49º15’53”N 123º8’30” 

Extremely rare specimen

Leonard Frank Files (Only through the camera can we truly see)

Research, Exhibition
Present intensity, historical reflection, seeing oneself see, whereness of place...

Not so long ago the camera was an arcane and specialized piece of optical equipment understood only by professionals and a few dedicated enthusiasts.  

But times have changed.

Recent estimates suggest that over 1.5 billion photographs are taken each day. Image capture, whether still image or video, has never been so ubiquitous, never so filtered, and never so hypertrophically overdetermined.  The camera as a technology has never been so pedestrian, so stealth, and so...small.

Social media platforms have enabled a parallel universe where a vertiginous matrix of continuously refreshed luminous, red,  green and blue scintillations lead to retinal overload, blurrrrrr. (Pixel utopioids. Optic overdose.)


Leonard Frank was active as a photographer between 1910 - 1944, travelling throughout British Columbia taking photographs of a vast array of subjects. The Vancouver Public Library holds a collection of over 7,000 pictures taken by Frank and as an archive these photographs retain tremendous artifact value, presenting a specific perspective of life in the province in those years.

Frank was particularly interested in photographing city scenes: buildings, bridges and waterfront, although he had a passion for nature and took some interesting photographs of mountains and forest. Born in Berne in 1870, the son of one of Germany's earliest professional photographers, at the age of 22 Frank was struck with gold fever and emigrated to San Francisco.  2 years later he relocated to (Port) Alberni on Vancouver Island intending to prospect for gold. Frank never discovered gold, but by chance, won a camera as a prize in a raffle contest. This fateful event set the course for a lifelong passion.

While managing a general store and continuing to prospect, Frank took pictures of his surroundings until photography became his chosen profession.

In 1917, Frank moved to Vancouver and quickly became a leading commercial / industrial photographer. Frank 's photographs form a unique document of Vancouver and British Columbia's history between the wars. Whether in the woods, shooting the activities of the lumber industry, or on Vancouver's waterfront, recording the contents of warehouses, Frank managed to produce photographs which not only included factual information, but in many instances captured candid human moments, arresting natural beauty, and abstract light effects that only through the camera can we truly see.

Building on the legacy of Leonard Frank, this project sets out to revisit the relationship between the local built environment and the image and to query the use of the camera as an instrument of acute and specific vision, a tool for ‘the seeing of a something’, and a documentary machine, that despite super mass media, can still hold our gaze still....

8 bit house

A modified version of John Hejduk's “9 square problem”; an exercise often taught in architecture schools. Rather than Hejduk's nine proportioned squares, we opted for 8 'bits', that is to say, eight discreet elements that could be used in variable combinations to compose a series of unique spatial experiences.


Roundabout  Vancouver

Vancouver Art Gallery
Goodweather was commissioned to produce a new work to be included in WE: Vancouver, an exhibition taking stock of emergent design practices in the city.

We asked ourselves: “What would a metropolis in the Pacific Northwest look like if urban planners at the turn of the 20th century recognized and exploited the spatial potential of existing old growth trees rather than their perceived resource potential?

Employing techniques of photomontage and urban mapping, we take an anachronistic detour that decouples empirical fact from historical memory. While in the present city of Vancouver, the centre space of roundabouts is given over to various sanctioned treatments—community gardens, a monumental rock, and so on—in this “retroprojective” proposal an alternative vision of the not-so-distant past is offered, one wherein forward-thinking city planners leave an old growth tree at the centre of each future roundabout.
With this simple gesture we can envisage an entirely different city, one in which the massive trees are no longer a rarity but instead fundamentally define and shape our movement through the urban fabric of Vancouver. While the singular presence of each tree is in itself remarkable, their collective existence is a legacy comparable in size and density to that of Stanley Park, Vancouver’s beloved urban green-space. With this action on the civic imagination the city becomes a forest, and the forest a city.

Project completed in collaboration with Chad Manley and Daniel Irvine

Local Mountain


Courage or stupidity?

From its beginnings in the 1930s, ski flying has developed its own distinct history. Although the sport of skiing in North America is little more than a century old, researchers have dated a rock carving of a skier, found on the Norwegian island of Rodoy as being over 4,000 years old.

It is difficult not to be compelled and fascinated by the sport of ski flying; its provisional, often delicate, and yet sublime architectural structures that make human flight possible, if only briefly.

This project sets out to collect and synthesize the history and spirit of the sport through an architectural analysis of its artifice, ambitions, spectacle and folly.