Montreal Transforms Into a Design Mecca

Montreal Transforms Into a Design Mecca

Running from May 22 to 25, the SIDIM design fair presents the latest in residential furnishings, while a series of offsite events, installations and exhibits – orchestrated by Sid Lee, Claude Cormier and Greg Lynn – will light up the city.

Now in its 26th year, SIDIM (Salon International du Design de Montréal) invites designers and manufacturers, mostly from Quebec, to fill the downtown convention centre of Place Bonaventure with their latest furniture, accessories, appliances and kitchen and bath systems. Running May 22 to 25, the fair is open to the trade on the first two days, and to the public over the weekend. Alongside the show, a number of events around Montreal explore the intersection of design with commerce, technology and the built fabric. Here are some of the creative minds and inspiring events to be on the look out for.

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1 Six Point Un at SIDIM
One of many good reasons to check out SIDIM is Six Point Un, a relatively new studio run by Jérémy Couture and Claudia Després, who are producing a range of blond-wood furnishings inspired by the Canadian winter wilderness. In 2010, they crafted a bench that mimicked the curved planks of a wooden toboggan; it comes with its own hand-knit upholstery that slips on like a sock. At SIDIM, the studio is launching a full-range of new home furnishings.

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2 Établi at SIDIM and Haut + Fort
Montreal has always had a strong furniture manufacturing sector, so the formation of Établi, a co-op that brings local designers and craftspersons together to create custom-built furniture at accessible prices, seems a natural fit. Over 20 artisans are now involved in seeing the co-op realize its goal of introducing one new piece or collection each month. Some of those pieces will be on show at SIDIM, though the group’s official launch will be at the concurrently running Haut + Fort.

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3 Us & Coutumes at Design Haut + Fort
Design Haut + Fort (Loud + Clear) is a biannual exhibit dedicated to promoting Quebec artisans and designers. Among the participants, Us & Coutumes will showcase its wood-crafted accessories for small spaces, including bread boards, one-step footstools, digital tablet stands, and a cafe table (shown) made of metal and birch. Running May 23 to 25, the exhibit is being held at Centre du design UQAM.

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4 Pascale Girardin at Design Haut + Fort
Ceramicist Pascale Girardin will also be exhibiting at Haut + Fort. This could be the location for the pop-up shop she’s been hinting about online, but keep an eye on her social media for info on that. With the commissions she’s been getting lately, working with the likes of Yabu Pushelberg on large scale installations, chances to snag one of her beautiful pieces may be limited.

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Phillppe Funez at Code Souvenir Pop Up Store
Forty designers from the Quebec region, including Philippe Funez – whose Ikuko seat is seen here – will have their goods up for sale in this pop up shop, open from May 27 to 29 at 2020 Rue William. It’s part of the annual C2MTL conference (curated by international creative agency Sid Lee, in collaboration with founding partner Cirque du Soleil and content partner Fast Company) which explores a topic close to Quebec’s heart: commerce and creativity,

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Claude Cormier installation at Avenue de Musée
Every spring, landscape architect Claude Cormier devises an art installation that animates a part of the city with colour and fun. For the third consecutive year, he has redefined Avenue de Musée alongside the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. Throughout the summer, the street will be covered with a rainbow-coloured grid of 10,000 TOMS (temporary overlay markers) that create a visual wave of motion as pedestrians pass by, moving from various shades of red at one end of the street to a pattern of blues, whites and yellows. 

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Decoi Architect’s Hyposurface at CCA
Montreal’s Digital Spring Festival, which kicks off May 21, includes the Canadian Centre for Architecture’s Media and Machines exhibit. This second phase of the Archaeology of Digital exhibition and research project, curated by L.A. architect Greg Lynn, offers a look at state-of-the-art building technology – including Decoi Architect’s kinetic Hyposurface display screen.

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