3D Douglas Coupland at Simons Vancouver-6

Renowned fashion retailer Simons and celebrated Canadian novelist and artist Douglas Coupland have partnered to bring 3DCanada, a first of its kind, crowd-sourced art initiative to its stores.

3D Douglas Coupland at Simons Vancouver-2 3D Douglas Coupland at Simons Vancouver-3

Between 2015 and 2017, Coupland will visit seven cities across the country to scan Canadians at various Simons locations where participants will take home their own 3D printed busts. The project will culminate when Coupland unveils 3DCanada – a sculpture made of hundreds of 3D printed busts – at the future Yorkdale Simons store in 2019.

3D Douglas Coupland at Simons Vancouver-4 3D Douglas Coupland at Simons Vancouver-7
[L to R: 3D enthusiast/project lead John Biehler; with Douglas Coupland at Simons]

“3DCanada is a cross-country portrait of Canadians 150 years into nationhood. What do we look like now and where are we going with technology? 3DCanada will present a glimpse of what a group portrait can look like in the 21st century.” — Douglas Coupland

3D Douglas Coupland at Simons Vancouver-1

As a nod to the Quebec retailer’s expansion across Canada, 3DCanada will capture 3D files of a sampling of Canadians from Quebec to BC. The project is another example of Simons’ commitment to arts and culture, demonstrated through their support of local artists and art institutions.

3DCanada by the Numbers

– 21st century cross-country portrait of Canadians 150 years into nationhood
– Traveling to seven cities and to four provinces across Canada
– Previous events have taken place in Quebec City, Montreal and Edmonton; Vancouver is fourth
– Over 1,500 Canadians to be scanned, with 3D files being used to create one final art piece
– Four-year long project coinciding with Simons’ Canada-wide expansion
– Personal 3D busts are about 5 cm high and weigh 10 grams

“3D printing is changing the way we create, build and design almost everything,” says CEO Peter Simons. “We invite Canadians to experience the technology and join us in capturing a moment in Simons’ history.”

3D Douglas Coupland at Simons Vancouver-5 3D Douglas Coupland at Simons Vancouver-9

It was pretty cool getting my head scanned this morning, and it’s just a matter of sitting still for a few minutes while John Biehler, 3D technologist, walks around you while holding an iPad Mini with 3D printing software installed.

3D Douglas Coupland at Simons Vancouver-8

The printing takes about 25 minutes to complete but through the magic of time-lapse and my iPhone, here’s the process sped up.

In-store events will take place on a weekend during store hours, where up to 100 people will get the chance to meet Coupland and experience being scanned. Each 3D bust, printed on site, will be available for pick up the following week.

The rest of the in-store tour looks like this:
– Park Royal, Vancouver, BC: November 14 and 15, noon to 4:30 pm
– Square One, Mississauga, ON: Spring 2016
– Rideau Centre, Ottawa, ON: Fall 2016
– The Core, Calgary, AB: Spring 2017

Bow Tie by Douglas Coupland

And while you’re at Simons, look UP and notice Coupland’s second collaboration with Simons: Bow Tie, a brightly-coloured striped tie sculpture that hangs in the department store’s two-storey atrium.

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