High Performance: Evolution and Innovation in Canadian Design features a selection of design products from the field of sports and recreation. Canada is no longer simply seen as a supplier of raw materials. Instead, Canadian designers have been recognized internationally for their inventive work, turning those raw materials into products that are marketed around the world.
While Canadian designers engage in design on an international level, connected to the global economy of the 21st century, they also respond to aesthetic, cultural, and economic considerations that are uniquely Canadian. The Canadian environment has been the locus of pioneering designs for decades. With rugged landscapes, vast distances, and harsh winters, our surroundings have offered challenges and enticements for designers and have inspired the development of products that enable individuals to pursue activities in the Canadian landscape. Many products, such as kayaks and snowshoes, have evolved from their traditional designs into modern pieces through the use of high tech materials, advanced manufacturing processes, and new design strategies.
The idea of ‘High Performance’ is a unifying theme in the exhibition. All well-designed objects are meant to perform, yet because of their ultimate use some must function at an extraordinary level. Whether for extreme sports and conditions, for rigorous outdoor activity, or for recreational use, Canadian designers have excelled at producing innovative products in this field.
High Performance features the work of GV Snowshoes, G3 Genuine Guide Gear, Homegrown Skateboards, Gatt Sled, Hennessey Hammock, Feathercraft Products, BIXI Public Bike System, Knolly Bikes, Toby’s Cycle Works, Islander Reels, Arc’teryx, Cervélo Cycles, Boblbee, Dakine, and the Original Maple Bat Corporation.
The exhibition is curated by Greg Bellerby and designed by Campos Leckie and Oliver Neumann in collaboration with the University of British Columbia School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture and the University of Toronto Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design.
High Performance is presented with the Vancouver 2010 Cultural Olympiad.