Nikelab @ DSMNY / RUF's new retail concept for Nike

From / World of Interiors: Dover Street Market New York’s Designers on the Spaces They Designed for the New York Megastore:

"...For the space, flanked by menswear from Junya Watanabe, Gitman Brothers and Stutterhiem, Nike aimed for multifunctionality. “Shelves will become tabletops. Table legs can be swapped out to be reused as shelves. Display units can be manipulated into various forms for a variety of product display options,” Kneller said. “Everything in the space will evolve to become something else when needed. Mixing everyday materials with innovative design techniques, a combination of raw materials such as plywood comes to interesting forms through 3-D printing. Innovative in the approach, simple in its materials, the Nike space with Dover Street Market NYC looks to the future potential of retail design....”

Sean Pearson
A must read: Poetics & Place The Architecture of Sign, Subjects and Site by Dr. Kristen Kreider

A must read:

How do artworks 'speak', and how do we 'listen' and respond? These questions underlie the investigation here of Roni Horn's Pair Object III: For Two Rooms, Emily Dickinson's later manuscripts, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha's Passages Paysages, Fiona Templeton's Cells of Release and Jenny Holzer's Lustmord. The tenets of critical performance, art-writing and site-writing inform the critical method used in Poetics and Place. Each chapter is dedicated to one of these five artworks, and is arranged in order to fulfill three main objectives: to understand how the artworks generate meaning through a material poetics in relation to place; to develop a critical methodology for engaging with them; and to investigate their ethical potential and political imperative. All of this, ultimately, facilitates the development of a triadic relation between theoretical concepts of sign, subjects and site at the crossover between poetry, art and spatial practices. This extends each artwork beyond the dyad of a critical encounter in order to offer - and allow others to grasp - an appreciation of how the artwork figures meaningfully, as well as configures meaning, in the wider world of objects and things. The book concludes with a discussion of the ethics of reading from the second person, opening up a debate concerning the role of empathy within contemporary, politically-engaged practices in art and poetry.

Sean Pearson
Houzz Tour: All Glass Outside, Warm Wood Inside

Feature article on our Gulf Island's Residence

"The Gulf Islands make up a scenic spot between Vancouver Island and mainland British Columbia in Canada. The area begs for something rustic, like a log cabin, and such was the first inclination of clients working with RUFproject on their 5,600-square-foot house.

But the clients were torn between that traditional type and a modern villa, two seemingly irreconcilable opposites. RUFproject responded with a design rooted in local traditions (particularly longhouses) and influenced by modern Canadian architects, like Ronald Thom and Arthur Erickson, who worked in distinctive West Coast style.

pressSean Pearson
Soweto Striker / Extending the legacy of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, a contemporary soccer training centre acts as a catalyst for urban revitalization.

"Here, small-scale architecture produces maximum impact by building on key relationships and socially minded decisions. The accretion of similar--if not necessarily sports-based--projects in Soweto may catalyze a far greater revitalization of the entire area. International architects, organizations and governments might take note of this success story, seeking to collaborate more with their South African counterparts and thus take part in positively and sensitively shaping the slowly changing post-apartheid landscape. ..."     
Guy Trangos  for Canadian Architect / Jul 2013

Click the image to the right for the complete article.

Sean Pearson
Architect's Toolbox: The Sketches That Spark a Home

With everything that goes into building a house today, it’s tough to imagine where everything starts. How exactly do you communicate your ideas to another person, and how does an architect interpret things like “indoor-outdoor flow, lots of natural light and a connection to the landscape”?

While architects use a variety of high-tech approaches to communicating conceptual designs to clients, including iPad mock-ups, computer-aided drawings (CAD) and 3-D models, the first versions of a design tend to begin with one of the most low-tech art forms around: the pen-and-paper sketch. 

"That big idea, the whole project, has to be distilled into one little drawing. We call [them] ideagrams," says Vancouver architect Sean Pearson. "It’s an absolutely simplistic representation of the idea.”

Click the image below to read the full article on

Sean Pearson
Sean Pearson a judge at the WAF/INSIDE Awards in Singapore

Sean Pearson, Director of RUFproject, will be a judge at the 2013 World Architecture Festival / INSIDE Awards in Singapore. More to come...

The World Architecture Festival is the world’s largest festival and live awards competition dedicated to celebrating, and sharing architectural excellence from across the globe.

INSIDE is the global festival and awards programme that celebrates the very best in interior design and architecture. Held in Singapore on 2-4 October 2013 alongside World Architecture Festival, INSIDE is your opportunity to be inspired by the latest and greatest in global interiors.

Sean Pearson
Sean Pearson speaking at the WAF/Inside Awards in Singapore

Sean Pearson, Director of RUFproject will be speaking at the Inside Awards at the World Architecture Fextival in Singapore  Thursday the 3rd of October at 12:00. 

The lecture will be on "Designing for multiple occupier groups & creating adaptable spaces" and will take place at Marina Bay Sands Convention Centre, Singapore.

The World Architecture Festival is the world’s largest festival and live awards competition dedicated to celebrating, and sharing architectural excellence from across the globe.

