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Three Rising Canadian Design Studios to Watch

Canadian Design Studios

Meet Susan for Susan, COFO Design and MPGMB, three Canadian design studios with talent to spare.

By Erin Donnelly

COFO Design
Desmond Chan and Randy Simmen founded COFO Design with the goal of building a Canadian-made furniture collection comprising pieces by a variety of young designers. The duo plans to tie together the series, which is being curated via juried competition, with a common material palette and consistent, high-quality craftsmanship. The Interior Design Show served as the launch pad for The Roque, the first piece in the line. Named for its creator, Toronto’s Trish Roque, the low-slung chair features Italian wool upholstery and a rounded back in clear-coated Canadian maple or in ebonized white oak with a hand-stained finish. The sleek frame is laser-cut steel with an electroplated finish of either brushed black or copper.

Named for the art movement founded by French artist Sonia Delaunay, the Orphism mirrors by Montreal studio MPGMB were among the exhibitors at the Umbra flagship for Work/Life, a Toronto Design Offsite Festival show of prototypes by young talents, curated by the iconic Canadian brand. Designers Maud Beauchamp and Marie-Pier Guilmain combined soft colours with geometric forms to create wall-mounted and tabletop versions of this multi-functional accessory. The stained poplar shelves and brass knobs offer an elegant place for keys and coins in an entryway or for necklaces and other baubles in a bedroom.

3 Susan for Susan
Founded by brothers John and Kevin Watts, Toronto studio Susan for Susan beat out some tough competition to nab the award for best collection in IDS’s Studio North section. The artists displayed a colourful collection of concrete objects, including lighting and sculptural side tables. The handmade series results from a process in which acetone is used to melt voids in solid Styrofoam blocks, creating extemporary moulds. The voids are then filled with pigmented concrete and left to dry before the Styrofoam is pulled away to reveal the final form.

Categories: Local Act


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