situating point douglas
manitoba Introduction

A site is never just an empty piece of land. A site is between the known and the unknown, the expected and the unexpected, and the objective reality of its physical presence and your subjective interpretation. A site touches on the soul of a place or city and resonates with all manner of ghosts or echoes from the past, strange activities from the present and anticipated uses from the future. The qualities and essence of a site are not always understood through the image or as a static or spatial thing alone, otherwise a photo would tell us all we need to know; where, for example, can one smell the bakery three blocks over? Similarly a site may be affected by things from outside its physical area; noise from a passing train, wind-blown snow from a distant silo, seeds dropped from passing birds. There may be things hidden under layers of rubble, aspects not evident in a five minute photo snapshot visit, or things you need to wait a year or a decade to discover. Additionally, a site is always seen differently by different eyes, different people, at different times of the day or night, season or year. A garbage collector will understand a site very differently from the point of view of the back alley perhaps, a dog might have a smell map in his head, a city planner a vision of lofts and condos, an artist the colour of the sky at dusk from her 7th story studio, the person walking slowly sees things differently from the car passing by. A sign writer would see a site perhaps in terms of its written signs. Each is a different point of view, each with their own timeframe (duration), level of detail and subjective understanding.


Point Douglas, a forgotten or neglected corner of the city is an area rich in history. It is a part of the city over layered by numerous events, interventions, buildings, infrastructures, activities and potentials and is where the tracks separate the north end from the city proper and in some ways represents a cultural and social divide in the city. Presently it is becoming linked into the cultural production of the centre as artists move into the area. In the 1850s it was the heart of shipping trade on the Red River and has once been a vegetable and grain farm for the Hudson’s Bay Company, a red light district, a warehouse district feeding the CPR railway built in 1881, and a wealthy neighbourhood.

manitoba Darcy MacDonald: A house for Issey Miyake

“But how will you get there Issey?” said the tiny voice inside his pocket.
“It’s really quite simple,” said Issey, producing a world map from the same pocket. “The world is always neatly folded according to custom; one must only introduce a new pleat to change it.”
With the deft hand of an origami master Issey flipped open the map and re-ordered it with a neat little box pleat.
As the once island of Japan suddenly collided with the centre of the North American continent – the crowded streets of Tokyo were replaced seamlessly by busy downtown Winnipeg, October 2nd, 2005. “Heck of a lot faster than taking a plane.”

lewthwaite Andrew Lewthwaite: Deathmask of 67 Hallat St.

Site Selection: A house at the corner of Rover and Hallatt Streets was chosen as the point of investigation, partly as a result of it being owned by a friend and performer, but mostly because of its status as an unoccupied space, bereft of any dwelling activity.

wiersema Candace Wiersema: A house for Abelardo Morell

This ‘living fiction’ is derived from the careful examination of the creative work and productions of Abelardo Morell. I have defined seven ‘experiential images’ within the book ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’ by Lewis Carroll that is illustrated by Morell. From that narrative, I discovered seven ‘imaging experiences’ within the site. From this narrative of the ‘living fiction’ I will create a ‘living space’. The space will be programmed by the qualities of the seven ‘experiential images’ from Alice, the seven ‘imaging experiences’ on the site, and how these relate to Morell’s work.