Pink folded pamphlet lying on its side, revealing silhouettes of dancers.

Aeriosa Dance Society


Vancouver, BC

How does a design company and a vertical dance group cross paths?
In 2018, Julia Taffe began her year-long residency in our Artist in Residence program.

Her dance society, Aeriosa, melds art and athletics to create awe-inspiring vertical dance experiences using buildings and nature as their stage. It’s a blend of beauty and rebel courage where the dancers appear weightless.

Our goal was to find new sites for vertical dance performances in Vancouver and build momentum for an international vertical dance summit right here in the city.


Areas of impact

A purple and pink pamphlet spread out like an accordion with a dancer's hand elegantly beside it.
Pink open panphlet that says "What is Vertical Dance?" accompanied with a silhouette.
Pamphlet sitting on an angle like an accordion.
The urban scan

Guided by stringent technical criteria, our architectural teams worked with Julia on an ‘urban scan’—identifying built and natural environments across the city that were suitable and safe for performers, while offering an extraordinary viewing experience.

We learned that Vancouver’s topography enables performances to be viewed from various vantage points—each presenting a unique experience—and by far more people than an indoor theatre. Whether it’s a large tower, an urban plaza, trees, cliffs (Julia has previously danced on the Stawamus Chief, for example), or the underside of a bridge, each venue offers new ideas for the types of show Aeriosa could perform, whether public or private.

The residency resulted in a set of isometric and section drawings, information, and location map. The goal was to share these findings with building managers, City officials, and the wider vertical dance community to build momentum for the dance summit.

Multiple pamphlets laying  on different sides to show the different sides.
Pamphlet that states "Staging a New Experience!" presented on a concrete block.
A weightless brochure

Working together, our architects and communication designers categorized our findings into themes and began planning how best to present the data.

To recreate the agility and movement of Aeriosa’s dance expression, we designed a brochure that was larger-than-life yet easily distributed. Using a full-size press sheet that folds down to just 6 x 6 inches, we composed the content both on-and off-grid, presented in orientations that force you to tilt your head or rotate the sheet.

We chose Mohawk Keaykolour 80lb text for its structural integrity and natural tactility, with four Keaykolour pastels to represent the urban/natural ‘stage’. We then applied UV inks to images and text, occasionally overlapping and blending to create a dance of colour across the page.

GIF of pamphlet opening upward and closing again.
The pamphlet completely unfolded, which turns it into a large piece of paper with 24 square folds.
Pamphlet folded down into one square.
What's next?

In June 2019, Aeriosa successfully hosted the first Vancouver International Vertical Dance Summit (VIVDS).

All three stages of how the pamphlet can fold out.

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