MEANWHILE ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WORLD: Design in Dubai

Flag with advertising for Design Days Dubai in front of the skyscraper The Burj Khalifa
Image from Design Days Dubai
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Design Days Dubai and the emergence of a design community in the UAE.

Shows like IDS (Interior Design Show) here in Toronto have helped demystify design for a general audience. For the price of an entry ticket you can see fresh work by new independent Canadian designers in Studio North and Prototype or take advantage of international guests speaking on design and architecture. Along with Toronto Design Offsite, Design Week’s independent festival that runs concurrently, it’s a great way to get the creative juices flowing. But if you ever happen to be in Dubai in March there is a new show that is growing a community around design in the Emirates. (More MIXED BAG MAG posts on design in Toronto with TODO Festival & Highlights of Design Week 2013)

The first fair in the Middle East that focuses on furniture design and design objects Design Days Dubai aims “to strengthen greater appreciation and understanding for design as a form of applied arts.”

What I love is that the aesthetic collected is BOLD! The work you see at Design Days Dubai shows no fear when it comes to exploring form and materials. But somehow it still manages to be accessible maybe because it is so over-the-top fantastical that it is the recognizable stuff of our dreams – playful, imaginative, and in many cases, like nothing we have ever seen before in the flesh within our reach.

Colourful chair in a baroque style with Mondrian style painting in back and woman sitting beside in high heels The Proust Geometrica Chair on display the PF Emirates Interiors. Image from Design Days Dubai.

People walking through indoor exhibitions, painting with spattered painted on white canvas on left side. Visitors at Design Days Dubai. Photo by Siddharth Siva. Image from Design Days Dubai.

Sculpture of white face suspended ceiling and arms coming out from wall holding utensils, smiling ready to eat. Woman in background signing a book. Image from Design Days Dubai.


Image from Design Days Dubai.

A million times (Time Dubai) by Humans since 1982 from Humans since 1982 on Vimeo.

Man in traditional arabic style dress looking at large black and white abstract painting
Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Bin Khalifa Al Nahyan tours a special preview day at the Inaugural Design Days Dubai at Franziska Kessler
. Image from Design Days Dubai.

Exhibit space with assorted tables, chairs and contemporary design objects Southern Guild Gallery, South Africa. Image from Design Days Dubai.

Gradient Mashrabiya by mischer’traxler for Carwan Gallery, Beirut. Image from Design Days Dubai.

Man hanging a basket like structure woven from camel leather on wood frame. People looking on. Kwangho Lee at his workshop, Camel Leather Weaving at Design Days Dubai. Image from Design Days Dubai.

Chairs shaped liked bean bag chairs makde from coiled rope.Meltdown Chairs by Tom Price, UK. Photo by Klara Urbanova. Image from Design Days Dubai.

The Sharjah Art Foundation. Image from Universes in Universe.

The Sharjah Biennial – art work that pushes the envelope with some serious play and dark humour.

And in another desert location down the road, the Sharjah Biennial gathers together  incredible established and emerging artists who produce projects that skip over, around and through the artistic expressions of new media, street art and installation like kids at a game of hopscotch. Case in point – this stunning-crazy-brilliant piece by French-Tunisian “calligraffiti” artist El Seed.

Art work with collage of Arabic script and human figures with saying Please be Aware this Image Contains NudityBeware of this Artist by Ramin Haerizadeh. Image from www.sharjahfoundation.org.

For obvious reasons, the work that pools around this intimate Biennial is often about analysis of the politics of body, space, and nation but because the execution is so beautifully rendered the intense work powerfully draws you in through your eyes to open your heart and mind to important issues.

The Sharjah Art Foundation. Work by Imran Qureshi. Image from Universes in Universe.

The Sharjah Art Foundation. Work by Mustapha Benfodil. Image from Universes in Universe.

Like Toronto, Dubai is rapidly expanding while exploring what this means for this city that has become an international destination and like Toronto it will be exciting to watch how Dubai grows as a destination for design.

