I have created two designs – one for the STORM sewer and one for the SANITARY sewer. There are four main objectives that I had set out to achieve in my work:
1. To distinctively move away from the cliché-ish use of city landmark buildings and skylines that is so typical of most manhole designs;
2. To intrigue and encourage thinking about our common water resources in a wider ecological dimension and how our actions on water usage, protection, conservation, etc., impact our ecosystem;
3. To showcase our uniquely Vancouver spirit and to symbolize our collective aspiration to be the greenest city!
4. Last but not least, to be original and aesthetically stimulating.
Although both designs sewer-related manholes, I set out to create a clear distinction between STORM and SANITARY designs – using fluid, curvy and organic lines to symbolize STORM water flow, contrasting that with the man-made and structured lines inspired by our SANITARY piping system.
While the two sets of sewer system serve very different functions, both have the same goal - to serve and protect our shared water resources and our ecosystem. This is represented by the use of flora and fauna, and human icons to highlight the importance of water preservation and conservation towards the protection of our ecological biodiversity, as well as our common future.
It is my hope that the symbiotic relationship between art and environment, as represented by my designs, will inspire a change in how we think about our urban water resources.