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Other Colours

Research Initiative


Other Colours was conceived in response to the Vancouver Heritage Foundation’s True Colours, a program that offers grants to incentivize homeowners to restore heritage homes to their ‘true’ Victorian, Edwardian and War Time era (1880–1930) colours, with paint swatches such as “Oxford Bluff” and “Edwardian Pewter”. Canada’s colonial history is a violent history that must be questioned, not ceremoniously replicated. The True Colours program has been deployed largely in support of the gentrification of inner city neighbourhoods, particularly those with a history of immigrant struggle where homes were painted colours that represented diverse cultural backgrounds and experiences of the city. 221A led a Research Initiative with 10 contributors who were asked to provide a swatch for an “Other Colours palette” that would offer alternatives to the True Colours program based on the contributors’ lived experience, cultural traditions and artistic practices. Each Other Colours palette selection is detailed by the contributor with an original text or artwork. This collection of short prose, poetry and social history, printed by Brick Press as an Artist’s Book, offers a more pluralistic account of the city’s built environment and identity.

Blockchains & Cultural Padlocks

Research Initiative

2019 – 2022

A three-year digital strategy initiative by 221A that researches, develops sectoral capacity, and implements blockchain technology for cultural, social and ecological use-cases. Blockchain technology will be the next layer of the internet, connecting data and information to new forms of mutually-agreed value. Seen as a new institutional technology, the blockchain could potentially be as crucial as electricity and the internet itself. The programming is based on distributed ledger cryptography, never stored in one central reserve, but replicated and simultaneously updated across networks of server nodes. These distributed systems provide transparency as well as security for transactions and value recognition on the peer-to-peer scale, without mediating authority from third-party and legacy institutions.

Architects for Social Housing:
For a Socialist Architecture (Ask These Questions)


July 2019 - December 2019

Architects for Social Housing (ASH) is a Community Interest Company from London, England, that organizes working collectives for individual projects. Their unifying principle is that refurbishing and increasing the housing capacity on London’s council estates, rather than demolishing and redeveloping them as properties for market sale, is a more sustainable solution to the housing needs of London’s communities. 

T’uy’t’tanat-Cease Wyss:
x̱aw̓s shew̓áy̓ New Growth «新生林»


June 2018 – August 2019

T’uy’tanat Cease Wyss is a media artist and ethnobotanist. Her Fellowship with 221A will lead a transformation of Semi­-Public 半公開 at 271 Union Street, converting the site’s compacted road base gravel to a communal garden designed with permaculture systems and plants that are indigenous to the bioregion of the Pacific Northwest Coast and the unceded territories of the Squamish, Musqueam, Tsleil-Waututh, and Stó:lō Nations.

No upcoming activities.