11th Annual BEST OF CANADA Design Competition

Defining excellence in any art form isn’t easy. Criteria may be established, comparisons considered, former situations reviewed. But, in the end, a certain amount of personal taste influences most critical decisions.

Bring together six people of diverse interests to form a judging panel and there is discussion, debate, compromise and eventually agreement. And so it was the end of May when the judges, invited for their experience and expertise, met to select the winners of the 11th Annual Best of Canada Design Competition. Coming together to consider 118 entries from across Canada were Manon Asselin (5), principal, atelier TAG, Montreal; Toronto-based Trevor Kruse (4), principal, Hudson Kruse; Diego Marin (6), president, Primavera; Joyce O’Keefe (1),director, school of interior design, International Academy of Design & Technology; Davide Tonizzo (3), industrial designer; and Christopher Wright (2), partner, Figure3.

The six judges were given broad discretion and limited rules. Projects and products were to be reviewed for their excellence, innovation in design and appropriateness to the required goals, with both small and grandiose gestures noted. The judges were looking for something different from what has become the ordinary. Entries were not identified. If a judge had a conflict of interest, he or she either left the room or refrained from comment when that entry was considered.

There were many excellent submissions – the standard has grown higher each year. Since honourable mentions are not acknowledged, it was often difficult to determine whether to include or exclude a notable entry. That was not the case, however, in the category of lighting, where lighting is the chief element in a project’s design, since no entries were received. It was also not the case in landscape design, a category with surprisingly few entries (and one winner). As for the category of student design, the judges declined to select any winners.

Winning projects and products will be on exhibit at the Design Exchange, in Toronto, from Sept. 24 through Oct. 21. The winners will be honoured Sept. 24 at the Design Exchange with Best of Show top winners (as determined by the judges) and People’s Choice winners announced at that time. For more on voting for the People’s Choice winners, visit www.canadianinteriors.com.

The excellence of a project or product design is apparent on a daily basis. Winning the Best of Canada Design Competition is merely icing on the creative cake. Congratulations to all who strive to achieve good design.


Bos advertising agency, Montreal

Gestion Rene Desjardins

When Montreal ad agency Bos outgrew its office, it bought an old warehouse on the Lachine Canal, hoping to carve work and meeting areas, bathrooms and an annex out of the building’s 45,000 square feet of space. The original brick walls and steel structural elements determined a strong design approach, with waxed black steel for fixtures and fittings -the black steel meeting the raw aesthetic of the site, the wax creating a comfortable work surface. Brick walls are lit with projectors to enhance their presence and provide bright light.

In contrast to this industrial solidity, conference rooms are glass-enclosed and transparent, with views of the canal; the office partitioning system in the annex features clean, delicate lines. The overall effect is open and light-filled, a space that stimulates creativity.

Gestion Rene Desjardins design team: Rene Desjardins, principal; Anne-Joelle Chamberland, project manager; and Luc Laporte, architect

Corporate offices, Toronto

Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects.

A private financial holding company, with Corporate offices in the top four storeys of a 1960s office building in downtown Toronto, wanted to renovate the interiors. Reflecting the hierarchical management style of ’70s and ’80s business culture, the offices were connected only by elevators. Now a new glass and steel staircase intersects three floors, providing direct access between managers and owners. Offices line the perimeter of the floorplate, their glazed interior-facing walls allowing natural light to filter into wide corridors, counterpoints to the closed offices required for private business transactions.

Copy rooms, coatrooms and restrooms are integrated into the core along with a storage system in a white lacquer wall. The materials palette includes drywall partitions, glass screens for meeting rooms and some offices, hardwood corridor floors and carpeting in offices. The ceilings expose some concrete at the perimeter to increase the sense of space.

The clean, white, gallery-like aesthetic is an ideal background for a series of art works by some of Canada’s leading contemporary photographers, also reflecting the owner’s preference for economy, efficiency and productivity.

Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects design team: Marianne McKenna, partner-in-charge; David Poloway and Steven Casey, project architects; Franziska Cape, Jeanna South, Rita Kiriakis, Kelly Buffey, Joanne Myers, Jeff Straus, Clare Radford and Carolyn Lee

Photos by Tom Arban

Air Miles head offices, Toronto

Figure3 Customspace, Calgary

Air Miles decided to relocate its head offices (with approximately 1,300 staff) from north Toronto to a 10-floor space downtown for several reasons -including the need to establish a strong public presence in the Toronto market and to bring the employee and customer closer together. An environment that would make work visible and foster open communication was also important.

The finished space includes a two-level, full-service lunchroom and games area; a fitness centre with yoga and massage studio; a caf/lounge and hotelling facilities in the reception area for visitors, as well as a customer centre with coat/locker storage, private telephone carousels and washrooms; and cafs on work- team and customer-care floors.

Workspaces integrate a variety of settings and casual congregation spaces; many varieties of work zones allow for casual or formal interactions. The environment is now branded, colourful and comfortable, encouraging communication and collaboration.

Figure3 design team: Jennifer Tinson, partner; Eric Yorath and Erin Armstrong, senior team leads; Darryl Balaksi, project lead; and project designers, Alexis Palenstein, Patrick Rachtorik and Lesley Brookes

Photos by Richard Johnson, Interior Images

Customspace, Calgary

Cohos Evamy intergratedsign

The historic 1912 Canada Customs Warehouse -an old Canada Customs warehouse is the location of Cohos Evamy’s Customspace in Calgary, a setting that meets the firm’s need for collaborative design and belief in green design. An interactive work environment was achieved though the use of open workstations; with movable and pivoting panels and tackable surfaces; strategically placed teaming and conversation areas and versatile meeting rooms. Limited workstation height and floor-to-ceiling glazing for acoustic separation allow natural lighting and ensure visual connection.

Two new internal staircases connect the third and fourth floors, providing visual anchors to the north and south sides of the studio.

Customspace has received LEED Silver certification.

Cohos Evamy integratedesign design team: Martin Sparrow, partner-in-charge; Allan Collyer and Janice Liebe, project architects; Madeleine Schmidts, interior designer; Gamal Ghoneim, structural engineer; Dale Knutson, mechanical engineer; Brad Gibson, electrical engineer; and John Gough, project manager

Photos by Ray Steinke

PROJECTS: Institutional

Brampton Soccer Centre, Brampton, Ont

MacLennan Jaunka1ns Miller Architects

The city of Brampton wanted a venue that would provide year-round soccer facilities for the immediate community, as well as be flexible for other activities. The Brampton Soccer Centre is a full site community and soccer destination, able to be used for hockey and other indoor sports; and sized and scaled to operate with four independent programs running concurrently, including trade show events and community functions. Designed as a landmark and to serve as an advertisement for “sport, community and the city brand,” the 153,000-square-foot building includes four indoor soccer fields, bleachers, change facilities, community wing and main lobby.

Laminated glass graphics create coordinated indoor and outdoor suburban billboards for sport. Translucent soccer imagery – bathed in “Brampton Blue” – and linear strips of coloured glass are used throughout to suggest motion and activity. A full spectrum of saturated colours, reminiscent of bright soccer uniforms, offsets the predominately silver and white palette. Black and white tile, custom Corian micro-signage and hazard banding recall the shapes and patterns of soccer balls and referee uniforms, while providing high contrast for accessibility and pathfinding.

Sustainable design is achieved through the use of natural day lighting, zoned lighting control, Building Automation System (BAS) monitoring, solar shading and passive ventilation systems. The building operates predominantly without electrical lighting throughout the day.

