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Voor (dutch, preposition) /voːr/, [vʊːr]  1. for,
2. before, 3. in front of

Voor Urban Labs gathers people together to co-design and build creative solutions to complex social challenges. We believe everyone has a right to healthy communities, creative spaces and meaningful work and we support all the parties to bring their best effort to the table. We believe complex problems require authentic conversations that are informed by diverse experiences to work for your specific solutions.

WHAT we’re best at

Our core team builds lovely ambitious solutions to complex challenges and along the way we employ planners, designers and sector leaders where we need additional specific intelligence.  As critical urbanists we know that it takes everyone to show up to participate. 

Our Approach

Our ethical framework means community work is all about “nothing without us” and our research is non-extractive because solutions must be rooted in education and empowerment of all parties. Each initiative we support is grounded in our decades of experience breaking down silos to ensure equity and imagination are foundation principles for community solutions.

What we have done 

Voor is designed as a people and strategy hub that leverages our experiences in research, design, engagement and building solutions – from building community infrastructure and housing, delivering thousands of events, festivals and publications, developing social policy, securing millions in public and private funds, designing research studies, and scaling up social enterprise and traditional business models.

Meet the Voor Team

(In alphabetical order)

 

Honey Mae Caffin

Design, Communications & Marketing

Honey Mae is a creative technologist who practices design thinking in communications design, conservation advocacy, and in community-level food security literacy through regenerative agriculture.

She has worked in academic publishing and in the non-profit sector. This provides a broad experience with both institutional design and community design frameworks.

She advocates for grassroots, community-level issues around ecological restoration, indigenous rights, open access to ICT (knowledge economy) and regenerative agriculture (food security) literacy for marginalized communities. 

Bracken Hanuse Corlett

Associate, Indigenous Design

Bracken is an interdisciplinary artist from the Wuikinuxv and Klahoose Nations with specialty in theatre, live performance, visual arts, carving, and design. Bracken’s hybrid work incorporates Indigenous art aesthetics and symbols, and explores the stories, language, songs, and art of his people through patterning, weaving, carving, painting, and drawing with multimedia performance, animation, and narration.

Bracken’s work is relevant to cultural reclamation and survival, identity politics, hybridity, and decolonization. He is much- in-demand across Canada as a community-engaged cultural worker, including designing and delivering recreational and public art infrastructure. Bracken also teaches at Capilano University and is interested in mentoring emerging artists and designers to decolonize the design process.
He graduated from the En’owkin Centre of Indigenous Art and Emily Carr University of Art and Design.

David Laulainen

Research Associate, Strategy Co-Lead

With a reputation for being highly collaborative, effective, and socially-responsible in business, David has been recognized for leadership over many disciplines with multiple stakeholders. With a specialty in placemaking, cultural literacy, and strategic planning, David places a high value on the idea that business is about relationships, and that organizations succeed when they are people-centred and accountable to their communities.

David has served the community locally on community economic development and finance fronts as a member of the CCEC Credit Union Board of Directors. He was an Advisory Council member, Surrey Cares Foundation, supporting endowment funds growth strategy. David also served the Board of Directors of the Congress for the New Urbanism, Cascadia Chapter. David has Finnish/American family roots.

Kristen Munk

Social Media Coordinator, Communications & Marketing

Born in a small town outside of Vancouver, in Sto:lo Territory, Kristen grew up exploring the outdoors, surrounded by the beauty of Coast Salish lands. Before studying Biology and Environmental Science at university, she backpacked through Southeast Asia. Once she returned home, she wanted to share her passion for environmental conservation through advocacy and communications.

She is reconnecting with her Metis and Cree roots and exploring Indigebous Studies. She has worked in communications and social media management in various fields. She also specializes in digital marketing and has a passion for ecological restoration and Indigenous reconciliation.

 

Irwin Oostindie

Research Lead, Strategy & Business Lead

Passionate about working in community to build ambitious solutions to complicated challenges. Irwin is in his element connecting public policy, decision makers, and communities to design paths forward for enduring solutions. Through social research, engagement, policy writing, and building organisational infrastructures inclusive neighbourhoods and cities are created. 

With more than three decades track record in complex cross-cultural environments, Irwin has worked for multiple local governments, First Nations, public sites, as Executive Director for multiple non-profits, and founded multiple community formations in Vancouver’s inner-city and suburbs. An expert in urban planning, social procurement, community cultural and economic development, he is also a thought leader on redress and reconciliation in Canada. He is happiest at work co-designing multi-stakeholder solutions to complex problems facing impacted communities.

Irwin identifies as a Dutch settler, and is happiest at work co-designing multi-stakeholder solutions to complex problems facing impacted communities.

Photo of Chantelle Spicer, project coordinator for Voor Urban Labs

Chantelle Spicer

Research Associate, Project Coordination

Chantelle Spicer has a Master’s degree in Anthropology from Simon Fraser University, where she worked with Snuneymuxw First Nations to understand their relationship with Saysutshun – a part of their territory held in the BC Parks system. Over the last 15 years she has been committed to intersecting movements of Indigenous rights, anti-violence, community accountability, and consent.

She is Mi’kmaq and Jewish Moroccan, though has been disconnected from her both sides of her heritage and communities due to the Sixties Scoop and anti-semitism.

She is trying to re-member and reconnect with her ancestry in ethical and respectful ways with Coast Salish territories and peoples while also connecting with family in Nova Scotia.

Chelsey Schmidtke

Researcher, Indigenous Design, Engagement, Landscape Architecture

Chelsey has extensive planning and environmental design experience with Indigenous communities.

For the past seven years, Chelsey has worked on projects involving intensive, multi- stakeholder and community consultation where she has created interpretive strategies for a variety of unique site needs and constraints, including parks and recreation master plans. Chelsey led Voor’s recent community capital project engagement planning. Chelsey also supports Indigenous health communication and event planning.

Chelsey is a member of Bigstone Cree Nation (Treaty 8, Northern Alberta) and an Indigenous person of mixed heritage.

Eugene Boulanger

Community Advisor, Indigenous Design

Eugene provides timely advice to our Voor family as a volunteer advisor. He is an expert in social policy, Indigenous men’s health, and digital communications. His experience in cross-cultural community projects gives him the ability to bridge audiences through clear, engaging messaging.
Eugene has worked in both the public and private sectors in BC and NWT. He held communications and social planning roles at the City of Vancouver, W2 Community Media Arts Society, and as a Director of Strategic partnerships and Planning for Dechinta University.
Eugene’s expertise in Indigenous Men’s health, including Dene men and Dene queer men, led to his work with the Provincial Health Authority supporting a long- standing provincial Indigenous Men’s Health initiative.

Tell us how we can collaborate in your next shared success. 

VooR Urban Labs
#507 - 239 East Georgia St, Vancouver, BC  V6A 4J7
info@voor.ca