Vancouver-based author/artist/luminary Douglas Coupland recently released the V-Pole at the New Cities Summit in the French capital city. The V-Pole (that’s ‘V’ for Vancouver, of course) a utility pole design that combines LED street lighting, a wireless Internet access point, multi-frequency telecommunications antennas for multiple carriers, and, coolest of all, inductive charging for electric vehicles.
The V-Pole design proposal comes in the wake of Vancouver’s ambitious plan to become ‘the greenest city in the world’: by consolidating publicly-accessible communications technologies and electric vehicle charging stations into one discrete structure, Coupland’s design instantaneously makes Vancouver’s outdoor public space where one can live and work simultaneously.
Of course, as an artist with a well-documented love affair with Vancouver (full disclosure: he’s onto something), Coupland design the V-Pole with the colours of the city in mind. Each infrastructural element of the pole is designed with the native colours in mind, from combinations that reference the local hockey team (green, white, blue), the city’s architectural vernacular (grey, turquoise, blue), the iconic orca whale (black, white), or the ever-present salmonberry (pink, shades of green). The design is a bold move towards melding together function and aesthetic in public space, achieving civic goals in a way that pleases the eye.