IDS: Studio North

February 8th, 2009

Surrounding the Prototype area at the Interior Design Show is Studio North, featuring a varied selection of Canadian design and art. Four booths really stood out to us:

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fishbol‘s bungee seat, made of bamboo ply and bungee cords. First off, their booth was professional and eye-catching, we couldn’t help but stop and look. John gave the seat a try, pronouncing it to be remarkably comfortable while I winced at the idea of one of the bungees coming loose and flinging him in the face (this has happened to me on numerous occasions). But of course, fishbol have probably thought about that issue so there was nothing really to worry about–the chair is well-crafted and would definitely be a conversation piece in any space.

Designer/architect duo Elie Nehme and Mani Mani are both graduates of the Carleton School of Architecture and University of Toronto’s faculty of Architecture, Landscape & Design. One look at their website and it’s evident that they are prolific in the breadth and have established a strong conceptual practice.

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We spoke with fishbol’s Elie Nehme, who told us that the chair is in production and that they are looking at about an $800 retail price tag. This is not an uncommon price for an original piece that figures as both utilitarian and art object.

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bookhou design: We came across bookhou a few weeks ago via several blogs. Co-founded by John Booth and Arounna Khounnoraj, they just opened a studio/shop at 798 dundas street west (Toronto) and we look forward to paying them a visit in the near future because they produce gorgeous handmade wooden furniture, screen-printed textiles, sculpture and paintings.

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Our favourite items are the child sized chairs. They would look fab in a mod kid’s room–these will definitely be staying on our radar for future reference.

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Schoolyard specializes in printed textiles, using bright and playful colours and patterns. A Toronto-based design collaboration between Katy Chan and Hilary Dennis, you can buy their eco-conscious products at Swipe, Heart on Your Sleeve, MADE, The Green Cricket and at shops in Alberta and Nova Scotia (see their website for details).

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Established by Marco Jacob, Atelier Jacob specializes in architecture,  furniture and graphic design. His two wire chairs caught our eye because they are reminiscent of some mid-century modern designs and we could see them in a lush back garden or on a front porch.

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This chair is still a prototype–Marco is still trying to refine the material and process.

For a full list of the Studio North exhibitor list, visit the IDS website.

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