Aiming high

The Interior Design Show 2010 did its best to wow design professionals and consumers alike with this year’s theme: The Ultimate. Seeming quite comfortable in its new location, the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, the “ultimate” design show offered the crme de la crme of design from the moment visitors passed through the doors. Suspended from the hall’s ceilings, like fruit waiting to be picked, was Bruno Billio’s installation of Vitra’s Vegetal chairs. And the ultimate dream car, the Audi R8 V10, was on display as a more forbidden fruit. From the practical to the fantastical, IDS had something to satisfy everyone’s appetite.

In line with the show’s motif, four teams of Canada’s top design talents each created their interpretation of the Ultimate space. From the Calvin Klein Euphoria-inspired his and hers bathroom by Arren Williams to the luxurious art and detail-infused lobby of the Bisha Hotel and Residence by Munge Leung and Charles Khabouth, the spaces were a must-see.

Rolling Hills, by the Ministry of the Interior’s Jason MacIsaac, was like an experiential journey through a wooden castle of natural materials. Essentially three spaces joined by a passageway, Rolling Hills was a synergy of architecture and abstract landscape. The walls and ceilings were a combination of a variety of solid woods. Each of the conical spaces was of a different height and had open ceilings to cast light into the space.

Drew Mandel’s cool and calming installation was designed “as an abstracted architectural journey,” in the words of the Toronto architect. “It unfolds as a series of interconnected spaces and forms, animated by movement, light and material texture.” The construction materials were largely reused, including the living wall plantings, walnut veneer panels and stone cladding (used here as floor finish material). Says Mandel, “The design process was an experimental reprieve from more practical office work, with the intent to strip design down to the almost indefinable.”

In addition to the Ultimate concept spaces, more than 300 exhibitors and design features filled the show, which branched out into a new initiative this year: the Toronto International Design Festival. Spread over a full week, the inaugural fest encompassed more than 20 events and exhibitions across the city.


The Moooi Raimond light, designed by mathematician Raimond Puts, is as captivating to look at as a starlit sky. Transparent lenses are specifically designed to emit warm white light and spread it in every direction. A series of spheres in the fixture transmit current throughout, and LED terminals join the paths to create an atmospheric ambience. The Raimond light is made of stainless steel and polycarbonate and has a discrete, transparent supply cable. It comes in three diameters of 35, 24 and 16.9 inches.

2–Go With The Flo

The Flo chair by Sia Zanjani from After 6 Design is made of 36 layers of laminated plywood, cut with the precision of CNC technology. It appears smooth and sleek, with the lines in the plywood curving softly around the contours of the sitting area. The chair’s hollow shape allows for storage of the accompanying footrest/side table, which tucks neatly within. The laminated glass backrest is removable for space-saving purposes.


Specially made with children in mind, Play is the newest low-temperature radiator from Jaga Climate Systems. With its soft, rounded corners, it is safer than traditional rads — as its surface is cool to the touch and its heating components out of reach of small, curious fingers. Play combines five individually polyurethane-painted MDF boards in a simple, easy-to-detach design, and can be fitted to either wall or floor. It comes in white or black, or in colour combinations.

4–Infinitely alright

Inspired by the Toronto- Dominion Centre, Michal Maciej Bartosik created Dominion, a series of light objects. A similar grid to the one in the TD Centre is located in the base and acts as the light source that gets reflected from each face of the fixture. The grid appears to infinitely stretch beyond the fixture’s dimensions. The five faces of Dominion objects are coated with a UV compound allowing for a continuous reflective envelope on the inside, while maintaining transparency from the outside. The reflective ceiling plane creates a mirrored double reflection, parallel to the original. Look for the Dominion fixtures to be sold by Klaus by Nienkmper.

5–Caving the way

The Stalac coffee table, by the Practice of Everyday Design, is a design derived from the organic forms of stalactites. Using a natural cave as a model, the Stalac coffee table’s rectangular section is designed like the cave ceiling with the table legs protruding down like stalactites. The table is made of fibreglass, measures 23.6 by 35.4 inches, and is 11.8 inches tall.

6–Side Effect

Aaron Asedo of New Jersey-based Asedo Designs specializes in modern furniture forms that integrate eco-friendly materials with a natural, craft edge. His series of side tables is the first in a line of limited-edition products he hopes to introduce. Shown, from top: amber plyboo with solid Russian olive drawer front from a naturally felled tree; American black walnut with white lacquer interior and black walnut drawer front (naturally felled); eco-friendly teak taboo veneer with solid reclaimed teak drawer front.

7–Column of light

With his new Luminous Column series, Gregor Herman — who has been working with glass for 25 years and runs his own hot-glass studio in Toronto — explores how light interacts with various textures of glass. Each custom-made chandelier is site-specific and functions as both lighting and sculpture. Always looking forward, Herman is developing new colours and shapes, exploring mixed media, and experimenting with ideas for a room divider or screen and an outdoor canopy.

8–Almost famous

Katherine Morley’s Low Profile Bowls pay homage to under-celebrated Canadians. Each bowl base is shaped to resemble the profile of a notable national (shown are Celia Franca, Pierre Berton, Jane Jacobs and Chief Dan George), carefully chosen for their accomplishments and contributions to Canadian culture. The angles and curves of the faces sweep outward and upward toward the oval rim, giving each handmade earthenware bowl a distinct shape.