Toronto's CN Tower rising between condo highrises with early evening clouds forming in the sky Image by Leah Snyder for Mixed Bag Mag.

DESIGN MATTERS: Toronto Design Offsite Festival 2014

FINAL COUNTDOWN! For just $10 you can help support this amazing independent design festival!

Designers are the magic makers, the interfacers.
Designers allow the stuff of dreams to come to life.

Designers have the capability to make our day with well played functionality.

And that is why design matters! Because we live in a world where we engage with design round the clock.

Supporting a community that nurtures designers so they can give birth to great design just makes sense.

This festival is near and dear to my heart because as a designer it brings together some of the best independent talent we have in Toronto and each year I walk away inspired. Plus this warm bunch of creative geniuses do a fine job of thawing out Toronto in the coldest month of the year.

ONLY A FEW HOURS LEFT! Check out Toronto Design Offsite’s Indiegogo Campaign to see how you can help for as little as $10 and upwards for some great perks.

Limited Edition Silk Screen Tote by Studio Jay Wall – Get this Perk by Donating $50

 

 

 

Salvaged Wood Candle Holder by Ian Devenney – Get this Perk by Donating $75

 






From top to bottom, left to right. 1. Work by at TODO ’13 Launch Party. 2. Plate for Imm-Living Not Forkchops Show, Photo by Krystle Merrow
www.krystlemerrow.com @ Studio Huddle 3. Cob Holders by Lana Filippone for Imm Living’s Not Forkchops show 4. Bruno Billio’s install for Come Up to Room Event at The Gladstone 5. Zahra Ebrahim of archiTEXT at the TODO ’13 Launch Party 6. Michael Revil Madjus of Imm Living & Gelareh Saadatpajouh, R & D Director of TODO 7. Vivien Leung, Organizer for Pecha Kucha Toronto 8. Ashley Rumsey and Stanley Sun of Mason Studio at TODO ’13 Launch Party. Unless otherwise noted all images by Leah Snyder for Mixed Bag Mag.

Festival Talks: Zahra Ebrahim from Toronto Design Offsite Festival on Vimeo.

Festival Talks: Vivien Leung from Toronto Design Offsite Festival on Vimeo.

DIGIPLAYSPACE: Final Weekend for Digital Play @ TIFF

Young boy playing with interactive screen, ipad and computer

“digiPLAYSPACE is an interactive adventure where kids will engage with emerging creative media technologies and innovative artistic experiences!”

It’s a great time to be a kid!  Innovative educators are getting it that for children (and adults too) play = learning. The out-dated model of teaching by dictation followed by recitation needs a DNR order – no resuscitation please! Experiential learning is where it is at. And exhibits like TIFF Bell Lightbox’s popular digiPLAYSPACE give kids that chance to do just that by interacting with “emerging creative media technologies.”

Recently TVO’s The Agenda featured a series called Learning 2030 to explore how these digital technologies will impact the classroom of the future.

Children born in 2012 will graduate from high school in 2030. They will grow up in a world dominated by the Internet, smartphones, computers, and tablet computers. They will likely participate in a historically crucial transition — one as significant as the introduction of Gutenberg’s printing press — from learning steeped in books and blackboards to learning shaped by the screen.” (cited from www.tvo.org)

In this new world where bits of data come at us from all directions it is essential that the generations coming up understand how to assess and build a framework around information to create relevant meaning. More than ever children need to be taught how to learn rather than just what to learn.

Speaking on the March 1st panel for The Agenda’s The Classroom of 2030 at Kitchener’s Communitech  Mark Federman (Alder Graduate Professional School) says that we should  replace the emphasis on the 3 Rs to the 4 Cs – Connection, Context, Complexity and Connotation  – “we need to become used to ambiguity” and not knowing the outcome before we start. A child who is confident in environments where the outcome can’t be predicted is a child who will be able to navigate new spaces and bridge connections between complex ideas within multiple contexts to make meaning that is relevant to them.

