Category Archives: Blog

Come Up To My Room 2012 Photos – [R]ED[U]X LAB

Over the next two weeks keep a watchful eye here on the Come Up To My Room blog as we release photography daily from the show. Below are shots of Room 205 by [R]ED[U]X LAB.

Nestled within the framework of the Department of Architectural Science at Ryerson, the contributors and talents that compose [R]ED[U]X LAB fluctuate within its capacity to create an ever-evolving extrospective engine.

Rooted in a culture of design inquiry and innovation, [R]ED[U]X LAB’s transient contributors are nevertheless bound by the task of pursuing the intersection between defining a contemporary design standard and the use of visionary technologies and media to inform this process and its product.

[R]ED[U]X LAB’s current pursuits include a room installation for Come Up To My Room 2012, a mobile device application that exposes layers of textual and graphical information about Toronto landmarks using augmented reality, and a yearly repertoire investigating rapid prototyping technologies in the realm of industrial design.


The Hard Costs of a Digital World

Published :    By : Deborah      Cat :    Comments : 1

Looking up at the installation from underneath


University of Toronto Architecture students Matthew Blunderfield and Skanda Lin talk about their installation Firmament, displayed at CUTMR. Firmament comments on the technological obsolescence and disposable nature of the virtual world in which we live. It reflects on the hard costs of an increasingly digital culture.

The installation is sponsored, in part, by Ontario Electronic Stewardship (OES). OES addresses Ontario’s e-waste challenge by overseeing the responsible reuse and recycling of end-of-life electronics through a network of drop-off site across the province. To find out more, visit:

Skanda Lin & Matthew Blunderfield


CUTMR Love Design Party

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The Love Design Party is the free, all night party where we celebrate our love of design. Come Up To My Room and the Gladstone Hotel host all the alternative, indie designers from the city and their enthusiasts at this no-nonsense dance-a-thon.

2012 Love Design Party – Sat, Jan 28, 2012 – Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen Street West
Featuring the Mix Mastery of DJ’s Joe Blow and Denise Benson.

Peek to Pique — Install day 3 (the night before)

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Entrance installation by Roland Ulfig and John Mestito

Second floor lobby installation by Interstice Studio; with Wes Wilson and Matthew Peddie’s installation beyond

vÆry Studio’s fabric scrims taking shape

WE-3’s innovative use of paper strips … to be animated soon …

Peek to Pique – Install Day 1

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Room 201: Wendy W Fok’s work getting unpacked and painted

After a 30 hour journey from Korea, Hyungshin Hwang starts to maticulously assemble his Art Bar installation

Room 202: Gareth Bate explaining his process to Gladstone exhibitions coordinator Britt Welter-Nolan (not featured)

Room 204: uA makes good use of their room’s extra spaces

Room 205: [R]ED[U]X LAB diligently leveling…something

Void Engineering sets up in the alcove

Room 207: merk! & their many ladders

Room 210: Two-thirds of the WE-3 team take a needed break

Capacity 2012

Published :    By : Noa Bronstein      Cat :    Comments : 0

Now in its second year, this fellow TO DO-er, is an annual exhibit of new work by female, Canadian designers, curated by Katherine Morley, Erin McCutcheon and Ange-line Tetrault. It will be presented in January 2012, at the Bev Hisey Studio (1066 Dundas St. W., at Shaw). The exhibition will feature a wide range of media (ceramic, textile, furniture, product design, illustration and more) that will examine and express the word “capacity” as it relates to the role of women in the field of design.

“CAPACITY” was conceived of in 2010, while Katherine Morley and Erin McCutcheon were discussing an upcoming local design event, and looking at the names of the designers who’d been invited to participate. Not only were there no women designers on the roster, the organizers were not even aware of their omission, when it was brought to their attention. Not long afterward, they launched an informal poll asking people to name any women designers they could. To their shock and dismay, many couldn’t list any at all, and only a few managed to repeat one or two names. At that moment, Morley and McCutcheon knew it was imperative to do something to raise the profile of Canadian women designers, and that they were the ones to do it.

The inaugural “CAPACITY” exhibit garnered much critical praise and press coverage, and attracted a large number of attendees both within and outside of the design community. The curatorial team was extremely honoured to be invited to re-exhibit “CAPACITY” at the Design Exchange in August 2011; as well, McCutcheon was invited to exhibit her individual “CAPACITY” project at the RH Gallery in New York, alongside other contemporary ceramic artists, including Jeff Koons.

The success of “CAPACITY” 2011 reinforced the importance of giving a voice to Canadian women in design, and the Curators have vowed to make it an annual event. In its second year, Morley and McCutcheon are excited to announce the addition of Ange-line Tetrault as Assistant Curator.

Reminder – Let’s Talk on January 28, 2012

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Image of Free City Paper project, provided by JP King

Saturday, January 28 – 11am to 1pm – Gladstone Ballroom

Since 2009, CUTMR has hosted a series of talks by artists and designers.  Our first talk, The Origin of the Designer!, featured talks by participating artists and designers Andra Hayward, Andrew MacDonald, Jeremy Hatch, Studio Junction and Derrick Hodgson, as they tried to answer big questions about bringing themselves into designer “existence” and surviving in the field.  In 2010, Thrive Design for 100%! explored how to bring design to 100% of the community, so that everyone can have access to good design. Last year, CUTMR Design Talks asked the organizer’s of Toronto Design Offsite (TO DO) shows: What to do? Representatives from MADE at HOME, Capacity, Tools and CUTMR reflect on this question, anticipating what’s next in Toronto design, design communities, exhibition making, collaboration, and more.

The theme of this year’s design talks, Let’s Talk, is DISPOSABILITY. Taken in its broadest, strictest, object-oriented or ephemeral sense, these talks explore disposable, ubiquitous objects and the reactionary repurposing of such objects, while also investigating abstracted notions of disposability.


Kerri Flannigan - The After Party: Coming of Age Stories

WE-3 – Hoarding Unpacked

LeuWebb Projects - Film, Vinyl and Paper – Books Unbound

Wendy W Fok - CRAFT // Resilient Production

Sean Martindale – Politics, Challenges and Opportunities

Jp King - Free City Paper: If You Want To Be Rich Tomorrow Buy A Landfill Today

Click here for more information about the speakers/topics

Radiant Dark

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For better or worse, details affect every moment of the design process from idea to creation, to using and appreciating an object. Julie Nicholson and Shaun Moore of MADE continue to introduce new Canadian designs through their evolving Radiant Dark series with the 2012 theme — the Devil is the Details.

The creative focus and follow through to achieve something of worth does not always come easily and therein, the devil lies … Through the Devil is the Details, a variety of independent designer’s approaches to making are highlighted along with their individual responses. The challenges in their explorations of process, materials, an introduction, a curious element or concept, as they are resolved, are the very things that set their works apart. The Devil is the Details emphasises a level of craftsmanship displayed through an understanding of materials and their handling, tied to a thoughtful approach in the production of functional objects. Known standards are considered and tweaked towards new directions, enriching the final outcome. The details here affect the way objects are made, understood and consumed.

Don’t miss the opening for this CUTMR sister show, taking place right before the Gladstone’s Love Design Party on Saturday, January 28, from  3 – 7 PM

Exhibition Hours: 12 – 6 PM daily

Admission FREE

Thu, Jan 26, 2012 — Sun, Jan 29, 2012

For more information click here

Making It!

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January 25, 2012 – 6:30pm – 8:30pm at the DX, 234 Bay Street

20 makers from various design disciplines are each given 5 minutes to walk through a single project from conception to presentation.

Mark Buchner of Compass360 || Antoine Morris of The Practice of Everyday Design || Hoi-An Tang of Mehoi || Vesna Jocic of Elliott Jocic || Joey Suriano ||Steven Beites & Christian Joakim of studio kimiis || Heidi Earnshaw || Robert Wu || Michal Maciej Bartosik || Clayton McMaster ||Naomi Aiko Yasui || Evan Bare of 608 Design || Jana Watson & Katrina Tompkins of Tinsel & Sawdust || Joshua Brassé of ideacious || Miles Keller of MKDA Industrial Design ||Noelle Hamlyn || Christopher Pandolifi & Simon Rabinyuk of Department of Unusual Certainties || Zahra Ebrahim of archiTEXT

Pay What You CanRecommended admission $10. Confirm attendance with

Imperfect Health – The Medicalization of Architecture

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Health is a focus of contemporary political debate in a moment of historically high anxiety, but are architects, urban designers and landscape architects seeking a new moral and political agenda within these concerns? Imperfect Health: The Medicalization of Architecture examines the complexity of today’s interrelated and emerging health problems juxtaposed with a variety of proposed architectural and urban solutions.

Pollen, pollution, toxic materials that make up the built environment, globalized industrial food production, reclaimed manufacturing landscapes, unbalanced population demographics, sedentary and indoor lifestyles, and efforts to fight death are becoming imperfect materials for architecture to explore. Emerging as trends like healthy cities, green buildings, fit cities, global cities, re-use cities, tailored cities, these strategies suggest inspired solutions, but could also address isolated concerns which privilege specific users or conditions. The focus on problems sometimes creates conflicting agendas and disregards the complexity of the urban fabric.

A book accompanying the exhibition and extending this research will be published in Spring 2012 by CCA with Lars Müller. Edited by Mirko Zardini and Giovanna Borasi, it includes essays by Carla Keirns, David Gissen, Hilary Sample, Linda Pollak, Deane Simpson, Margaret Campbell, Sarah Schrank, and Nan Ellin.

This exhibition is at the CCA from October 25, 2011 to April 15, 2012.

More information available here

Free HOT lunch for artists

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The Starving Artists Collective presents:

FREE hot lunch for artists
A different menu each week
Mondays from 12-3pm
January 9 – February 13
The Raging Spoon Cafe
761 Queen Street West, Toronto
Wheelchair accessible space

January 9 – February 13, 2012: For six Monday afternoons this winter, artists are invited to a FREE HOT LUNCH at the ARTISTS’ SOUP KITCHEN. Each week is hosted by different artists who will bring their creative practices to The ARTISTS’ SOUP KITCHEN. Lunches include a Dr. Seuss homage by artist Ulysses Castellanos offering green eggs and ham on January 9 and mystic pizza crust divination readings by Helen Reed and Hannah Jickling on Janaury 16. Documentation from the ARTISTS’ SOUP KITCHEN will be used to create a printed catalogue/recipe book that includes recipes, images from participating artists and critical writing about the project. The ARTISTS’ SOUP KITCHEN is presented by the Starving Artists Collective: Catherine Clarke, Jess Dobkin and Stephanie Springgay.

SCHEDULE of Host Artists:

Monday, January 9: Ulysses Castellanos
Monday, January 16: Helen Reed and Hannah Jickling
Monday, January 23: Tobaron Waxman
Monday, January 30: Natalyn Tremblay
Monday, February 6: Annie Cheung
Monday, February 13: Swintak

ABOUT The Artists’ Soup Kitchen:
The Starving Artists Collective Artists’ Soup Kitchen brings together gastronomical services, social need, and creative/artistic investigation into performance, art, and food. While acknowledging the extensive history of artist restaurants, the sensory experience of performance and food, and the collective experience of community kitchens, the Artists’ Soup Kitchen examines the space between art and labor and addresses the myth of “the starving artist”.

The project will take place on six Mondays during January and February 2012 at the Raging Spoon Café in Toronto. Artists have been invited to create work for the café environment, bringing their performance and/or social art practice to the space and merging it with the idea of cooking and feeding other community members/artists who will come to the café to eat, talk, and share. In the winter months when many artists are creating work in isolation and paid work is slow, the Artists’ Soup Kitchen will provide a space for community, for people to see each other, and come together over a hot meal.

The project explores through cooking, food, and performance the concept of nourishment, both physical and relational. It is important that the kitchen become a performance-based art practice but likewise it is a space to feed each other, to nourish and offer support both bodily and professionally. The goal of the project is to use cooking, an artful, everyday experience, to empower the lives of people in urban environments and to deliver physical and mental health to communities. Through discussion, social bonding, and working in groups, participants are brought out of isolated routines and interact in new ways to activate their minds and bodies. The Artists’ Soup Kitchen celebrates a highly social, lateral learning structure in which participants share their cooking skills and feed each other.

Made possible with support from the Toronto Arts Council and Social Sciences and Research Council of Canada.

For more information:

Media Contact: Jess Dobkin 416-666-6220

CrossTalk: Speech Acts and Interference in Networked Art

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Virtual Exhibition Empowers Viewers through Virtual Critique

Toronto, Ontario – 01/04/2012

This Winter, an unusual and extremely interactive exhibition promises to breath new life into the inundated space of the World Wide Web. Opening on February 1st, CrossTalk: Speech Acts and Interference in Networked Art is an experimental exhibition format that combines a virtual gallery with a real-time virtual critique. Featuring works of net art (art made on and disseminated through the Net) by Evan Roth, Cynthia Lawson Jaramillo and Dina Kelberman, visitors to the site will be able to view each artist’s piece and at the same time participate in a live online discussion about their work via message board. The idea behind this unconventional model is to offer a way for the public to become part of the exhibition process through conversation, and also to provide a way for visitors from many different locations and backgrounds to connect and exchange ideas using art as the centrepiece.

Over the course of three days, February 1st through the 3rd, the public is invited to log on at, view the artworks, register on the message board and participate in an open, unmoderated critique. Registering on the message board for the critique is free, easy and similar to interfaces that the majority of users will already be familiar with. To get the discussion going, an international group of six curators and critics, including former Institute of Contemporary Arts Head of Talks Helena Reckitt and Art Gallery of Ontario contemporary Canadian art curator Michelle Jacques have been invited to post their commentary on the artworks first. After their initial posts, those six curators and critics will stay active in the critique, but as equals to any other participant.

Every person who registers on the board will receive editing privileges, and have the same amount of control as any other person. This is an intentional move by the curator to hand the reigns over to the audience for a change, and to create the conditions for a true democracy amongst visitors. Just like a piece of software, the CrossTalk exhibition model sets up conditions and variables and lets its users determine the final product or outcome.

Lastly, CrossTalk is unique in the way its featured artworks are made. Each of the selected pieces use publicly available content from multiple other users on the Internet to generate how their respective looks. Dina Kelberman’s piece I’m Google uses Google’s Image Search as a continuously changing and evolving image-bank for constructing a visual poem. Evan Roth’s work Banners and Skyscrapers, culls over six hundred images from banner advertisements and collages them together to form a moving fabric of consumerist imagery. And, Cynthia Lawson Jaramillo’s piece Tricolor v.2007 rakes Colombian online new sources, building the national flag in text that is laden with nationalist tone and flavour. In these different but related approaches, each work symbolizes a kind of interference in the large flow of culture and communication that the Internet represents. By collecting and reassembling the content of others to create new meanings, Kelberman Roth and Jaramillo turn the usership of the Net into a material itself.

More about the Artists:

Evan Roth (1978) is an established digital media artist and part-time professor at Parsons The New School for Design in New York. His body of work is diverse and often politicized, dealing with issues of authorship, appropriation and public space through a wide range of interrelated media and disciplines, from graffiti and illustrative typography to open source technology and net art. Evan received his bachelor’s degree in architecture from the University of Maryland and his MFA from the Communication, Design and Technology school at Parsons The New School for Design. After graduating Evan worked at the esteemed Eyebeam OpenLab as Research and Development Fellow from 2005–2006 and a Senior Fellow from 2006-2007. He was also a 2005 recipient of the grand prize Prix Nora Krea at the Norapolis International Multimedia Festival. Evan permanently resides in Paris with his wife.

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Dina Kelberman (1979) is an American multimedia artist, web designer and playwright who is best known for her comic strips and illustrations serialized in the Baltimore City Paper, on the humour blog Mutant Funnies and on Kelberman’s comics are minimal but dynamic, and her characters strangely relatable and yet poignantly misanthropic. This duetting of disparate traits carries over into her net-based artwork where Dina curates the found photography and video of others to create a mapping of her own online-experiences. Dina earned her BFA in 2003 at Purchase College, State University of New York. She continues to live and work in Baltimore, Maryland.

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Cynthia Lawson Jaramillo (1974) is a Brooklyn-based Colombian digital artist, technologist and educator. Her work concentrates on reconfigurations and representations of time and space through media, and has been internationally exhibited and performed, including at Giacobetti Paul Gallery, HERE Arts (NYC), UCLA Hammer Museum (LA) and the Museums of Modern Art in Bogotá and Medellín (Colombia). Cynthia has a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Universidad de los Andes (Bogotá) and a Masters in Interactive Telecommunications (ITP) from New York University. She is currently Assistant Professor of Integrated Design in the School of Design Strategies at Parsons The New School for Design and an active member of Madarts, an arts collective in Brooklyn, NY.

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More about the Curator:

CrossTalk: Speech Acts and Interference in Networked Art is curated, designed and programmed by Zach Pearl. It is the culmination of his thesis work for the anticipated receipt of a Masters of Fine Art in Criticism & Curatorial Practice this Spring from OCAD University. Zach has formal, interdisciplinary training in variety of fine art, performing art and design practices. He came into curating serendipitously through museum education and private gallery positions that served as the bread n’ butter of his early twenties. Currently, Zach’s curatorial focus is on the intersection between new media, relational aesthetics and community art practices. Accordingly, Zach has worked independently to curate a variety of projects that integrate aspects of each area for a range of venues, including the Gladstone Hotel, the Textile Museum of Canada and the Art Gallery of Ontario. Zach currently lives and works in Toronto, Ontario.

Design Week: A Preface

Published :    By : Noa Bronstein      Cat :    Comments : 0

The DX is proud to announce the Canadian premiere of Unfinished Spaces with introduction by Co-director Benjamin Murray.

January 19, 2012 – 6.30 pm – 8.30 pm


“Cuba will count as having the most beautiful academy of arts in the world.” —Fidel Castro (1961)

Cuba’s ambitious National Art Schools project, designed by three young artists in the wake of Castro’s Revolution, is neglected, nearly forgotten, then ultimately rediscovered as a visionary architectural masterpiece.

In 1961, three young, visionary architects were commissioned by Fidel Castro and Che Guevara to create Cuba’s National Art Schools on the grounds of a former golf course in Havana, Cuba. Construction of their radical designs began immediately and the school’s first classes soon followed. Dancers, musicians and artists from all over the country reveled in the beauty of the schools, but as the dream of the Revolution quickly became a reality, construction was abruptly halted and the architects and their designs were deemed irrelevant in the prevailing political climate. Forty years later the schools are in use, but remain unfinished and decaying. Castro has invited the exiled architects back to finish their unrealized dream.

Unfinished Spaces features intimate footage of Fidel Castro, showing his devotion to creating a worldwide showcase for art, and it also documents the struggle and passion of three revolutionary artists.

Click here to find out more


Design Week: A Preface

Published :    By : Noa Bronstein      Cat :    Comments : 0

A pre-party for the Toronto design week, PechaKucha Night Toronto is teaming up with Toronto Design Offsite to present you this special TO DO PechaKucha Night Toronto on January 17, 2012 at The Garrison. Tickets are $5 and will only be available at the door. Doors open at 7:30 PM, and presentations start at 8:20 PM. First come first seated!

For more information and updates on the list of presenters visit:

Fore more information contact:

University of Waterloo Chair Projects — announced

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A chair for Robert Service

Each year since 2008, CUTMR curators travel to the University of Waterloo School of Architecture to select 3-5 chairs from the school’s innovative Chair Project, a course led by Professor Elizabeth English. Combining design and structural analysis, an idea (spurred by the students’ selection of a luminary to guide their project) and its physical manifestation, each of these transformable chairs are hand-made by third year architecture students working collaboratively with a classmate.

We are pleased to announce the chairs that will be in this year’s show:

A chair for Robert Service by Fraser Plaxton & Kunaal Mohan
A chair for Jackson Pollock by Piper Bernbaum & Meaghan Murray
A chair for Leon Trotsky by Gwendolyn Lovsted & Benjamin van Nostrand
A chair for Zimoun Jaewoo Chon & Antariksh Tandon

Let’s Talk – Saturday @ CUTMR

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Photo: Sean Martindale project

CUTMR 2012 - Saturday, January 28, 2012 – 11:00am to 1:00pm

Taken in its broadest, strictest, object-oriented or ephemeral sense, these talks explore disposable, ubiquitous objects and the reactionary repurposing of such objects, while also investigating abstracted notions of disposability.

