Visualizm AV unit

Regionalism is alive and well and drove the design of IZM’s sleek Visualizm AV (audio-video) unit. “The simple, straight lines of the prairie inspired our entire line,” says Jerad Mack, partner and co-founder of the Edmonton-based firm.

Form follows function here insofar as the user knows intuitively what goes where. The slot at the left, for instance, gives access for pulling out the CD-DVD storage drawer. The door on the right is fitted with smoked glass that is opaque enough to conceal the receiver, Tivo, VCR and other system components, yet transparent enough to be permeable to infrared signals that enable the components to be operated by remote control.

As for the motivation to create a cabinet to accommodate stereo and home-theatre gear, Mack says, “People were always telling us that there’s not much out there for good-looking audio-visual cabinets.” His informal market research proved to be spot on because, he says, Visualizm “is by far our best-seller” and is sold at high-end, sophisticated furnishings boutiques like Klaus in Toronto, Propeller in San Francisco and ABC Home in New York.

Not bad for two guys who have no formal design training. Before starting IZM six years ago, Mack and his partner, Shane Pawluk, were construction workers: Mack the pipefitter and Pawluk the concrete worker met on a job site in Cuba, of all places. Subsequently, Mack tutored under master furniture maker Ron Genge, while Pawluk learned woodworking while employed at a massage-table manufacturer.

The unit is available in four configurations: 14.5 or 18 inches tall and 70 or 90 inches wide, in oiled solid walnut or rift-sawn white oak.

Designers: Jerad Mack and Shane Pawluk