INSIDE is the global festival and awards programme that celebrates the very best in interior design and architecture. Held in Singapore on 2-4 October 2013 alongside World Architecture Festival, INSIDE is your opportunity to be inspired by the latest and greatest in global interiors.

Sean Pearson
Tangential in MARK - Aug / Sept 2012

RUFproject featured in Mark Magazine's Noticeboard

Sean Pearson
RUFproject wins the Western Living "One to Watch" Award
"While planning a First Nations-inspired reconstruction of a Gulf Islands home in 2011, Sean Pearson, founder of the Vancouver-based Rural / Urban / Fantasy / Project, built directly on the foundation of the house's predecessor to minimize the impact on the earth. It's that combination of innovation grounded in conscientiousness that unites RUF's many multidisciplinary projects. From building to landscape to branding, Pearson's work is thoughtfully, tastefully done: for the award-winning Football Training Centre in Soweto, South Africa, Pearson used locally sourced timber and hired a local artist to design the stadium's requisite security fence, marrying practicality and sustainability without sacrificing aesthetics. Judges Marcia and Lloyd Secter were quick to praise these "well-executed and consistent" endeavours. Although RUF has worked on projects tied to every corner of the globe, Pearson, a native of Winnipeg, aims to maintain a distinctly Canadian approach to his craft. We can't wait to see what's next."
—Katie Coopersmith
Sean Pearson2012, Western Living, Award
RUFproject wins an AZ award for Best Commercial and Institutional Architecture > 1,000 square metrer

Architecture: Best Commercial Building > 1,000 Square Metres

Nike Football Training Centre in Soweto
Location: Johannesburg  
Firm: RUFproject, Vancouver  
Team: Sean Pearson and Andy Walker with Luyanda Mpahlwa

It’s enough of a challenge to design for social change; rarer still to accomplish such a thing with outstanding results. Yet in the moments of alignment between talent, determination and a client willing to take on the odds, the results make defeat seem like a distant memory. The Nike Football Training Centre in Soweto – commissioned by Nike and designed by RUFproject – is one such example, having been conceptualized and built within just eight months. While that alone is impressive, the fast-track agenda did not undermine the project’s integrity.

Read the full story in the print edition of our July/August 2012 issue

British Columbia's best wood projects earn awards / Journal of Commerce


....Sean Barrington Pearson won the 2012 Architect Award for promoting the use of wood both at home and abroad. He and with his RUFproject (Rural Urban Fantasy Project) earned the award for the Gulf Islands Residence & Boat House on Salt Spring Island as well as the Football Training Centre in Soweto, South Africa.....


Sean Pearson
RUFproject on Vancouverism / Azure Magazine

by Elizabeth Pagliacolo


.... or Tangential Vancouverism, an exhibit, essay and talk series directed by Alex Buss and Alexandra Kenyon, the Vancouver firm is one of five – the others are Hapa Collaborative,ph5 architecture inc.Public Architecture and space2place – presenting imaginative concepts that speak to the future of the city as it continues to expand. RUFproject tackled the theme of communication, which, Pearson explains, “we interpreted in an architectural sense from the perspective of the new and the old or perhaps better communicated as the new on the old.”

Called Georgia Grind, RUFproject’s concept is a giant spiralling thoroughfare open to pedestrians. Situated on the ruins of a failed expressway, it would be, according to the firm, “a symbol of achievement and hope for Vancouver, a man-made mountainous pathway for all to exercise or drive upward together while enjoying the majestic view of the north shore and the natural landscape beyond.”

We asked Sean Pearson to elaborate on the seemingly out-of-this-world concept.

Where did your idea originate?

...As Vancouver’s downtown is getting full, you can see the city expanding into Chinatown and East Vancouver, slightly awkward and unsure how to deal with the historic fabric of turn-of-the-century homes and buildings it’s about to expand into. Our project is really a kind of comment, through a fantastical infrastructure, of an alternate way of thinking about how the new can embrace the old, without erasing it or perhaps worse, isolating it as a museum piece....

Inside Award winner: Football Training Centre/Soweto

Inside 2011: Football Training Centre/Soweto by RUFproject is the winner of the culture and civic category at the inaugural Inside awards in Barcelona.

The judges described it as a 'powerful gesture for an impoverished community, communicating a proud sense of Soweto as a special place.' The 'sensible, malleable, interesting interior' was 'done in an amazingly short period' with a 'magic transformation of sketches into symbols.'

Sean Pearson
RUF in Wallpaper* Magazine

Wallpaper* Magazine : RUFproject's Football Training Centre in Soweto, featured in the November 2011 issue as one of the top 20 reasons to be in South Africa

Sean Pearson
RUF selected by Twenty + Change

RUF Project's Salt Spring Island Residence, CamoDensity and Football Training Centre in Soweto has been selected by the Twenty + Change 03 curatorial committee and have been be featured in the Twenty + Change 03 exhibition and publication. Twenty + Change is a biennial exhibition and publication series dedicated to promoting emerging Canadian designers working in architecture, landscape architecture and urban design who are pushing the boundaries of their discipline

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Sean Pearson