This is such a good idea I think I'm gonna crap my pants with joy! BTW, PP, I really enjoyed All Families Are Psychotic, should I pass it back to you or on to someone else?
Gen-X writer to design `killer toboggan run'
Obstacle course for dogs included Coupland eager for opportunity
Jan. 20, 2006. 05:11 AM
Vancouver writer Douglas Coupland wants to give Toronto the world's best toboggan run. And an obstacle course for dogs. And maybe lookouts above the Gardiner Expressway.The author of Generation X and All Families Are Psychotic has been hired by Concord Adex Developments Corp. to help design a public park near the Gardiner. "It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," Coupland said last night. "It's not often you get a blank canvas like this."The park will be part of Concord CityPlace, a 20-tower residential project between Front St. and the Gardiner on both sides of Spadina Ave. Coupland hasn't designed a park before, but that might work to his advantage. Many designers on the shortlist had done large-scale works before, but there was "a sense of predictability," said Karen Mills, a consultant who worked with Concord Adex to find a designer. The firm needed someone to deliver an innovative design. Coupland is famous for his writing, but he's also an artist. He studied at Vancouver's Emily Carr Institute and his work has been shown at the Monte Clark Gallery in Toronto. "He uses materials and forms in ways that are not what you would expect," Mills said.The fact Coupland hasn't designed a park is "a bit of a risk," said Alan Vihant, Concord Adex's vice-president of development, but he believes the gamble will pay off. "He's got some off-the-wall ideas to make this park memorable. And if a park is memorable ... it can become an icon not only for this community, but for this city." Coupland will collaborate with landscape architects Greg Smallenberg of Phillips Farevaag Smallenberg and David Leinster of the Planning Partnership. They'll look at making the park user-friendly at all times of the day and in all seasons. That's where the toboggan run and dog obstacle course come in. There are 20,000 truckloads of dirt at the site. Some will help create a hill higher than the Gardiner, Coupland said. "What goes up must come down, so why not make a killer toboggan run?"