Student Collaboration Project: Niche Pebble

When the Low Tide team wanted to create a more welcoming gathering space in the 565 Great Northern Way lobby, they knew just how to go about it — knock on the neighbour’s door. As part of the company’s mission to support and enhance communities, the team knew that working with Emily Carr’s industrial design students to create unique furniture for the lobby would be a way to do something meaningful and have a little fun too.

Collaborating with a community partner, providing mentorship to students, and using a little more “left brain” creativity checked many of the Low Tide team’s boxes for a neighbourhood project.

Emily Carr’s proximity to Low Tide’s 565 Great Northern Way development meant many collaborative meetings could be held with the students to replicate a real-life design process – and yes, budgets, expense forms and client feedback included!

Harmony Cornwell and Fito Garcia from the Property Management Team worked with students Angela and Vivian from the Industrial Design program to design furniture that would activate the lobby. The students hosted discovery meetings, presented 10 concepts, worked to integrate feedback, and ultimately balanced the logistical constraints with their creative vision.

Angela and Vivian describe the furniture set as “inspired by the morphological forms of the natural world” and expressed their desire to bring “a glimpse of nature into the office space.” Through form exploration and user testing, they created a modular furniture set called Pebble that creates a flex space that supports multiple levels of intimacy for personal quiet activities and public gathering events within the 565 Great Northern Way lobby.

Throughout the process, the students were able to remain true to who they are as designers, bringing creativity, commercial quality, and professionalism. Watch the full behind-the-scenes here.