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Block Magazine

Creativity has its place
Issue 25

Starting Block

At the root of good design is access. Designers and creatives see things not as they are but as they should be.

Photo courtesy of Build Nova Scotia

 

The Peggy’s Cove Lighthouse project achieved a Gold rating through the RHFAC program. Allied is working with the Rick Hansen Foundation to explore ways to improve inclusivity and access across its buildings.

Peggy’s Cove Lighthouse is perched on a rocky outcrop, scarred by glaciers and smoothed by wind, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. The scene is exactly as you might picture it—with one notable addition. A viewing platform (and paths, washrooms, parking stalls and other features) has made the natural wonder accessible for the first time to those not willing or able to scramble across slippery, wave-battered rocks. The project, spearheaded by federal and provincial governments and designed by architect Omar Gandhi, with input from local residents and the Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility Certification program, is a truly remarkable achievement of considered design.

At the root of good design is access. Designers and creatives see things not as they are but as they should be. They create an interface between a problem and its solution—between an object and its user so that user has a portal to a service or experience that would otherwise be unavailable. This issue of Block focuses on design and access, in both expected and unexpected ways, while celebrating those who are making our world more inclusive.

Take our cover subjects (The Creator, p 26), two Montreal-based sisters who are redesigning the shoe industry to give people access to high-quality and ethically made footwear. We also visit Gander Airport in Newfoundland (Work-in-Progress, p. 32), where the airport authority, with the help of designer Jessica Waterman, is refreshing and opening up the space to give locals and visitors access to an inspiring environment and incredible history. We speak with Level Playing Field’s founder Darby Lee Young (The Business, p. 16) (you may know her from the Fluevog shoe named in her honour) and the Rick Hansen Foundation’s Brad McCannell and Kristen Habermehl (The Conversation, p. 38), who are each bringing increased access to their clients—and the one in five Canadians who identify as having a disability—from the Calgary Stampede all the way to Peggy’s Cove.

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