Willie Brisco, March 1, 2013. Image courtesy the Artist and 221A, Vancouver. Photograph by Dennis Ha

221A is a non-profit organization that explores the role of design in the shaping of contemporary societies. 221A is based in Vancouver, Canada on Unceded Coast Salish Territories.

221A was founded by 14 mostly international students in 2005. In the first two years, the organization focused on interdisciplinary and extra-academic events called ‘Pacts’. The Pacts, from the Latin pactum meaning “something agreed upon”, sought to take advantage of school as a place to experiment and organize, involving exhibitions, performances and discussions. Out of the Pacts emerged a unique interdisciplinary community that critiqued design as a practice of unthinking exploitation, shaping a world at the service of the powerful. In 2007 the collective incorporated under the BC Society Act with the anti-institutional name “Noart”. In 2008, the organization opened a dedicated public space at 221A E Georgia Street in Vancouver, Chinatown, adopting the place-name “221A”.

221A programs are developed in-house, with a curatorial emphasis on projects by staff and residents. With this in mind, specific proposals are seldom encouraged, but we do appreciate bodies of work being brought to our attention to inform our planning. For further information please contact Jesse McKee, Head of Strategy at jmckee@221a.ca.

Artists’ Fees & Living Wages
221A’s policies require the payment of artists at rates above the CARFAC national average. The organization is an active member of the Pacific Association of Artist Run Centres. View the CARFAC fee schedules.

221A’s policies require staff to be paid at a minimum of $21/hr. 221A is not a registered living wage employer at this time, but pays staff at rates set by the living wage for families campaign.