Young boy playing with potatoes acting as conduits for electricity

Something as simple as an app can enable a child to go on a non-linear, exploratory journey of discovery. This New Culture of Learning includes, as The Agenda’s host Steve Paikin says, “very strange concepts like fun, passion, games.”

Panelist Douglas Thomas (author of A New Cultural of Learning) says that teachers shouldn’t be punished for making their classrooms easy and rewarded for making the work hard. When a child comments that their class is easy what he or she is really saying is that they are engaged.  Easy does not mean that the learning is not without challenge. Play + Challenge = Solutions.

Young boy and woman high fiving each other

Two local playmates and advocates of deep learning via the lightness of fun are Zahra Ebrahim (archiTEXT) and Mary Tangelder (Spire Works).

“ Zahra’s design class at Ontario College of Art and Deisgn (OCAD) carried their chairs three blocks to Toronto City Hall and initiated a game of musical chairs with passer-bys — an activity that inevitably led to dialogue about community and public space. With Canadian Federal ministry, she’s facilitated a workshop to illuminate the role of play within bureaucracy; back in Toronto, she’s engaged social entrepreneurs with alternative ways of brainstorming through play. Over in Kenya, Mary regularly leads play activities with post-graduate university students to explore how to design schools and learning spaces in refugee camps and communities affected by war, conflict, and natural disasters.” (cited www.huffingtonpost.com) 

Images of kids playing with toys made by the 3D printer in the backgroundChildren playing with interactive screenDescription of interactive exhibit

And in this new world, Canada’s educational system would benefit from taking cues from older traditions that are tried, tested and true. The Learning 2030 series also included a panel discussion –  “Looking to the Future of Aboriginal Education.” Among the many points raised, David Newhouse (Chair of Indigenous Studies at Trent University) touched on the fact that experiential learning is not some new trend but rather the way indigenous cultures have been passing on knowledge for generations –  long before the first Bible was printed in good ol’ Gutenberg.  (Listen to the Q & A podcast.)

The indigenous way sees the world as the classroom and peer-to-peer learning as foundational. This is not unlike the vision panelist Christine Webb (Director, Academic Programs at University of Waterloo Stratford Campus) has for describing the classroom of the future. She believes that the classroom will become decentralized through online technologies and more emphasis will be placed on the interaction between students learning through each other via chatrooms and blogs as well as creating e-portfolios together. In a virtual space the physical classroom is replaced by a digital “textbook” where students, mentors and educators can co-create and collaborate. It is just the kind of space that affirms play as a valid process for education.

And this style of learning leaves plenty of room for spontaneity and plenty of time for field trips to TIFF!

So treat the 21st Century kids in your life to the final weekend of digiPLAYSPACE. From iPods to potatoes, 3D printers and interactive green screens digiPLAYSPACE offers “an interactive adventure where they will laugh and learn with new media technologies, interactive art installations, learning-centric games, mobile apps, and new digital tools and hands-on production activities. There’s something for everyone!” (cited from www.tiff.net)

Young boy casting a ballot in a box to vote for his favourite exhibit at DigiPlaySpacePhotography by Leah Snyder for Mixed Bag Mag.

PECHA KUCHA TORONTO: Celebrating World Creativity & Innovation Week

Colourful Poster for Pecha Kucha Night at the Gladstone HotelAfterModern.Lab’s newest poster design for Toronto’s April 2013 Pecha Kucha Night.

Getting to the point (in 6 mins & 40 secs) about Creativity, Design & Inspiration.  

For anyone who has yet to discover the phenomenon that is Pecha Kucha if you are in Toronto next Tuesday why not head to the Gladstone Hotel to find out what it is all about!

Pecha Kucha – named after the colloquial Japanese phrase for chit chat – began around 10 years ago in Tokyo and has since rippled around the world offering tidbits of inspiration to global audiences. Based on a simple format each presenter has 20 slides and 20 seconds per slide to talk about their passion, their obsession, their raison d’être!

