Umbrella Taxi 2016


Umbrella Taxi aims to model friendly citizen behaviour and engage Vancouverites in whimsical conversation in the emerging North East False Creek neighbourhood. By offering shelter from the rain, the umbrella becomes a tool for creative dialogue between pedestrians and artists. Main Activities: We invited local artists, dancers and actors to serve as taxi “drivers” in the Imagination Zone. The performers were encouraged to flex their creative muscles and initiate conversations with pedestrians in a whimsical way. Whether the artist dressed in costume or arrived with a portable umbrella sculpture of their own, each performer offered their own unique flare.

Taxi drivers shuttled pedestrians around the North East False Creek neighbourhood, delivering their passengers to wherever they needed to be. Outcome and Impact: Citizens experienced an increased sense of fun and stayed dry from the rain by taking an Umbrella Taxi to their destination. Passengers were inspired to share stories, offer opinions on the emerging neighbourhood and gain their own sense of creative agency. Current project status: On Saturday November 26th, we accomplished our goal of enhancing pedestrian movement in North East False Creek.

Umbrella Taxi helped to animate the space through performative art and ultimately contributed to a safer, more connected commute for pedestrians. Stewardship: We are seeking stewards to continue executing Umbrella Taxi. The concept is simple and so is the budget: umbrellas and “drivers” are the two key ingredients. After piloting Umbrella Taxi in the Imagination Zone, we encouraged artists and pedestrians to create new connections and make new friends.


We wish to formally acknowledge our lead artist Michael Bean, founder of BizStudio who helped us conceptualize the umbrella as a medium for meaningful engagement.

We wish to formally acknowledge our lead artist Michael Bean, founder of BizStudio who helped us conceptualize the umbrella as a medium for meaningful engagement.

Our Team 

Kelly Furey (Communication, SFU), Andrew Dawson (Philosophy, UBC), Hojgjian Yang (Geography, SFU), Jessica Heaven (Anthropology & Sociology, SFU)

Read the final report here.

Our Artists

Michael Bean – Vancouver Thespian; Kevan Cameron – Spoken Word Artist;  Michael Undem- Visual and Performance Artist.
Imagination Zone

CityStudio proposed the formation of the City of Vancouver’s first Imagination Zone. Based on the Dublin Studio (DCC Studio) we propose the Imagination Zone as a place of possibility, experimentation and learning for the “Creative City”.

Our project aims to start a conversation with artists and the public, to begin envisioning and prototyping with what could become part of our City in an Imagination Zone. The Imagination Zone project demonstrates that this is a space for trial and learning- as opposed to trial and error. We hope that our pilot projects will invite the participation of citizens in collaborative city building.


We are CityStudio Vancouver, an innovation and experimentation hub for the City of Vancouver where students, city staff and community members co-create, design and launch projects on the ground. The central mission of CityStudio is to innovate and experiment with the ways cities are co-created, while teaching students the skills needed to collaborate on real projects in Vancouver with City staff and community stakeholders.

These projects improve our city and enrich our neighbourhoods, making the city more livable, joyful and sustainable. CityStudio launched in 2011 as a collaboration between the City of Vancouver and the city’s six post-secondary institutions to engage students in the hands-on work necessary to implement city strategies.