MacLennan Jaunkalns Miller Architects design team: Jim Burkett, Marc Downing, Andrew Filarski, Viktors Jaunkalns, Patrick Kniss, Lucas Kos, Dan Kronby, John MacLennan, David Miller, Jeanne Ng, Carol Phillips, Tamira Sawatzky Jane Son, and project architect Ted Watson

Photos by Tom Arban

Shaw Conference Centre – Hall D, Edmonton

Cohos Evamy intergratedesign

The Shaw Conference Centre overlooks the North Saskatchewan River; its Hall D, cantilevered out from the main building, hovers between the valley floor and the horizon line. The hall’s entrance-way creates a dramatic transition from old to new, pushing out into the existing corridor with flooring and ceiling planes that ground glazed entry doors, framed by columns clad with wood and curving plaster surrounds and illuminated lenses. Lit columns are paired with random light clusters on the ceiling. Lightwells also bring natural light from the hall into the lobby area.

The room’s shades of brown, grey, white and blue are drawn from Edmonton’s winter landscape – a scene viewed through a curving glass wall that reflects the changing seasons.

Gow Hastings Architects design team: Doug McConnell, partner-in-charge; Donna Clarke, project architect; Jim Montgomery, partner-in-charge, structural; Jeff Di Battista, structural engineer; Michelle Sigurdson, interior design; Carole Hoveland, interior design technologist; Michael Corpuz, designer, architectural; Dale Knutson, partner-in-charge, mechanical; Don Fox, mechanical project manager; John Schultz, mechanical technologist; Ed Pon, electrical engineer; Harshad Patel and Gary Leverett, electrical technologists; Keith Robinson, specification writer; and Gerald Murane, contract administrator

Photo by Ray Steinke

Mixology Lab, George Brown College, Toronto

Gow Hastings Architects

Potential bartenders have the perfect training space to learn their trade at George Brown College where an interactive facility can accommodate up to 28 students. The Mixology Lab includes custom front and back bars, built-in lighting, and specialty sinks for hand-washing and ice. State-of-the-art cameras and video monitors allow students to follow the instructor.

The instructor’s demonstration counter, at the front of the room, features a bright red shelf, lit from below to display a full spectrum of colourful liquor bottles. The counter is finished in charcoal mosaic tile, contrasting with a deep red accent wall. Student workstations have bright white countertops and white transaction counters for serving, each work surface lit from above to provide good lighting to clearly see the colour of the mixes.

The lab’s material palette includes products like linoleum, birch veneer and stainless steel. It shares a common space with the adjacent Wine Lab.

Cohos Evamy integratedesign design team: Valerie Gow, Philip Hastings and Greg Demaiter

Photos by Tom Arban

PROJECTS: Residential

Ravine house, Toronto

Drew Mandel Design

A wooded ravine behind this house determined its design. The sloping topography of the land meant different levels for the Ravine house’s ground floor and, consequently, rooms with extra-high ceilings.

The steel structure and glass walls with sliding glass and mahogany doors provide direct connections to the ravine. A rear terrace, garden wall, lookout platform and natural landscaping are designed to blend this modern home into the nature of the site.

Designer: Drew Mandel

Photos by Tom Arban

Ledbury residence, Toronto

Reigo & Bauer

An elevated exterior courtyard between the main-floor living and dining rooms brings light into this 2,800-square-foot house, which replaced a 1,200-square-foot bungalow. The Ledbury residenceincludes a library, kitchen and family rooms on the main level, with four bedrooms and three bathrooms on the second. The courtyard acts as an exterior room, allowing uninterrupted indoor/outdoor living.

By offsetting the two staircases in the house, natural light from a second-floor skylight streams into the lower level, illuminating most areas – including an otherwise dark basement.

Design team: Merike Reigo and Stephen Bauer

Photos by Tom Arban

PROJECTS: Residential

Evergreen Gardens residence, Toronto

Drew Mandel Design

In a transitional neighbourhood of old, modest-sized homes, this replacement house was positioned to fit in with the existing landscaping and mature trees on its lot. Consideration was also given to the expected development of large, new homes on either side.

