North on Sixty creates furniture and design objects out of reclaimed materials—such as barn boards and naturally-felled trees—out of their Dwight, Ontario workshop. Founder Yuill McGregor is very much about minimizing waste, from sourcing materials to choosing finishes. He started out in construction, but transitioned into design, focusing on functional furniture pieces with a sculptural flair.
A highlight of IDS was the exhibit "Prototype: New Ideas for the Home." It presented works not currently in production by independent designers, who address the theme of innovative consumer products intended for mass production. In "Concrete Cabinet" (shown here) Jean Willoughby contrasts warm wood with industrial concrete.
One exhibit that caught my eye was "Countering Convention," where seven leading Canadian design studios were presented with the challenge of using Corian in unconventional ways. Most of us limit Corian to kitchen countertops, sinks, or backsplashes, but as Kelly Deck Design, Cecconi Simone, Rhed Corporation, Earth Inc., Pascale Girardin and Gau Design showed, there is utility in the material well beyond what most know it to be.
Del Terrelonge and his firm, Rhed-22, are known for their work on the Templar hotel in Toronto, which is regarded as one of the most stylistically advanced spaces in the city. Here, Terrelonge's use of Corian material took a much different direction: the form of a white Japanese Tea House. The concept taps into spirituality as well as traditional Japanese aesthetics, creating a Corian structure that embraces the traditional and the modern. 800 kilos of Corian material was formed to measure in Italy and exported to Toronto. The result is stunning, with humanly-comfortable proportions and a simple and understated elegance.
Would it surprise you to learn that artist Pascale Girardin's flower-shaped hanging lamps are made out of a the same material as countertops? Working with the help of Dupont certified technicians, Girardin heated thin strips of Corian and held them in place with supports. The material is brought to a point of malleability by placing it in a press for three minutes and then cooled for 30 minutes, a process that creates both opportunities and challenges. The long working time allows for longer set times with the material, but presents challenges in that Corian takes so long to set that it requires careful propping and attention during the cooling process. Pascale says her method is "a process of discovery," where "there is not a lot of drawing—it takes place more by hand."
Toronto's Earth Inc., a landscape design firm, created a garden swing out of Corian, which features a jute rope suspending it from the ground. The design looks clean and organic, and seats two. Lauren Barker of Ogilvy & Mather explained that Corian is a very durable material for both indoors and out, as it's largely impervious to the effects of heat, cold, and sunlight degradation.
With their name originating from the Finnish word for fire, "palo," Brampton, Ontario-based Paloform makes gas fireplaces from high performance concrete. Though not custom, all items are made to order and manufactured locally. Comprised of a rock-filled clay pot that disguises a burner underneath, its flames just seem to mysteriously emanate from the rocks themselves. Available for around $3,000, this fireplace can be installed in most outdoor spaces. Paloform is reportedly working on a kit that will allow those without a gas pipeline into their backyard—and let's be honest, that's most of us—to operate the fireplace from a remotely located and disguised portable propane tank like those commonly used for barbeques.
Rhed-22 also exhibited a gorgeous kit structure designed to be used by the Templar hotel group in central Ontario. The suite features vaulted sides and sweeping panes of glass at all angles. The concept of the suite is integrated, in that Rhed-22 designs the building, and most of the interior components, from built-in cabinetry to furniture. The suite features an in-floor bathtub and generously appointed sleeping space. Rhed-22 maximized both space and views into the landscape, including views in all directions while still maintaining privacy.
Pierre-Mathieu Roy of Steel Space Production showed off some of the many cool features of his structures made out of shipping containers. Leveraging his background in marketing, Pierre-Mathieu's concept takes a standard, 20-foot-long shipping container and transforms it into an upscale and fully-functional kitchen. The kitchen on display was well-equipped with Viking appliances, including a six-burner stove, two ovens, a dishwasher, and refrigerator. The repurposed container weighs an estimated 18,000 lbs and can be closed up and moved in as little as an hour. He sees it as a marketing tool for pop-up retail applications. It boasts corrugated steel sides that swing up and a rooftop "patio" that begs for evening cocktails.
Up-and-comer Kevin Wiggers introduced a beautifully distinguished furniture piece, which disguised an "unsightly" flat screen television. Calling it a "tv console" would be a disservice. This luxuriously appointed piece features hardwood veneer inlays and a rich finish. Plus, cleverly constructed internal mechanisms allow the television to pivot in and out with a single fluid motion. For more information, contact Kevin at kevinwiggersfurniture.com Don't miss a word of Dwell! Download our FREE app from iTunes, friend us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter!