It’s hard to know just what to make of these artificial rain forest dioramas that have been put in beside YVR’s international arrival and departure gates. The sound of running water is certainly soothing and the humidity sure helps juice up one’s sinuses after a dry flight. But what is *up* with those fake vine maples, sword ferns and salal ? If the intention here was to do ’green’ design, then surely they would have used living plants. Live plants after all, would have helped clean the air by absorbing giga-litres of stressed-out passenger breath and turning it back into sweet, breathable oxygen. And hey, they’re alive!, which would have offered a nice balance to the sterility of the built environment. But BC salal and vine maples wouldn’t have survived long in the season-lessness of central heating and constant artificial light. Tropical plants would have been more suitable. But that would have been ’off message.’ And therein lies the rub. These displays aren’t about green design. They’re about theme park. At YVR, the temperate rain forest is part of a brand identity with which British Columbia gets marketed to international tourists. Never mind that the real forest continues to get logged, flogged and fragmented with many of its dependent species, like the mountain caribou, spotted owl and Vancouver Island marmot, on the fast track to extinction. None of this need trouble us as we enjoy our lattés under the plastic groves of this ecological simulacrum. While the synthetic brook babbles and the last school of rock cod roils inside the art-directed confines of its 100,000 litre aquarium, we can be sure that, at least at the airport, nature will always there for us. YVR: Your Virtual Rainforest.