In Vancouver, we know a lot more about umbrellas than parasols. Forecast rain? No problem. Let me choose from my bouquet of battered umbrellas. Shelter from the hot hot sun? Um. Maybe I should bring a hat?
Now, we have the fanciest of parasols at the Bentall Centre. Giant, glowing parasols that offer shelter and come alive at night. They are the work of Alex Beim and his team at Tangible Interaction Design.
“People are so distracted all the time,” Beim told us in a 2015 interview. “You’re here, but you’re thinking about what you have to do, what you already did. The goal across all the work we do is to bring the person to the moment, to inspire them to be completely present and to have them say: ‘Whoa. What is this?”
Beim – Artist and Creative Director – and his Tangible Interaction teams have delivered all sorts of public art inspiration to passersby local and international. They have also woven their high tech artistry into performances with Coldplay, Green Day, Cirque du Soleil.
Many of Tangible’s interactive art installations – from digital graffiti, to zygote balls, giant bubbles, and person-technology partner dances – centre around the ingenious use of light. Parasol does just that.
Header Image: Édouard Manet. Woman with a parasol. 1881