The After Party: Coming of Age Stories

Kerri Flannigan

The After Party: Coming of Age Stories is a performative slideshow-lecture that functions as an experimental documentary, visual archive, narration and artist talk. With humour and candour, The After Party will showcase the impermanence of adolescent rites of passage and present a collection of individual anecdotes of coming of age, identity-forming epiphanies. Kerri Flannigan is a Montreal-based interdisciplinary artist, originally from Deep River, Ontario. Flannigans work uses unconventional narrative forms to examine themes of memory, monuments, history and identity. In 2011, her zine collaboration Nailbiter 2 won ‘Best English Zine’ at the Expozine Awards.

Hoarding Unpacked


There seems to be a strong inclination toward collection and repurposing, even as our objects and appliances become increasingly disposable. This talk will examine, through projects and examples, these contrasting tendencies to trash and to accumulate, and the difficult problem of a designer/cultural producer’s role and responsibility in this mounting kingdom of stuff. WE-3 is a collective of architects, graphic designers and designers (well, one of each) united for CUTMR 2012. WE-3 is interested in creating experiences that are layered in meaning, specifically/spatially located and impeccably executed. WE-3 is Dominique Cheng, Kristina Ljubanovic and Lauren Wickware.

Film, Vinyl and Paper – Books Unbound

LeuWebb Projects

At a time when information is more readily accessible than ever, does it matter whether a book is saved or destroyed? In exploring this question, Christine Leu and Alan Webb of LeuWebb Projetcs, will discuss their installation from the 2011 Scotiabank Nuit Blanche titled ‘Film, Vinyl, Paper’. LeuWebb Projects were Come Up To My Room participants in 2010 and continue to explore the perception of spaces, both banal and exceptional. Christine Leu is an intern architect, writer, photographer, and teacher. Alan Webb is a licensed architect, and dj with projects in graphic design, music and an interest in field recordings.
CRAFT // Resilient Production

Wendy W Fok

This talk will explore the processes of digital tooling and analogue production. The highlights of the discussion will proceed onto the craft and fabrication processes for the built environment, and the waste that is generated by the product of the built industry. Dynamic infographics will be developed to illustrate various facts and figures, yet, the larger discussion will be on how the built industry (Architecture and Construction) treats “disposability”. Wendy W Fok, director/founder and team member of WE-DESIGNS.ORG, LLC (Architecture) and studio-WF (Art), winner of the Hong Kong Young Design Talent Award (2009), and a selected designer of the Perspective 40 under 40 Award (2011), has a Master of Architecture & Certification of Urban Policy/Planning from Princeton University. Notably, WE-DESIGNS.ORG, LLC has been selected by Twenty+Change (co-curated by Heather Dubbeldam and Lola Sheppard) as one of twenty “Emerging Canadian Design Practices” (2011) in Canada.

Politics, Challenges and Opportunities

Sean Martindale

This talk explores the critical role of post-consumer materials in Martindale’s sculptural interventions and discusses how similar approaches can apply to other practices. Sean Martindale (BDes, MFA) is an interdisciplinary artist and designer currently residing in Toronto, Canada. His interventions activate public and semi-public spaces to encourage engagement, often focused on ecological and social issues. His playful works question and suggest alternate possibilities for existing spaces, infrastructures and materials found in the urban environment.

Free City Paper: If You Want To Be Rich Tomorrow Buy A Landfill Today

Jp King

Jp King considers the future of the objects we make, use, love, and destroy, by presenting the findings of his Free Paper Project; which ran as a pop-up newspaper office in Whippersnapper Gallery this past summer, and invited responses surrounding waste, labour, and art. King concludes with his argument that we must come to understand our waste as a resource. Jp King is an artist, writer & publisher whose works explore contemporary mythology, masculinity, garbage, and collective activity. His collages have been exhibited throughout Canada, Brooklyn, Minnesota, and Stockholm. He runs a Risograph printing operation called Paper Pusher that focuses on affordable, limited-edition, innovative publications. /

Common Misconceptions of Minimalism, from ‘Coffee with an Architect’

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It’s Friday and I don’t feel like inundating our readers with another “What we’re reading” post, although I really enjoyed reading that Matta-Clark book and felt its relevance to the work being done at CUTMR (click here and here for reference). Instead, I will leave you with a little chuckle by re-posting from Jody Brown’s site: Coffee with an Architect.

Click here to access the original post.

SANAA model, white


“Minimalism will not require removal of all of your possessions: They will simply be made to feel inadequate and trite and eventually they will move on.

Minimalism will not be cold and aloof: However, It may be aloof, and then cold.

Minimalism will not match the furniture you currently own: No, in fact the presence of your furniture may make Minimalism feel uncomfortable.  Your furniture should leave Minimalism alone.

Minimalism will simplify your life: No, but it will make most of your life harder to access by placing it in multiple boxes carefully labeled and stacked in an unseen corner of the attic.

Minimalism will not like your dogs, nor will they like Minimalism: Cats will be fine.

Minimalism will begin as a striking burst of clarity: This will pass, eventually, you may notice a dull humming drone. This will not pass.

Minimalism is white: No, make that Arctic white or maybe Nordic Blanc.

Minimalism will require you to dress better: Seriously, look at yourself.

Minimalism will not be understood by your Mother: But, this may come in handy.

Minimalism will not cause divorce: unless your partner is just wrong.

Minimalism will not make spaces seem larger: Spaces will seem more expansive. That’s not the same thing.

Minimalism will not cost a lot of money: It will enable you to free yourself of most our your monetary responsibilities.

Minimalism will allow you to shower in private: No, that’s not going to happen. There will be a lot of glass, and multiple windows to the outside, and you will be on axis with something. So, just take your shower quickly and get out of there.

Minimalism will be appreciated by your neighbors. No, your neighbors will think you’re an ass who likes to shower in the open.

Minimalism will like your kids: Not really, they’re sticky. Keep them away from the chaise lounge.

Minimalism will cause OCD: No, but it may provide a fertile environment in which it can prosper.

Minimalism will somehow make your life more, I don’t know… centered? No, it won’t and it doesn’t sound like you deserve Minimalism. You might consider Arts and Crafts.

Minimalism will be simple: Yes, like gravity.

Minimalism will require the complete abandonment of all your individual personality, all that separates you from the pack, and defines who you are: Yes, but it will be better this way

Minimalism wants to kill you in your sleep: …., Maybe”


CUTMR 2012 Preview: Metropolis Living

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Metropolis Living is a collective of Industrial Design artists working with new and vintage materials to produce unique and memorable lighting, furnishings and art.  The collective includes Phil Freire of Metropolis-Living, ( Marco Pecota of Veni Vidi Vici Design Inc, ( and Michael M Murphy of The Rust Lab, (

A 5000 square foot studio/showroom located in Toronto’s Swansea neighbourhood, Metropolis Factory serves to showcase the works of these three Artists and their shared passion for the enduring appeal of Industrial Design. From internationally sourced, hand polished vintage selections, to commissioned pieces and collaborative custom projects, if it’s in need of industrial flair it can be found or created at The Metropolis Factory.
Industrial Revolution …. Reinvented.

CUTMR 2012 Preview: Skanda Lin and Matthew Blunderfield

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Skanda Lin was born in Guangdong, China and studied architecture at the University of Waterloo. She is now completing her Masters of Architecture at the University of Toronto. Matthew Blunderfield was born in Vancouver and studied English Literature at the University of British Columbia. He is now completing his Masters of Architecture at the University of Toronto. All images above are part of a 2010 project titled Colour Studies.

How Do You Make A Cenotaph For Alan Turing? from a larger 2011 project titled Cenotaph for Alan Turing




What we’re reading: Matta-Clark, part 2

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Conical Intersect is a multivalent work — part sculptural installation, part street theatre, part rectified readymade, part son et lumière — that nevertheless directly addressed timely issues in the urban landscape. As much as the work turned on a spatial intervention, it was its temporal dimension that in the end defined it. Begun in the last week of September 1975, in the mouldering, detritus-filled rooms of a derelict building slated for demolition, the piece was created in labour-intensive daily increments over a two-week span and remained on view until the second week of October, when another small team of workers appeared on the scene to initiate a different mode of deconstruction. Attaching the links of a metal chain around the rear staircase of the building, they worked in consort with a large crane that alternated between smashing sections of the outer walls and pulling apart chunks of bricks and beams. In a matter of hours, the building was reduced to a pile of debris.”

Excerpt from Bruce Jenkins, Gordon Matta-Clark: Conical Intersect, (London: Afterall Books, 2011) 41.
Photo by Deborah Wang, the reader.

CUTMR 2012 Preview: Sonia Tyagi

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Sonia Tyagi draws her inspiration from textiles.  In the triptych below, she describes how, at left, the textiles look before pattern cutting begins. At centre, the assembled fabric set aside for a specific work assumes the quality of a single unit, while at right, as she relates it, the colour story begins to unfold.

Sonia’s entry in CUTMR 2012 will be fabric-inspired, but for more details, you’ll have to wait until January.

CUTMR 2012 Preview: John Mestito and Roland Ulfig

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John Mestito and Roland Ulfig bring a bold graphic and architectural approach to their public installations, and CUTMR 2012 promises to be no exception.

Below, Roland Ulfig’s Meccano-set inspired “Some Assembly Required,” renders an illustration of a 3D object on a flat surface. It was displayed in the Stantec Window Gallery last summer.

John Mestito’s Audrey Lamp was displayed at the Toronto Interior Design Show a few years ago.  The fashion-inspired light fixture is formed of fibreglass and resin.

For the 6ème Manifestation Internationale Vidéo et Art Électronique, Ulfig worked with Tom Balaban to produce Mirage, a video installation of multi-layered linear distortion evoking waves of heat that seem to ripple the surface of a hot desert floor.

What we’re reading: Gordon Matta-Clark

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“The Paris Biennale [1975] provided [Gordon] Matta-Clark with an opportunity to work with the conical figure of projected light — the material in which [artist Anthony] McCall had rendered what he called his ‘solid light film’ performances. It is perhaps precisely this spatialised manifestation of light that was the inspiration for Matta-Clark’s vision of a ‘sound and light show’. Gerry Hovagimyan, one of the artist’s two assistant in the dusty enterprise on the rue Beaubourg, recalled that ‘Gordon and I talked about [Line Describing a Cone] a lot, and that’s what he was trying to do at Beaubourg. In fact, that was the first total Gestalt image he used in a building. […] Before Conical Intersect he used to chop everything apart.’ This paracinematic aspect of Conical Intersect conjoined, for the first time, Matta-Clark’s filmic ambitions with what he called his ‘anarchitectural’ practice of ‘making space without building it.'”

Excerpt from Bruce Jenkins, Gordon Matta-Clark: Conical Intersect, (London: Afterall Books, 2011) 39.
Photo by Deborah Wang, the reader.

CUTMR 2012 Preview: vÆry Studio

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vÆry Studio is Richard Philip D’Alessandro and Sonja Storey-Fleming, a duo with work spanning video, architectural concepts, and installations.

Below, a video still reflecting an ongoing examination of how natural forces can be used to challenge perceived boundaries and scale in architectural space. In this case, tide defines space by its dynamism and scalar variation, with subtle and immense forces made visible by their interaction with the form.

The contemporary form of this proposed transit terminal serves as a counterpoint to its urban setting — not imitating or blending in, but complementing the historic character of existing downtown Galt. This delightful tension between new and old, between sparkling and sombre, is poised to renew public interest in what is already a major downtown focal point.

‘Lantern Field’ is a pavilion and public light installation in the Humber River Reserve that creates a public space and destination, attracting distant spectators and engaging close visitors. A playful array of light encourages an interaction in an ethereal environment, promoting creative, thrilling, and unexpected encounters between people and place.


CUTMR 2012 Preview: RAD|LAB

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Within the framework of the Department of Architectural Science at Ryerson, RAD|LAB’s contributors and talents fluctuate, within its capacity to create an ever-evolving extrospective engine. Rooted in a culture of design inquiry and innovation, RAD|LAB’s contributors, though transient, explore contemporary design using visionary technologies and media. The LAB’s students employ tools ranging from advanced parametric software and microprocessors to a robust array of rapid prototyping technologies to bring their ideas to reality. The body is monitored and facilitated by Assistant Professor Vincent Hui, a full time faculty member within the Department.

Oxalis, an acoustically driven interactive membrane, is animated through an LED array:

Arthropod, below at left, is a lighting proposal investigating the illumination properties of wood:

The kinetic installation Bête Noir responds to light and motion:

See more of RAD|LAB’s work here.

Video: Come Up To My Room 2011

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Check out the video of Come Up To My Room 2011 by Matthew Nayman, Sean Manton and Pouyan Fard.

Come Up To My Room (CUTMR) is the Gladstone Hotel’s annual alternative design event. CUTMR invites artists and designers to show us what goes on inside their heads. Coming together in dialogue and collaboration, participants are limited only by their imaginations, making CUTMR one of the most exciting shows in Toronto. The four-day event is in its ninth year at the Gladstone Hotel, featuring 11 room installations and 13 public space projects

PechaKucha at the Garrison – Nov 3

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PechaKucha is an event where designers and design enthusiasts sharing inspiring work through slide presentations of 20 slides and 20 seconds per slide. Its high octane super casual and fun stuff!

PechaKucha Night in Toronto Vol. 11 will take place November 3 at The Garrison, an indie music venue and bar — organizer Vivien Leung has even compared to our PKN Tokyo venue of SuperDeluxe. Three words, “Design + Think + Passion,” are the theme for the night. The full list of presenters can be found on the official event page. The poster was designed by Trevor Embury.

CUTMR 2012 Preview: uA in collaboration with Robert Eland and Thomas Nemeskeri

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uA is an multi-disciplinary collective founded in 2010 by James Brazil, César Daoud and Nicholas Waissbluth in Barcelona, Spain. The group is structured as a “cloud network” engaging ‘u’nsolicitated ‘A’ction projects in architecture and urbanism. Through ongoing workshops, public events, performances and exhibitions by uA members in 3 different continents, the decentralized studio aims to merge its diverse cultural knowledge with ongoing new technologies, creating new models of participatory design and fabrication.

(Above) At the 2011 EASA conference in Cadiz, Spain, uA hosted a workshop entitled:  Urban Body Trans*Plant. Investigating how the architect and designer can identify and suggest simple transformations of urban space to improve everyday life, the workshop is a performative look at the psychogeographic reading of the city’s urban spaces.

Temp de Flors. Girona, Spain

Temps de Flors is a flower exhibition which takes place each year within the streets, alleys, courtyards, gardens and monuments of old-town Girona. “A wooden crate drops from the sky. A gift spills out onto the cobblestones. The city converses with this dynamic motion of the flow; lowering its resolution as it takes the form of the staircase, suspending it in time.”


Mold_One. Canada

Mold_one is a material + design exploration into multi-use furniture. The double sided “bench” can be flipped on either side to be a single or multi-person seat. Materials: Wood, Fiberglass, Gelcoat finish

CUTMR 2012 Preview: Wendy W Fok

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Wall prototype

Wendy W Fok (Artist/Architectural Designer/Urbanist) director/founder and designer for WE-DESIGNS.ORG, LLC (Architecture) and studio-WF (Art), winner of the Hong Kong Young Design Talent Award (2009) and a selected designer of the Perspective 40 under 40 Award (2011) has a Master of Architecture & Certification of Urban Policy/Planning from Princeton University. Notably, WE-DESIGNS.ORG, LLC has been selected by Twenty+Change (co-curated by Heather Dubbeldam and Lola Sheppard) as one of twenty Emerging Canadian Design Practices (2011) in Canada.

Bartlett-Kinetic Research

Fok has an international background from Vienna, New York, London, Paris, Tokyo, Beijing, Hong Kong and Canada. While having worked on several international architectural projects, exhibitions, and competitions, her art installations have also been displayed in Hong Kong, Shanghai, New York, Athens, Venice (12th Biennale di Venezia – Architecture), and Prague. Upcoming installations include presentations at the Aalto Academy in Finland, Pecha Kucha Toronto, and more.


Material research 

Fok’s interests are towards investigations of contextual and content-related natures of fabrication, and cradle-to-cradle material investigations that compliment scaled prototypes within architectural design. Meanwhile, her design methodology is to challenge the dynamic significance in structuring and mapping the ideals of art, architecture, and urbanism within the processes of [design | optimisation | fabrication] for sustainable planning, interactive design, material research, and alternative methods of fabrication with progressive aims within the built environment.

Workshop Matsys

Currently, Fok is an Assistant Professor and Lead of the Digital Media and Design Program at the Gerald D Hines College of Architecture at the University of Houston, and an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong’s School of Architecture teaching Material/Fabrication Graduate Studios. Fok is also the founder and administrator of (C)ODE-(C)OLLECTIVE: GH + Digital Script + Code Collective—a  collective forum for Grasshopper, Rhino, Parametric Modeling, and other digital design tools, which pose as an educational and developing archive site to formulate the critical utility of digital tools. She is also Contributing / Overseas Editor for the a+a magazine, published by the Architectural Society of China.


CUTRM 2012 Preview: Void Engineering

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brise soleil

Void Engineering is a design co-operative of eight students from the University of Waterloo School of Architecture. The co-operative has a diverse background, with strengths ranging from strong conceptual design to comprehensive applied skills. Each member contributes a unique set of abilities and perspectives to the group dynamic. In addition to the team’s independent and academic pursuits, each member has professional experience in architectural design from cities including Toronto, Vancouver, Shanghai, New York, and Cape Town. This combination of abilities in architectural theory and technological exploration has influenced the way Void Engineering perceives space and designs as a group. Through its work, the co-operative aims to explore how human interactions and senses can be heightened through immersive environments that engage the user through more than just visual stimulation. Members of the practice have worked on a wide variety of installations and spatial work, including large-scale recyclable sculptures, small design-build projects as well as numerous architectural designs and visualizations.

Digifest 2011

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One of the most compelling festivals the city has to offer is Digifest! It starts next week so you had better grab your tickets soon.

Digifest is Toronto’s international festival celebrating innovation and digital creativity. From October 26-30, we will be bringing together some of the world’s best and brightest to showcase next generation digital art & design. Established and emerging designers, technologists and artists will come together during Digifest for presentations, incredible demos, interactive exhibitions and parties. Attendees will learn about the latest trends and experience innovations firsthand.

Digifest showcases digital media creativity in Toronto, bringing together academic, industry and the public to experience the convergence of interactive & mobile media, gaming, art and design, architecture, simulation and more. Digifest will celebrate the latest achievements in visualization, simulation and interaction in many fields, inspiring and connecting all involved.

Exhibition Design Lecture Series

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November 1, 2011 – 6.30 pm – 8.30 pm

Presented by the Design Exchange, STORYTELLERS: Exhibition Design Lecture Series is aimed at exploring the various elements of exhibition design from conception to presentation. This two-part series will provide an overview of fundamental curatorial practices through the lens of diverse curatorial perspectives.


David Liss – Artistic Director & Curator,  Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art

Jacqueline Tang – Senior Designer,  Lord Cultural Resources

Shirley Madill – Executive Director,  Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery
Curator of Zone B at ScotiaBank, Nuit Blanche, 2011

Pay What You Can
Recommended Donation $10

To confirm attendance please email
Noa at

CUTMR 2012 Preview: Allan Wes Wilson & Matt Peddie

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The installation investigates the dialectic between architecture as a physical mechanism, and the imaginative potential of architectural works. A field of 28 tripods are arranged in a grid forming a series of planar landscapes. Attached to each is a hand-wound bracket housing a pin, collectively wired in series to a main trigger. Balloons filled with a fine powder hover just above these menacing agents of destruction. When the contraption is engaged a discreet elevation emerges as a ghosted façade.

The result is an architecture which lasts for mere seconds.


The project studies the movement of flowing water: steam, a river’s turbulence, and the meeting of wind and water have been captured and translated into three dimensional forms. The works seek to give material expression to the movement of water. Water is, by definition, always changing, either flowing or freezing, evaporating or thawing, and to give expression to this movement required the development of sensitive means of observation, translation, and fabrication.

