Community Papers

Sans façon artists to speak on re-imagining urban infrastructure

An example of one of Sans façon’s urban infrastructure projects in Calgary. -
An example of one of Sans façon’s urban infrastructure projects in Calgary.
— image credit:

The men behind the art collaborative Sans façon will deliver a lecture at Richmond City Hall later this month, organizers announced Wednesday.

French architect Charles Blanc and British artist Tristan Surteeswill present the first of three talks in the City of Richmond’s 2013 Lulu Series: Art in the City. The duo will speak on how artists can help re-imagine urban infrastructure to renew the relationship between people and their environment.

Blanc and Surtees create public art, temporary and permanent, exploring the relationship between people and place. Through art, the Calgary-based pair aim to invite people to think differently about place—”hoping to create an opportunity rather than an inanimate object,” according to their website.

An ongoing project of Sans façon is Watershed+ in Calgary, a public art program that aims build an emotional connection between citizens and their watershed.

Other recent works include fire hydrant drinking fountains, in which the artists designed temporary public water fountains that attached to fire hydrants in Calgary, and a footbridge in Dorset, England.

Locally, the duo is scheduled to bring its ongoing international light installation and video work to Vancouver on the last weekend of January. Their Limelight: Saturday night transforms sidewalks into impromptu stages by turning streetlights into theatre spotlights.

Award-winning Aboriginal cellist Cris Derkson will offer a short performance at city hall before Sans façon’s talk.

The talk begins at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 23 at city hall’s council chambers. Admission is free, but seating is limited. Reserve at

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