• 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…

  • Featured,  Form

    OUI

    Indigo Books & Music Inc. is a Toronto based company that doubles as a world cultural department store, filled with curated collections of books, music, art, and lifestyle products. Its fashion branch spans jewelry and sleepwear to backpacks; while its curated home goods branch includes décor, glassware, furnishings, and more.  Recently, an exclusive new brand, called OUI, has joined Indigo’s home collection, and it is led by Nathan Williams, chief creative officer for Indigo and founder of Kinfolk magazine. Available at Indigo and chapter locations across Canada, OUI is a thoughtfully designed and curated collection of home décor, tabletop, and wellness products inspired by the natural world, contemporary art, and…

  • Featured,  Form,  Print Edition

    Grenadier Pond contemporary

    Set near the wetland shores of Grenadier Pond on the western edge of Toronto’s High Park, this low-profile, contemporary home in the Swansea neighborhood is unassuming upon approach with limited street frontage. Yet, as the onlooker is drawn down the drive, there is a sense of procession and shelter to the three-story, 3,500-square-foot home nestled into the forested hill and ravines inherent to the protected park. Its envelope and clean lines are modest interventions on the site, allowing for interaction and relationship with the unique biodiversity of Grenadier Pond.  There is a thoughtful connection between built and natural landscape—a concept that is central to the founding philosophy of the architectural…

  • 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…

  • Creative Endeavors,  Featured

    Project Atigi

    Nearly one year ago, Canada Goose Inc., a luxury performance wear brand in Toronto, Ontario, launched its social entrepreneurship program known as Project Atigi in partnership with the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, or ITK. The representational organization is the national voice for the four Inuit regions of Inuit Nunangat, representing Inuvialuit, Nunatsiavut, Nunavut, and Nunavik in northern Canada.   The first of its kind in Canada, Project Atigi featured an exclusive, globally-released parka collection handcrafted by 14 Inuit seamstresses, and was designed to celebrate Inuit craft while returning the profits back to the community.  Leveraging the success and impact of the initial collection, this month Canada Goose released its expanded collection…