Woman smiling with beer in her handMirella Amato of Beerology™. Image from www.beerology.ca.

One such passionate Pecha Kucha talk that got my attention was Mirella Amato’s talk on her business Beerology™. A former opera singer, Mirella spoke on how she blended together her two great passions – Opera and Beer – with a great mashup event called HOPERA.

Mirella Amato speaking at Pecha Kucha September 2013 at the Gladstone Hotel

Mirella has recently become the first Master Cicerone in Canada – the beer equivalent of a Sommelier – and gives guided beer-tasting sessions and workshops.

“My goal with Beerology™ is not to make beer recommendations based on my taste, but rather to share the tools necessary for each participant to zero in on their own personal favourites. I aim to get people excited about beer and point them in the right direction so that they can confidently continue exploring on their own. I also like to provide the context for each beer, including historical tidbits as well as anecdotes on brands, breweries and styles.” (read more on www.beerology.ca

Mirella’s Pecha Kucha presentation changed the way I thought about beer and definitely piqued my interest as well as my appetite. Follow Mirella on twitter @beerologyboffin & Beerology’s Facebook Page.

Group of people sitting on a stage in front of screen that says Yay Beer Break
Some of the Pecha Kucha presenters from the September 2013 event at the Gladstone Hotel. Photo by Leah Snyder for Mixed Bag Mag.

As a designer I have also enjoyed listening to other kindred spirits speak regarding their own design process. This was the original reason that Pecha Kucha was created, to give designers a unique forum to exchange ideas. If one looks at how rapidly Pecha Kucha has caught on it suggests it was the perfect creative dose that designers needed.

April’s Pecha Kucha Night is in collaboration with World Creativity & Innovation Week. This initiative started on this end of the globe in Toronto with much of the same impetus as Pecha Kucha with the shared idea of bringing creative minds together.

“WCIW was started just over a decade ago by creativity professional Marci Segal in Toronto, who sought to answer the questions “How do we get everyone to realize they have the ability and can use creativity to shape a better future?”

Since then, around the world, many have celebrated WCIW in their own unique ways. In the Netherlands, “creativity walks” with civil servants promote out-of-the-box thinking in public policy-making. In Argentina, schools get creative with collaborative art projects, while an international creativity conference takes place in Italy. In England, a group of friends experiments with creative cooking and in Ontario, schoolchildren take part in creative science exploration activities.” (read more on www.wciw.org)

Logo for World Creativity and Innovation Week

Follow World Creativity & Innovation Week on twitter @WCIW and Facebook.

RSVP here to Tuesday, April 16’s Pecha Kucha.

 

THE HAPPY SHOW: Last Weekend to View it at Toronto’s Design Exchange

What is happiness to you?

Is it the same as joy? Is happiness a series of contained moments? Or is it more like what Luminato’s Artistic Director Jorn Weisbrodt discovered from his 102 year old grandmother – that happiness is when we settle into our role in life and live it well creating a constant state of well being.

On Tuesday evening at the Design Exchange some of the talented and creative spirits in our city were gathered together to share what they know about happiness.

For Vanessa Eckstein and Marta Cutler of Blok Design it has something to do with being mothers. “You can’t find better inspiration than children” and they from that they were motivated to put their design talents to work creating children’s books.

“Lampyro’s publishing program invites renowned contemporary artists of international repute to show us their interpretation of transforming the ordinary into the extra-ordinary. We believe that by guiding children’s inherent curiosity through artists’ eyes, unconventional means of perception become familiar. This freedom to believe becomes a fundamental element of their world view, helping to shape the person they become.” (cited from www.editorialrm.com)


Caca Grande (Big Poop)
from blokdesign on Vimeo.