The more-or-less Z-shaped Evergreen Gardens residence wraps around courts at both the front and rear. Inside, the layout is open, with the main stairway leading to five distinct floor levels. Large areas of glazing allow light in and views out. The focus is on simplicity within the house and perception of the site outside, making the owners feel as though they’re sitting under the big tree on the front lawn.

Designer: Drew Mandel

Photos by Tom Arban


Davids, Toronto


Davids footwear store has built its brand for decades on the corner of Bay and Bloor, in the midst of Toronto’s most exclusive shopping district. When it came time to refresh the space, the goal was to create a refined backdrop that elevates the iconic boutique and retail experience. The open, two-storey, 3,066-square-foot space features women’s footwear on the main floor and men’s on the mezzanine level. A graceful glass staircase connects the two departments. Representing the aesthetic of the store is a charcoal-coloured matte wall sculpture, with a subtle corrugated texture, complemented by the smoky patina of the wood veneer backdrop, and thousands of acrylic rods in a sculptural installation that hangs 10 feet from and around the perimeter of the ceiling.

Fixturing in the men’s area is charcoal metal with transparent glass shelving. The main display table is covered in hand-stitched leather. The women’s department uses brushed nickel fixturing, with clear and frosted glass and grey tay wood shelving. Seating is in brown leather or grey mohair, with other furniture and fixtures in macassar wood, honed limestone and Starfire glass.

Rich tones and textures reflect and complement the elegant footwear on display.

Burdifilek design team: Diego Burdi, designer director; Paul Filek, managing partner; Tom Yip, project manager; Jeremy Mendonca, senior designer; Maria Kakarantza, senior cadd; Alison Priestman, intermediate designer; and Janice Kee-son, junior designer

Photos by Ben Rahn/A Frame

Umbra Concept Store, Toronto


An industrial downtown building is the location of the Umbra Concept Store, a place where the hip housewares designer and manufacturer can display new products and also get immediate feedback on prototypes in development to determine their likely success. The store occupies a significant two-storey volume, created by eliminating a portion of the existing floor slab. A two-storey glazed street-level entry draws customers inside.

The gallery-like environment is adaptable to changing lines and future collections of varying scales. It can also be used to host product launches and community events. Large graphics throughout feature designers at work, putting a human face to the products. Sustainable design principles were applied, with a minimal palette of finishes, exposure of all systems to minimize material use and the use of energy efficient lighting.

This store has led to plans for locations in other urban centres.

Figure3 design team: Christopher Wright, partner; Anna Marie Hubbard and Ralph Dopping, senior team leads; Steve Tsai and Rob Jarschke, project leads; Colin Grant, project designer; and Marion Juton, project design

Photos by Richard Johnson, Interior Images

Capezio, Toronto


A relatively small, 1,075-square-foot store for fashionable Capezio footwear has been turned into a sculptural installation, with walls, ceilings and floors merging into each other at odd angles. Space limitations were solved by having a single central seating area that doubles as a feature art piece. Both seating and flooring are in a modern Tokyo purple, contrasting with the sculpted, pristine white planes and accentuating the two-storey height. Small, Lucite tables are scattered around the seating.

Lit wall coves around the perimeter are product display areas, maximizing the selling area and also merging with the overall sculptural concept. The white wall and ceiling planes refract the light from the coves, creating an overall glow.

Burdifilek design team: Diego Burdi, design director; Paul Filek, managing partner; Tom Yip, project manager; Jeremy Mendonca, senior designer; Maria Kakarantza, senior cadd; Alison Priestman, intermediate designer; Janice Kee-son and York Wu, junior designers

Photos by Ben Rahn/A Frame

EKO, Toronto

Dialogue 38

A second location for the Queen West EKO jewelry boutique – at Yonge and Eglinton – meant a revised version of a winning identity. The perimeter of the store shows angled vertical columns, revealing a glimpse of tantalizing merchandise. The interior provides a gallery-like space, interrupted only by a central merchandising table of mini-crystal marble, discreetly integrating a cash desk.

