VANCOUVER WOULD BE COOLER IF #285 | It Had Shelters That Came With Their Own Rain

April 3, 2017.

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The point of VWBCI is to open local minds to outside practices, concepts, and ideas that might stand to improve our greater civic situation in a parallel universe where coolness was valued more than practicality and funds spent on public works of art were raised by way of a special NIMBY tax levied against rich, self-absorbed assholes.

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(via) Having lived through the deluge that was March in Vancouver, it’s hard to remember ever having actually wanting rain. But it happens, like in the long dog days of August when the rare downpour is welcome. Psychologically, we don’t need the wetness of rain but rather the sense that it is raining, enduring as we do our unique hybrid/inverse Seasonal Affective Disorder meets Stockholm Syndrome, wherein we occasionally suffer the absence of rain once the oppressive abuse of it finally stops.

This aptly named Cloud House by artist Matthew Mazzotta might help. Made from reclaimed wood with open ends on either side, it comes with its own very own cloud, which is made of resin and perched above. Pressure sensors in the floors under a set of rocking chairs set it off so that when someone in need of a therapeutic rain shower sits down they get what they need. It all happens by way of a trigger-system that sends water from an underground storage tank up to the “cloud” and then down through tiny perforations on to the corrugated roof.

Recently installed in a public park in Springfield, Missouri, the Cloud House might seem stupidly ironically redundant here in Vancouver (where we have over twice as many rainy days per annum than Springfield), but our civic association with the wet stuff – not to mention our deeply recessed psychological attachment to it – make installations like this more than appropriate for a rainforest city like Vancouver. If Mazzotta isn’t too busy, we’ll start with one at Volunteer Park in Kitsilano and then another for Crab Park on the DTES. Pitter patter.

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