For artist and illustrator Gary Taxali “Happiness is about being silly.” Giving himself the permission to be just that has resulted in a successful career and international recognition. Around the world he is now known for his iconic work that speaks to his wonderful sense of absurdity. 

fun illustrations in retro comic style and headshot of man with glasses

And although with every speaker (interior designer Christine Ralphsarchitect Ralph Giannone, landscape architect Claude Cormier, architect Meg Graham) I happily shared some common ground it was with Armenian-Canadian actress / producer Arsinée Khanjian that I shared my bliss – rich French desserts, the deep Klein Blue skies of the Mediterranean, and the magical love story of Mary & Captain von Trapp in The Sound of Music. I must confess, that just like Arsinée, that since childhood I have been tearing up the moment Georg looks deep into Mary’s eyes and sings:

Nothing comes from nothing
Nothing ever could
So somewhere in my youth or childhood I must have done something good

What makes me happy is that Rogers and Hammerstein inspired me to believe that love can arrive unexpectedly in the most difficult of times and in the most unusual ways.

The Happy Show is what came out of internationally renowned graphic designer Stefan Sagmeister’s last sabbatical.

Stefan decided that every seventh year he would take a 365 day break to rest and play then see what bubbles up to the surface. This show is one of his creative bubbles.

“The Happy Show offers visitors the experience of walking into the designer’s mind as he attempts to increase his happiness via meditation, cognitive therapy, and mood-altering pharmaceuticals. “I am usually rather bored with definitions,” Sagmeister says. “Happiness, however, is just such a big subject that it might be worth a try to pin it down.” Centered around the designer’s ten-year exploration of happiness, this exhibition presents typographic investigations of a series of maxims, or rules to live by, originally culled from Sagmeister’s diary, manifested in a variety of imaginative and interactive forms.” (cited from www.dx.org)

After touring around The Happy Show with a friend I asked him if I could get a quote about it. Sure he said – “Quote, unquote this show makes me happy.”
Do you need any other reason to go?!

The Happy Show ends this Sunday, March 3.
More info on www.dx.org and as well as on Philadelphia’s Institute of Contemporary Art’s tumblr blog for the show.

Which gumball machine would you choose? My friend is actually happier than 5, he was just following the lead of the very happy toddler in front of him.

Outside our level of comfort we discover the magic inside of us.


What would you draw?


Canadians are doing ok!


Don’t forget to press the button at the end of the show and await further instructions…

This show comes with free candy.


Images by Leah Snyder for Mixed Bag Mag.

BEST IN SHOW? EVERYONE! Design Week in Toronto & The Growth of a Community

Detail of colourful paper sculpture by Tara Keens-Douglas

made the spaces in-between smash / process dictates form /  make art everyday / design create innovate think experiment play /  shiny pretty things loop /  embrace this space

After 6 days and 20+ events my mind is busy synthesizing all that I saw, everything I experienced and each person I interacted with.

Celebrating 15 yrs in partnership with IDS, Azure Magazine’s Trade Talks left me with more than enough food for thought and a satiated mind. Both Oki Sato and Philippe Malouin took the audience inside the head of a designer with regards to the important of process. True to Jerzsy Seymour’s reputation, his talk was full of surprises. Jurgen Mayer H., the German who has now become a sort of Starchitect for the Georgian Government spoke of the forward thinking with regards to institutional buildings in a country eager to emerge on the international scene as a destination of interest. The philosophy behind Jurgen’s design for the customs checkpoint at the border of Georgia and Turkey was to build a structure that would represent the meeting point of two countries rather than the dividing line between an “us” and a “them”. Watch for more of his work popping up on the landscape there!

And I have to agree with Jurgen’s comment to the ladies from ArtsCom on his way out the media lounge on Saturday. The show was well organized (and running on German Standard Time)!

I appreciated all the great conversations on architecture, design, and culture I had even if they were cut short because I was running off to the next event.  Thanks to Janet at Latitude 44, Ange-line and Michael of Imm-Living, Matt and Chris of Projector Design, Natalie and Kyle of Composite Angle as well as Laurie and Mania of Samare and Stanley and Ashley of Mason.  Also thanks to designers Tat Chao,Tahir Mahmood and Christopher Solar, the multi-talented Camal Pirbhai, visual artist Camille Turner and architect-slash-design-activist Zahra Ebrahim!

