February 9th, 2009

As we’ve mentioned before, we love seeing fresh new ideas in design, which is why the DESIGNGENNEXT zone–where a sampling of industrial designs from six of Canada’s design schools–was one of our favourites to cover. Sheridan College and the Ontario College of Art and Design (OCAD) were the two schools that stood out the most because they’re work consisted of individual ideas that didn’t look like school projects.



I had the pleasure of meeting Katrina Tompkins (pictured with her piece Burnt Cabin LP Container) near the end of the day on Sunday, and she had no less enthusiasm to discuss her work and design than if it had been day one of the show.


Katrina Tompkins, Burnt Cabin LP Container,
Salvaged Red Oak & Cast Aluminum

The designer made the legs out of cast aluminum beer bottles, and the crate-like LP holder out of reclaimed oak, by which she used a process of burning, then sandblasting, then burning, to give it a charred black look. Using reclaimed and local materials is important, as is Katrina’s interest in creating multi-functional objects.


I was also fortunate to talk with Evan Lackey (pictured with his piece Colour Panels) about his piece and design in Toronto. These weekend conferences can seem almost impersonal after awhile so it’s refreshing when we get to meet the designers, putting a face to the work and creating a more personal connection. Evan and Katrina are both in their final year at Sheridan and they look forward to sharing a studio together, as well as a flow of ideas, beyond the confines of school.


Evan Lackey, Colour Panels, Ash

Evan said this piece is intended as wall art, though you could use them as shelving for small objects as well. We love the natural grain of the wood contrasted against the surprise bits of neon bright colours.


Kym Monaghan-Morton, Loretta,
Silkscreened Fibre-Reactive Dyes on Cotton


Chari Cohen, Wall Assemblage, Slip cast porcelaine


Kerry Croghan, (in)secure I,
Cotton Organdy, Stitch, Devore, Ribre-Reactive Dye


Kerry Croghan (detail)


William Hampton, Dining Chair, Elm


Frank De Jong, Franner: A Self Portrait,
Acrylic, Personal Items


Jay Heo, Bookcase,
Walnut, acrylic, halogen lights


Sonya Marie-Pierre Labrie, Retro colour bowls, Blown glass


Alissa Kluet, The Rest of the Story, Digital Print on Linen,
Silkscreening, Applique with found fabrics


Chari Cohen, Tree Vase, Slip cast porcelaine


Darryl Ferretti, Sedia Dining Chair, Black Walnut, Nylon Strapping

Reminiscent of Jens Risom, but the nylon strapping against the darker walnut and more formal frame shape are a departure from Risom’s modern classics.



Arash Sadr, Scapula

We love the name of this chair, making reference to the hidden structure beneath the vibrant red cloth. It seems otherworldly, protective, daring.


Nicole Tetreault, LAMP?

LAMP? is a study in identity crisis. A side table, the user/viewer is constantly confronted with the recognizable shape of a chair which plays on the mind and calls into question what the primary function of the piece.


Taylor Smith, Wingman Rocking Stool

A 4th year student at OCAD, The Wingman Rocking Stool is inspired by old photographs Smith’s grandfather took of the underbelly of airplanes. Having never met his Grandfather, creating the stool allowed Smith to explore his Grandfather’s obsession, while bringing them closer.


Wai-Man Tiffany So, Clover Chair


Larisa Liepins, School Desk Chair

Stay tuned for later today when we do a final roundup of the rest of the best that caught our eye at IDS 09.

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