Proximities of the Local

In 1976, the world’s most valuable technology company was started in this Silicon Valley garage.

The familiarity of this post war house suggests the birth of the company could have happened anywhere. Contrary to this common assertion, the company could only have been started in Silicon Valley. The introduction of Steve Wozniak to Steve Jobs in front of a neighbouring garage eventually led to the creation of the first Apple I computer and the beginning of Apple Inc. The birth of Apple was directly connected to the technical knowledge embedded in Silicon Valley and the people and resources that the two Steves called upon to help build the first computer for the common person.

Vancouver is city of small businesses. Every year hundreds of new technology companies are started. Many fail, some are successful. Those that succeed are dependent on the financing, human and technical resources in close proximity. Like Apple Inc., many of these companies start in a garage somewhere in the Fraser Valley. Unlike the Bay Area, Vancouver does not have a single district where tech companies concentrate and, as a result, our innovators with limited connections to local resources move south.

Vancouver’s creative class can only prosper when planners and politicians recognize that proximity is critical for technological innovation. Ideas must be shared to be realized.

Our first task is to map existing pockets of innovation in the Fraser Valley and the second is to describe necessary proximities of success.

This entry was posted on November 29, 2011 at 6:07 pm, filed under 01 Audit, Designer, Involvement, Project process, Public Architecture. Bookmark the permalink. Comments are closed, but you can leave a trackback: Trackback URL.