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Help transform a downtown Vancouver alley into a place of performance & connection - home to an interactive installation by Alex Beim.
428 backers pledged CA$ 64,736 to help bring this project to life.

Faces behind the campaign: Meet Ali Kenyon and Steve DiPasquale of HCMA Architecture + Design

Posted by More Awesome Now (Creator)
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Ali Kenyon and Steve DiPasquale are the talented architects on the More Awesome Now team. Steve is an architect from HCMA + Architecture and Design, and Ali is an architect and Associate at HCMA.

Ali Kenyon and Steve DiPasquale of HCMA
Ali Kenyon and Steve DiPasquale of HCMA

With backgrounds in art and design, Ali and Steve design environments, both big and small, inside and outside, permanent and temporary. They have formidable skill sets that include wild imaginations, highly technical material knowledge, and building code and permitting requirement understanding.

Ali and Steve with a scale model of Ackery's Alley
Ali and Steve with a scale model of Ackery's Alley

When HCMA worked with the Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association on another urban activation project, the DVBIA shared its dream with HCMA to ‘Re-Imagine’ the laneways of Vancouver. HCMA decided then and there to join forces with the DVBIA – and the More Awesome Now team was born.

Members of More Awesome Now - Ali (centre) and Steve (second from right)
Members of More Awesome Now - Ali (centre) and Steve (second from right)

“The More Awesome Now partnership is both a ‘call to action’ empowering citizens to make their own cities better, and a statement that demands more awesomeness,” says Ali. “The parties involved are forward thinking organizations who care deeply about making Vancouver a better place and are willing to put in the leg work to make it happen!” 

Last summer, More Awesome Now successfully launched Vancouver’s first activated alleyway, Alley Oop. Ali and Steve knew from Alley Oop’s basketball hoops that in order for Ackery’s Alley to be successful, it needed an interactive draw. FIELD’s interactivity addresses this. “One of the most delightful gifts that design gives back is the unexpected use or adoption of some aspect, when individuals use a design in creative ways, becoming an active part of it and its design. It excites us so much that projects like this might change the way citizens think about public space,” says Ali.

More Awesome Now's Alley Oop opens to the public
More Awesome Now's Alley Oop opens to the public

 

Alley Oop's basketball hoops
Alley Oop's basketball hoops

For Steve, Ackery’s Alley means a lot of things. “It’s so many things at once. It’s about inclusivity and giving performance, entertainment and life to the street. It’s a historical nod to a man who gave Vancouver a little extra uniqueness and idiosyncrasy. It’s also an invitation for city dwellers to reimagine their city and to inspire a new vitality that Vancouver is sometimes criticized for lacking.”

The support from Vancouverites and beyond for the project has been humbling. “Everyone we talk to is excited by the idea – it’s as if they’ve been waiting for it! It feels that NOW is the right time for this transformation in Vancouver,” Ali says.

Ali Kenyon and Mandy like this update.

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