Design Week wouldn’t be as successful as it is without the vision and dedication of people like Gelareh Saadatpajouh, Programs Coordinator of Toronto Design Offsite. Gelareh facilitated an engaging Design With Dialogue session that got each of us to show the group how our design practice looks. With all the different approaches that we shared and our individual ways of finding a solution, one thing was made clear – the community is stronger when we uplift and collaborate.

Everyone contributed to making Design Week such an incredible time!

Plastic sign outside Made Design store
Drawings from group discussion that reads spaces in-between
Sign of Smash and Toronto Design Offsite on the glass window front of the store
Playing with dry ice at design workshop, designer Jerszy Seymour speaking at IDS with slide of drawing of volcano behind his head
Detail of install by Samare at IDS with samples of their felt rugs and the process
Designer Philippe Malouin speaking at IDS with screen behind him that says process dictates form
Window display with paper snowflakes and a poster that says Make Art Everyday
Window display with wooden lamp, chandilier with umbrella handle, and chandilier made with recycled stemware
White paper cloud like structures around modern furniture
Window in the front of gallery with shiny logo reflecting the buildings across the street
Room with mirrors on the floor and under the furniture reflecting the space in infinity, books piled high from floor to ceiling
Five panelists sitting with mics to talk about design in front of a brick wall
Colourful screen printed posters and image of black bricked storefront from street with sign saying Loop
A checkered building on colourful stilts suspended over older brick building with CN Tower in the background
Brick wall with painting across the side with the words Embrace this SpacePhotography by Leah Snyder for Mixed Bag Mag.

1. Detail of Tapestry by Tara Keens-Douglas for the Gladstone’s 10th Come Up To My Room
2. Sign outside MADE, Dundas West during DoDesign
3. Doodles from the Design with Dialogue group for Toronto Design Offsite
4. Sign outside SMASH, The Junction
5. Playing with design process at the Design with Dialogue group for Toronto Design Offsite
6. Designer Jerszy Seymour at IDS for Azure Magazine’s Trade Talks
7. Detail from Samare Design’s install at IDS for “How Do You Work?”
8. Designer Philippe Malouin speaking at IDS for Azure Magazine’s Trade Talks
9. Window display at ARTiculations, The Junction
10. Window display of Brothers Dressler’s  “Ash out of Quarantine Show” at ARTiculations
11. Up-cycled Stemware glass chandelier by Montreal designer Tat Chao at IDS
12. Chandelier with umbrella handle at LightForm at Toronto Design Offsite’s Opening Party
13. Mason Studio’s install at Pavilion for Toronto Design Offsite
14. Window at Cooper Cole Gallery, Dundas West for Shiny Pretty Things show
15. Bruno Billio’s install at the Gladstone’s 10th Come Up To My Room
16. Panel Discussion for Come Up To My Room 10th Anniversary at the Gladstone.  L to r – Andrea Carson Barker, Justin Langlois, Chrisina Zeidler, Zahra Ebrahim, & Pamila Matharu
17. Prints made in house at SMASH, The Junction
18. “Not Forkchops” exhibit at Loop Gallery on Dundas West, Toronto Design Offsite
19. View of OCAD University, McCaul Street
20. Outside wall of Student Gallery at OCAD University, McCaul Street

SPINNING TOPS: Tat Chao & Tahir Mahmood @ IDS

Woman holding colourful spinning tops cupped in her hands
Gelareh with small painted spinning tops. Image by Leah Snyder for Mixed Bag Mag.

Stop spinning in all directions – where to find the best tops in Toronto!

This post is inspired by Gelareh Saadatpajouh, Program Coordinator of Toronto Design Offsite and her love of spinning tops.

I re-discovered my love of these tiny and transportable works of art / design. And I know where you can find some well-crafted tops. Designer Tat Chao does beautiful ones in up-cycled glass stemware and Tahir Mahmood in wood. And both designers will be at the Interior Design Show this year.

