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Best of Design Week, Pt 3: Designer Dining Tables and All-White Artwork

Our favourites from Design Exchange’s Dinner by Design and more

We are awarding 100 of the best products, installations and artworks we spot throughout Toronto Design Week with our Designlines Loves tags, specially designed by Sali Tabacchi.

Below is the second batch of designs that caught our attention. Keep track of everything we’ve tagged in our master list and check back as we spotlight more of our great finds in the days ahead.


1 Still Life
Curated by the organizers of the Toronto Offsite Design Festival, White Out brings together an intriguing group of local designers, working in various mediums and at different stages in their careers. A great show, but Victoria Chin’s Still Life figures had me at go. Made of ceramic and standing about two feet tall, the characters are modelled after the designer’s younger self, complete with bob, school dress and little-girl-pot-belly. Chin has 18 such statues, in various colours and finishes, and plans to exhibit her mini army in the near future.
Tagged by Tory Healy on Jan 20 at White Out, TAC Art/Work Gallery, 568 Richmond St W


2 #ffffff
Also at White Out and presented in a row inside of bulbous vessels, Bettie Cott‘s white scented powders explore the role that colour plays in helping us identify smells. Super-familiar scents can be difficult to peg when there isn’t an accompanying visual cue.
Tagged by Eric Mutrie on Jan 20 at White Out, TAC Art/Work Gallery, 568 Richmond St W


Vise light by Bec Brittain
The spectacular work of New York lighting designer Bec Brittain has come at last to our fair town. Formerly the Design Director for Lindsey Adelman’s studio, Brittain’s own collection mixes organic forms with a decent dose of edge. It was hard to choose a favourite, but Vise’s presence won me over. It really needs to be seen in person – a giant, almost aggressive set of brass claws gingerly cupping a curved glass globe, hand-blown to ombre effect. Unreal. Now available at Hollace Cluny.
Tagged by Tory Healy on Jan 20 at Hollace Cluny, 160 Pears Ave, Ste #203


4 Paul H. Cocker Gallery feature wall
Led by Jason Ramelson and Michael Owens with construction help from Gow Hastings Architecture Inc., Ryerson architecture students used digitally-fabricated Corian triangles to create this curving, glowing feature wall straight out of a J.J. Abrams sci-fi movie set. Learn more about how the wall was designed and built on the designers’ blog. Other digital prototypes are also on display on various floors of the building.
Tagged by Eric Mutrie on Jan 20 at Ryerson University DAS, 325 Church St


5 Urban Fabric photos
Architectural photographer and intern architect Scott Norsworthy‘s series examines holes in Toronto’s urban fabric – empty plots of land that are anomalies in the city environment. The quiet beauty of the shots, which capture an empty plot of land at Queen and Peter and gaps between residential developments, among other sites, remind me of the streetscape shots in Stephen Shore’s Uncommon Places series.
Tagged by Eric Mutrie on Jan 20 at Urban Fabric: Portraits of a City, Textile Museum of Canada, 55 Centre Ave


6 Material Map – Toronto
Sculptor Scott Eunson created this layered map of Toronto’s urban grid and natural landscape out of found objects like driftwood sticks, roots, reclaimed wood and wire.
Tagged by Eric Mutrie on Jan 20 at Urban Fabric: Portraits of a City, Textile Museum of Canada, 55 Centre Ave


7 Dining environment by Uufie
At Monogram’s Dinner by Design at the Design Exchange – held to benefit Casey House and Design Exchange – 11 designers built and decorated distinct dining spaces. All are elegant, resolved conversation starters but the one that had me stopped and staring (and contemplating) longest was Uufie’s, designed by principles Eiri Ota and Irene Gardpoit. The otherworldly environment consists of a gorgeous brushed table with impossibly thin legs (fabricated by Canadian Metal Coating) surrounded by chairs misshapen with modeling clay (these too are incredulously functionable). Ghostly smoked-glass objets by Jeff Goodman Studio round out the out-there concept.
Tagged by Tory Healy on Jan 20 at Dinner by Design, Design Exchange, 234 Bay St


8 Dining environment by Mason Studio
The multidisciplinary designers at Mason Studio created a cozy, perfectly-propped dining environment. Two tables covered in heirlooms and bargain finds sit inside of a farmhouse-style structure underneath a snow-covered roof. It’s the kind of setting destined to host lively discussions well into the early hours of the morning.
Tagged by Eric Mutrie on Jan 20 at Dinner by Design, Design Exchange, 234 Bay St


9 Exporting Toronto Design idea map 
Graphic recorder Erica Bota captured the discussion that took place during Exporting Toronto Design, a panel talk moderated by KPMB Architects‘ Joy Charbonneau and led by a panel that included the Design Industry Advisory Committee‘s Arlene Gould, American Design Club founder Kiel Mead, Bruce Mau Design Creative Director Laura Stein, and Umbra co-founder Paul Rowan. Illustrated on-the-fly as the panel and audience shared their ideas, this mind map distills thoughts about how we can better promote Toronto designers internationally.
Tagged by Eric Mutrie on Jan 20 at Lightform, 267 Niagara St


10 Behind the Glass
It was great to see global contract furniture manufacturer Haworth take part in the Offsite festival by teaming up with local multi-disciplinary design figure3 to create Behind the Glass. Strategically placed peepholes invite passersby to take a look inside three worlds populated with furniture by Haworth and Cappellini. This scene, titled Tiny Dancer, sees a film of a ballerina twirling beside a stack of Cappellini’s Ribbon stools.
Tagged by Tory Healy on Jan 20 at Haworth, 55 University Ave


11 Harbor by Haworth
While at Haworth I scouted the showroom of the contract furniture manufacturer and found a gem. Harbor is an upholstered task chair that looks and feels like a lounger. While super comfortable the backrest and maneuverable tablet is conducive to work and, with the complementary foot stool and rocking bench chair, a compact collaborative space. I’d love this for my home.
Tagged by Tory Healy on Jan 20 at Haworth, 55 University Ave

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