Vancouver East Housing Coop Illustrated Map

Vancouver East Housing Coop Illustrated Map.

The Vancouver East Housing Co-op recently asked me to join them on a walking tour and illustrate their co-op buildings. I was so surprised to learn some of the beautiful houses just off Commercial Drive aren’t actually owned by millionaires, but owned by co-op members.

sam bradd, artist, vancouver, image, live drawing, what is graphic recording, what is graphic facilitation, illustration, Vancouver East Housing Co-op, vancouver housing coop, cooperative housing, map, asset mapping, community development, community building, neighbours, east van, union, illustrator, best practice, vector, best practice, visualization, visual learners, mind map, visual practitioner, creativity, sketch noters, visual notetaking, facilitator, visual thinking, information architects, visual synthesis, live drawing, non profit, progressive, environment, sustainability, community, health, youth, empowerment, justice, leadershipThe VEHC is a fascinating housing model: it’s houses “scattered” in a neighbourhood. There’s 5 sites. Since people don’t all live side by side, the Van East Housing Co-op had a get-to-know-your-co-op members event to tour each site and through some homes.

The event was as one-of-a-kind as their buildings. Our group – including kids, dogs, and accompanied by a violin player – toured each site and through some houses. I brought my sketchbook and paints with me. At each stop, there were snacks (delicious), people getting to know each other, and a place for me to sit and sketch as fast as I could. I also asked co-op members what was special about the architecture or places they lived.

At each place I looked for the details that you can’t get by researching Google Maps: the giant plum tree and accessible chair-lift, the hammock in the backyard, the details of the character houses, how the kids play together. We ended the afternoon with more snacks in a big shared backyard where there were 10 garden plots and huge trees.

When I got home, I re-painted the buildings and created the map using my notes.

Housing co-ops play an important role in providing affordable, long-term housing that builds community. Hope this maps shares some of that specialness.

Learn more about housing co-ops at the CHF BC,

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