• GLBD - Flight Centre | Steve Tsai Photography
    Featured,  Form,  Travel

    Flight work

    When leveraging design-based research and brand strategy of one of Toronto’s largest, independent multidisciplinary design firms to create a new space for a global travel services company, the result is an award-winning, four-and-a-half floor office environment uniting staff from roughly 300 various locations throughout Toronto into one seven-story building. Designed by Figure3 to support the ever-evolving needs and culture of the Australian-based Flight Centre, the full-service travel agency’s new Toronto-based office has recently been recognized with a Value of Design Award in the Innovation in Workplace Design category from the Interiors Designers of Canada, or IDC. Departing from existing office layout that closed employees off from one another, Figure3 worked…

  • GLBD - Chicago River + Downtown Chicago | Pendry Chicago
    Featured,  Relish

    Venteux Chicago

    Nearly a year after restaurant scenes were shaken nationwide by the coronavirus pandemic, Chicago’s Magnificent Mile will be invigorated this spring by a brand-new French café, brasserie, and champagne and oyster bar to be helmed by hospitality industry leaders, including Chicago’s youngest Michelin-starred chef. Venteux, a French adjective roughly translating to “windswept,” embodies the familiar character of the Windy City, and its culinary namesake will debut within the city’s Carbide and Carbon Building, a cultural landmark featuring Art Deco stylings and a century-old position in Chicago history. Venteux will be housed on the ground floor of the forthcoming Pendry Chicago hotel, within the Carbide and Carbon Building, and will feature…

  • Featured,  Form

    Odeyto

    Situated among a boreal garden, teaching pavilion, and sculptural mounds on the Seneca College campus in Toronto, Ontario, the Odeyto Indigenous Centre for students is an architectural and culturally inclusive embodiment of Indigenous lifeways both traditional and contemporary. The renovation and addition project, which was finished in 2018 and features 1,600 square-feet, functions as a new space for First Peoples@Seneca, and where First Nation, Metis, and Inuit students can gather and practice traditions, while also building new relationships when away from their communities. The conceptual form of a canoe takes shape in the curved, metal roof form that both shelters the entry and grows open to invite visitors. Against the…

  • IFWTO Designer Section 35, co-founder Justin Louis, Photo by Nadya Kwandibens
    Creative Endeavors,  Featured

    IFWTO: expression in fashion

    In a celebration of Indigenous expression in fashion and the arts, the second edition of the biennial Indigenous Fashion Week Toronto hosted runway presentations from 16 designers, a series of panel discussions on topics like land-based fashion and fashion journalism, a virtual art exhibition, and more, online last week November 26 through November 29, 2020. Co-founded by Artistic Director Sage Paul in 2018, IFWTO features distinctive and progressive Indigenous-made fashion, craft, and textiles, and is a celebration of these mediums’ foundations in Indigenous knowledge and ways of life. Foundationally, the festival celebrates and advances current Indigenous designers, while welcoming audiences to experience their work in accessible ways. “All of us…

  • Fig40 Community Chair
    Creative Endeavors,  Featured,  Form

    Systems of design

    “People find their own ways of using things regardless of how prescriptive it can be,” said Lee Fletcher, principal and co-founding partner of Fig40, an award-winning, multi-service, industrial design firm based in Toronto, Ontario. “We need to have a sensitivity to that.” This intention to the intrinsic human nature of design underscores the Fig40 portfolio, which Fletcher has been building with fellow principal, designer, and co-founding partner Terence Woodside since the design studio’s launch in 2008. It is a craving for pure understanding of systems, both human and mechanic, that has driven Fletcher’s exploration of the design realm, whether it involved creating LEGO® shock absorbers during his childhood or recent…

  • Creative Endeavors,  Featured,  Form

    Upcycle and silk

    With millions of tons of textiles being produced around the world each year—and a similar amount ending up in landfills, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency—fashion labels and industry entrants have become increasingly creative with what would be considered their “waste” fabric, though countless practices would need to be reversed to create a sustainable industry. For one Toronto-based fashion brand, a comprehensive investment in the sustainable fashion movement manifests in garments crafted from one sustainable, often overlooked material: traditional South Asian saris.  When Priya Mohan founded the brand sariKNOTsari, it was in the wake of a rich period working in the Canadian antiques market and sourcing items for…

  • Creative Endeavors,  Featured,  Form

    Oji Masanori x Mjölk

    Solid brass and soft light are the main ingredients in this delicate light fixture created by the Japanese industrial designer Oji Masanori. The Diamond Pendant lamp was conceived for the Toronto-based lifestyle shop and gallery, Mjölk, as part of an exclusive collection, and it was handcrafted by artisans in the city. Fundamentally, the pendant recalls Masanori’s careful attention to form, proportion, and even utility in housewares design. A solid brass pulley and counterweight matching the light’s conic cover plate allows the nine-foot cord to be moved and adjusted vertically, and the fogged casing emits a diffused, calming glow. Masanori, who is CEO of the studio Oji & Design, is largely…

  • Design Spotlight,  Featured

    Natural advantage 

    Since initial records of design in ancient times, there has been evidence of what it is now classified as biomimicry. From the early utilization of silkworms for textile production around 4,000 B.C. and Leonardo da Vinci’s skeletal flying machines in the 1400s to archaic umbrellas inspired by Chinese lotus leaves in the 18th century, designers and inventors continue to turn to the concept—and full-fledged practice—to spark innovative solutions for complex issues that impact the world at large.  One of the most notable modern innovations, which also poses a solution for sustainable energy, was sparked decades ago when Dr. Frank Fish, a marine biologist, stumbled upon a peculiar anatomical characteristic on…

  • Featured,  Travel

    Public space, reimagined

    In recent years, there has been a growing initiative in urban landscapes to look beyond the imminent tomorrow and reimagine the next generation of public spaces. It is a movement encouraging cities, architects, designers, and urban planners to reclaim underutilized infrastructure and transform it into hybrid spaces of both city and greenspace: parks that also serve as public squares, gardens, transit corridors, and living, moving performance art. For several public-private partners in Toronto, Ontario, the Frederick G. Gardiner Expressway connecting the downtown city to its surrounding neighborhoods presented the perfect opportunity to posit a new take on the cultural destination and city park. The Gardiner Expressway, which carries thousands of…