Design Class Expedition

By Nikki Pito

I’ll admit that when I signed up for classes in Montreal, I really didn’t know what to expect from the course titled “Duality, Design, and Dissent.” All I knew was that I could count a design class for core credit, and as an artist, why wouldn’t I want to do that? After our teacher, filmmaker Noé Sardet, introduced himself and the course on the first day, I was immediately excited to be a part of the class. Since then, we’ve explored the importance of creativity, played games, and gone out on adventures around Montreal.

Our most recent adventure was quite the excursion! Noé told us we would leave campus to observe the architecture in Montreal and sketch some buildings, afterwards we would go to Eva-B’s. When I asked him what Eva-B’s was, he replied “There’s not really a way to describe it, but you’ll see!” And so we set out, down Berri Street, pausing across from the bus station where Noé handed out some paper and pencils and established a place to meet after sketching for about 45 minutes.

I searched in the immediate surroundings with some other classmates for interesting buildings. In a grassy field of curious little mounds, I spotted a cathedral tower in the distance. We situated ourselves on one of the mounds, next to a seagull who stood proud on top of the territory he had claimed, and I drew the tower.

Lost in my head as I drew the tower, I nearly forgot about the mystery that was Eva-B’s. Noé gathered us together for a short lesson on vanishing points before we began heading towards Eva-B’s. We walked through the Library of National Archives of Quebec (Bibliothèque et archives nationales du Québec) where a few of my classmates and I became mesmerized by the strange conveyer belt system they used for book return, and the journey continued.


We passed beautiful murals and graffiti before arriving at a residence that had been converted to some sort of shop, with a mannequin that slightly resembled Michael Jackson hanging out of the third floor dormer and a sign that read “Eva-B”. Our class squeezed into the strange store, surrounded by odds and ends, and were immediately handed a mini-tankard shaped shot glass by a very enthusiastic attendant. “You must take it!” She told one of my classmates who declined the offer. But, apparently it was the cost of admittance. It turned out to be cold herbal tea, so we all saluted and took a sip. Then we were free to explore! Noé described the place as a sort of hangout spot. It was like a thrift store, except when you enter there’s a counter immediately to the left stocked with homemade cookies on glass display stands, stacks of containers filled with miscellaneous gummy candies, and a big black soup kettle that read “chaud!”. You could order sandwiches and hot drinks as well, I ordered a hot chocolate for $2 and grabbed a huge, homemade cookie for a dollar more. It was a delicious, homemade hot chocolate served on a silver platter, in a silver mug with two small cups on the side, one with organic sugar, and another steamed milk with an ornate, bronze-colored spoon. It very much suited the atmosphere of the store. There were crazy clothes everywhere, from a ski-suit that looked like something an astronaut would wear, to cowboy vests, to neon wind breakers. Mannequins of all different shapes, sizes, and styles, either missing limbs, or comprising solely of a single limb, were scattered across all three stories (and also the basement), which was both comical and creepy, but it provided for interesting models considering Noé wanted us to draw things we found around the store.

Needless to say, I went back to Eva-B’s since then and discovered even more cool stuff! I recommend anyone looking for something chill to do, go to Eva-B’s on Saint Laurent, drink some hot chocolate and sketch whatever you see!

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