• Creative Endeavors,  Featured

    Sustainability Deep Dive

    As a shepherd of product ideas and designs for the human environment, the industrial design industry has a huge impact on the climate crisis and outstretched waste statistics around the world. To unpack this reality and connect through solutions, the Industrial Designers Society of America, or IDSA, kicked off its inaugural Sustainability Deep Dive conference last year, which tackled the complexity of imbuing the product lifecycle with sustainable processes, strategies, and experiences. This month, the conference made its second annual trek across current themes and innovations in industrial design and sustainability, and the resulting programming was a rich exploration of concrete solutions, wonderous and science-backed products, hopeful-but-firm calls to action,…

  • Featured,  Form

    Ecosystems of design

    A current marker of the advancements in sustainability and innovative thinking of modern architecture, the AIA’s COTE® Top Ten program entered its 25th year this year, with a slew of new awards for North America’s most ecologically groundbreaking works of architecture. Projects across typologies, from university libraries and the health sciences to commercial adaptive reuse and deep tech—such as Microsoft’s new Silicon Valley campus—hailed from areas across the continent, with two coming from the portfolio of the Toronto-based studio of the Chicago-headquartered Perkins + Will. An international design studio located in one of the world’s most culturally diverse cities, Perkins + Will envisions architecture as a vehicle for creating healthier…

  • 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…

  • 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…