Lining the walls are narrow glass cases, bordered by angular columns, framing white aluminum trapezoidal hollow forms. These forms display the jewelry, playing with light and shadows created by their shapes as part of the artistic composition. This modular system is flexible for all types and sizes of jewelry.

Dialogue 38 design team: Bennett Lo and Jericho Lee

Photos by Eric Lau

PROJECTS: Presentation Centres

Eco Suite, Toronto

Kantelberg Design

The Eco Suite – a 1,900-square-foot, two-bedroom condo on the 21st floor of a downtown Toronto building – served as a model for sustainable living. Open to the public from mid-May to the end of November last year, the suite was designed to showcase green interior design products and materials; promote education and awareness about the range of possibilities for environmentally friendly condo living; and demonstrate that a healthy living space can reduce negative impact on the environment without sacrificing aesthetics. Approximately 3,000 people visited the space.

Materials included in the suite were selected for durability, recycling or re-purposing, local sourcing, energy efficiency, low emission and sustainable manufacturing properties. All materials and manufacturing processes were reviewed by two LEED-accredited professionals.

Furnishings included recycled glass countertops, recycled content drywall, FSC-certified millwork and flooring, organic cotton bed linens and towels, natural and sustainable fabric and carpet, low VOC drapery and paint, and a custom-designed concrete fireplace with a high percentage of slag (a waste by-product). Energy efficient appliances, LED lighting and dual-flush toilets were used.

New sustainable furniture products and cotton damask wallcovering, printed using water-based inks, were also developed for the project.

Kantelberg Design design team: Andrea Kantelberg, principal; Stacey Fruitman, Lauren Gropper, Sarah Schuyler, Serge Strelkov and Laura Melling

Photos by Evan Dion

Bohemian Embassy Presentation Centre, Toronto

II BY IV Design Associates

An old textiles building was turned into the Bohemian Embassy Presentation Centre for a new development in Toronto’s funky

Queen West district. The development will combine low and high-rise towers in both open concept flats and lofts; its architecture will bridge the industrial and Victorian styles of the area, with brick piers, gridded windows, industrial glazing, and a steel and glass entry tower.

A new glass curtain wall was created using red-tinted glazing; it intrigues, by obscuring the view into the centre; and, from inside, adds a subtle art film look to passing street life. A central pair of double-door entries leads into a space of white walls and white concrete decking, 16 feet above a neutral, polished concrete floor.

To the right of the entrance is a black and white glass sculpture installation to be used again in the new tower; to the left is an 18-foot-long, funnel-like sculpture made of translucent and transparent acrylic panels, suspended two feet above the floor by aircraft cables. These pieces flank the 40-foot white stone and lacquer central reception desk, backed by a tall white lacquered wooden screen partition, its pattern based on the project’s shield icon. Beyond the screen, a delicate white filigree area rug is stencilled on the centre of the floor. The same filigree pattern is repeated on the clear glass walls of the white-furnished closing stations and on the upholstery of the large bench between them.

II BY IV Design Associates design team: Dan Menchions, Keith Rushbrook, Judy Robbertsen and Wilson Lau

Photos by David Whittaker

PROJECTS: Hospitality

Nita Lake Lodge, Whistler, B. C.

BBA Design Consultants

The goal was to blend rustic and modern for the interior of a new hotel, on the wooded shores of Nita Lake in Whistler, B. C. The target clientele are seasoned travellers who expect a certain amount of privacy and exclusivity. Nita Lake Lodge would be a boutique hotel including 77 guest rooms, lobby, reception, conference space, fine dining restaurant, lounge, library and deli. Under construction – and set to open before the 2010 Winter Olympics – are a train station and spa.

Rather than repeat the upscale urban mountain look that typifies many Whistler hotels, the design concept was to create a modern mountain experience, juxtaposing elements of modern interior against the exterior. The designers picked up on the history of the area and the trains that ran through, connecting the Okanagan Valley to the West Coast. Interiors feature wood, leather and stone, with custom modern lighting, along with artwork and memorabilia from the West Coast Heritage Railway Association and local artists.

