As the curtains close on yet another superb DesignTO Festival, we return to office from our ‘DL Loves’ tagging endeavours to roundup the best in show
For the last 10 days, we have immersed ourselves in all that is DesignTO and we were not short of design inspiration for handing out our Designlines Loves Tags. We have seen fascinating work across a multitude of mediums and genres and with every year topping the last, we can’t stop talking about it. You can see everything that we tagged here, and below is a quick round-up and close-up look at a few more of our favourite things:
Designlines loves Danish design just as much as it does process and transparency. And as much as we enjoyed perusing the classics of Erik Jorgensen, Carl Hansen & Søn, PP Mobler and Georg Jensen, it was the recent releases by Fritz Hansen that caught our eye. With the aim to return to the all-wood design, the company called upon Japan’s Nendo to design this No1 chair (to the right) and we really appreciated seeing it deconstructed. This playful flat-lay of symmetry and shapes makes for the perfect ‘knolling’ photo opportunity and the attention to angles and spacing is certainly note-worthy. This show was spread across two storeys and two showrooms: Hollace Cluny and Torp.
This exhibition is on view until January 24 at 245 Davenport Road.
We are full up on design inspiration after enjoying this visual feast of the unique tableware displayed at The Tempered Room patisserie. A wonderful roster of talents, curated by Catherine Osborne, hosting Dear Human, FELT Studio, April Martin and Jamie Wolfond, contributed ceramics, glassware, sculptures and more. Our favourite of the lot was Patrick Yeung’s heavy-duty ceramic coffeepot and pour over combination. Since 2013, Patrick has been adding to his collection of two-tone contemporary design form, encapsulating the ebb and flow rhythm of traditional dining rituals. Hailing from the Craft and Design program at Sheridan College, the work of this graduate reflects his interests in his Cantonese heritage.
This exhibition is on view to January 26 at 1374 Queen Street West.
Mjölk’s 10 Year Anniversary
The Mjölk showroom is in a whole other league when it comes to design and curation – pairing the two together to create a space that is, in every sense, simple and honest. Year after year, Mjölk’s portfolio expands to showcase unmatched collections and collaborations and so, it’s no surprise that we are drooling over this one… drumroll, please! Presenting the Tambour Cabinet by Winnipeg designer, Thom Fougere for Mjölk’s 10-year anniversary. At first glance, we see a linear design aesthetic but up close and true to the nature of tambour, the sliding doors move back into the cabinet in a curved fashion. Remaining sensitive to urban living, the body of the cabinet serves as a space-saving tool – the seamless journey of the doors into the cabinet is, at its roots, unique to the craftsmanship of tambour. The Tambour Cabinet is available in oak and walnut exclusively at Mjölk.
Elegant, peaceful and serene – this window installation by contemporary jeweller, Emma Piirtoniemi, has us feeling all the ‘feels’. Cascading at varying heights but working as one piece, 122 carved and polished acrylic pendants hang in conversation with the hustle and bustle of Roncesvalles Avenue. Speaking collectively to our outward experiences and our internal journeys, we are invited to pause and get curious for just a moment. “I expand the intimate, individual experience of jewellery objects to become shared by many at once.” The work is an explosion of detail intended to overpower our senses, staying true to its name – ‘feels’.
This installation is on view until January 26 at Scout, 405 Roncesvalles Avenue.
At the Address show (held at LightForm), Nicholas Hamilton Holmes pulled out all the stops with this white oak ladder chair and Captain’s Dining Table. The ladder chair is a design heirloom which has truly stood the test of design trends through the years and it’s one we keep coming back to. The handwoven cord celebrates traditional weaving methods and the lengthy spindles travel up to frame the Captain’s Table – a match made in heaven. The table is topped with Calacatta marble, a staple in the design world – loved for its elegance and spontaneous flow of colour and in this case, muted grays. Both objects harken to classic Americana but when you look closer – at the tapered chair backs and the solid wood base of the table – you’ll see Hamilton Holmes’ sculptural prowess. The nubs and knobs nod to the maker’s ability and character and we couldn’t take our eyes off of Holmes’ unconventional technique.
Come Up to My Room
Designlines had the pleasure of reuniting with Dennis Lin, a true highlight during Come Up to My Room 2020. Lin works in wood and heavy metals; typically, huge sculptures whose immensity and message often overwhelm the senses. This time around, we saw him working with sheets of copper to form incredibly delicate mobiles and sinuous LED-embedded pendant lighting amidst wood feature pieces, which was a stunning departure. It’s always risky to create big bold sculptures in small room where you want to be able to inspire or connect with an individual. But Lin, addressing the relationship that we as humans have with nature, boils his intent all down to two things: material and size. We are reminded that when the two worlds of the natural and humankind collide, we need each other, and our life cycle is not dissimilar. His choice of warm lighting interrupts the solidarity of wood, to bring forth a oneness with humanity. We were thrilled to be amongst his creative output once again.
Aluminum showcased 20 established and emerging designers banded together to work with a material new to some of them – the under-appreciated metal, aluminum. We loved the salt and pepper mills by Vancouver designer Lukas Peet; the colour blocked components are stacked asymmetrically, totem-style with a matt-like finish. Thoughtful design practice in everyday objects or tools keeps us humble to the accessibility of innovate products – and we love this! While we could only tag once, we have to send a shout out to Castor Design for its unbelievable contribution to the show – an operable telescope, also made from aluminum.
Future Retrospectives (held at the Harbourfront Centre) embodied the work of 11 Canadian and international artists and designers. Presented as a thematic exhibition, Future Retrospectives forced its viewers to slow their pace and it prompted us to consider how we live – which can sometimes be a hard thing to do. We are faced with an exploration of the reality of how what we do affects the past, present and future and the three are presented as intrinsically connected. “Our present actions become the past but they also become what’s next.” Artist Mia Cinelli showed her series of letterforms where she reinvented typeface and punctuation. She communicated a symbolic urgency that evoked contemplation.