Friday Feature: HOTTEA


For this week’s Friday Feature, I wanted to share the work of Minneapolis artist Eric Rieger (HOTTEA). I came across Eric’s work a few weeks ago and it continues to inspire me. Eric uses yarn and other simple materials to create non-destructive street art installations.


What really delights me about Eric’s work is how simple modifications to common built spaces can create a completely different experience.  In pieces like Ritual and Optimism, everyday public spaces (old tennis courts, connector walkways) become visible, colourful, and playful.  It’s a good reminder that small, ephemeral interventions can have a big impact.



In contrast to a lot of street art, Eric’s installations are sculptural and transform how people move through and interact with space. I rarely consider the three dimensional and sculptural opportunities of public space interventions. His work has inspired me to consider so many new possibilities for neglected spaces as I walk around.

Check out more of Eric’s work (including his lovely indoor pieces) on Flickr and in these articles showcasing his installations.

Have a great weekend!


**All photos courtesy of HOT TEA

Friday Feature: HOTTEA

Design and community

Hey all! I hope the new year is treating you well so far! Just a quick post to let people know about a couple of cool  initiatives to recently get started in Regina  – the Queen City Hub and Regina Advocates for Design. I think that both are going to add a lot of energy and fresh perspective into the discussion about how our city will and should grow in the coming years.

996999_432285983560093_418388265_nI heard about Regina Advocates for Design from a friend, and I have to say I’m pretty excited! RAD is a group of architects, landscape architects, planners, and design professionals  and their mission is “to advocate for the importance of design and innovation in Regina’s built environment”. The group is quite new but they’ve already hosted their first film screening earlier this month (featuring the film Archiculture) as well as a  lecture about the work of Arthur Erickson in early December. It’s great to see an active public discussion about design and architecture in the city!


Queen City Hub

Queen City Hub is a new co-work space in downtown Regina. There are a lot of great co-work spaces in cities across Canada, a number of which we’ve talked about before including the Centre for Social Innovation (Toronto), the HUB (Halifax), and the TwoTwenty (Saskatoon), so I’m very excited to see this starting in our city! In addition to flexible work spaces, they also host community events. This week they hosted Hub Social: Building Cultural Capacity in Regina, examining the role of community organizations, cultural institutions, and citizens in the growth of our city.


It’s great to see more people engaging in these types of initiatives and discussions. I look forward to seeing how both of these initiatives develop this year!

Design and community

Friday Feature: Love letter to your city

Today’s Friday Feature is a great public art project being launched by Spacing magazine. The project invites citizens in cities across Canada to share their feelings about their city. People can tweet their thoughts to @DearCityCanada with the messages to be displayed on digital billboards in select cities …. and Regina is one of those cities! Messages from all cities will also be displayed on screens in malls across the country.

From Spacing:

Do you love your city? Or perhaps your feelings more complex? If you can fit it in 140 characters, we want to share it with the rest of Canada on a billboard as part of a new public art project. Your voice matters. Join other urbanists in a public dialogue about the issues affecting our daily lives in the cities we inhabit.

I think it’s a fun idea that allows people to share ideas and see what people in other cities are saying. What things are important to people Halifax, Montreal, Edmonton, and Hamilton? What things do we all have in common? What is unique about each place?

So Regina – what do you think? What do we love about our city? What do we want to love about our city? The deadline for tweets is June 1, 2013.

Have a great weekend!

Photo of back alley downtown by Aaron Hase

Friday Feature: Love letter to your city

Regina Public Library Central Branch Talk

31. Regina Public Library and City Hall


Come down to the Central Branch Wednesday at 7:30pm to take part in a Jane’s Walk style stroll through the Library.  The Friends of the RPL are hosting the tour as a way to celebrate 50 years of the Central Branch building.  For more information call 535-9570, or visit

Regina Public Library Central Branch Talk

The Citizen Flâneur

Just a quick follow-up post from Shawn Micallef’s talk at the Urbanspace Gallery (a great space that hosts shows specifically about cities). Both Berlin on the Go and the remounting of their exhibit Walkability were great (the Walkability show is all online and I suggest going to check it out).

In that post, I’d mentioned briefly the notion of the flâneur – a wanderer and observer of city life. I noted in my last post that Shawn is seen as Toronto’s resident flâneur and that his twitter feed is fun to follow – partially because he often attaches photos of what he’s observing. But, he isn’t the only one who does this. Lots of people snap photos and share them, occasionally with commentary, on facebook, twitter, tumblr….. and it has lead me to wonder if handheld technology allows, and maybe even promotes, all citizens to be flâneurs in some way.


I know people complain that smartphones, instagram, and tweeting remove us from real life (and don’t get me wrong – that is very possible :), but I think this technology may be inadvertently encouraging people to pay attention to the small and understated moments of city life. Bits of graffiti scrawled in an alley, a dog waiting for their owner outside a coffee shop, a couple sharing a funny joke on a park bench, and garbage overflowing from city bins may not seem like things needing documentation. But it is the act of noticing, thinking about, and hopefully discussing these small moments and patterns around us that is important. Maybe by sharing our observations we can actually contribute to a greater awareness, appreciation, and interaction with our local landscapes.

So, what do you think – do you think that our techie devices and social media (smart phones, digital camera, twitter, facebook) have the potential to make people more (instead of less) aware and thoughtful of their surroundings? Has it changed the way you look at your surroundings?

Coincidentally, I just noticed this post on Atlantic Cities about how smart phones and technology may also encourage people to walk more… interesting read.

The Citizen Flâneur