3d printed bust of douglas coupland by John Biehler

A 3D printed bust of Douglas Coupland by John Biehler

Douglas Coupland, the renowned Canadian novelist and artist, also works in design and visual art. His novels, among them the 1991 bestseller Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture, take on a synthesis of postmodern religion, Web 2.0 technology, human sexuality, and pop culture. The author is perhaps best known for creating the phrases “McJob” and “Generation X” to describe modern economic realities.

Now Coupland is teaming up with Simons, the Canadian fashion retailer, for a project they call 3DCanada.

container_digital-coupland-3d-printingThey call it a “crowdsourced art initiative” which will see Coupland visit six cities across the country to 3D scan people at various Simons locations. Those participating will receive a 3D printed bust of themselves, and the project will come to its conclusion when Coupland aggregates hundreds of the 3D printed busts as an enormous sculpture. The unveiling is set for a Simons store that will be located in Yorkdale in 2019.

The 3DCanada project will collect 3D scan files of Canadians across the country, and Simons says it’s a demonstration of the company’s commitment to arts and culture and their support of local artists and art institutions. The CEO of the family-held company, Peter Simons, is well versed in the capability of 3D printing technology.

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

Canadian author Douglas Coupland

Canadian author Douglas Coupland

A series of in-store events are scheduled on Saturdays, and Simons says up to 100 people at each event will meet Coupland and then be scanned. The 5cm tall 3D busts will be printed on-site and then be available for pickup the following week.

“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,” Coupland says.

The company says the very first Simons store, located in Quebec City, will play host to the initial scanning event on July 11, 2015, followed the next weekend by a location in Montreal. Those events will be followed by similar events in future Simons locations in Vancouver, Mississauga, Ottawa, and Calgary.

 The Simons family founded the company in 1840 as John Simons built a dry goods store in Quebec City. Now led by brothers Peter and Richard Simons, the company offers what they call a “very fashion-forward collection of its own exclusive and innovative private label brands for men and women.”

Simons stores also carry home fashions, and all nine Simons stores are dedicated to providing customers fashion, art and architecture experiences and products. The company says that there are six new stores currently in development throughout Canada.

What do you think about this monumental art project by author and designer Douglas Coupland to create a 3D printed portrait of modern Canada? Let us know in the 3DCanada forum thread on 3DPB.com.

 

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