DoUC are profiled in the latest issue of Landscapes | Paysages, the Canadian Society of Landscape Architecture’s quarterly publication. The winter issue looks at new professionals and the issues and challenges they face. You can download a full copy here.
In their profile DoUC write:
The mandate for any design practice must be to respond to contemporary societal imperatives, while simultaneously creating new scenarios if those responses fail. Founded sometime in 2010, Department of Unusual Certainties strives to be this kind of practice. Our professional experience as urban designers (both inter- nationally and locally) has led us to a point where our deep discontent with many so-called urban projects turned into an impetus for making projects not currently demanded by the market.
The professional world of urban design is currently operating on a number of different yet interconnected false “truths.” The cafe, plaza, and podium strategy touted by many consultants does not necessarily fit everywhere, yet for some reason these banal context-less solutions make up the core of our professional practice. DoUC has made the conscious decision to work outside this frame- work and instead be the consummate outsider: client-less and happy. This has allowed DoUC the flexibility and mobility to create a variety of different projects that are not immediately recognizable as urban design. Two projects Preserva- tion Hole and Public Extr(actions) are expressions of this. Preservation Hole was DoUC’s response to the Chicago Architectural League’s competition, “Mine the Gap.” DoUC’s submission proposed a continuous space for the preservation of both real things and ephemeral realities: food, memories and dead bodies. Public
Extr(actions), a project submitted to the competition “Due per Cinque,” explored the idea of exposing private acts in public space – confined in a parking-space- sized scaffolding unit 2m x 5m x18m.
Another important component to DoUC’s work is the research at the core of every project. Information is the constant third member of DoUC, and spawns many of the ideas that go on to become projects. Currently DoUC is moving forward with two major design projects: Bee City and Parkettes. In the case of Parkettes, design solutions will be based on both new user experiences and new management scenarios for underutilized public spaces. Bee City in contrast will hypothesize a world where bees and humans meet – equal pay for equal work.
DoUC encourages all designers, young and old, to break free from the business- as-usual attitude of the Canadian design world and do what designers know how to do best – design.