/* Template Name: Page */ Rachel Ilan, Design | Social City Surrey

Social City Surrey

We imagined the evolution of the City of Surrey, from present to 2035, for the Living City Competition.

An interdisciplinary collaboration with Stantec Architecture and a team from Emily Carr University.

When we were invited to collaborate with Stantec Architecture on the redesign of the City of Surrey, our initial questions became “What is the story of a child growing up in this city? Will they choose to live here as an adult?”



We engaged in 2 in-depth interviews with residents and leading collaborators from Stantec, and used co-design activities to define the criteria for a “Living City.” We chose to measure our sustainable initiatives in terms of their emotional outcome for residents. We wanted to ensure that the restructuring of the city led to not only lower carbon footprints, but also stronger social bonds.



After working to determine the scope and criteria of a Living City, we worked alongside Stantec as they tackled Architectural and Engineering challenges to frame the redesign in the context of a User Experience Narrative. A series of storyboards created throughout the co-design process led to a concept video which was included in the final entry.


Our deliverables included architectural blueprints, fully supported by engineering expertise, as well as systems diagrams and a video flythrough of the experience. We also contributed some suggestions in the area of interaction. Exploring ideas around mobile and public interaction with local government were some of the highlights of the project.

The project culminated in an exhibition of our work at the Living Future Conference, among the top 38 entries for the competition. It was also presented to Surrey Board of Trade, the City of Vancouver’s Greenest City Action Committee, and the City of Surrey. The final video piece can be viewed here, and the presentation boards can be viewed here and here.

Participatory design processes and interdisciplinary collaboration. Sketching, Google Sketchup, storyboarding and After Effects.