Aside from the focus on technology, the project required careful attention to technique, materiality, form, and beauty.

Ceiling, Northhouse

The ceiling design for the Joint university submission -University of Waterloo, Simon Fraiser University and Ryerson University- to the 2009 solar decathlon in Washington D.C is derived from out of a process of rapid and iterative prototyping.

Using the outlying constraints of building code requirements, material availability, recessed furniture allowances and fabrication time limitations, as parametric information, the resultant field of over 5000 unique fabric cones provides both sound dampening and light diffusion for the live/work studio space of the 700 SQ.F. North House

CUTMR 2012 Preview: We Three

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Planespotting: The Kai Tak Project

For his thesis in architecture, Dominique Cheng transformed the city of Kowloon, Hong Kong into a performative interface that referenced the extraordinary landing approaches into (now defunct) Kai Tak International Airport.

Industrial Myth-Making on the St. Lawrence Seaway

For her thesis in architecture, Kristina Ljubanovic focused on an area of Ontario, east of Cornwall, flooded in 1958 for the St. Lawrence Seaway expansion. Through artifact, architecture, program, film and narrative—and delivered via installation—the work seeks to disseminate the history/story of Ontario’s Lost Villages to a wider public.

Here to There

Half map and half puzzle, this book by Lauren Wickware tells the story of a daily journey, from home to work and back. Using patterns derived from sidewalk cracks and random glimpses of images, the viewer is able to reassemble the path taken by folding the pages into various configurations.

Public Displays of Affection Art Fundraiser: Hallowe’en Edition

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The CUTMR alumni of PDA are holding another Art Fundraiser — a silent auction with proceeds going to the 40 Oaks project.

If you’re not already familiar with Public Displays of Affection: they’re a loosely-structured collective of Torontonians dedicated to community-engaged design. They’ve completed projects like PDA for Edmond Place, which furnished a Parkdale affordable housing complex with pieces either made by residents through workshops or donated by local designers. They’re currently working on something similar, PDA for 40 Oaks, a Regent Park Revitalisation project that will provide furnishings and interior design to the 40 Oaks affordable housing complex.

To help cover the costs of documentation, PDA is holding a fundraiser, something you can be a part of in two ways: if you’re an artist or designer, consider donating a work of art for the fundraiser.  Anything, from a small print on up, would be appreciated. Details on how to submit your work are on PDA’s website.

Part 2: stop by the Gladstone Hotel on October 31st between 8pm and midnight to place a bid in the silent auction, and take home an original work of art. There will be DJs, dancing, Hallowe’en reverie, and a chance to bid on what will surely be an outrageous diversity of original art.

CUTMR 2012 Preview: Hyungshin Hwang

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As a child, Hyungshin’s family moved often. As a result of the new urban planning policy of his native Korea, his family often had to relocate as their home would be torn down to accommodate newer developments. As the walls crumbled back to stone, his childhood memories were left without evidence. Later, he would collect the debris from these buildings, in the hopes of gathering the pieces and like a puzzle reassemble the discarded elements into a recognizable shape. And with this found dust he reclaimed not only evidences of his past memories but also the life cycle of the modern concrete jungle.

In his first travels to Europe he was surprised by the architectural history, having come  from a country  he felt was addicted to building and re-building, where new was all too quickly replacing the old. It was these interests that led the Hyungshin to explore the disappearing forms within the quickly mutating society in which he lives.

CUTMR 2012 Preview: TOMA

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TOMA is a design studio producing playful urban objects that bring a bright spot to everyday life with a wink of humour and a sparkling spirit. Because they have been conceived by graphic designers, these objects mix form and function in a visual syntax that also includes their presentation and packaging.

Bootwear Mats are made in polyethylene and available in a water drops or street grid design. Bootwear mats explore our relationship with the weather in a playful, practical manner.

Trivets are a family of five CNC (computer numerically cut) Russian birch plywood designs and one cork design all providing heat resistance to protect tables/countertops. They may be grouped together to create a table centre.

Inside Out describes a range of products with fluid lines. The collection endows daily rituals with a touch of humour while taking a new look at the objects around us. The line offers practical, aesthetically pleasing objects composed of plain, recyclable materials.

CUTMR 2012 Preview: Fugitive Glue

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Fugitive Glue is led by Jano Badovinac and Ryan Wilding, a design solutions agency with a diverse team of multidisciplinary talents spanning everything from multimedia to industrial design.  In their own words, they “cut, paste, staple, dance, sketch, build, paint, up-hoard, laugh, bike, sew, photograph, write, dumpster dive, push pixels, make videos, quote the Simpsons, laugh some more, and generally have fun doing what they  love.  FG is creative enough to solve any design problem, and smart enough to win the science fair. It can dress up like it’s picture day and be fun like finger painting, only better.”

You can see more of what they’ve been working on at

Ad Banner Blind

Vinyl outdoor ad banners are thrown in the trash every day when they could be used to create clever and beautiful products. Layering this perforated vinyl over your window as an alternative to a fabric blind creates a scrambled effect along with layered type that will make any design nerd want one.

Depo Deco DIY

Depo Deco is an ongoing DIY project. Roam a Home Depot store, fill your cart with random parts and then “MacGyver” it into something wild and wonderful. We love the “Eureka” moment when all of the unrelated components fit together perfectly and you realize how versatile, affordable and accessible design can be.


Using the old “Gun in the Bible” jail-break trick as our inspiration, we decided to up-cycle the now largely obsolete telephone book into a beautifully bound hardcover. Great for those who’d rather reach for their bookshelf than their toolbox.

CUTMR 2012 Preview: Interstice Studio

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Interstice Studio is Victoria Beltrano, Fiona Lim-Tung, and Kristen Lim-Tung.

Fiona and Kristen are returning CUTMRers; in 2010, together with Lisa Keophila and Jonathan Margono, they created a bedroom installation featuring a canopy of paper flowers.

The sisters continued their work with paper for a photographic collaboration based on the concept of a menagerie.  Here’s their representation of the lobster:

Kristen also creates solo works in porcelain, like these geodesic vessels, and below, a brooch with a tiny hand-painted airplane:

Joining them in 2012 to complete the trio of Interstice Studio is Victoria Beltrano.  Victoria has turned a vacant commercial building into an urban snow globe, a projection-based installation completed as a part of an event call Unsilent Night:

Victoria also collaborated on a series of urban furniture installations, designed specifically for five sites around Sudbury with the intention of tapping the unused potential of the sites.  From Public Potentials / Localized Infrastructures, this chess table and chairs invites people to sit and play:

In 2012, Interstice Studio will be exploring new territory, applying their unique approach to creating detail to new materials.  Stay tuned!

Meet TO DO: Toronto Design Offsite Warm-Up

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Wednesday, September 21, 2011, 8-11 PM
Gladstone Hotel, Second Floor Gallery
1214 Queen Street West, Toronto

Celebrate what’s great about design in Toronto at the Meet TO DO: Toronto Design Offsite Warm-Up. The TO DO Steering Committee invites designers and design enthusiasts to come to the Gladstone Hotel for a relaxed, social gathering — like a house warming, but not at our house. Have a drink, chat with the organizers, curators and makers of Toronto Design Week exhibitions and events, meet contemporary artists and designers, and get excited about … design!

Toronto Design Offsite (TO DO) is a comprehensive guide to exhibitions and events happening across the city during Toronto Design Week. Formed by an association of several ‘offsite’ shows, all of our exhibitions and events feature and promote the best in new, Canadian practices – not only the art and design within each show, but also the ways they are organized, curated and produced – as well as contemporary international design.

TO DO is a self-funded, membership-based, collaborative initiative committed to promoting top-notch exhibitions and events during Toronto Design Week. Our web- and print-based advertising, social media, and iPhone App, provides the public and media with up-to-date information about the exhibitions and events listed with TO DO. In this way, TO DO also operates as a resource and guide for accessing great art and design.

Joy Charbonneau (Associates, Tools, Heavy Metal), Shaun Moore and Julie Nicholson (MADE at Home, Radiant Dark), Katherine Morley and Erin McCutcheon (Capacity), Jeremy Vandermeij, and David Dick-Agnew, Noa Bronstein and Deborah Wang (Come Up To My Room) form TO DO’s steering committee.


For more information, please contact:

Shaun Moore or Julie Nicholson, MADE
416 607 6384

Let’s Talk — open call for expressions of interest

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Let’s Talk: Disposability

Call for Expressions of Interest

Come Up To My Room, the Gladstone Hotel’s annual alternative design show, is seeking expressions of interest for their design talks on Saturday, January 28, 2012.

The theme of Let’s Talk is DISPOSABILITY. Taken in its broadest, strictest, object-oriented or ephemeral sense, these talks explore disposable, ubiquitous objects and the reactionary repurposing of such objects, while also investigating abstracted notions of disposability.

Potential topics include: design and throw-away culture; private/public memory and the ephemeral; the culture of disposability; dissolution and decay; permanence and materiality; transience; the lifecycles of objects; information and communication technologies (ICTs) and disposability; the impact of disposable lifestyles on the environment and/or economics.

Let’s Talk will take place at the Gladstone Hotel on Saturday, January 28 from 11:00am to 1:00pm. Talks should be 15 minutes in length, accompanied by an optional image-based or Powerpoint presentation. The talks will conclude with a moderated question and answer period addressed to all presenters.

This call is open to the public, and we are looking for a broad range of topics and ideas; surprise us!

Please submit an Abstract or Expression of Interest (200-500 words) and CV to Noa Bronstein, Co-Curator, Come Up To My Room, at

Application deadline: October 24, 2011
Selection notification: November 10, 2011

CUTMR 2012 Preview: Sam Mogelonsky

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My Second Archipelago Fimo, expandable foam, wood, wax, paint, 2010

Drawing conceptual influence from literary sources, these sculptural ‘island’ forms build an imaginary ‘little world’ for the viewer to experience. They retain the so-called child-like qualities of construction, but reflect the intricate situation details of my practice and merge the ‘made’ with found kitsch objects.

Night Roses, 2010

This was a 12-hour performance at the Gladstone Hotel during Nuit Blanche Toronto 2010. Visitors helped fill the room with 300lbs of hand-made roses, which slowly followed the architecture of the room, as they grew from one back corner of the space. This project received exhibition assistance from the Ontario Arts Council.

The molten word, bronze, 2005-2011

A hollow cast in wax of a typewriter was made in 2005. I gave this to my father, who put it on a table in his office, allowing the sun to hit it in the same spot for 5 years. It gradually melted and fell in on itself, forming a ‘happy accident’ that we gradually saw unfolding. It was then cast in bronze, ending the process and creating an impossible and inherently nostalgic object.

Message in a bottle (in progress), cast resin, 2011

This project plays on the idea of a ‘message in a bottle’ as floating away form a deserted island for help and also being a wishful and hopeful. The clear bottles are cast form dolls house/ antique bottles and rest on the floor, unable to move and reach an intended or accidental destination.


For Come Up To My Room 2012, Sam will be collaborating with Bruno Billio.
Click here to read an article about Bruno.



CUTMR 2012 Preview: Janna Watson and Katrina Tompkins for Tinsel & Sawdust

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Process shot of Set Table with the curly cutlery cut outs and the solid maple top

Sitting pretty in the alley waiting to get delivered; Set Table with solid walnut pedestal base

Project: Katrina Tompkins, Set Table, May 2011
Statement: The client wanted an eating table where his three daughters would always feel welcomed and appreciated.

Birdie bling

Project: Janna Watson, Birdie bling
Statement: This work is complete, but also the beginning of a a new process with spray painting.  The thing about paint is you can never hold it until it is a painting, but at that point you can only behold it.

#1 graffiti project

Project: Janna Watson, #1 graffiti project
Statement: Creating heaven for the garbage cans


CUTMR 2012 Preview: DarkLab

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DarkLab is Deane Hughes and Christine Beaumont.

DarkLab is currently working on an interactive art installation for the upcoming Nuit Blanche.

As visitors enter the installation, their movements are transformed using echolocation technology into a blend of light, video and 3D audio that constantly re-generates, morphs and immerses the participants. Combining computer vision software, generative sound, and graphic theory to create an evolving multi-media composition, “The Sound is Watching You” allows participants to become instruments of light and sound – moving, dancing, and gliding through a space that they have helped to create.

You can see more here.

That’s not the only contribution DarkLab’s members are making to Nuit Blanche 2011: Chris and Deane were part of a 20-member team of fabricators, technologists and visionaries that help build and install The Heart Machine, a  massive fire-art installation for last year’s Burning Man in the Nevada Desert.  Spanning over 60 feet across, the project was a huge success that combined electronics, flame and sculpture to allow a unique level of audience interaction and participation with a piece of this size.   The Heart Machine is currently being “upgraded” and will be making another appearance at this year’s Scotiabank Nuit Blanche.

You can see more of the Burning Man appearance here.

When making music, Deane also goes by Akumu, the name under which he recently released Between Worlds, a video and multi-source DVD/CD, complete with a 60-minute abstract surround-sound score and experimental video series.   This work delves into that suspended moment at the end of one’s existence. At times calming and at times unsettling, it explores the languid balance within the fraction of dying and living to produce a score that is peaceful, hypnotic and ever so slightly… unnerving.

You can explore more here, including videos and teasers.

Chris, meanwhile, is a sculptor working in metal and other materials. Some of her recent work incorporates large rocks which are wrapped with metal in a way that expresses the strength and persistence of a living thing when it is allowed to grow gradually and naturally.

Stay tuned for more previews!

CUTMR 2012 Preview: archiTEXT

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What Has Architecture Done for You Lately, 2009 exhibit curated by archiTEXT, at the Design Exchange

archiTEXT community-wide workshop
archiTEXT is a multidisciplinary design consultancy and creativity think tank comprised of a team of eclectic, dynamic, and creative young people – from the world of design, business, research, art and various other places – who use design and creativity as a tools for discourse, impact, and to engage the public. As a design consultancy, archiTEXT engages organizations with creativity – offering creative collaboration on idea cultivation, strategy development and concept execution. As a creativity think tank, archiTEXT is the place to research, play, explore and engage with a variety of creative, traditional, and non-traditional media. archiTEXT is involved in innovation in design thinking, communities and design, and the exploration of putting design and creativity into the hands of those that usually do not engage with it, allowing them to explore and play with design as a change- making tool.

CUTMR 2012 Preview: Lost Nation

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Lost Nation believes in bringing a little bit of nature into the home. Heavily inspired by the forest wood worker Katie Barnstaple creates pieces that reflect her love of the woods and that showcase the incredible beauty of the material: wood. The Lost Nation philosophy is a simple one. Create beauty on a small sustainable level, source materials that are native to this land, and spend as much time in the forest as possible. Katie will be bringing some of her forest-inspired wood pieces to the CUTMR 2012 public spaces.

CUTMR 2012 Preview: Gareth Bate

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Gareth Bate, Installation for "Corps Intérieur" (Inner Body), Montreal

The installation for Corps Intérieur (Inner Body) was collaboration with David Pressault, a Montreal choreographer. The experimental contemporary dance was performed at the Monument National theatre in Montreal in Jan 09 and then remounted in Dec. 09. The immersive 200-foot multi-level environment allowed the audience to wander freely in a glowing underworld reminiscent of an ancient cave or pulsing inner body.

Gareth Bate, Plastic Paintings Self-Portrait Installation, High Park, Toronto

This piece came about during a time when Gareth couldn’t think of what to do next. So he just started painting self-portraits on pieces of torn up plastic tarp. Over several weeks they started to accumulate into a full wall work. Later he took them outside and photographed them hanging in trees and stuck in the snow in Toronto’s High Park. For Gareth they are about  trying to find a relationship with nature while living in the city.

Gareth Bate, Digital Rendering of the Fleshed Out installation at Gareth Bate Art Projects, 401 Richmond St. West, Toronto

Gareth Bate is planning an installation for Fleshed Out a collaboration with Montreal choreographer David Pressault and Toronto dancer Shannon Litzenberger. At its core, Fleshed Out explores the relationship between technology and the body, and how this relationship is quickly evolving. The installation will be an immersive experience like being inside a giant computer circuit board made entirely of found objects and obsolete computer parts.


CUTMR 2012 Preview: Carolyn Fearman & Robin Porter

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Piazza Installation; Rome, Italy

Carolyn is currently completing her Masters of Architecture at the University of Waterloo. Her academic work focuses on stimulating the re-growth of Buffalo through its urban artifacts. She has worked in both Toronto and New York, most recently for Toronto’s Paul Raff Studio. Professionally her experience ranges in scale from urban master planning to millwork and furniture design.

Robin currently works as a copywriter at Toronto based advertising agency, MacLaren Momentum. Aside from the web content and radio and television commercials she writes for work, Robin has also produced short stories and other writing projects, as well as visual art projects focusing on the use of collage.

Dining Pavilion; Ontario, Canada

Collage Piece

Together, we developed AreWeDating?, a twitter account with a satirical look at the world of dating and has an ever increasing number of followers.

CUTMR 2012 Preview: Matthew Davis and Aurelia Adams

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The participants for the 9th annual show — taking place this January 27 to 29th (mark your calendars now!) — have been selected!  Over the coming months, we’ll be introducing (or re-introducing) you to the brave exhibitors you can expect to see.

The distinction of being first belongs to Matthew Davis and Aurelia Adams, both architecture students at the University of Waterloo.  Adams has explored her interest in interactive spacial interaction interning with Parkin Architects (Toronto), Aquitectonica (Miami), and del Río Núñez (Santiago).  Davis followed his interests in architecture, identity and brand development to internships with KPF (New York), Aquitectonica (Paris), and Coop Himmelb(l)au (Vienna).

In the images below, you can see their poster, It’s Been Fun, made from images collected during their travels; their complete brand identity for FTAN, a solar energy startup; and Distorting the Big Box, a concept for a hybrid form of big box architecture that integrates agriculture and residential space.

You can see more of Davis’s work here.

What is Your Capacity….

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….To Understand? To withstand? To produce? To learn? To love? Is your cup half full or is it half empty? How much of who you are is what you collect? Is infinity possible? Ten of Toronto’s top industrial, graphic, textile and product designers– Maiwenn Castellan, Joy Charbonneau, Michelle Ivankovic, Arounna Khounnoraj, Erin McCutcheon, Katherine Morley, Nathalie Nahas, Ayla Newhouse, Ange-line Tetrault, and Kirsten White– grapple with the concept of ‘CAPACITY’ and how it applies to who we are and what we do.

Capacity 2011 premiered during Design Week at bookhou and will be opening at the Design Exchange on August 25, 2011. Come by to meet the designers and curators, Katherine Morley (past CUTMR curator) and Erin McCutcheon at the opening reception on August 26, 2011 from 6.30 pm to 8.30 pm at the DX or at the Capacity talk entitled Design and Gender? on August 29, 2011. The reception and talk is open to the public, all are welcome.

FEAST 03, call for proposals

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Artist Sean Martindale presents his FEAST 01 grant-winning project at FEAST 02

feast 03 TORONTO


FEAST (Funding Engaging Actions with Sustainable Tactics) Toronto is a series of community dinners and micro-funding events. During each dinner, artists, designers and groups are invited to present proposals for art- or design-based projects. Everyone attending the dinner votes on which project they would like to fund, and the project with the most votes is given a grant from the money raised from the ticket sales. The artist or group chosen will be invited back to the next FEAST to present their completed project.

We are looking for proposals for the next FEAST, edition 03, taking place on Sunday, September 25, 2011 at XPACE Cultural Centre, 58 Ossington Avenue, Toronto. This FEAST will happen concurrently with other events as part of The Soup Network.

FEAST 03 proposals should include:

A Project Summary (1), and the answers to the following questions:
(2) How will you use funding to realize your project?
(3) Why is this project critical to the FEAST community (e.g. why would the FEAST community be interested in supporting your project)?
(4) The names and contact information for all of your presenters

Each of the chosen participants presents a 5-7 minute presentation to the gathered guests over dinner, and then everyone gets a chance to vote on which projects they would like to fund.  The money raised from the dinner (estimated at $700+, plus a 1 week studio rental or rehearsal space at Toronto Free Gallery) will go to fund the chosen project.  We will also have a separate student grant of $300.

