Homegrown talent holds court at Canada’s largest contemporary design fair.
One of the most popular features at the Interior Design Show, with its many aisles of international designers, studios, manufacturers and showrooms, is Studio North and Prototype, a concentrated dose of CanCon. Now in its tenth year, this two-pronged exhibit spotlights roughly 60 Canadian designers, some of whom are familiar, such as lighting maestro Michal Maciej Bartosik and master woodworkers Brothers Dressler plus others that are upstarts hoping to catch the eye of manufacturers with their limited edition and experimental furnishings. Here’s a sample of the innovative items found in this exhibit.
1 Grafik Fabrik by Rollout
Print-on-demand wallpaper design studio Rollout launches a new batch of prints in a collection called Wanderlust. Inspired by Parisian landmarks, transit routes and famous French artists, each pattern is printed in non-toxic ink on archival quality, latex-based paper.
2 Norb by Herling Industrial Design Works
Nicholas Herling’s rain barrel prototype is a two-fold improvement on the plastic drum. It’s round, poplar form is raised to bench height so it doubles as outdoor seating and the hand pump-activated spigot makes filling a watering can a cinch.
3 Rudebaker by Palette Industries
This Albertan studio comes to Toronto with a mixed bag of products, including this stoneware vase. A rethink on the conical road barrier, Palette’s pylon, available in white, black and mauve, encourages a detour to smell the roses.
4 Tyndall by Thom Fougere
Weighing in at 150 pounds, Fougere’s low-lying coffee table is made from one of the Prairies – where the designer is from – primary building materials. Made of solid Tyndall stone, the top appears to hover above the ground on thin steel legs.
5 Alouette by Dystil
The retired but still orbiting Canadian satellite “Alouette”, launched in 1962, informs this pendant by Miles Keller. Made of 42 laser-cut birch plywood parts and two rings, the fixture assembles in just 10 minutes and its windows throw light in geometric patterns.
IDS 2012 is open to the public January 28 and 29.