Whimsical references include branch-inspired, high-back chairs;an entry gate to the restaurant made of rusted, welded railway spikes; and two custom-built shoeshine stands adjacent to the front desk. The result is a comfortable, unpretentious location much visited by people who live in the area.

BBA Design Consultants design team: Sharon Bortolotto, principal, designer-in-charge; Madeline Eng, senior project designer; Monika Kruzel and Sally How, designers; and Susie Fong, technical support

Photos by Ivan Hunter

Spring Rolls, Sussex Centre, Mississauga, Ont.

Dialogue 38

The setting is a business complex at a major intersection adjacent to a large shopping centre. Establishing a notable street presence was achieved by building an illuminated 14-foot portal with a contoured, Buddah-shaped viewport. Diners also enter from the complex’s atrium, where a 20-foot translucent red glass wall identifies the restaurant.

Inside Spring Rolls, Sussex Centre, tranquil ponds and bridges lead to different levels. The main dining area is tucked behind a maze of wooden partition screens draped in sheer, iridescent Bordeaux silk. The 28-foot-long white marble bar defines the bar and lounge area, which vibrates with shades of red, orange and pink. Anchoring both sides of the space are cascading waterfalls, trickling over floral steel structures within black polished granite ponds.

A semi-private dining area is lined with wood screens and a backdrop of Bordeaux silk fabric, embroidered with sequin floral detailing.

Dialogue 38 design team: Bennet Lo, principal; with Raul Delgado, Jericho Lee and Marya Hwyn

Photos by Eric Lau

Spring Rolls, Yonge & Sheppard Centre, Toronto

Dialogue 38

Patrons can enter the bar and lounge of Spring Rolls, Yonge & Sheppard Centre from the interior of the centre, or, viewing the restaurant through full-height windows, walk into the dining area from the street. The upper dining room is defined by six anchoring columns, bearing the signature Spring Rolls monogram, four of the columns hiding structural supports and two balancing the space and integrating working stations. Up-lit partitions of natural stained wood panels wrapped with white iridescent sheers mark the boundaries. An oversized 24-foot glowing paper chandelier, comprised of 10,000 Japanese paper cranes, hovers over the space (see also page 58).

Where the dining rooms are soft and muted, the lounge is sparkling, with gleaming white mini-crystal stone walls washed with downlit spots and a 23-foot bar of polished white stone and gleaming signature Spring Rolls red glass.

An overlay of frosted acrylic lattice-like screen covers the full-height glass storefront, separating the lounge from the commercial corridor, creating a fragmented crystal box effect inside.

Dialogue 38 design team: Bennet Lo, principal; with Raul Delgado, Jericho Lee and Marya Hwyn

Photos by Eric Lau

PROJECTS: Hospitality

Hotel Alt, Brossard, Que.

Lemay Michaud

The Hotel Alt is set within a recently developed commercial, cultural and corporate quarter of suburban Montreal. Built for a client who wanted to develop a distinguished brand, characterized by the innovative use of space and design, the hotel includes 159 rooms in a 14-floor concrete structure. The exterior is prefabricated concrete, with suspended gardens on the front and back facades overlooking the nearby Monteregian Hills. Nighttime lighting draws attention without resorting to commercial signage.

Inside, the concrete structure is exposed, with columns in public spaces and concrete ceilings in the guest rooms and conference centre. Much use is made of natural light through large windows, louvers allow guests to control the ventilation.

Warm-coloured natural woods and plastic laminates are combined to provide ease of maintenance.

Lemay Michaud design team: Viateur Michaud, principal associate; with Louise Dupont and Michel Aub

Photo above left by Daniel Ouellette Photos right by Michael Alberstat


Urban garden room, Toronto

0Drew Mandel Design

This contemporary city house’s Urban garden room extends the residence, occupying and completing the site. The upper deck leads from the living room, connecting the interior and exterior through a large pivoting door opening in the window wall. An exterior eating area is on the lower deck, with privacy and shelter provided by a natural tree canopy above.