Each section of the proposal (1-4) should be no longer than 100 words.  Remember these will be short presentations, so keep it brief and to the point!  In order to be considered for FEAST funding, you must be able to attend the dinner event. Tickets for this locally-sourced, vegetarian dinner will be $20-30, and $10 for students.

+ Proposals are due by Wednesday, September 7, 2011.
+ Email your complete proposals to with the subject line: FEAST 03 Submission. Please indicate clearly on your proposal if you are applying for the student grant.

FEAST Toronto was founded by Amber Landgraff and Deborah Wang. This event is co-presented by XPACE Cultural Centre, and sponsored by Toronto Free Gallery. See for details, photos and sponsors of previous FEAST events. If you would like to support feast with a donation of any amount, please contact us at

CUTMR 2011 — TUG

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TUG – Toronto Upcycling Group – is Kaveri Joseph, Christine Lieu, Jessica Ching, Carrie Liang and Heidi Mok. The team of industrial designers, collectors, makers, and self -proclaimed food and drink enthusiasts and ninjas designed a woven lighting structure and tapestry for CUTMR 2011. The structure which adorned the ceiling and walls of the Gladstone Cafe employed a non-linear weaving technique which created an airy mass, as light peaked through overlapping and open spaces.


CUTMR 2011 – Jen Spinner

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Jen Spinner is an artist and graphic designer, whose works explore urban environments through paper models and sculpture. For CUTMR 2011, Jen constructed a series of miniature, paper-made fire escapes. By creating a transformative space, ESCAPES III, asked the viewer to consider their relationship with these iron structures.

Jen Spinner

CUTMR — Orest Tataryn

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The Melody Bar got a colour injection from local artist Orest Tataryn, who should be no stranger to fans of Come Up To My Room — his works were featured in 2006 and 2010, as well as in many galleries across the city.  For 2011, Tataryn’s signature use of light and colour enlivened the Gladstone’s music venue, and was visible through the window to all passers-by.

You can see more of Tataryn’s work here, or visit the artist’s website.

IWB Year End Exhibition

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Check out a year’s worth of work from the students from the Institute Without Boundaries.  The opening reception is next Friday, June 3, 2011, 7 – 10 p.m.

School of Design, George Brown College
230 Richmond St. East, Toronto
(Side entrance off laneway)

This project aims to use collaboration and interdisciplinary design to create a revitalization plan for Lota that incorporates resilient and sustainable design strategies that will contribute to long-term, positive change for the city.

The class and a few faculty went down at the end of October 2010, along with a group of students from Carleton University studying Industrial Design. Once in Chile, we partnered with a group of design students from DoucUC Concepcion. (A university in Concepcion – the 2nd biggest city in Chile, only an hr. from Lota) and with the municipality of Lota. The point of our trip was to research and amass as much information as possible about the city and the community, and to have a first-hand understanding of the city. We divided into four research groups, looking at -Community, Economy, Place, and Communications. We visited many parts of the city, and interviewed many residents, in order to gain information and hear the stories directly from the community members themselves. We had a quick design charette in Lota at the end of our trip with students from Carleton, DuocUC and a local technical college, to develop ideas and concepts, and get the feedback from the community.


Institute without Boundaries 2011

Lota, Chile a city of 50,000, was devastated by an earthquake in 2010. Today, Lota’s
unemployment rate is 20 percent with 10,000 people living in temporary housing. See how
nine students collaborated to provide a revitalization plan for a city in distress.

PEOPLE CHANGE PLACES is the celebration for this year’s student project at the Institute without
Boundaries (IwB). The IwB collaborated with Lota, Chile, a former mining community that was
devastated, first by its mine’s closure in 1997 and again by an earthquake in February 2010. The team
worked together with the people of Lota, industry partners, advisers, and students from Ottawa, Chile,
Toronto and around the world to develop a revitalization strategy designed to empower the community
in order to help them realize a prosperous and resilient future.

This exhibit, book, and video launch highlights People Change Places, a design strategy for rebuilding
Lota through design interventions and a revitalization plan.

The interactive exhibit provides a tactile interaction with the People Change Places content; the website
serves as a digital archive of all projects completed over the year; a film “Agents for Change” takes
a closer look at those individuals making change happen in their communities, here in Toronto and
around the world; the book People Change Places is a revitalization plan for the municiaplity of Lota.

The event will be attended by the IwB students, the faculty and advisers of the program, the Chilean
consul-general, industry professionals and academics. This event is a follow-up to a previous fundraiser
and exhibits, including an installation at the Interior Design Show and an accompanying offsite event.
Additionally, People Change Places has received coverage in the Toronto Star, the Walrus and other
print and online publications.

The IwB is a unique post-graduate program at George Brown College that brings together design
thinkers from diverse backgrounds and education to work collaboratively to create economic,
environmental and social innovation. The IwB’s current project, City Systems, explores the design of the
built environment and examines the underlying systems that make up the fabric of our cities.

Food and drinks to be served.

Visit, or for more
information. Contact or Sebastian Whyte at (416) 415 5000 x. 8070

Media preview on June 3, between 3 and 4 p.m. Please contact to confirm viewing.

CUTMR 2011 –LeuWebb Projects

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Christine Leu and Alan Webb wowed visitors and LoveDesign party-goers with their transformation of weather balloons into a multi-media installation in the Gladstone Hotel’s ballroom. Since then, the duo were asked to create another installation with their now-well-used balloons (entitled ‘Deep Sky Object’) for the Ontario Craft Council’s May 2011 fundraiser.













CUTMR 2011 — The Brothers Dressler

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Longtime friends of the show Jason and Lars Dressler were in the spotlight during Toronto Design Week 2011, hosting an entire pavilion at the Interior Design Show.  But they saved one piece for CUTMR.  With its Frankensteinian aspect, perhaps the Treebuilt floor lamp was just a little too out there for IDS — but it fit right in among the eclectica of the Gladstone.  Made from pieces of unfinished wood joined together with metal joints and wire support an undulating glass diffuser, this piece resembled a tree encased with ice re-imagined as a cyborg.

You can see more of the Brothers Dressler’s designs on their website, including the Back to the Drafting Board chaise that premiered at CUTMR 2008 (and which is one of the most flawless pieces of design you could ever hope to sit on).  We’ve also got an interview with the brothers about the Treebuilt system and the future of their Toronto workshop.

CUTMR 2011 — Patrick Svilans

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Patrick Svilans kinetic “machines”, that the recent industrial design grad uses to express philosophical thoughts and concepts, captured the keen attention of several CUTMR visitors who noticed that these devices were capable of intriguing and simple yet ingenious movements.


CUTMR 2011 — Chaos Theory

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Becky Lane and Chrissy Poitras — also known as Chaos Theory — combine aspects of both art and design into their projects.  Lane’s background in interior design may be behind her fascination with incorporating found objects in her work, while Poitras’s training as a painter and printmaker is evident in the more graphic elements of their work.  Together, they’ve produced paintings, sculptures, and prints that revel in the spontaneous and accidental collision of images around us.

For Come Up To My Room, discarded clocks formed the centrepiece of a colourful tower adorned with papier maché.

CUTMR 2011 — Zeidler & Lehtinen

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CUTMR founder Christina Zeidler and designer Deanne Lehtinen’s lighting triptych created an ambience of multiple hues. Comprised of a myriad of sunglasses and glasses, the duo inventively re-purposed these shades to form another kind of shade that refracted and reflected light playfully onto the walls, floors and ceiling of the historic hotel.


CUTMR 2011 – Pamila Matharu

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Pamila Matharu is an independent artist, cultural producer and educator. Since 1994, she has been engaged in the Toronto visual arts community/sector, her art practice is rooted in organizing projects, photography, film, video, and installation based work. She currently teaches Visuals Arts and Social Studies at SEED Alternative School, founded in 1968, the first alternative school in Canada. Pamila is also one of the founding curators of CUTMR and she contributed to CUTMR 2011 with three works, exhibited in the pubic space.

CUTMR 2011 — Frank de Jong

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Frank de Jong’s bench, cleverly made of reused cork samples, can be fitted together in a few ways to accommodate different seating orientations and combinations. At CUTMR 2011, it received a paper heart from Azure Magazine indicating its status as 1 of only 100 of the magazine’s fave design picks, as awarded by its editors.

CUTMR 2011 — Mark McLean

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Mark McLean may be a newcomer to Toronto’s design scene, but you’d never guess looking at his Dollar Store Triptych — three popular pieces assembled from objects commonly found in dollar stores, objects familiar enough to Canadians that the work resonated with an almost nostalgic quality.

The first panel, at a glance, had a fibrous texture a little reminiscent of an acoustic ceiling tile, but with with a more yielding appearance, and emblazoned with a hand flashing the peace sign.  Closer inspection revealed thousands of tiny plastic Army men, congealed into a single mass under a thick coat of paint.

The middle panel riffed playfully on the Canadiana so ubiquitous to touristy roadside stores, collaging flag stickers into that most Canadian of icons, the moose.

On the right, landing somewhere between fireworks and household brushes, this series of puffy vortices were impossible to miss.  Viewers were first sucked in by the unusual yet oddly familiar forms, and then confronted by an irresistible urge to touch.  The tactile quality of the work was as important as the visual, in this case, and in playing with the work, its true construction is revealed — deceptively simple, the entire structure is made of electric fan covers adorned with pull-ties in carefully arranged patterns.

See more of Mark’s work here, or read his blog here.

CUTMR 2011 – Denise Ing & Ken Leung

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Denise Ing is a former resident artist at the Living Arts Centre whose work has been exhibited at Queen’s Park and Harbourfront Centre. Ken Leung is a multidisciplinary designer and artist. For CUTMR the duo designed a unique interactive experience. The installation consisted of two large inflatable hands, one of which was controlled by CUTMR visitors, and the other by users on the Internet (through a web interface). CUTMR visitors could inflate one of the hands by moving in front of a motion sensor, while web users blew up the other large hand by clicking on a button provided on the website. The piece posed as an au courant microcosm for the battle between the real and the virtual.

Denise Ing

Ken Leung

CUTMR 2011 — Rina Grosman & Vivien Cheng

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If CUTMR 2011 could be said to have a centrepiece, it would have to be Rina Grosman and Vivien Cheng’s room-enveloping installation Macrobiotic.  The orthogonal planes of the Gladstone’s alcove were rendered unrecognizable, buried under clusters of alveoli-like orbs.  Evoking everything from bacilli to puffy white clouds, there’s something oddly comforting about the installation’s organic contours and texture.

You can see more of their work here, or read an interview with the duo here.

CUTMR 2011 — Map Collective

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Map Collective is Patricia Joong and Andrew Chau. For CUTMR 2011, these recent architecture graduates of McGill proposed a dynamic installation. The plush, colourful tree forms of Treehugger — both its functional bar and rooming human tree (Joong) — attracted a lot of attention for its tactile qualities and sculptural forms. Viewers were encouraged to hug the trees and frequently children could be found happily sitting on the tree’s roots.

CUTMR 2011 – Room 214

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No stranger to CUTMR, Dennis Lin’s dynamic works range from hanging creations to grounded structures. His sculptures and installations have been exhibited in cities worldwide, including Dublin, Hong Kong, Los Angeles, Moscow and London.

For CUTMR 2011, Dennis assembled a cabinet of curiosities of sorts. The installation made public, while simultaneously safeguarding with plastic wrap, some of the items found in his studio. An homage to ten years of making and collecting.

Dennis Lin Studios

CUTMR 2011 — Room 212

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Rob Southcott’s quirky contribution requires some unpacking to fully appreciate.  Take Jet Set: what’s obvious at a glance is that the walls are covered with paper airplanes, as if they had dive-bombed the room en masse.  What’s not obvious until you get closer — much closer — is that these paper airplanes are not only metal, they’re also functional, a perfect place to hang your hat or keys, or even place a business card.

Likewise, Fly With Me could be just a wooden box.  But when you approach, triangular forms of light flicker across the wooden surface.  Far from being solid, the face is ash veneer, and the LEDs glowing through it are controlled by you, the viewer; motion sensors detecting proximity cause the lights to move in direct response to your movement.  While not immediately obvious, this visual feedback provided clues that allowed viewers to determine the relationship between their actions and the reaction of the work.

Correlation is an accumulation of angular figures; while each one is identical, when combined the odd angles diverge until the collection appears to be a disordered mass, almost crystal-like, simultaneously organic and abstract.  As the name implies, this simple figure takes on a new dimension when placed in context with many duplicates.

Room 212 was not Rob’s first contribution to the Gladstone; his United We Stand chairs permanently grace the lobby.  You can see more of his work here.

U of T Lecture

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Metrolinx Mobility Hub Symposium

Friday, April 15, 2011
9:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Innis Town Hall
University of Toronto
2 Sussex Avenue
Toronto ON, M5S 1J5

On Friday, April 15th, the HUBURBS symposium will convene experts from the fields of planning, development, policy, academic research and design to discuss how transportation development can be leveraged to establish a new urban typology: the HUBURBS – a place of connectivity, community and opportunity that can replace the suburb as a more urbanistic and sustainable model for the future of the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area.

The symposium will look at current notions of transit oriented development and innovative models that have emerged in response to specific local, economic and political contingencies that add new dimensions to the discussion.

The symposium is organized around 3 panel discussions:

Part I | Economics of a Hub will explore the economic, developmental and land-use issues that surround the hub. How can new transportation infrastructures be leveraged to create new opportunities for development, urbanization and job creation in sites which are either of low density or fractured in nature? How can transit companies, as land owners, leverage their holdings to set this process in motion?

Part II | Politics of a Hub will look at the political processes involved in gaining support from the range of stakeholders involved in planning a Hub from national to municipal to local levels.

Part III | HUBURBS: Models and Exemplars will explore a number of achieved and proposed high calibre designs for transit hubs. The panel will consist of designers and developers who will present projects that have creatively addressed one or more of the challenges outlined in Parts I and II.

The event will conclude with an extended roundtable discussion of the ideas and projects forwarded throughout the day.

For more information:

About the Image: Expanding itineraries on the Lakeshore West GO Line.
Credit: Jameson Skaife (MLA Candidate 2011) and Taslima Afroze (MUD Candidate 2011), Daniels Faculty

CUTMR 2011 — Room 210

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The work of Xiaojing Yan reflects the artist’s exploration of, and interest in, the dialogue between her Chinese heritage and her current North American life. For Xiaojing, very idea travels through an intricate operation of  thinking in Chinese but speaking in English. Her work often manifests in the use of a single form in repetition and strong iconography.

Xiaojing’s installation for CUTMR 2011 involved life-like double portraits, hand-painted on silk and hung with fine wire, creating a sea of floating faces.

See Xiaojing’s past work here.

CUTMR 2011 – Room 209

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Bruno Billio is a multidisciplinary artist, whose works traverse installation, sculpture and design. His artistic practice is informed by the active displacement and staging of the found object, a contemporary art strategy with a historically established lineage. Bruno’s works have been exhibited internationally in Milan, London, Miami, New York and Los Angeles.

Bruno is currently the artist in residence at the Gladstone Hotel and so it was fitting that his room installation reflected just that – art, literally, in residence. Room 209 offered a snapshot of an actual dinner party, hosted by Bruno, the remnants of which were left to be viewed. The centerpiece of the room, the continuously rotating dining table, displayed toppled glasses and half eaten food, surrounded by the odd broken glass and fallen over chairs. Maybe it was just the abandoned chicken bones but the room evoked a diorama-like quality, a framed, frozen moment in the space-time continuum.

Bruno Billio

Exhibition Design Lecture at the DX

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The Design Exchange is hosting the second annual Storytellers: Exhibition Design Lecture Series on April 6, 2011 from 6.30 pm – 8.30 pm. The series is aimed at exploring the various elements of exhibition design from conception to presentation by bringing together curators, architects, and designers to reflect on recent projects, while offering a behind-the-scenes look into some of the best public spaces in Canada and abroad. Storytellers is open to the public. For more information contact Noa Bronstein at or call 416-216-2120.


Katerina Atanassova - Chief Curator, McMichael Gallery

Silvia Forni - Associate Curator of Anthropology, Royal Ontario Museum

Lisa Leblanc
 – Director, Interpretation and Programs, Canadian Museum of Civilization

Stephen Petri - Principal, Reich + Petch


CUTMR 2011 — Room 208

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Derek Liddington’s contribution to CUTMR 2011’s full title is Group of Objects Arranged by the Artist While Considering the Aesthetic and Compositional Arguments of Minimalism, Formalism, Postmodernism and Conceptual Art.  Half installation, half performance, the complete work included framed art, collaborators wearing Andy Warhol masks, and a series of empty frames arranged and re-arranged by the aforementioned collaborators.  The actors were as much a part of the work as they were acting upon it; at times they sat staticly, and at other times they produced patterns using the empty frames in the centre of an otherwise bare room.

Liddington’s past works have demonstrated his obsession with persona and role-playing, camp, and pop minimalism, all of which were reappropriated in Group of Objects.  Definitively post-modern, Group of Objects gently satirized pop art and minimalist tropes, repositioning and recomposing the familiar and starkly formal within a schema of perfomance.

See more of Derek’s work here.

PechaKucha Toronto — Inspire Japan — April 16

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On Saturday, April 16, 2011, there will be a special PechaKucha Night Toronto event as part of Global PechaKucha Day – Inspire Japan. PechaKucha chapters from around the globe in bringing the creative and design communities together to raise funds for disaster relief.
Japan has inspired the creative world for many generations and now is the time for the creative world to inspire Japan to rebuild. All door proceeds will benefit Architecture for Humanity’s Rebuild Japan plans. The event will be streamed on and broadcast on the global website.
How you can help:
With the event a mere three weeks away, PechaKucha Toronto is looking for presenters! Do you want to speak on the topic of “Inspire Japan”? Can you put together a 20×20 presentation (20 slides, each slide shown for 20 seconds) in the next three weeks? If so, PechaKucha Toronto would love to hear from you!
Event logistics:
The event will be held on Saturday, April 16th, 7pm-10pm at the Design Exchange (venue subject to change).
Support either by presenting at or attending the event. Please let Jennifer Flores ( or Vivien Leung ( know if you can participate in this important event.

CUTMR 2011 – Room 207

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Room 207, this year as compared to last, was airy, filled with light during the hours that the sunlight penetrated the corner room of the hotel, and filled with darkness when the sun set.  Collaborators Lubo Brezina and Scott Eunson installed the third version of Shrine Dedicated to the Memory of Demolished Barns and Fallen Trees, which made its first appearance in MADE’s Radiant Dark in early 2010 and had a second showing (generously lent by the artists and proprietors of MADE) in the spring of 2010 in the exhibition PERSPECTIVE at a small, “pop-up” gallery on Queen Street West. My enthusiasm for Shrine has been long coming, and will be long lasting, I’m sure.

Here is a statement from Lubo and Scott that appeared with their work in PERSPECTIVE:

“Shrine as a structural system:

The shrine is not a product, but a means to an end. The shrine is an example of a disappearing woodworking skill-set, whose value can be applied to varying scales of the built form. In this case, the system exists at a scale between architecture and furniture, a scale reminiscent of outdoor shelters or pavilions.

The shrine is an experiment in a system of wood building which relies on the pinned mortise and tenon joint for connections and the diagonal brace for lateral stability. This type of joinery was traditionally used in the timber frames of barns, but can be easily adopted for application on a smaller scale, such as furniture, lighting, shelving and wall treatments.

The shrine is not any shrine. It exemplifies the adaptability and flexibility of this structural system and draws the viewer into its space. It focuses your perspective on an invisible vanishing point from which all its vectors emanate.”

Click here to link with Lubo and Scott’s CUTMR 2011 page, and click on each image (above) for an enlarged view.

