Saskatoon, Treaty 6: Whitney Robson

photo by Jon White, intro by Jennifer Sparrowhawk

photo by Jon White, intro by Jennifer Sparrowhawk

Whitney –she’s the kind of woman who will tell you how she loves Dieter Rams’ design philosophy while getting your rented Fiesta out of a rut during a freak Spring snow storm. She’s the kind of woman who will take you to an art opening and then later that same night eat poutine with you in a parking lot. Her sense of style is always on point, and she always has beer in her fridge. She’s one of Saskatoon’s finest, and I can’t wait to see the designs she comes up with next.

KC: What kinds of projects are you involved in right now?

Right now I am in the final stages of work on a boardroom table for a local architectural firm. This is the second project of this proportion I have worked on recently. It has been incredibly gratifying to these projects take shape.

I’m also working on designing a dining room / kitchen table at the moment. I really appreciate the design phase of a project – working with the person or people who will be living with the piece you’re making. I like the idea of creating something that will become a part of someone’s everyday routine and have a place in their home.

I hope to have time this winter to draft a small line of household objects – small, useful, everyday things.

KC: What’s your day job? What do you like about it? What’s challenging?

My day job is as the Practice and Policy Coordinator for the Saskatchewan Association of Architects (SAA). My job at the SAA involves a lot of research and writing – which I really like. I’m at my day job four days a week and in the (woodworking) shop one or two – between the two there’s a good left-brain / right-brain balance.

It’s a healthy challenge to have to write clear, concise documents that guide the practice of architecture in Saskatchewan. While I am not an architect myself, I have an immense appreciation for the work that they do and their contribution to the built environment. I appreciate my involvement in the field and the contribution I get to make to the work they do.

I would say the not so healthy challenge of my day job is the fact that it requires me to be at a desk, in front of a computer, for the majority of my day.

KC: What’s important to you?

My relationships with the people around me and being outside as much as possible.

KC: What do you like most/least about Saskatoon?

What I like most about Saskatoon are its residents. Saskatoon has raised and/or attracted a lot of gems. Whether they’re working on a summer camp for young girls to learn how to play rock & roll music (Girls Rock Camp), running a skills building and alternative education centre for youth (Core Neighborhood Youth Co-op) or putting together a blog connecting Saskatchewan’s two major cities (Kindred Cities ;) – we have a lot of wonderful people here in this city.

What I like the least about Saskatoon is the uneven effect ‘revitalization’ is having on the citizens of our city. The development that is benefitting some is marginalizing others.

KC: What is your impression of Regina?

I really like Regina. It strikes me as a humble city. I like that. I travel down to the queen city usually once a month for work (day job) and I always enjoy my time there. The people I work with in Regina are really great and are always eager to show us what the city has to offer. It has such a rich architectural history, which I really appreciate. They seem to have taken care of their historical buildings, which lends the city a lot of character.

KC: (from Proust Questionnaire) What is your greatest fear?

My greatest fear is letting fear, apprehension and doubt keep me from doing the things I want to with my life.

“I’ve been absolutely terrified every moment of my life – and I’ve never let it keep me from doing a single thing I wanted to do.” – Georgia O’Keeffe