What’s Up: Nov./Dec.


Following the first day of IIDEX/NeoCon Canada, during a gala dinner at Toronto’s Direct Energy Centre, the Association of Registered Interior Designers of Ontario announced the winners of its 24th annual ARIDO Awards of Excellence – the prestigious awards program honouring innovation, creativity and professional achievement in the province’s interior design industry. Judges of this year’s entries chose to recognize 23 designs from 11 separate categories; among the winning entries were six Awards of Excellence and 17 Awards of Merit.

Each entry was judged on its own merit and on the specific circumstances under which it was completed. In their submissions, entrants were asked to consider existing design elements, budget and project objectives, strategies employ- ed, overall creativity, examples of project results, client feedback and elements of sustainability.

Three of the six Awards of Excellence highlighted outstanding work in the corporate sector. Dean Matsumoto (Kasian Architecture Interior Design and Planning) received a pair of awards for his outstanding work on the Kasian Toronto Office – one for the office proper, and another for a “Touchdown Area” (a special collaborative work and social gathering space anchored by a stainless steel light table) within it. The third award was won by Sharon Martens (Martens Group Licensed Interior Design Studio), whose work for the Pengrowth Corporation illustrates a contemporary approach to embracing traditionalism in the workplace (Martens also received an Award of Merit for the custom lighting created for the space).

Remarkable work also emerged from the residential sector, with two Awards of Excellence handed out. One went to Connie Braemer (Connie Braemer Design), whose smartly executed Osler Chalet -carried out in conjunction with architect Ray Murakami -married and transported two log cabins from Quebec to Ontario. The other went to Elaine Cecconi (Cecconi Simone) for her refined work on her own private residence.

The sixth Award of Excellence was given to Fang-Pin Lee (Reich + Petch Design International) for Butterflies and Plants, Partners in Evolution, a project completed in collaboration with architects Hayes, Seay, Mattern and Mattern; housed at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D. C., this exhibit playfully tackles the biology of butterflies, engaging adults and children alike.

Teknion at 25

Back in 1983, Teknion -then just a handful of people in a 30,000-square-foot facility – entered the contract furniture market with T/O/S (or Teknion Office System), designed specifically for the new tech- nology-driven office. The company has come a long way since then. Today, it has over 3,000 employees and more than 2.5 million square feet of facilities worldwide.

From the beginning, Teknion strived to be a different kind of furniture company -one with an entrepreneurial spirit, focused on its customers and serious about design, and aligned with sustainable principles. Over the years, it has created a comprehensive portfolio of products that work together, allowing customers to cope with constant change and reduce obsolescence by blending new and existing designs. Teknion’s “greatest hits” include the off-modular Transit system (1992), Altos architectural walls (1999), the Contessa mesh chair (2003), and the District furniture collection and Marketplace worktable (both 2007).

Teknion is now the largest furniture manufacturer that is 100 per cent Canadian-owned and -operated, with over 60 lines including systems, seating and storage. Based in Toronto, its has U. S. headquarters in Mount Laurel, N. J., and a European head office in London. Teknion products are sold worldwide through a network of more than 350 authorized dealers.

Beaver Tale

In collaboration with Canadian Aboriginal artists, designer Sabina Hill creates original custom furniture, art and installations merging the rich mythology of West Coast Aboriginal culture with a contemporary aesthetic. One such work is her Prow Coffee Table, handmade of tempered glass, bronze anodized aluminum and figured makore with stainless steel standoffs. Hill’s limited edition of 10 tables with a whale motif has sold out; she’s now offering tables with a beaver motif (also limited to 10, the table is made to order and available in four to six weeks; for more information, visit www.sabinahill.com).

Hill worked with Tlingit artist Mark Preston to develop the beaver motif. “I wanted it to be very abstract – not the typical crosshatch beaver tail or a frontal view,” she says. “What we came up with is a side view of the beaver, which has been defined and contained within the profile of the laser-cut aluminum top, with all the traditional Northwest Coast elements of a beaver motif accounted for.”

The Beaver Prow Coffee Table is part of the Canadian Art and Design exhibition at the University of Toronto Art Centre. Showcasing designers and craft makers who interpret and celebrate the Canadian countryside and wildlife in their work, it runs until Dec. 3.

Best Of Best Of Canada

An enthusiastic crowd packed Toronto’s Design Exchange on Sept. 24 to honour the winners of the 11th annual Best of Canada Design Competition and to discover the top winners of the Judges’ Choice and People’s Choice awards. Selected as the Judges’ Choice winner is the Brampton Soccer Centre by MacLennan Jaunkalns Miller Architects, Toronto. The People’s Choice project winner is Customspace, Calgary, by Cohos Evamy integratedesign, Edmonton. And the product winner is Scripted Wall by Prototype Design Lab, Toronto. The winners all received plaques and awards created by Schleeh Design, Montreal.

The annual competition is presented by Canadian Interiors and sponsored this year by the City of Toronto, Krug, Osram Sylvania, Steelcase and Teknion. For more information about the 12th annual Best of Canada Design competition, visit www.canadianinteriors.com.