CUTMR 2011 – Room 206

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Stephanie Mansolf & Jen Prather are the design duo behind Cyborgesses. Through her San Francisco, CA practice Stephanie creates sequential prints, drawings, artist books and large-scale installations, primarily compromised of large-scale vinyl decals and cut out drawings, . Based in Syracuse, NY, Jen’s interest lies in creating a hyperreal environment that borrows from 1970s pattern design aesthetics and combines a patchwork of recycled fabric scraps, various crafty thread and yarn materials, and miscellaneous industrial cords and wires. Formed in 2006, Cyborgesses explore creatures and lifeforms that interact and co-mingle in a dystopic universe. Creating transformative environments and large-scale installations the partnership explores materiality through soft sculptures, massive vinyl decal drawings, found objects, and crocheted forms.

Walking into room 206 of this year’s CUTMR was akin to happening upon a Kafkaesque children’s story, where the crocheting granny has transformed into an industrious spider.  Simultaneously menacing and whimsical, Cyborgesses’s room installation uses craft to spin a phantasmagorical dreamscape.

Steph Mansolf:

Jen Prather:


CUTMR 2011 — Room 205

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At this year’s CUTMR, room 205 was transformed by Studio 1:1 into an interactive twilit wonderland.  Titled DeSpaced, the setup included a ceiling blanketed with tiny fibre-optic stars that shimmered in response to input from an iPod Touch.

Almost as impressive as the stars above was the insanely complex network of 5000 metres of fibre optic cable linking the whole thing together.  The overall effect was of a wall of thick fur.  Because the space was dark, and the lighting reacted dynamically to input from the visitors, no images can capture the atmosphere of this installation.  In the darkness, guests were forced to wait momentarily until their eyes could adjust, and instinctively spoke in hushed voices.

Studio 1:1 is Edward Lin and Kira Varvanina.  While both have a background in architecture, Edward is also active in illustration and furniture design, and Kira has switched her focus to art.  Their collaborations embrace a wide range of installations, constructed objects, sculpture, and furniture design.

Click here for more of Studio 1:1, including their original concept drawing for DeSpaced.

CUTMR 2011 — Room 202

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If you missed CUTMR 2011, we will be posting the installation photos of all the final room and public space installations. Check out these images of Room 202, a room-within-a-room, by Jana Macalik, John Peterson and Diana Watters.

Both Jana and John were trained in architecture, and Diana in interior design, as evidenced in the architectonic quality of their one-way mirror-esque installation. Walking around the room-within-a-room, visitors could see into it, but not through to the other side. The narrow circulation path enhanced the unfolding nature of the viewer’s experience, while the richness of the ‘staged’ space captivated. There was an eerie feeling that whomever occupied the space “just left,” and that as a viewer, you were somehow sneaking around and would be caught in the act of either deliberate spectatorship or naive curiosity.

[Click on each image for an enlarged view.]

Interview with Amanda McCavour

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Textile artist Amanda McCavour discusses her thread drawings and domestic transience through her 2011 CUTMR room installation.

You did your degree in fine art at York University and from what I understand your background is not in textiles or the like. What led you to work with thread?

I went to York University to get my Bachelor of Fine Arts with a major in Visual Arts. I studied in lots of different areas but mainly in photography, printmaking, and drawing. In my final year I was focusing more on drawing and installation work.

In a drawing class with professor Michael Davey I started thinking about how thread could be an interesting line to work with in the context of drawing. The class that I was in was exploring drawing as any medium that utilized line weather it be in performance or painting, printmaking, or in my case, embroidery.

I thought that it would be interesting have a thread drawing that didn’t have a background, a drawing that would exist in air. At the time, I didn’t know how I would be able to make such a thing, so I did some research and found a water-soluable fabric called Solvy. The material allowed me to sew into the fabric and then dissolve the base after I was done, leaving behind the drawn thread image. I liked the idea of working with thread, creating a fragile line that had the strength to hold the image together. The idea that an image could unravel was interesting to me as well, making things that are on the verge of falling apart, or things that are seemingly so fragile.

My Fourth year projects were based around Solvy and sewing, exploring images of hands making things, pod forms and density studies. With these projects I was able to apply to the Harbourfront Centre’s Craft Residency program. I was awarded a Residency in their Textile Studio and was there for 3 years learning more about what the fabric and embroidery could do. While I was at Harbourfront, the scale of some of my work changed, I started working on some larger projects like some life sized self portraits and large dioramas of living spaces.

What is your process like, do you start with a hand-drawing or a photograph?

With most of my projects, I usually start with a photograph. From that photograph I move to a line drawing of the image on the the fabric. I like to have photographed images of the work so that I can go back and look at them for reference when making the larger piece. From the drawing, I can block in different areas of colour, moving from lighter colours to darker colours. I tend to think of the filling in as shading and cross hatching. The threads have more strength when they intersect from different angles so its a little bit like cross hatching with a pen and paper, lines intersecting at different angles to create different densities.

With working on large scale drawings, I have always worked on the piece as a whole. In many ways it would be easier to work on the piece in sections and then assemble the smaller units to create the final work but I find working on the piece all at once gives the lines a more consistent flow.

Most of my time is spent on filling in areas with different colours of thread so that when I dissolve the base, the image will be able to hold together.

What’s the story behind your 2011 CUTMR project?

My piece at the Gladstone Hotel was a piece based on my old living room space. I recreated many of the objects that existed in that space, chairs, side tables and other nick nacks out of thread and hung them from the ceiling so that they were layered on top of one another, mimicking the space in my old home. Each of the objects were created on a 1 to 1 scale. The objects act as a trace or record of a space that used to exist. Part shrine or monument, the thread drawings acted as tribute to a room that once was.

I have come to think of my rental apartments as places of temporary stay, which is why I thought the Gladstone was an appropriate place to display the work. Hotel rooms are places that are home for a brief period of time; they have a bed and a nigh table, things that sort of reference a sense of home but really aren’t the real thing. I think that this piece acts the same way as a hotel room does, it references or reminds you of a place like home.

What’s next for you?

I will be creating a site specific installation based on ice crystal forms and frost patterns. The snow crystal forms will reference cut paper snowflakes and also the facets and structures found in minerals. This work will be for a solo exhibition for MADE in May in their old walk in fridge that has been converted into an exhibition space.


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Attention: Designers, architects, visual artists, photographers, sculptors, writers, musicians, set designers, prop makers sound engineers, ceramicists, textile artists, crafts people, filmographers, print makers, new media artists and all creative makers…

The Gladstone is now accepting Expressions of Interest for CUTMR 2012. There are two ways to participate in the hotel’s 9th annual design event- Immersive Room Installations and Site-Specific Public Space Projects.

For more information visit:

Rob Southcott's 2011 room installation Â

‘Saturday’ by guest writer Christina Ott

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I know it is freezing cold out there Toronto, but if you can muster the strength try and get out to enjoy all the design shows and exhibitions happening throughout the city! Along Dundas West (and basically within walking distance) are three shows all worth checking out: Tools at The DepARTment (1389 Dundas), Capacity at Bookhou (798 Dundas) and Made at Home (and the store too) at Made (867 Dundas).

Tools has some very clever, tongue and cheek installations. Rob Southcott’s Little Hatchet is particularly interesting and appears fully workable as a mini screwdriver. Both Southcott and Crawford Noble used 3-D printing to create their pieces; Noble ironically making what looked like prehistoric arrow heads. Brent Cordner, Dieter Janssen and Emil Teleki created canes out of bike parts (YAY recycling!) that were quite lovely even though they represented the state of road safety in the city of Toronto. Yikes!

Capacity was packed with people last night, and definitely worth a peek. This all women show dabbled in all types of mediums and ideas. Joy Charbonneau’s Hydrographic map of Canada was truly a masterpiece.

Made at Home has some great work from a bevy of local talent. The store is equally great to check out, especially for the Jeremy Hatch hanging shoe light in the back.

Come Up To My Room was the last stop in the night, the annual alternative design show at the Gladstone Hotel. Definitely worth it to go and see, especially since it’s the last day! Scott Eunson and Lubo, Studio 1:1, Dennis Lin etc….even with all the people crammed into the space the installations were captivating. DJ and music amazing too!

All and all I have to say a fantastic few days.

‘What happened on Friday’ by guest writer Christina Ott

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Toronto, we officially have a Design Week!

Over the past years these few days in the winter have really blossomed into a lot more than the Interior Design Show giving the design community and regular old Torontonians the opportunity to see what local artists and designers have to offer. Yesterday was really the start with Trade Day at IDS, although I guess it really started on Thursday but that is if you had to endure (albeit for a great cause, I’m sure!) the “party” they throw at IDS each year.

I know this happened a few years back but moving the show from Exhibition Place to the Metro Convention Centre was the best thing they did. In addition, scaling back the Design Spaces (this year oddly titled Sibling Rivalry was more like Sibling Revelry) was also smart, the past few years were a little overblown in my opinion (not that there weren’t elements of that this year…not naming names).

As with every show, some of the spaces were certainly better than others; it goes without saying (since you can read it almost everywhere this week) the Brothers Dressler are certainly getting well deserved props for their space. Finally the history and beauty of reclaimed/recycled materials are given their just desserts; no longer relegated to a strictly green realm. It’s a topic close to my heart and it was lovely to see the level of reclaimed/natural materials (see pics!) that was used in their space. Even better it was a big theme this year with booths promoting tree salvage, along with more products comprised of reclaimed/recycled materials.

Some of the other show stand outs include Studio North (I won’t lie to you, I have seen better stuff in past years, nothing blew my mind but it still is a spot to check out). The student work was also worth a peek. Besides the usual chair projects, George Brown students are actually trying to use design to make a difference with their LOTA project near Santiago. Its always a relief to see something where design is actually helping those less fortunate rather than making douche-y rich people look richer. I hope their large display can be used as a screen or something in the project!

Today I will be popping out to see MADE at Home (above the store), the Tools show at the depARTment and the Capacity show at Bookhou….and will cap off the night with Come Up To My Room. Will be filling you in on all the cool stuff I see, very excited!

Wish you were here!

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A CUTMR Installation
CUTMR attendees use bodily movement to inflate the glove on the left.  Web users click to inflate the glove on the right.  Watch them flail or participate by visiting

If there is no feed, it’s bed time. ZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzz

LeuWebb Projects, what they’ve been up to …

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LeuWebb Projects, process

LeuWebb Projects, process

LeuWebb Projects, process

Christine Leu and Alan Webb share some images, as they prepare to install the interactive ‘stage’ for this year’s LOVE Design Party. Join us at the Gladstone on Saturday, January 29th!  It’s FREE.

Performance schedule for Room 208

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A Group of Objects Arranged by the Artist
While Considering the Aesthetic and
Compositional Arguments of Minimalism,
Formalism, Postmodernism and Conceptual Art.

Derek Liddington



Interview with Vivien Cheng & Rina Grosman

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Vivien and Rina describe their project for CUTMR, how they met,  and the freedom that multidisciplinarity offers.

How do you see CUTMR installation/project fitting in to your larger practice as an artist, architect or designer?

Our installation explores the idea of transforming spaces, which is one of themes that interest us. Macrobiotic takes into consideration a specific area, the alcove, which we transform by allowing an organic form or organism to take over the space. The art uses the room as a starting point of its growth and then explodes out into the hallway when it gets too much for the space to handle. It renders the room functionally useless and thereby changes the way that a visitor might feel inside of it.

If this is a first time collaboration, I’m interested to know what brought you together and how you see yourself going forward.

This is our first collaboration. It’s a long story, but basically one of Rina’s sewing class students got her a job at a headhunting agency, and the student ended up being Vivien’s agent. She insisted that we meet each other because we had such similar interests. It wasn’t until a few months later, after continually running into each other, when we decided to apply to CUTMR together.

What do you think about the rise and interest in multidisciplinary or interdisciplinary practices?

We think it’s great because it’s not just a trend we’re seeing in the arts. There are some talented people out there who are designers, architects, DJs, chefs, writers, filmmakers, lawyers and engineers who are interested in everything else in between. Rina works at an art consulting firm and Vivien works as a digital marketing strategist, and we both continually explore various other mediums through our work.  You can see this diverse mindset in the multidisciplinary degree programs offered today and in design thinking theory, exercised by firms like IDEO. It’s difficult to limit yourself to one thing when you can be exposed to so many other ideas and concepts, especially with access to the web. We’re lucky that we’re in a moment in time where we are able to explore freely. We can’t imagine having to stifle our own curiosity and creative to a single area.

Video Interview: Jeremy Vandermeij

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I was the last person to get interviewed for this awesome series completed by Christina Zeidler for TO DO. I’ve been co-curating Come Up To My Room for the last three years, am the Creative Director at the Gladstone Hotel and co-founded and run socio-sustainable design organization Public Displays of Affection. In the video I chat about how I understand TO DO’s role in the design ecosystem.

Video Interview: Erin McCutcheon and Katherine Morley

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Katherine and Erin are the producers and curators of the all women TO DO exhibition, Capacity. In their interview they chat about the niche Capacity fills and the exposure of women in the Toronto design scene.

p.s. We also wanted to mention that Katherine Morley co-curated Come Up To My Room 2009 and 2010 with Deborah Wang, Caroline Shaheed and myself.

This video interview was completed by Christina Zeidler with the assistance of Jeremy Vandermeij.

Wish you were here!

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Wish you were here!, process work

You (and everyone you know) are invited to participate in:

Wish you were here!

By Denise Ing & Ken Leung

January 28  – 30, 2011 at Come Up To My Room

Show Admission Fee: $10.00
: Free admission!

Physical space and an admission fee may form a barrier between those in Come Up To My Room and those without, but technology and a little friendly competition will bring us together.

On January 28, 29, and 30, 2011, use a computer or mobile device to reach out and touch space at

Interview with artist Xiaojing Yan

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Xiaojing Yan, 'Past and Present'

Artist Xiaojing Yan shares how her immigration from the East and West, specifically China and North America, influences her practice, and how she weaves her experiences of change and complexity through her work.

How do you see your CUTMR installation/project fitting in to your larger practice as an artist, architect or designer?

After living in Canada and the United States for several years, I have become increasingly interested in cultural and personal identity and in the need to discover a new mode of artistic and social expression that blends Chinese and Western ways of thinking. In an effort to shape myself, I take traditional Chinese materials and techniques and reinvent them within a Western aesthetic and presentation. CUTMR provides me with a unique opportunity to show my artwork to the diverse public to search for echoes.

How do you see your practice expanding over the next five years?

Moving from China to Canada has been the most significant change in my life. For me, this experience engendered a “new life”, from which I draw strength and richness. Making art is not only meaningful to me but has sustained me. As an immigrant in North America, I know that the adaptation of these two cultures will be a life-long journey. With art, I will continue solidify my experiential and complex reactions to this challenge.

Why do you think about the rise and interest in multidisciplinary or interdisciplinary practices?

Interdisciplinary finds a new approach for artists by encouraging and inviting us to expand our horizons and thought processes beyond singular disciplines. This also has opened up countless opportunities for art to expand into the new spaces that are created from the interaction of different disciplines. Art is a meaning-making process. As artists who are going to translate our deeply felt knowledge into art, we must keep our minds alive and continually expand our capacities.

Interview with Brothers Dressler

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Brothers Dressler, Treebuilt system detail

You will be able to find the ever-evolving and innovating work of Jason and Lars Dressler this year at the Interior Design Show, MADE at Home and Come Up To My Room. In our participant interview, Brothers Dressler speak about their Treebuilt system, Cut-ups and a forthcoming catalogue.

How do you see your CUTMR installation/project fitting in to your larger practice as an artist, architect or designer?

We see the Treebuilt system being made for CUTMR as an extension of our continuous exploration of the use of discarded or end of lifecycle materials. We look for ways to take these materials, often imbued with energy from a previous life as an designed object or living thing, and make them into an object to sit on, look at or use in some way.

How do you see your practice expanding over the next five years?

We see Brothers Dressler continue to grow and operate as bespoke custom furniture designers and makers. We are honing our catalogue of made to order pieces which will continue to be made in our downtown Toronto workshop.  The first edition of the catalogue should be ready for design week.  It will work in conjunction with our redesigned website also set to launch that week. Additions to our catalogue will include beds, some new lighting and the launch of our Cut-ups line, along with seating, tables, shelving and room dividers. The Cut-ups are an important part of our practice. They include household objects, lighting, toys, and jewelry made from the off cuts from our wood co-op along with other found objects. The Cut-ups are one of the ways in which we attempt to close the loop on our manufacturing process, making waste streams into materials streams.  We will also continue to offer custom design services for residential and commercial projects.

Why do you think about the rise and interest in multidisciplinary or interdisciplinary practices?

We see the rise and interest in multidisciplinary or interdisciplinary practices caused in part because of the influence of so many diverse and different ideas about making and design. As well it is a great time to create. People can make on a small scale while still reaching the people who are interested in their work. Events like CUTMR and Toronto Design Week help to make that happen. Collaborations abound when there are so many individuals and groups creating and continuously seeking to learn and push boundaries.

CUTMR has really expanded from a design show to be a fertile exhibition for all kinds of artists, designers and creative people. Help us come up with a new name for the kinds of makers that participate in CUTMR.

It is difficult to come up with one name to describe the mix of artists, designers, builders and creators who make up the group of participants in CUTMR. One possible name would be the Makers. As making is more than just putting something together. It is thinking about every aspect of the design, what is its purpose, what is it made from, how it is put together, where it is made, and why it is created.

Interview with Jana Macalik of J2D

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Rendering of J2D's mirrored room for CUTMR

Jana Macalik discusses her collaboration with her partner John Peterson and emerging designer Diana Watters for their ambitious installation for Come Up To My Room.

How do you see your CUTMR installation/project fitting in to your larger practice as an artist, architect or designer?

In our work, we wish to connect to the lineage of spatial mapping and urban voyeurism, illustrating the spatial layering and alternative viewpoints of interiors experienced that could only be seen by the gods. Our work allows for viewers to engage with spaces as seen from alternate viewpoints, through ‘exploded views’, or as if looking ‘through’ walls and rooftops. The seamless transitions allow for the viewing of the living and working spaces to be voyeuristic in nature as the viewer is given a glimpse of the inhabitants’ lives and see how their spatial existence is an extension of their identities. Our installation aims to manipulate light and sound, image and form, glass and objects to create an immersive environment, telling a story of a room, its occupants and those who watch them.

How do you see your practice expanding over the next five years?

Our interaction with virtual worlds has expanded exponentially from pure entertainment into many aspects of everyday life like shopping, education, government and business. Vast amounts of cultural, social, and other information, valuable or not, organized or random, information that was once held in specific locations, controlled or simply in the possession of individuals, is now spread far and wide, available for reworking and recirculation, remixed through a few items of information technology. Digital media, with its growing ubiquity and easy management, facilitates a society of surveillance, merging private and public.

If this is a first time collaboration, I’m interested to know what bought you together and how you see yourself going forward. (Or is this more of a one-time deal, and if so, why?)

Though this is our first collaboration, we have worked collaboratively in school, in practice and in life. John Peterson is my partner in practice and in life. From schoolmates to business partners, we have over 20 years of experience working and supporting one another’s designs and ideas. Diana Watters is a young designer whose talent I have witnessed over the past four years, as her professor, her mentor and her colleague. As a team, we have common interests between materiality and immateriality, from the tangible to the intangible. By wanting fully immersive experiences, we all explore space making as a link between the real and the virtual and thus, an extension of society and its identity.

What do you think about the rise and interest in multidisciplinary or interdisciplinary practices?

As we seek to integrate art, science, culture and design to create memorable and immersive experiences, one encounters other like-minded creative individuals. The desire to expand this realm of spatial experiences requires a collaborative approach with multiple ideations being driven by diverse viewpoints. We can only do this with equally unique people from various disciplines. To solve the problems of today and to challenge ourselves within social and cultural realms, we need diversity. We’re not alone in silos, so why would our practices be.

Interview with LeuWebb Projects

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LeuWebb 'weather balloon'

Christine Leu and Alan Webb offer their candid responses to the CUTMR 2011 participant interview …

1. How do you see your CUTMR installation/project fitting in to your larger practice as an artist, architect or designer?

An installation such as the one we’re doing for the show allows us to explore some fields of interest that may not come up in the course of our other work. Installations also present an opportunity for us to quickly play with and test ideas whereas a building project in architecture can take many years to come to fruition.

2. How do you see your practice expanding over the next five years?

Given our modest successes thus far (and provided we stay on each others good sides!), we plan on doing more installation work together. We’re interested to see how we can take our design approach and apply it to a variety of different circumstances and sites to create potentially widely differing results.

