May/June 2024

 

Canadian Interiors March-April 2024: And…scene

Used in theatre and film, this phrase has simple yet powerful utility. It means “and now the scene is over” but its value goes beyond just as a tool of direction. It unconsciously reminds everyone that they are not only involved in the scene but are in fact part of making the scene. In other words, participants in scenography. An artform usually attributed to the world of stage craft, scenography is all about creating an emotion, a feeling, a sensation, something interior designers know and do well. In this issue we explore some of the ways designers are involved in creating scenes — be it the imaginary world of vampires or the transitory spaces of airports and rock concerts — or capturing scenes that illuminate their work and profession by using mediums tailor-made for documenting such narratives, such as television.

We explore more than just scenography for storytelling. “As the nature of how people interact with space rapidly evolves, understanding how we experience technology [and] use new applications…is critical,” says the forecasters at Gensler. “With a focus on people and their multisensory needs, greater physical and digital fluidity will enable high-impact, immersive, and seamless experiences that inspire, educate, and inform. As nearly every experience becomes hybrid, the design of physical-digital ecosystems is more critical than ever. Our new hybrid lifestyles will require spaces for digital interactions to work.”

In this issue the idea of scenography is explored through various lenses: we highlight some of the most compelling new projects undertaken by Montréal-based Moment Factory that fuse scenography, architecture, and multimedia to immerse guests in fantastic (and fantastical) worlds, such as a hotel, cathedral, international airport and rock concert; we talk to a number of designers who have appeared on television for a variety of reasons, and discuss how that medium may not accurately reflect the design industry, but can still be valuable tools for building an interior designers’ brand and generating business; and we sit down with Shayne Fox, a Toronto-based production designer and set decorator who for over three decades has created the physical worlds seen in television programming and feature films.


Scenes leave lasting impressions, yet themselves don’t always last for long. And speaking of impermanence, we’ve been navigating some pretty significant transitions over here at Canadian Interiors. This issue officially marks the last for our long-time publisher, Martin Spreer, who has taken on new challenges in his professional life. As we clear out his dressing room, I asked him to pen some thoughts, project to the back of the room, and scene-steal with a monologue to make the dramatists proud.

Change inevitably sweeps through our lives, and after 17 fulfilling years at Canadian Interiors, the time has come to hand over the reins. Reflecting on February of 2007, when I was tasked with the mandate to breathe new life into the Canadian Interiors brand, I recall an industry still navigating its path. Sustainability in design and architecture was on the cusp of emerging as a dominant force reshaping our approach to building and spatial design.
While Canadian Interiors had maintained a steady presence since the 1960s, a pivotal decision was made to embark on a comprehensive overhaul, repositioning it as the premier industry publication for interior design professionals. The redesigned magazine, unveiled in September/October 2007 through the collaborative efforts of Pylon Design and Scott Christie, garnered enthusiastic acclaim within the professional design community. Even though the print industry was predicted to decline rapidly, Canadian Interiors continue to thrive, our in-depth coverage and expertise appealed to design professional fostering reader loyalty and engagement.
Those early days demanded rapid adaptation as I navigated the intricacies of design brands, industry jargon, and the inner workings of the profession. Our editorial focus on design concepts and space planning propelled us to spotlight intricate stories of spaces optimized for layout, flow, and functionality. As interior design and decoration captured the spotlight on television in the late 2000s, the industry experienced exponential growth, fueled by renewed interest among the younger demographic. Interior design became synonymous with cultural cachet, while European design brands seized the opportunity presented by Canada’s burgeoning construction boom and flooded the market.
Our intensified dedication to serving professionals facilitated deeper engagement with interior design associations, culminating in Canadian Interiors being designated as the official magazine of the Interior Designers of Canada (IDC), publishing monthly association updates, as well as producing the Awards magazine for the Association of Registered Interior Designers of Ontario (ARIDO).
Over the years, I have forged lasting friendships within the industry, witnessed the ascent of countless young designers into household names, and observed trends wax and wane. Amidst this flux, my enduring affection for exemplary design and craftsmanship remains unwavering. The remarkable contributions of our talented team of editors, writers, graphic designers, photographers, and interior designers have indelibly shaped the magazine and its content. As the industry continues to thrive, the team at Canadian Interiors fervently hopes that our collective efforts have left a positive imprint on the landscape of Canadian design.
Leaving publishing behind, I’m excited about new challenges and continuing to engage with the amazingly talented individuals I’ve crossed paths within the industry. It’s been a joy seeing their creativity and drive make a positive impact in our field. And hey, there’s still plenty of design stories to be told for Canadian Interiors magazine from here on out.

Auf Wiedersehen, Marty, und viel Glück!