfully in context by a proactive citizen rather than a naysayer.

Enough bitching, do something...

To support local is clearly as important in attitude as in practice. Ottawa’s exposing the inner-workings of her creative scene; through monitoring her undercurrents, identifying and encouraging the good work of others, and finding the fortune in calling this city home, I’m encouraged to try dishing some good stuff out, too. 


by Bex