When he was still in architecture school, Thom Fougere found himself drawn "to a human scale—chairs and cups instead of rooms and buildings," he says. With his focus turned toward furniture and accessories, he served as creative director of Winnipeg-based brand EQ3 at the age of 24 before launching his own studio in fall 2015. Nonetheless, Fougere retains an architect’s interest in the body and "how people approach an object," he explains, "and what they might not know they need." That spatial awareness plays out in his Saddle Chair, part of a collection he showed at the 2016 Stockholm Furniture Fair. Its square seat is joined to two backs, which touch at a 90-degree angle; the user can sit upright, or turn sideways and recline with their legs on an attached footrest. Combining two chairs in one, and it was conceived "to bring something new to the world that’s functional but poetic and honest."
And while Fougere, 28, is once again trying his hand at designing spaces—he’s working on a handful of office, restaurant and retail projects across Canada—he continues to bring an architectural sense into his product design: His Tyndall Vase takes a mottled local limestone, often used on buildings in his home city, into a delicate mushroom-shaped column that will fit elegantly in a pair of hands.