Man spinning glass tops made from up-cycled stemware with frosted finish
Glass spinning tops by design Tat Chao . Image by Leah Snyder for Mixed Bag Mag.
Wooden spinning top with natural wood and pink and green painted areasCollection of colourful wooden spinning tops
Above images of wooden spinning tops by Tahir Mahmood (images from www.tahirmahmood.com)
Woman playing with spinning tops on a tableGelareh with small painted spinning tops. Image by Leah Snyder for Mixed Bag Mag.

For more information on IDS visit www.interiordesignshow.com or follow on Facebook & twitter @IDSToronto & #IDS13.

Logo for IDS the Interior Design Show

FLASHBACK: IDS Trade Talks 2012 French & Italian Were on the Menu

Italian designer Fabio Novembre speaking at IDS in front of a double image of himself on the screenItalian designer Fabio Novembre at Azure Trade Talks, IDS 2012. 

French Designer Matali Crasset & Italian Designer Fabio Novembre. 

The AZURE Trade Day Talks that day were passionate. Cerebral French & Emotional Italian. Elemental to each of their designs – wit and whimsy.

As different as they were what Matali and Fabio demonstrated that day was that they are both dynamic and thoughtful human beings who create with a concern for those who will interact with their designs.

Click here IDS 2013 Trade Talks. See you there!

For more information on IDS visit www.interiordesignshow.com or follow on Facebook & twitter @IDSToronto & #IDS13.

Italian designer Fabio Novembre speaking at IDS in front of a double image of himself on the screenItalian designer Fabio Novembre at Azure Trade Talks, IDS 2012 showing his re-vision of the Panton Chair

Designer Matali Crasset speaking at IDS on stage in front of screenFrench designer Matali Crasset speaking at Azure Trade Talks, IDS 2012.
Above images by Leah Snyder for Mixed Bag Mag. 

image of Matali Crasset beside a sample of a room she has designedColourful room designed for childrenobjects for a cooking in a kitchen designed by Matalie CrassetFabio Novembre seated naked in a black and gold chair he has designedWoman standing beside white chair in shape of a face mask. Model is nude wearing only a white face mask. Black metal shelving unit with red section Black metal book shelf in the shape of a robot

CAN-CON: Studio North & Prototype at IDS

designers standing at the Prototype section of the Interior Design Show Prototype at IDS 2012 with Derek McLeod Sum Chair Lounge in foreground. Image by Leah Snyder for Mixed Bag Mag.

Proudly Canadian at the Interior Design Show!

My favourite part of IDS? Seeing what the home-grown talent has to offer. Last year I was romanced by Christopher Solar’s Plantation Chair Redux (see below) among other equally beautiful suitors from the Brothers Dressler, Mani Mani, and Derek McLeod. View my post on my love affair with the chair here!

Plantation Chair Redux by Christopher SolarPlantation Chair Redux by Christopher Solar. Image by Leah Snyder for Mixed Bag Mag.Chair by Brothers Dressler for the Interior Design Show Re-imagined Stam/Breuer Chairs by Brothers Dressler. Image by Leah Snyder for Mixed Bag Mag.Wood and metal chair by designer Mani Mani
Cortical Chair by Mani Mani of fishtnk. Image by Leah Snyder for Mixed Bag Mag. 

This year I am excited to see Christopher Solar’s newest design, the Tilde Chair, in the “flesh”, as well as this sexy design, the Nadine Chair by Composite Angle.

Chair made of metal and wood combination
Nadine Chair (top) by Composite Angle and Tilde Chair by Christopher Solar (bottom). Images courtesy IDS.

Table tops the list.

But I think this year is going to be less about the chair and more about the table.

Wooden coffee table and writing desk One Two Three Table by Eho Eho (top) and writing desk by Studio Garneau (bottom). Images courtesy IDS.