3. If this is a first time collaboration, I’m interested to know what bought you together and how you see yourself going forward. (Or is this more of a one-time deal, and if so, why?)

While this is one of our first projects together, we’re both interested in creating meaningful spatial experiences for people and share a similar design vocabulary of using simple and readily available materials.

4. Why do you think about the rise and interest in multidisciplinary or interdisciplinary practices?

It’s a great direction for design and research. In our case, we’re both architects with a wide range of interests and we’re getting assistance from friends Jeff Lee (a scientist in biology) and Omar Khan (a computer programmer) to devise the reactive lighting system for our installation. Working side by side with people in different disciplines is fun and can provide an instructive enrichment to the work.

5. CUTMR has really expanded from a design show to be a fertile exhibition for all kinds of artists, designers and creative people. Help us come up with a new name for the kinds of makers that participate in CUTMR.


Interview with Kira and Ed of Studio 1:1

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Studio 1:1, DeSpaced concept image

Using only 149 words, here are Studio 1:1’s responses to the CUTMR participant interview questionnaire:

How do you see your CUTMR installation/project fitting in to your larger practice as an artist, architect or designer?

Come Up To My Room is not merely an event where a lot of emerging young people get to have their breakthroughs. It is first if a all a learning ground where artists get to learn a lot, fast and, most importantly, from ones own mistakes. For us CUTMR is a huge opportunity but it is also a classroom.

How do you see your practice expanding over the next five years?

Fast and wide. In our installation practice we would like to focus on issues of technology and space by creating interactive installations at numerous venues and fairs.

What do you think about the rise and interest in multidisciplinary or interdisciplinary practices?

It is inevitable in the society of vast technological resources. Our minds are expending and are able to fit more and more information. The individual curiosity is what guides the need to explore diverse interests.

CUTMR has really expanded from a design show to be a fertile exhibition for all kinds of artists, designers and creative people. Help us come up with a new name for the kinds of makers that participate in CUTMR.

Partist – an individual who’s creation stems from using a variety of parts either through disassembling a greater object or using parts not for their intended uses.

Interview with Mark McLean

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Mark McLean is one of this year’s CUTMR public space participants. Responding to three questions from the CUTMR participant questionnaire, Mark addresses how his art practice benefits his business practice, and vice versa.

How do you see your CUTMR installation/project fitting in to your larger practice as an artist, architect or designer?

On a daily basis, I run one of the more successful real estate offices in the city so I still have a hard time thinking of myself as an artist. However, my ability to manage offices and people has increased since I started dedicating more time to my craft. In many ways the two are inextricably linked. The act of creating my sculptures involves several steps. First there is the conceptualizing, then the planning, the collecting and the laying out of materials, testing the process, preparation and final assembly. The overall theme of my work to date has been the collection of hundreds, sometimes thousands, of individual items and putting them together to create something new. When I am at the office, I essentially do the same thing. I bring together people and ideas with the hope of building a cohesive group within a successful hub. To accomplish any measure of achievement in business, you have to apply the same orderly logic. It is simply impossible to jump into something without the benefit of a well thought out plan.

When I was given the task of building the newest office for my company, I set out to create a truly flagship environment. It was important to establish a certain tone early. It had to be visually appealing and blend in well with the community, but most importantly, it had to foster creativity and a genuine sharing of ideas by the people that worked there. Our business is undergoing a fundamental shift. More young people are choosing real estate as a career and they come with a new approach and a fresh outlook. They utilize social media and are driven by highly visual input. It was important to build this shift into the equation and luckily I have a management team behind me that has given me a great deal of freedom. While the company I work for has been around for over 80 years, it was important to show the public that we were hip, relevant and leading edge.

Mark McLean

How do you see your practice expanding over the next five years?

I am a visual person. I am inspired by the shapes and colours of what is around me. I pick up on things I see on TV or in a magazine and I am an avid follower of pop culture. I am able to translate the trends that I see into my work and my art. In the foreseeable future, I will continue to look for the visual clues that drive us emotionally. I will test out my theories through my art and sculpture and continue to apply the processes and outcomes to my business life. I live by the motto that if I am not moving forward then I’m moving backward. There is no status quo. I want to use more unconventional materials in my sculptures and I don’t want to be limited to how far I can push the envelope.

CUTMR has really expanded from a design show to be a fertile exhibition for all kinds of artists, designers and creative people. Help us come up with a new name for the kinds of makers that participate in CUTMR.

One of the things I love about CUTMR is that it started as a grass roots/alternative event. Through the efforts of all involved, it has gained popularity and become more main stream however I think it is important to remember those roots because at the end of the day, it is events like this that help budding artists and designers break out. I hope that CUTMR will continue to be exactly what it is- a fertile ground for creativity.

FREE: Love Design Party

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Grab a cocktail, mingle and dance while surrounded by the massive installation by LeuWebb Projects. Comprised of a pneumatic cloud of flickering light that reflects the sonic textures of the surrounding environment, this installation creates a unique sensory experience. Music by Toronto DJ legends Denise Benson and DJ Joe Blow. Since 2003 Come Up To My Room and the Gladstone Hotel have been hosting the free Love Design Party, in the Gladstone’s historic ballroom.

CUTMR Design Talks: What TO DO?

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Saturday, January 29, 2011 |11am to 2pm | FREE

Gladstone Hotel Ballroom | 1214 Queen St West | Limited Seating

Hosted By: Jeremy Vandermeij

This year’s CUTMR Design Talks asks the organizers of Toronto’s Design Offsite (TO DO) shows: What to do? Representatives from MADE at Home, the Institute Without Boundaries, Capacity, Tools and CUTMR reflect on this question, anticipating what’s next in Toronto design, design communities, exhibition making, collaboration, and more.


Marie Collier

Marie is a recent MA graduate in art history from the Courtauld Institute in London (UK), where she studied Soviet architectural photography. She has worked with MADE on Radiant Dark 2009 and is currently an animateur at The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery.

Luigi Ferrara

Luigi Ferrara is the Director of the School of Design and the Institute without Boundaries at George Brown College in Canada. His previous accomplishments include his time with the International Council of the Societies of Industrial Design (ICSID) where he served as an Executive Board Member from 1997-2003, and then as President in 2003-05, after which he assumed the role of an ICSID Senator. He is a registered architect with seal (member of the Ontario Association of Architects and the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada). He was also the President and CEO of DXNet Inc. between 1999-2002, Executive Director of ICSID ‘97: Humane Village Congress, Founding Director of the Architectural Literacy Forum (ALF), Honorary Member of the Association of Chartered Industrial Designers of Ontario (ACIDO). In addition to his roles as architect, designer, entrepreneur, educator and lecturer, Luigi has curated exhibitions and authored books and catalogues.

Joy Charbonneau

Joy aims to create intelligent architecture and design. Her work is thoughtful and inventive – it is often her motivation to provoke curiosity and delight.

Joy has lived and worked in Germany and Holland and now resides in Toronto. Her work has been shown in various publications including Wallpaper and Azure. She works with Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects in Toronto, and frequently collaborates with Derek McLeod Design.

Christina Zeidler

Christina Zeidler is a film and video artist with over twenty titles in distribution, which have shown internationally at festivals and appeared on television. In 2003 Christina was named one of Toronto’s 10 Best Filmmakers by Cameron Bailey, and won the Best Canadian Media award at the 2004 Images Film Festival. Christina has been the Developer and President of the Gladstone Hotel since 2003, focusing on the renovation and revitalization of the building through a community based approach. She was the creator of the Artist-Designed Room Project (inviting 37 local artist/designers to implement individually designed hotel rooms) and co-curator of CUTMR, with Pamila Matharu since its inception in 2004.

Shaun Moore, Partner, MADE

Moore, a furniture designer by training, is partner in MADE, a retailer dedicated to promoting independent Canadian design. MADE also produces an annual design exhibition, this year titled MADE at HOME.

Pamila Matharu

Pamila Matharu is an independent artist, cultural producer and educator. Her art practice is rooted in organizing projects, photography, film, video, and installation based work. Recent curatorial projects include: CUTMR with Christina Zeidler (2004-2008), TAAFI (Toronto Alternative Art Fair International, 2004, 2005) and Docu Lomo (Gallery TPW, 2002.) In 2005, she was short listed for the Untitled Art Awards’ Best Emerging Curator and won the Jury’s Choice Award in both 2004 and 2005 Untitled Art Awards for her organizational contribution to TAFFI.

Katherine Morley

Katherine Morley is a Toronto-based industrial designer, working primarily in textiles and ceramics. Using design as a tool for discussion, Katherine strives to create objects that honour content above aesthetics, and self-awareness above mass-consumerism. Graduating from OCAD in 2007, she has since co-founded the multidisciplinary collectives Joe & Josephine and Lemon, been featured in national design publications, exhibited in shows across Canada and was co-curator of Toronto’s largest annual alternative design event, Come Up To My Room at the Gladstone Hotel.

Jeremy Vandermeij

Jeremy is currently the Creative Director at the Gladstone Hotel where he is working hard to tell the phenomenal story of the Hotel. He’s also a Co-Director of the grassroots volunteer socio-green design organization, Public Displays of Affection.

He has worked as a designer for 8 years in architecture and interior design and has been art-making since he was old enough to negotiate tools. He has taught at Ryerson University, lectured at The City School, curated Come Up To My Room 2009/2010/2011, worked for Roundabout Studio Inc, ALSOP Architects, and The Design Exchange. He loves collaborating with burgeoning talent.

Come Up To My Room on MoCo Loco

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Sol LeWitt chairs by Harry Wei & Zak Fish

Click here to read MoCo Loco’s Come Up To My Room preview, as well as other interesting posts on design and art, while glazing over the overly smiley photo of this year’s curators.

Special Thanks to our Sponsors

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Eamon Mac Mahon, Lake Ice, 2005. Courtesy Circuit Gallery (

A super special thank you to Circuit Gallery who are generously supporting the CUTMR Retrospective show by printing all of our photography! Circuit Gallery specializes in affordable, limited editions of contemporary photographic, digital, and print-based works on paper.

We also wanted to say thanks again to all our great sponsors this year, Now Magazine, Moco Loco, Blog TO, Mill St Brewery, and Design Lines.



Interview with Jen Prather of Cyborgesses

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Crochet and toxic growth

With a series of thought-provoking (although standardized) questions, co-curator Deborah Wang interviews the artists and designers of CUTMR. Here are Jen Prather’s responses:

1. How do you see your CUTMR installation/project fitting in to your larger practice as an artist, architect or designer?

CUTMR gives me an opportunity to expand upon site-specific locations by creating an environment indicative of the space. The relationship of my work to the space it inhabits and the process of determining the physical layout, materiality and installation is all part of the process. CUTMR has also provided me with the opportunity to work collaboratively with my artist cohort–Steph Mansolf. Working independently can often produce more esoteric work. The collaborative experience allows each of us to rift off of each other, creating a dialogue of color and stylistic iconography that often is blurred beyond the distinction of each creator.

2. How do you see your practice expanding over the next five years?

It is hard to say where I will be in 5 years because within a month’s time I am participating in two international artist exhibitions–Sowing Seeds International Artist Residency in Rajasthan (India) and CUTMR in Toronto (Canada). And I did not imagine myself participating in these experiences even a year ago, so I am excited for all the great opportunities that will pop up along the way. As a practicing artist, I hope to have completed my MFA degree and on to more long-term creative endeavors that breach past academia.

3. If this is a first time collaboration, I’m interested to know what bought you together and how you see yourself going forward. (Or is this more of a one-time deal, and if so, why?)

Steph Mansolf and I have worked together many times over the last 4-5 years. However, this is the first instance of a true collaboration where the project was proposed and created collectively. Steph and I are very harmonious–we often speak each others’ minds and are always learning from each other. We are also both fascinated with the obsessiveness of our respective processes–Steph’s line drawings or my Crochet pieces. Having this mutual understanding is very helpful with collaborating.

Jen Prather, Symbionts (detail)

4. Why do you think about the rise and interest in multidisciplinary or interdisciplinary practices?

I am extremely excited about the interest in multidisciplinary work. Maybe this is due to the fact that I often get bored working in one medium. But really, materiality is what drives my practice and informs my work. Each form is dictated first by the materiality and will manifest itself based on the fabrics, yarns, wires, etc. that are used. I think this process automatically lends itself to multidisciplinary work. I believe that mastering a skill/technique is very valuable, but this also requires being very innovative and original. While I strive for both qualities in my work, I often feel disappointed by single medium-based work because it is so derivative of other pieces in the same medium created decades prior. I feel liberated by the availability of media and am always curious to learn new processes that will enhance my work.

5. CUTMR has really expanded from a design show to be a fertile exhibition for all kinds of artists, designers and creative people. Help us come up with a new name for the kinds of makers that participate in CUTMR.

I often struggle with finding a way to define myself, even trying to avoid the title as artist. Maybe it is more about identifying the project as opposed to categorizing the maker, such as “new forms.”

Jen Prather, Symbionts

TO DO: Toronto Design Offsite

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I’m happy to announce that I am one of the Founders and the Producer of the newly created TO DO: Toronto Design Offsite. Deborah Wang, who I co-curate Come Up To My Room with, is also involved in TO DO as the Projects Coordinator.

Toronto Design Offsite brings together offsite exhibitions, parties and lectures during Toronto Design Week. Offsite events have been happening in Toronto for the last eight years. Events and curated exhibitions feature innovative and inspiring art and design. TO DO was formed by an association of several ‘offsite’ shows to feature and promote the best in new, Canadian practices – not only the art and design within each show, but also the ways they are organized and produced.

Some of the more renowned TO DO events include our own CUTMR, MADE at Home, Capacity, Do West Design and Tools.

Sponsorship & Support

We are looking for sponsorship and general support!  We offer recognition and exposure to a targeted design community.  Please contact me here if you would like to know more.

Christina Zeidler & Deanne Lehtinen

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Christina Zeidler is the developer and president of the Gladstone Hotel, focusing on the renovation and revitalization of the building through a community based approach, including design initiatives: the Artist Designed Room Project and co-founding CUTMR. Christina is also film and video artist with over thirty titles in distribution.

Deanne Lehtinen is a furniture design/builder. She has works on custom pieces for independent collectors in the Toronto area and participates in design shows including: CUTMR and Radiant Dark. She designed the ‘Lehtinen Lodge’ artist designed room at the Gladstone Hotel. Currently she shows her work with MADE in Toronto.

CUTMR: Artifacts and Fantasy

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I just had this come across my desk today. Gordon Bowness at InToronto Magazine featured an interview with me about Come Up To My Room! Check out the excerpt below:

Come Up to My Room (CUTMR) is a design event like no other. Furniture, lighting and industrial designers walk right up to installation art and take liberties. Designers get to do what they want in 11 rooms and numerous public spaces in the Gladstone Hotel. The result is an anarchic yet affectionate shot-gun marriage between design and art. Wandering through the hotel, visitors are confronted with everything from fantastical chairs to DIY-crafts spreading over walls like an infection.

To read more click here.

2011 Show Details Announced

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Thursday, January 27 to Sunday, January 30, 2011, daily at the Gladstone Hotel

Regular Exhibition Hours:
Friday, January 28, 12-8pm
Saturday, January 29, 12-10pm
Sunday, January 30, 12-5pm

Press Preview: Thurs, Jan 27, 4-8pm (Gladstone Gallery)
Student/Class Curators’ Tours: Fri, Jan 28, 12-5pm (must pre-register – click here)
CUTMR Design Talks: Sat, Jan 29, 11am-2pm (Gladstone Ballroom)
Opening Reception: Sat, Jan 29, 7pm-10pm (Gladstone Gallery)
Love Design Party: Sat, Jan 29, 10pm-Late (Gladstone Ballroom, with DJ’s Denise Benson and Joe Blow)

To see a full breakdown of CUTMR events click here.

CUTMR curators Jeremy Vandermeij and Deborah Wang have selected the 2011 CUTMR participants.

Click on the images above to see a selection of the portfolio pieces from the 2011 participants. For more images click on their names below.


Dennis Lin (Room 214)
Lubo Brezina & Scott Eunson (Room 207)
Amanda McCavour (Room 211)
Xiaojing Yan (Room 210)
Jana Macalik, John Peterson & Diana Watters (Room 202)
groundWork | Brian Muthaliff, Daniela Leon, Han Dong, Maria Nikolova, Sayjel Patel & Leon Lai (Room 204)
Studio 1:1 | Ed Lin & Kira Varvanina (Room 205)
Cyborgesses | Jen Prather & Steph Mansolf (Room 206)
Derek Liddington (Room 208)
Rob Southcott (Room 212)
Bruno Billio (Room 209)

Public Spaces

Brothers Dressler
LeuWebb Projects | Alan Webb & Christine Leu (Ballroom)
Orest Tataryn (Melody Bar)
Rina Grosman & Vivien Cheng
Patrick Svilans
Frank De Jong
Jen Spinner
MAP Collective | Andrew Chau & Patricia Joong
Denise Ing & Ken Leung
Becky Lane & Chrissy Poitras
Mark McLean
Pamila Matharu
TUG presented by MADE (Cafe)
UWSA Chair Projects

TUG installation curated by MADE – Cafe

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TUG’s woven lighting structure, Ray, employs a blend of non linear weaving techniques which create an airy mass, as light peaks through overlapping and open seams. TUG’s inspiration arose from rays of sun through clouds on a fall afternoon.

Ray is a café installation created by TUG and curated by MADE.

TUG (Toronto Upcycling Group) is Kaveri Joseph, Christine Lieu, Jessica Ching, Carrie Liang and Heidi Mok. They are Industrial designers, good friends, creators, makers, explorers, collectors, collaborators, thinkers, do-ers, visionaries, food and drink enthusiasts and ninjas.  TUG’s mission is to create a system of waste management that upcycles disposable materials into products of greater value and use, in hopes of inspiring others.

MADE operates a design practice and showroom in Toronto which is committed to the representation of compelling functional works made in Canada by independent Canadian designers. Shaun Moore and Julie Nicholson of MADE maintain a collaborative partnership engaged in custom projects, commissions, collaborations and curatorial projects.

Orest Tataryn – Melody Bar

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As a light sculptor Tataryn is interested in transformation – how light can transform space, create optical illusions, project afterimages, and alter perception. With light there is always a second factor and that is colour, which is very important both for its emotional resonance and for it’s dissonance – it sparks my curiosity.

University of Waterloo Chair Projects

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Jamie Ferreira, Chair for Kurosawa, CUTMR 2009

The Chair Project

Each year since 2009, Come Up To My Room curators have worked with professor Elizabeth English and visited to the University of Waterloo School of Architecture to select three to five chairs from their unique Chair Project.

The project requires the design, construction and structural analysis of a folding or take-apart wood chair.  Course assignments guide the project through the steps of research, conceptualization, design development, construction, review and presentation, comprehensive structural analysis of the chair in its different positions, and complete documentation of the process in a booklet.  Students are encouraged to select a client who inspires them, and to approach the design with attention to the Vitruvian goals of firmness, commodity and delight – emphasis on delight!

Pamila Matharu

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Pamila Matharu is an independent artist, cultural producer and educator. Her art practice is rooted in organizing projects, photography, film, video, and installation based work. Recent curatorial projects include: CUTMR with Christina Zeidler (2004-2008), TAAFI (Toronto Alternative Art Fair International, 2004, 2005) and Docu Lomo (Gallery TPW, 2002.) In 2005, she was short listed for the Untitled Art Awards’ Best Emerging Curator and won the Jury’s Choice Award in both 2004 and 2005 Untitled Art Awards for her organizational contribution to TAFFI.

Bruno Billio – Room 209

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Apart from his own practice, he works with other artists, designers and architects to execute elements of their ideas in light and neon. Since 1989 he has run his own neon shop that became the foundation for the guerrilla art group Skunkworks/Outlaw Neon. He has been influenced by the simplicity in the design of light sculpture by such pioneers in the movement as Dan Flavin, James

Dennis Lin – Room 214

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Dennis Lin aims to make his sculptural and installation works without pretense. His initial reference points are folded into form, existing just beyond what is visible. From dynamic, hanging creations to static, grounded structures his works can be seen in cities worldwide including Dublin, Hong Kong, London, Los Angeles, Moscow, and Toronto.

For more information on Dennis Lin and his work in corporate, private or institutional collections please visit

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Lubo Brezina & Scott Eunson – Room 207

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Trained as architects, Lubo and Scott have been collaborating on various projects for over a decade now.  In applying their design skills in the realm of woodworking, Lubo in the medium of furniture and Scott in sculptural work, their philosophy is simple: Respect the material.

Click here to see their final installation for CUTMR 2011.

The Map Collective

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Andrew Chau & Patricia Joong

Graduates of McGill University’s School of Architecture, Andrew and Trish currently work in architectural practices in Toronto.

After spending the majority of the last several years in Montreal and China, Trish is having an awesome time rediscovering her hometown Toronto, most recently on two wheels. She enjoys live model sketching sessions and catching concerts in the city, and finds joy in figuring out how to make new objects/experiences from old things.

Andrew holds an M.Arch from McGill University. He loves to travel, having worked abroad in Hong Kong, Washington D.C., and most recently Rotterdam. He is very glad to be settling back home in Toronto, where he loves to discover and photograph the city’s industrial spaces, and is a food junkie, always delighted by the city’s culinary variety. His dream is to climb Machu Picchu.

Jen Spinner

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Jen Spinner is a Toronto artist and graphic designer whose work explores context and meaning in urban environments. She’s been busy exploring the secretive nature of fire escapes through a variety of mediums including photography, collage, screen printing and digital rendering. Jen has a B.A. (Hons.) from the University of Toronto in Semiotics and Communication Theory and Women’s Studies. Her work includes pieces shown at Red Head gallery, The Square Foot Show, illustration and design for Workman Arts, collages for the SpeakEasy Spring Craft Show and a City of Craft installation. In addition to freelancing, Jen is junior designer at The Walrus magazine.

Rob Southcott – Room 212

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Rob Southcott’s practice as an artist and designer is driven by a creative sensitivity for observation and synthesis. Seeking the excavation of form and its relationship to function and the social realm, Rob’s work explores the parameters of their reciprocity, collusion and exchange.

Rob creates furniture, lighting, objects, and art pieces that address the potential of form and function as a relational aesthetic exchange. His work draws from the realm of the experiential and the lived. As a creative maker, he finds inspiration in every facet of the material world, transforming observation into novel re-articulations of the known and the familiar. His process-oriented practice summons metaphor and considers the inherent lives of materials and their transformation.

Chaos Theory

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Becky Lane & Chrissy Poitras

Becky Lane is an emerging designer and Chrissy Poitras an emerging artist. Together they explore their shared fascination with the grander philosophical concepts of the universe, happenstance, and the everyday rituals of life.

Becky Lane is the principal designer for the design studio, I Beast You. She has a degree in interior design from Ryerson University. Becky explores themes of nostalgia and remembrance by recreating objects from her past, and incorporating the discarded objects from other people’s pasts into her own stories.

Chrissy Poitras is an abstract painter and printmaker with a degree in fine art from Queens University. She is the Executive Director of Spark Box, a print studio and residency. Her work is an investigation of the accidental marks found in her surroundings, the purpose of which is not to create a unified composition, but to allow the viewer to follow trains of thought.

Derek Liddington – Room 208

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Derek Liddington holds an MFA from the University of Western Ontario and BFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. In his practice forms of mimicry, appropriation and translation are catalyst for the displacement of contemporary narratives. Through sculptural performances the work negotiates the role of these narratives in the development of culturally specific icons and iconography. Liddington fell in love with pop art while watching David Bowie play Andy Warhol in the film Basquiat. Later, when discussing this with a friend, Liddington was informed that he was, in fact a “pomo”. As a result of this conversation he went out and bought the David Bowie album Hunky Dory. Liddington’s work has been widely exhibited at venues such as Cambridge Galleries, Clark and Faria, Art Metropole and Nuit Blanche.



Mark McLean

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This is Mark McLean’s first public show heralding his move from hobby artist to an emerging participant in Toronto’s art scene.  As a 20+ year veteran of the real estate industry in Toronto,  he currently manages one of the most avant-garde real estate offices in the city. Mark has always been intrigued in the merging of art and business.  Creativity spurs a competitive advantage because it teaches us to observe trends, pick up on visual and social clues, build the unique and find new ways of tackling old problems.

Through what is best described as ‘assembled sculpture,’ Mark is particularly fond of surfing dollar stores, discount warehouses and surplus dealers looking for bulk items to assemble. Individually, any item can be boring and overlooked, but collectively they become compelling. Whether items are assembled in an orderly fashion, manipulated haphazardly, stacked or simply dunked in paint, the results are often the same — the redundant or absurd is made relevant.

Patrick Svilans

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Patrick is a graduate of the Industrial Design program at the Ontario College of Art & Design. He pays the bills doing restoration work on some of the most unique and interesting antique motor vehicles in the world.

Patrick’s most recent series of machines are an attempt to express a particular philosophical concept or life guiding principle using a physical form rather than words:  order from chaos, and the negotiation of opposing forces in daily life.

These models employ the undeniable novelty of shiny things that move and light up.

LeuWebb Projects

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Christine Leu and Alan Webb find inspiration and joy in creating immersive and interactive environments in publicly accessible spaces.  Their installation for Come Up To My Room 2011 represents the first creation in Toronto by LeuWebb Projects.

Christine is an intern architect, writer, photographer, and teacher.  She interested in unique communities thriving in the everyday.  As such, she is working on projects on the Highway of Heroes on the 401 highway and immigrant farmers in downtown Toronto.

Alan is a licensed architect, dj and polymath with projects in graphic design, music and film, and an interest in field recordings and radio production. He was a founding member of Toronto’s wabi collective (an electronic music, projection and installation-centric group) and has travelled widely in search of volcanic activity and hot springs.

Technical programming for the CUTMR piece is being provided by Jeff Lee and Omar Khan.

Technical programming for the CUTMR piece is being provided by Jeff
Lee and Omar Khan.Technical programming for the CUTMR piece is being provided by Jeff
Lee and Omar Khan.

Brothers Dressler

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Twin woodworkers Jason and Lars Dressler, build furniture and other objects with a respect for material, process and craftsmanship. By focusing on creating at a local craft level, Brothers Dressler design and produce all of their custom furniture and batch production pieces out of their studio workshop in Toronto. Always looking for opportunities to repurpose and upcycle salvaged objects, materials and waste streams, they make a continuous effort to use materials which are locally harvested or from responsible suppliers. The nature of their work is defined by the specific elements that go into each piece, and they embrace the constraints inherent in the materials selected for each project.

Current clients include Evergreen, PARC, The Shorefast Foundation and the YMCA.

For their Public Space installation at CUTMR 2011, Brothers Dressler will explore reconstructing fallen and discarded City of Toronto trees, combining them with discarded engine parts to create new lighting and seating.

Amanda McCavour – Room 211

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McCavour holds a BFA from York University where she studied drawing and installation.  She has participated in international exhibitions and has recently completed residencies at Harbourfront Centre’s Textile Studio in Toronto and at the Klondike Institute of Art and Culture in Dawson City. McCavour uses a sewing machine to create thread drawings and installations by sewing into a fabric that dissolves in water.  She is interested in the vulnerability of thread, its ability to unravel, and its strength when it is sewn together.

Studio 1:1 – Room 205

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Kira Varvanina & Edward Lin

Studio 1:1 is a multi-faceted studio founded by Kira Varvanina and Edward Lin in 2010.  The studio takes on all design challenges and explorations with an emphasis on interactivity.  Being able to engage and communicate with the audience is an important element in architecture, sculpture and installation.

Kira and Edward were formally trained in Architecture at Carleton University and have both graduated with their Master’s Degrees.  Throughout the years, they have collaborated on architecture competitions, the design and construction of furniture and taken part in art exhibitions.  They have shown their installations and sculptures at the Junction Arts Festival, 2968 Dundas St. W., Snowball Gallery,  and the Gladstone Hotel.

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Xiaojing Yan – Room 210

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Xiaojing Yan is a Chinese born Toronto-based artist. She received her M.F.A on Sculpture from Indiana University, Pennsylvania, USA, and B.F.A from Nanjing Arts Institution, China.  As an artist migrating from China to North America, both her identity and her work pass through the complex filters of different countries, languages, and cultural expectations. In her art, every idea travels through the intricate passageway of how she thinks in Chinese but speaks in English.  In an effort to shape herself, she takes traditional Chinese materials and techniques and reinvents them within a Western aesthetic and presentation.

Yan’s sculptures have been exhibited in galleries and museums in China, Canada and United States. Yan is the recipient of numerous grants including most recently the Emerging Artist Grant from Canada Council for the Arts.

Frank De Jong

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Frank De Jong is an artist and custom furniture maker with the Toronto-based woodworking collective ‘The Other Five’.  His passion for craft was honed in Sheridan College’s craft and design program where he majored in furniture.  He enjoys making functional objects which maintain a strong conceptual aspect, and is especially inspired by iconic furniture pieces, often referencing them in his work.  Frank actively participates in various exhibitions and publications including his most recent inclusion in Lark Books ‘500 Cabinets.’  Modern ideas are paired with unconventional and exploratory uses of materials to achieve Frank’s signature aesthetic.  A manipulator of many medias including wood, acrylic, metal and fibre, Frank is most enthused by the opportunity to reclaim pre-used materials and make what was once old, new again.

Jana Macalik | John Peterson | Diana Watters – Room 202

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This is a first time collaboration between Macalik, Peterson and Watters. Jana seeks to integrate art, science, and architecture to create memorable and immersive experiences, avidly developing and pursuing her philosophy of spatial narratives. She currently is a design researcher and professor at Ryerson, dreaming of further academic pursuits. As a practicing architect at KPMB Architects, John has a long interest in elegantly expressed buildings. His work shows a sensitivity for the design, habitability, and sustainability of structures. Diana continues to examine the role of space as a communicator. She thrives to find ways to create experiences that manipulate materiality in unexpected ways in her day-to-day existence as an interior designer at Figure 3. They all play well together.

By wanting fully immersive experiences, Jana, John and Diana all explore space making as a link between the real and the virtual and thus, an extension of society and its identity. Their installation will connect to urban voyeurism, manipulating light and sound, image and form, glass and objects to tell a story of a room, its occupants and those who watch them.

Click here to see their final installation for CUTMR 2011.

Rina Grosman and Vivien Cheng

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Rina Grosman has a BFA from York University and works as an art consultant with James Robertson Art Consultants. One of her more recent projects was The Lost and Found Forest installation for Nuit Blanche 2009, winner of the People’s Choice award. Upcoming installations in 2011 include the MADE cooler and The Spoke Club.

Vivien Cheng created the light-activated installation Wall Flower at the Gladstone Hotel as part of Nuit Blanche 2009. She is also an designer whose work has been featured in Vogue, Elle and Daily Candy.

Both multidisciplinary artists, they are drawn to larger scale multiples and installations due to their impact on viewers and the challenge of their creation. This is Rina and Vivien’s first collaboration.

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The Cyborgesses – Room 206

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Jen Prather & Stephanie Mansolf

Spiders and Test tubes, Stephanie Mansolf & Jen Prather collaborative piece, 2010

Stephanie Mansolf works creating large scale installations, primarily compromised of large scale vinyl decals and cut out drawings. Mansolf’s work employs an excessive and intentional overuse of Aesthetics pushed to the point of obsession. Interested in creating life sized alternate realities, Mansolf explores what is oftentimes perceived as horrific and grotesque taboo subject matter in environments defined by her own rules & limitations. Mutation, insanity and disease are personified, becoming characters in Mansolf’s new landscapes. Thirsting for violence, enamored by the grotesque, craving the abnormal, these creatures candy coated facades seduce viewers into viewing taboo subject matter in an environment removed from terror and discomfort.

Jen Prather’s interest lies in creating a hyperreal environment that borrows from 1970s pattern design aesthetics and combines a patchwork of recycled fabric scraps, various crafty thread and yarn materials, and miscellaneous industrial cords and wires. In these spaces one can comingle with soft, anthropomorphic forms amidst playfully claustrophobic installations. Through exuberantly flamboyant colours and clashing patterns, one may feel comfortably energized while interacting with the creatures. Prather’s work primarily consists of soft sculptural objects, intermixed with a hybrid of paintings, small drawings, and text that are just as playful as the colours and imagery that it embodies. Material choices are determined based on purpose, without one having precedence over the other. Interested in the unique existence of each of her projects, Prather explores the permeation of interior exterior spaces, and the possibility that when viewers look into one of her installations, they may discover the installation is looking right back at them.

Together Stephanie & Jen are the Cyborgesses.

Jen Prather:

groundWork – Room 204

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Working under the name groundWork, the team is comprised entirely of 3rd and 4th year students from the University of Waterloo School of Architecture. Reflected within groundWork is an ambition, outside of their academic obligations, to realize a range of interests related to furniture design, computation-based form-finding, responsive architectures, and public space. groundWork is Daniela Leon, Han Dong, Brian Muthaliff, Maria Nikolova, Sayjel Patel, Leon Lai and Lily Nourmansouri.

Denise Ing & Ken Leung

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Denise Ing is a former resident artist at the Living Arts Centre whose work has been exhibited at Queen’s Park and Harbourfront Centre. Departing from craft practices, her sound installation, The Hyland, was exhibited at Toronto Free Gallery and, most recently, her interactive installation piece, 12 Hours of Power, was featured in the 2009 Toronto edition of Nuit Blanche.

Ken Leung is a multidisciplinary designer and artist specializing in interactive artifacts and environments. He has worked with the OCAD Mobile Experience Lab for the past four years, designing and programming objects and public installations that users can interact with through their mobile devices. Ken is currently working on the Biomapping project at OCAD, and is collaborating with researchers at the Baycrest Center for Geriatric Care to design aids for memory-impaired patients.

Both Ken and Denise share an interest in public interaction, hold Bachelor degrees in Psychology, and live in Toronto.

For CUTMR 2011, Ken and Denise present an interactive project Wish you were here!.


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Click here to Download Images of our Melody Bar, Art Bar and Café

Click Here to Download Images of Gladstone Hotel Rooms

Click here to Download Images of our Public Spaces

Click Here to Download Images of Random Events

Click here to Download Images of our Come Up To My Room – Our largest self produced Exhibition – Which features work from over 50 designers and artists.

Click Here to Download Images of our New Menus

Click here to download images of TO DO.

Lorella Di Cintio and Jonsara Ruth – Room 206

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Artist Statement:

The artists’ installation works transform the perception and experience of places. They intervene with existing spaces aiming to re-contextualize settings and historical meaning. Frequently, political and ethical viewpoints are melded within the beauty of the surface, space or object.


The artists’ installation works transform the perception and experience of places. They intervene with existing spaces aiming to re-contextualize settings and historical meaning. Frequently, political and ethical viewpoints are melded within the beauty of the surface, space or object.

Since 1997, Di Cintio and Ruth’ s collaborative work addresses notions of dormancy, anonymity of makers and interior landscapes. Their work is exhibited in museums, galleries and private collections.

Di Cintio is a full-time professor at Ryerson University, Faculty of Communication and Design, School of Interior Design. She has been educated in Canada, United States, and Europe in the fields of Interior Design, Architecture, Arts Education, Urban Planning, and Philosophy.

Ruth is the director of MFA Interior Design, School of Constructed Environments, Parsons the New School for Design and the lead designer and director of furniture design for Q Collection in New York. She holds a Masters of Architecture from Cranbrook Academy of Art and a BFA in Industrial Design from Rhode Island School of Design.

Jennifer Sciarrino | Jacob Whibley | Naomi Yasui – Room 210

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This is a first time collaboration between Sciarrino, Whibley and Yasui. Each of the three comes from different backgrounds, but share similar sensibilities in their personal practices and object making.  All presently live and work in Toronto.

Sciarrino holds a BFA from Ryerson’s Image Arts program. She is an emerging artist working in sculpture, installation and photography exploring ideas in material simulation of the uncanny natural environment.

Whibley is an emerging artist/designer currently exploring the themes of interstitial spaces and redressing modernist forms through paper collage and wooden constructions. He holds a BDes in Communication Design with a minor in Illustration from the Ontario College of Art and Design and is one fifth of the fine art collective Team Macho.

Yasui graduated from the Ontario College of Art and Design with a BDES in Material Art & Design.  As an emerging ceramicist her current work is developing within the context of porcelain’s historical origin and it’s relationship to the sciences.

Julia Hepburn – Room 204

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CUTMR-RM-204-2Artist Statement


In my room I have created a tableau in which the subject’s dreams are put on display. Viewers are invited to observe and interpret the imaginings of a figure sleeping in the centre of the room. These dreams are presented in the form of glowing scenes floating above the bed. The imagery in the piece is intended to walk the line between the light-hearted and uncomfortable, and as a result can be interpreted any number of ways according to the participants wishes. The goal of the work is to create an environment where viewers feel they have entered into a stolen moment, and they are encouraged to become voyeurs of the most intimate kind.


Hepburn was raised in Mississauga Ontario, the younger of two girls and the daughter of an Ontario College of Art and Design graduate. As such, art was a constant in her life. In 2005, she graduated from McMaster University with and Honors Degree in Fine Arts though it was two years later that she decided to pursue a career as an artist. Since then she has lived and worked in Toronto, currently creating work out of her Spadina Avenue apartment.

Though Hepburn often produces two-dimensional works, including chalk pastel and acrylic paintings, the main focus of her art has been the production of dioramas.  She has participated in a number of group exhibitions at such galleries as  Whippersnapper, The Art Gallery of Mississauga, Resistor and Prime Gallery. Her works have also earned her the Best Sculpture Award at the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition in 2008 and 2009.

WORK/PARTY – Room 214

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Chris Braden | Mike Dudek | Paul Kawai | Liam Johnstone | Ayla Newhouse | Emma Wright

party3Artist Statement

Sometimes you just have to get up and go, and sometimes you aren’t the only one.  This is one of those times.  The idea behind Recent Departures is to remain in a state of constant departure while always arriving. Departures need not be sad, for they are simply the beginning of an arrival.
“The ride does not require explanation, just occupants.”


WORK/PARTY is a loose collective, occasionally pulled together when the stars are perfectly aligned. Over the last few years they have stumbled, crawled and leapt out of art and design schools on either coast of the country. Since graduating, Johnstone has been working at Pylon, Wright at Small Design, Newhouse is continuing her involvement with the Institute Without Boundaries at George Brown, and Braden, Dudek and Kawai are working at Bruce Mau Design. They share a desire to work with companies, individuals and institutions who are interested in making things better. With a few years of work experience they feel a renewed energy to explore and produce with the enthusiasm and naivety of amateurs. Though they have long been fans of Come Up To My Room this will be their first time as participants.

Jennifer Davis | Jamie Phelan – Room 212

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Artist Statement


Inside Ballroom, a small found object is collected, amassed and repurposed to reconfigure the hotel room and achieve a large-scale spatial transformation.  The visitor experience oscillates between the confrontation with solid mass and the occupation of empty space that is enveloped by, contained inside, left over from and altered by, a solid.  Ballroom is a place of contrast, where perception and experience flip from the familiar to the unexpected.


Davis and Phelan first crossed paths in New York City while designing hospitality projects. A shared passion for creating spaces of spectacle and interaction, combined with their studies of architecture and interior design, result in designs that transport the audience into unique, memorable places.

Davis is currently working towards her Master of Architecture at the Daniels Faculty of Architecture Landscape & Design at the University of Toronto. She has studied in Rome and has worked with design and architecture firms in New York, Toronto and Madrid. Her current interest is the potential crossovers between art, dance, and architecture.

Phelan graduated from the Interior Design program at Parsons School of Design, after which she worked on hospitality design projects throughout the United States. She is currently working in New York as a trend forecaster as well as pursuing residential design projects both in New York and Toronto.

