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Best of Design Week, Pt 9: A Forest Bogeyman and a Killer Credenza

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 ninth 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 Nathan sofa by Steve Wallin
Part of the eclectic mix of furniture and art on display at Upper 751, this hand-made-in-Toronto sofa features leather upholstery and a solid hickory frame. It’s a great option for minimal urban spaces.
Tagged by David Dick-Agnew on Jan 23, at Upper 751, 751 Queen St W

2 Stylegarage showroom
Fourteen-year-old furniture retailer Stylegarage celebrated its new digs on Ossington with a grand opening party on Friday night. The lofty, 780-square-metre space new space impressed with its extensive stock of Gus Modern sofas and Lambert et Fils lighting, plus its fun wall decor. Above: a wall of graphic prints displayed on clipboards.
Tagged by Eric Mutrie on Jan 23, at Stylegarage, 78 Ossington Ave

3 Catching Feelings by Trevor Wheatley
Multi-media artist Trevor Wheatley’s mirrored typography piece reminds us that feelings can be contagious. The playful message is Wheatley’s latest collaboration with made-in-Canada menswear store Gerhard Supply – another piece he created for the retailer during last year’s Offsite festival now hangs inside above the store’s checkout counter.
Tagged by Eric Mutrie on Jan 24, at Gerhard Supply, 2949 Dundas St W DL-Web-DLloves-Jan24-cheese

4 Reading/ Writing the Junction by Loki and Studio Jaywall
Graphic design studios Loki and Studio Jaywall joined forces to create these messages combining old and new Junction-area signage. Lettering is lifted from everything from neighbourhood corner store signs to the ad campaign for the Duke condo development. For example, in the collage above, “desires” is written in the same style as it is on the sign for 118 Tropical Desires restaurant on Old Weston Rd. While it’s fun to try to pinpoint where each phrase was pulled from, the clever mash-ups are also an effective way of representing a neighbourhood in flux.
Tagged by Eric Mutrie on Jan 24, at Cut the Cheese, 2901 Dundas St W


5 Keystones by Rob Southcott
Made of birch plywood, brass fasteners and gold, silver and bronze-coated mirror, artist and designer Rob Southcott‘s sculpture captures the predatory spirit of an animal at the top of its food chain. The piece is one of several great installations set up in Harbourfront Centre Artport’s architecture gallery as part of Rewild, a new show exploring how architecture can restore nature to its roots.
Tagged by Eric Mutrie on Jan 24, at Bill Boyle Artport, 235 Queens Quay W


6 Vegetable Lamb and Leaf Man by Janet Macpherson
Also on view at the Harbourfront Centre, in the Artport’s Stopping by Woods show: these slightly twisted, fairytale-like creatures by ceramicist Janet Macpherson. The leafy creature in the back is based on a bogeyman who is a recurring figure in Macpherson’s dreams. Macpherson was also inspired by the studio she worked at in Berlin, which looked out onto a big, leafy tree.
Tagged by Eric Mutrie on Jan 24, at Bill Boyle Artport, 235 Queens Quay W

7 Ice Villages by Richard Johnson
An evolution of the Ice Huts series of photographs he began in 2007, Richard Johnson’s Ice Villages shots capture large groupings of fishing shelters found in northern Manitoba, Quebec and New Brunswick. Set amidst the backdrop of Canada’s dramatic landscapes, many of these temporary communities – often made up of hundreds of huts – feature surprising amenities like restaurants. While Johnson began his study of the north by showcasing fishing shelters as a unique form of architecture, these latest striking village shots convey much more: an entire way of life.
Tagged by Eric Mutrie on Jan 25, at Bulthaup, 280 King Street E

The Imperative Divide by the Institute Without Boundaries
George Brown College‘s Institute Without Boundaries academic program and studio crated 3D infographics to explore the concept of division – looking at its causes and outcomes, both positive and negative. Above: a study of the way the division of Pangaea influenced the evolution of finches. Other displays explore the oil pipeline and stories of LGBTQ individuals who fled their country to stay safe. Each one breaks a complex idea down into easy-to-understand visuals.
Tagged by Eric Mutrie on Jan 25, at George Brown College School of Design, 230 Richmond St

9 Heartfelt Credenza by the Brothers Dressler
Seen in the Dressler brothers’ serene studio space off Sterling Road, this handcrafted credenza was a serious stunner. We love the rich tones of the salvaged oak strips, and the honest ornamentation added by the exposed bolts.
Tagged by Eric Mutrie on Jan 25, at Brothers Dressler, 225 Sterling Road

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