Table with glass top and curved wood frameKo Table by In Elements. Image courtesy IDS.

Moving away from neutral territory.

As much as we Canadian’s love our neutrals Geof Ramsay and Projector Design inject some colour into the mix.

Little blue and larger red table with cut-out sides resembling the layout of streets on a mapYou Are Here Table by Geof Ramsay. Images courtesy IDS.

“You Are Here is a formal exploration of physical place met with the application o f mass customization to furniture design.  Any geographic footprint, abstracted into its essential positive and negative space, can be laser cut to create a one-of-a-kind piece for each individual.” Read more on www.geoframsay.com

Brilliant blue topped metal desk
001 Desk by Projector Design. Image courtesy IDS.

For more information on IDS visit www.interiordesignshow.com or follow on Facebook & twitter @IDSToronto & #IDS13.

Logo for IDS the Interior Design Show

WHAT “TO DO”? Toronto Design Offsite This Week!

Part of DO Design, Toronto Design Offsite, window of Saving Grace

Toronto Design Offsite (TO DO) Festival entering its 3rd year with over 40 exhibits around town

It’s going to be cold so why not warm your heart with inspiration by taking in some of the many exhibits that will be part of Toronto Design Offsite 2013. From “unexpected prototypes to immersive installations”, this festival that showcases emerging Canadian Design is growing in leaps and bounds every year. It’s taking over the city and supporting a growing design community both locally and nationally.

Click here for the full festival schedule online as well as downloadable PDF to plan your week into the weekend.

Get the map & the app!

Map of locations in Toronto for Toronto Design Offsite

Here are some visual highlights from last year – eye candy along Dundas Street West  for DO Design, one of the many events for Toronto Design Offsite.

Storefronts along Dundas West for DO DesignFlyer for DO Design in window of abandoned shop.Store front along Dundas West for DO Design along with graffiti on an alley wall. Detail of design in the shops on Dundas West Storefront of Cooper Cole Gallery along Dundas West

Another event from Toronto Design Offsite 2012 – the opening of Forty Oaks Community Centre, Regent Park showcasing the furniture and design provided by Public Displays of Affection.

Stained Glass for Public Displays of Affection at Forty Oaks Community Centre

“Led by Design Director Parimal Gosai, Public Displays of Affection (PDA)  is a Toronto-based organization that is furnishing the low income housing development 40 Oaks with sustainable custom designed furniture…The custom designed furnishings were created by local design gurus such as Brothers DresslerStudio JunctionRob SouthcottParimal GosaiMADEKathryn Walter and over 28 more professional designers and students…PDA produced furniture and design elements in three ways: by engaging with local community stakeholders in workshops, by recruiting custom designed donations by designers, craftspeople, artists, furniture makers and architects, and by recruiting donations and workshop facilitation by post secondary students and their institutions.” (cited from www.publicdisplaysofaffection.ca)

Read more about the 40 Oaks Project for Toronto Design Offsite here.

Table showcased at Public Displays of Affection with crowd of guestsTable and textile art on display Chair design with guests for Forty Oaks opening

If you are looking for some online content to supplement your experience along with TO DO’s blog of festival Sneak Peeks Toronto design team MASON STUDIO has a great 12 part series featuring the designers, artists and organizers of TO DO.

Yesterday’s post featured Shaun Moore and Julie Nicholson of MADE.

“Everything we do as MADE is about engagement and working for more and more people to understand the kind of work we represent as well as produce ourselves- as an independent design company, this contributes to our making a living.  TO DO works towards engagement within the design community and simultaneously reaches out to a wider audience in Toronto and beyond, so it’s like riding a bigger wave.”  Read more on the MASON STUDIO Journal

Follow along with TO DO on Facebook & twitter @TODesignOffsite.

Storefront of MADE with Canadian designsSome of the beautiful furniture and design objects in MADESome of the beautiful furniture and design objects in MADE
Some of the beautiful furniture and design objects in MADE
Photography by Leah Snyder for Mixed Bag Mag.