The “room” ends at a concrete block garden wall, pulled from the edges of the property to provide access to a large sliding door on either side of the storage structure concealed behind it. The wall also defines a space of low ground-cover plantings. Other small plantings will fill in over time.

Designer: Drew Mandel

Photos by Tom Arban


Baby Fish Tide


Baby Fish Tide is an LED light that can be fully adjusted in colour, with a shell around the light that is innovative and environmentally friendly. The material for the light shade is natural felt from sheep wool, in this case a waste product from the car-assembly process. The shade is made without the use of glue and can be used as organic fertilizer when the product is no longer needed.

The lights have a base white colour LED source of 3300K or 5500K. Utilization of any predetermined single colour LED is possible or the lights can be equipped with an RGB (red, green, blue) star formation that allows unlimited adjustment of the light colour. Lower energy consumption is achieved compared to conventional lighting by up to 80 per cent.

TYYZ design team: Mark Tholen, concept, design, production, management; Catherine Lin, design, production; Dietmar Tholen, technical consultation; and John Nunn, technical component production

Paper Crane chandelier

Dialogue 38

Dominating the dining room at the Yonge & Sheppard Centre Spring Rolls restaurant, in Toronto, is a 4-by-24-foot Paper Crane chandelier comprised of 10,000 cranes (see also page 53). Each crane in the chandelier is approximately 6 inches by 5 inches, constructed from fine, sheer Japanese paper – ivory, with gold iridescence – and strung on white acrylic threads, then spaced and knotted individually, within the crane’s hollow core. Each string contains approximately seven cranes along 21 2-to 3-foot lengths, the lengths varying to create soft sinuous lines, hung in an organized, clustered manner from a concealed steel grid. Also concealed are lighting diffusers, dispersed within the fullness of the cranes

Dialogue 38 design team: Bennett Lo, principal; with Raul Delgado, Jericho Lee and Marya Hwyn

District furniture systems


District is a collection of cabinets, desks, walls and windows that reinterprets and provides an alternative aesthetic to systems furniture and the enclosed workstation. Despite its smaller size, it improves the workstation through the use of more refined materials and finer details. It also makes efficient use of office space in the way components are designed and work together.

The multifunctional components create unique workstations for individuals and teams while providing the unified look of a district. It can be used broadly across applications, from freestanding desks with storage to clusters with worksurface-height panels used as a low spine. It also responds to workplace requirements for natural light, outside views and better airflow.

Design team: Steve Verbeek and Teknion’s in-house design team

Saw lamp

Matthew Kroeker (designer) and HutJ (manufacturer)

The Saw lamp is both sculpture and furniture, its wood table marked by several stylized saw cuts into which the nickel-plated lamp post is inserted. Each cut provides a different intensity of light or no light at all when placed in the resting slot. Saw reminds the user of an earlier time, when the lighting and dousing of a lamp was a purposeful act, signifying the beginning or the end of an evening.

Designer: Matthew Kroeker

Scripted Wall

Prototype Design Lab

The Scripted Wall is made from reclaimed early-19th-century barn boards. Images are cut in the boards using a CNC router, the panels are then stained, painted and assembled. The finished panels can be used for decoration, as a door, partition or tabletop.

Prototype Design Lab design team: Antonio Tadrissi and Monir Zarnegar

Sguig Syncro Chair


Sguig Syncro is a task chair supporting both men and women in their different sitting postures and work styles, allowing for differences in pelvic rotation between the genders. Its backrest provides complete support for the entire spine; flexible portions of the backrest allow unimpeded movement for the shoulders, which alleviates unhealthy, hunched shoulder positions.The Sguig uses a new electro-welded knit textile, available in three different patterns and 12 colours. The chair is made of recycled and recyclable materials and has a 10-year warranty.

Design team: EOOS (Gernot Bohmann, Harald Grundl and Martin Bergmann); developed by the Keilhauer engineering department