Maggie Greyson | Christine Lieu | Phoebe Lo – Room 202

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CUTMR-RM-202-3Artist Statement

Undertaking Acquisition – Chronicles of Our Time

We have brought the Archival Library of Found Treasures to the Gladstone Hotel and invite you to participate in the lost and found of priceless objects. Welcome to a dazzling array of unique items, paragons of the Toronto region. Bring your micro frippery, gimcrack cutting, divorced doodads, fandangle filaments and the odds of your analog widgets. Exchange it for a virtuously reputable fare! Come see a collection like no other. There is something for everyone, and everyone can walk away with something.

Step into the world of imagination…welcome.


With backgrounds in theatre, industrial design and sculpture, Greyson, Lieu, and Lo have come together to create room 202. Influenced by natural cycles, a fascination with collections, and an all around interest in cultivating stories of existing humanity, the trio have put their magical touch on a room that will take you to another world ‐ a place like no other ‐ where stories unfold and new experiences are shared. In order to continue this trail of treasures lost and now found, will you partake in the foreign exchange with them?





Lisa Keophila | Fiona Lim Tung | Kristen Lim Tung | Jon Margono – Room 211

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Artist Statement

CUTMR-RM-211-2This quartet’s room treads the fine line between fact and fiction, science and art, confusion and creativity, and breakthroughs and breakdowns. Through cross-disciplinary techniques, the work is simultaneously technical and accurate, naive and romantic, and speaks to a renewed wonder in the world and the things that surround us, what we with to surround us.

Keophila, F. Lim Tung, K. Lim Tung, and Margono were brought together by a mutual admiration for each other’s work.


This quartet’s room treads the fine line between fact and fiction, science and art, confusion and creativity, and breakthroughs and breakdowns. Through cross-disciplinary techniques, the work is simultaneously technical and accurate, naive and romantic, and speaks to a renewed wonder in the world and the things that surround us, what we with to surround us.

Keophila’s current practice includes embroidery, cutwork, illustration and papercutting. Her themes vary from relationships, communication, identity and Canadiana but always centre around control, repetition and creative manipulation.

F. Lim Tung received a Master of Architecture from the University of Toronto. She teaches architecture, and has received several awards for her work which deals largely with contemporary considerations of traditional types, small spaces, and craft techniques.

K. Lim Tung’s work has been widely exhibited and published, and is sold internationally. Her work focuses on the play between the familiar and the whimsical and expresses a nostalgic connection to material culture.

Margono received his graphic design degree in 2007. He currently works as a freelance graphic designer, with recent clients including Underline Studio and his Mom’s church friends. He is a practicing bureaucrat by day and illustrator by night.

Berkeley Poole | Jamie Webster – 205

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CUTMR-RM-205-3Artist Statement

Virtually all human sensory experiences are obtained via external input. We are constantly bombarded with external sensory information while so many of our essential internal bodily processes and infrastructures go unnoticed. Our objective is to represent the opposing forces (health and disease, restoration and decay) that exist within our internal systems by engaging the viewer in a visceral manner. As opposed to creating objects to be adored or revered, our intention is to create an environment that exposes the viewer’s inner somatic experiences.


Both artists are graduates of the York/Sheridan Joint Program in Design, as well as the Bauhaus Universität, Weimar. Previous installation artwork includes the Apolda Design Exchange and the DeLeon White Gallery.  Their aesthetic and conceptual methods are largely informed by German and Swiss schools of thought. A pervasive minimalist sensibility arises from the combination of self-imposed constraints, process driven design, and material experimentation.

Presented by Alchemy

Richard Unterthiner | Paolo Ferrari – Room 207

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CUTMR-RM-207-3Artist Statement

As a tableau vivant that re-enacts a past time and experience when the bed chamber functioned as site of display, as audience chamber, as symbol of power – both political and sexual – as theatre and as realm of slumbering possibility, Bed Memory aims to construct a kind of spatial choreography through which one or more visitors engage with the bed.  Becoming part of a proscribed narrative, but conditioned by the accidents of individual participation, participants experience a heightened perceptual awareness and engage in a phenomenological encounter that both creates and evokes memory. Ultimately, the bedroom becomes a space of accumulated recollections, performances of past and present, familiar and foreign, individual and collective, prosaic and profound.


As a tableau vivant that re-enacts a past time and experience when the bed chamber functioned as site of display, as audience chamber, as symbol of power – both political and sexual – as theatre and as realm of slumbering possibility, Bed Memory aims to construct a kind of spatial choreography through which one or more visitors engage with the bed.  Becoming part of a proscribed narrative, but conditioned by the accidents of individual participation, participants experience a heightened perceptual awareness and engage in a phenomenological encounter that both creates and evokes memory. Ultimately, the bedroom becomes a space of accumulated recollections, performances of past and present, familiar and foreign, individual and collective, prosaic and profound.

Unterthiner is a recent graduate of the John H. Daniels school of Architecture at the University of Toronto where he completed a master’s thesis on Cinematic Architecture, and earned the RAIC Medal as well as the AIA Henry Adams Medal. His passion for film and art practice is something he cultivated while at the Ontario College of Art and Design, and has greatly informed his academic architectural career. It is the intersection of cinema, art and design that Unterthiner aims to continue to develop in his professional practice.

A graduate and medal winner from the Ontario College of Art and Design, Ferrari’s current focus as a professional designer is new concept commercial projects within an interior, graphic and architectural context. As a designer for II BY IV, he has lead numerous award winning projects ranging from retail design, restaurant and hospitality design as well as, multi-dwelling residential design. Ferrari’s current obsession has been retail design and its relevance within contemporary society. In addition to his professional design work, he is an instructor at the Ontario College of Art and Design.

Noelle Hamlyn -Room 208

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Artist StatementCUTMR-RM-208-2

A room remembers.

Inhaling light and sound and thought … Its inhabitants are forever … Absorbed … By soft silent lungs

The room holds … Breath … Keeps secrets

In silence … In the shadow of a turned back … The room exhales … Murmuring its contents … As breathing … Points in time

A room remembers.

Hamlyn metaphorically opens the room – coaxing it to reveal its organic structure by draping it in hand embroidered Gampi tissue paper, reminiscent of layers of dissected lungs. As if remembering every interaction, every conversation, the room is revealed to be many layers of tissue, each a breathing point in time.


Hamlyn is intrigued by the possibilities of textiles – of textures and fibres to evoke emotion. Believing our sense of touch is one of the most powerful and profound vehicles of human experience, she is drawn to materials with strong tactile qualities and uses these as metaphors to explore experience.

Hamlyn is a graduate of Sheridan Institute’s Crafts and Design Program (Textiles), and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her studio work has earned numerous awards and been shown across Canada and throughout Chicago. Most recently, her work was selected for inclusion in the International Craft Biennale in Cheongju, South Korea, the Vancouver 2010 Cultural Olympiad, and a North American touring exhibition curated by the Canadian Craft Federation. Hamlyn is a member of the Ontario Crafts Council and the Toronto based Contemporary Textile Coop.

Bruno Billio | Orest Tataryn – Room 209

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CUTMR-RM-209-2Artist Statement

Gold Line

Tataryn’s application of neon tubes of coloured lines of will integrate with Billio’s elegantly designed living spaces to give a poetic construction to their installation.
Billio has been including perfectly straight lines of lighted thread in his designs, so that the generation of bent lines of light with personal interjections of Tatayn’s work will make this an interesting evolution of the designers’ free association.

Billio is the resident artist at the Gladstone Hotel and  an installation artist, sculptor, and designer. He has gained notoriety for his inventive use of stacking objects and his ability to reinterpret the everyday through spatial and contextual re-appropriation. Billio has exhibited internationally in Milan, London, Miami, New York and LA.


As a light sculptor Tataryn is interested in transformation – how light can transform space, create optical illusions, project afterimages, and alter perception. With light there is always a second factor and that is colour, which is very important both for its emotional resonance and for it’s dissonance – it sparks my curiosity.

Apart from his own practice, he works with other artists, designers and architects to execute elements of their ideas in light and neon. Since 1989 he has run his own neon shop that became the foundation for the guerrilla art group Skunkworks/Outlaw Neon. He has been influenced by the simplicity in the design of light sculpture by such pioneers in the movement as Dan Flavin, James

Propellor Design

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Toby Barratt | Pamela Goddard | Nik Rust


Artist Statement


Inspired by mushrooms growing on a walnut log found in the Okanagan, and intrigued by their resilience and tenacity, Propellor Design began to investigate how mushrooms grow and propagate. Drawing from the idea of multi-directional information transmission within nature, “mycologic” is a modular sculpture that brings nature inside.


Propellor Design is committed to creating useful, beautiful and sustainable objects and experiences. Designers Barratt, Goddard and Rust became friends and creative allies while studying sculpture at Vancouver’s Emily Carr University and have since formed Propellor, a multi-disciplinary studio specializing in custom lighting, furniture and exhibition design. A love of, and concern for the natural world is at the core of Propellor’s design practice, and is reflected in the forms, materials and processes used in their work. Experimenting with new materials, prototyping new ideas and striving for a balance between aesthetics, function and sustainability gives Propellor a reason to get to work on time.

Science & Sons

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Tristan Zimmermann

CUTMR-PS-Science-and-SonsArtist Statement


The inherent angles and motion of clock hands is exploited via Euclidean geometry to produce isometric projections, illusions of a third dimension and of course, an accurate account of the passage of  time.


If Canadian designer Zimmermann lived ages ago, he would have invented something ground-breaking. But by 2005, modesty, the internet and penicillin had already been invented, so Zimmermann founded Science and Sons. In many ways, Science and Sons is better than modesty but not quite as necessary as penicillin.

The work of Science and Sons aims to indulge the overlooked, and elegantly subvert the status quo. Works are produced through various arrangements; as limited editions, under license by 3rd party brands, and by private commission.

Whether expressed through art, design or the misshapen offspring born of their coupling, the company’s mission is simple; “To put a song in your heart, and a harmless little hole in your wallet.”

Tamara Rushlow Design Inc.

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CUTMR-PS-RushloweArtist Statement

Puzzle Lamp

The Puzzle Lamp is a symmetrical floor lamp that incorporates a series of colourful metal pieces in a fan-like configuration.  Using more or less pieces, various sizes and colours, this lamp minimizes material waste and maximizes its customizability.


Industrial Designer Rushlow enjoys developing her work through technical and geometric investigations that are reflected in the final form and aesthetic.  Her designs are often bold at first sight yet intricate upon closer study and often based on harmonious relationships between multiples, whether their interaction is seemingly random or intricately ordered through patterns or repetitions.  She divides her time between designing objects, as well as interiors and film and video through her production design company Pink Calculator.

Rushlow holds a Masters in Industrial Design from Scuola Politecnica di Design in Milan, a Bachelor of Fine Arts History from the University of British Columbia, and studied furniture design at Sheridan College in Toronto.  She has exhibited at IDEX ‘09, Radiant Dark ‘08-’09, 100% Design ‘08, Salone Del Mobile ‘06 and is based in Toronto.


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Carla Gusek | Wilson Loh


Artist Statement

Heartbreakers aims to provoke conversation with their visual representation of the dynamics of conversation and interaction with touch activated light and wood stools.


Gusek was born and grew up in St. Albert, Alberta. Loh was born in a small town in Brunei but has called Edmonton home for the past 16 years. They met while they were attending the University of Alberta in the Industrial Design program. Through class projects and exhibiting together in a local show they realized that they had different, yet complimentary ideas and similar work habits.

As individual designers, they both have very different and distinct styles. Gusek has a tendency for textures, organic forms, and complicated philosophies (some times overly complicated). Loh tends to strip everything down to its essence and is very heavily influenced by minimalism, clean lines (some times overly simple). The interplay of these two styles is what now defines Heartbreakers design Studio. Their first furniture line called Lover expresses love, heartbreak, minimalism and conceptual ideas in a clear communicative way.

Christina Ott | Marion Lanktree

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CUTMR-PS-Lanktree-Ott-3Artist Statement

“Our piece is intended to create an enchanted environment, which promotes curiosity, interaction and ultimately participation. We hope the installation will evolve over the course of the show through participation.”


Ott studied Interior Design at Ryerson University. She participated in collective for CUTMR 2009 on the stairwell public space installation, which featured more than 4000 found keys. This installation was revised and remounted as part of the exhibit Upcycling; a group show featured at the Architecture and Design Museum in Los Angeles. She also interned for three summers at Peter Marino Architects in NYC during her studies, and currently works at Moss and Lam, a custom art studio in Toronto.

Lanktree graduated from the Material Art and Design program at the Ontario College of Art and Design in Toronto. She created a Wallflower piece now produced by Umbra. Her goal as a designer is to enchant and inspire through her use of aesthetics and materials in everyday objects. Currently, she is pursuing her MDes in Product Design at Carleton University, where she is further exploring the important role aesthetics play in our everyday environments.

Filiz Klassen | Dan Browne

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IMG_8613Artist Statement:

Comprised of multiple pre-recorded video loops with a thermal camera, ‘War(n/m)ing’ will suspend the participant’s gaze on the energy exchange between the Gladstone Hotel and the atmosphere around it.


Klassen, an artist/researcher and Associate Professor at Ryerson University and Browne, a Toronto-based filmmaker and artist, merge their artistic practices that involve video and architectural installations to raise awareness of critical issues around climate change and architecture.

Klassen’s body of work merges conceptual architectural ideas, videography and installations within built environments. Her upcoming solo exhibition entitled Snow, Rain, Light, Wind: Weathering Architecture will take place at Cambridge Galleries, Design at Riverside from November 18, 2009 to January 3, 2010.  In 2008, she created and directed ‘Weathering Architecture’, Harbourfront Centre: Hatch, Emerging Performance Projects.

Browne is a filmmaker, composer, photographer and videographer who holds a B.F.A (Hon.) in Film Studies from Ryerson University. His work has been screened within traditional cinematic contexts in North and South America, Europe, and Asia. He collaborates on performances, including Weathering Architecture (Harbourfront Centre, 2008), and Reaching For Nothing (The Perimeter Institute, 2008), as well as curating film and multidisciplinary events with The Loop Collective.

Funded by Ontario Arts Council, Interactive Arts Grant, 2009


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Artist Statement


“Weave” asks the public take part in creating a communal fabric, begun by Sketch, and made up of textiles found and created in the Sketch open studio. “Weave” springs from the idea that people’s individual ideas and contributions can work together to create something whole, beautiful and strong.



Sketch is a multi-media art studio space for street involved and homeless youth aged 16 to 29.  They share space with homeless youth for self-expression through art.  They offer a safe and supportive space for these youth who seek alternatives to traditional forms of education, therapy and skill building. They recognize the power of expression through the arts and welcome their youth to determine their own individual pace and interpretation within it. They celebrate the creativity, resilience and diversity of their youth and see them as key contributors to culture and society.

Sketch has exhibited at a variety of festivals, gallery spaces, youth events, vending sites and art auctions.  Some of their artists have their work in various stores throughout Toronto.  They are recognized as a space that generates diverse ideas and transforms them into unique creations.

Click here to join the Sketch Facebook Group and hear about upcoming Sketch Events!


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Stephen Lindsay


Toronto based urbanproduct is a multi-discipline studio whose main focus is Product and Industrial Design. Launched in 2009 by Scottish born Lindsay, UP continues to grow, moving toward larger scale projects and interiors beginning with the introduction of  ?Dune? wall treatment at IDS 2009.  Functionality, affordability and an ecological awareness lead designs from initial concept toward a high quality outcome with a very unique and elegant visual dialogue.

Every effort is made to use local manufacturers and suppliers who operate their business with the environment in mind. UP strives to supply high quality, durable and eco-conscious design without compromise. Recycled, reclaimed and repurposed materials and objects maintain the charm, beauty and integrity of past designs, but are complimented by handcrafted sleek additions to give new purpose for the spaces we eat sleep and live in. Bamboo, domestic hardwoods, concrete, industrial felt, rubbers and plastics combine to striking effect in objects such as furniture, interiors and lighting.

Margaret Pryde

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CUTMR-PS-PrydeArtist  Statement

So a Guy Walks Into A Bar…

The bar assumes awesome responsibility. As the night wears on, it stands, sturdy and sober, ready to please. Offering to support the weight of an elbow, conveniently providing a perch for a foot. But what if it had enough? Maybe it has absorbed a little too much alcohol from the spilled drinks and finally buckled under the weight of that elbow…


Pryde is a furniture maker and sculptural artist and a graduate of Sheridan College’s furniture design program in 2000. She presently works as a cabinetmaker and functional artist in Stratford, Ontario. Inspired by vacant factories and footworn staircases, she sometimes finds herself nostalgic for an era she did not live in. It is in this spirit she often works breathing new life into reclaimed building materials and changing their purpose from industrial to conceptual. When she was young (and gullible), Pryde worked as a tree planter in Northern Ontario, Alberta and Australia, gaining insight into the other side of the logging industry. Although, she is still not sure she can see the forest for the trees?

Edward Lin | Kira Varvanina

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CUTMR-PS-Lin-VarvaninaArtist Statement

A Piece of the Pie

“A Piece of the Pie” explores the participation of the physical body in the one-way relationship of visual communication.  By interrupting the peripheral vision of the observer, it requires movement in order to attain the entire image. Forming a wall of visual interruptions the installation aims to disorient and intrigue the viewer.


Lin and Varvanina both received their architectural backgrounds at Carleton University and are currently working in Toronto. In the past, they have particiated in various public exhibits, individually and as a collective. Today, they collaboarate in competitions and exhibitions internationally and locally. They are interested in interative art and installations and are frequient participants in a number of Toronto art events.

Michelle O’Byrne

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CUTMR-PS-OByrneO’Byrne was born in Dublin, Ireland. She is a photo-based artist interested in the mundane and the kitsch. Having lived abroad for the majority of her life, she now resides in Toronto, where North American popular culture gives her much of the inspiration for her work. She is currently completing her studies in Photography at Ryerson University.

The Agostinis and Harrison-Off Design Institute (A.H.D.I.)

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CUTMR-PS-AHDIMatthew Agostinis | Joel Harrison-Off

The A.H.D.I. studied at the prestigious Sheridan College school of Crafts and Design in the furniture program and graduated in 2001.  They went on to pursue careers as furniture makers and proceeded to burn down their first shop.  After the fire, they set up in the Living Arts Centre in Mississauga which provided the heavy security required to protect both themselves and others from their work.  AHDI has been involved in many shows ranging from the Interior Design Show in Toronto to shows by the Ontario Crafts Council.  Currently AHDI specializes in the fabrication and design of custom furniture, architectural detailing and space shuttles.

Alexx Boisjoli | Ian Phillips

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Artist Statement

Chevaux de bois

“Chevaux de bois” is a simplified visual and interactive representation of a carnival sideshow. Patrons can win porcelain sculptures by playing a midway game of chance.


Boisjoli is a visual artist and designer working in porcelain. Utlizing advanced techniques in design, production and finishing, Boisjoli develops items unique in character and functional in their simplicity. His direct focus is toward creating domestic objects that stand out in your space but feel good in the hand.

Phillips is an award-winning illustrator who has also been running a small press, Pas de chance, for over 25 years. His hand crafted books continue to be exhibited in galleries from Moscow to San Francisco and are in the possession of collectors around the globe. He is also a published author. His book “Lost” garnered a memorable interview on CNN with Jeannie Moos, and a line of toys & clothing in Japan. Phillips sits on the board of directors of The Homemade Movie Project and is a co-founder of the Holiday Arts Mail-order School. He is currently working on his first video installation project, which will be exhibited at The Tom Thomson Art Gallery in 2010. Phillips lives in Toronto with his giant Boston Terrier and best friend, Fancy.

This is their first collaboration.


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Erin O’Hara | Andy Miller

CUTMR-PS-Miller-OHaraArtist Statement

Safe and Warm

A plane crashes, creatures catapult from the blast and parachute to the safety of warm sweater hills.   While the work first appears to be a tragedy in the moment, it is the small characters, thrown from the center of the disaster, that reveal the chance for a new beginning and offer hope from within the chaos.


Fireweed was born of a shared fondness for giving old objects and reclaimed materials a new purpose by using them to create contemporary art and design. It is a small collective with ambitious ideas, made up of two members: O’Hara and Miller. This exhibition will be their first collaboration in which they work with an equally shared vision under the Fireweed name.

O’Hara and Miller first joined forces in 2003 when they combined their talents of art and design to create a number of pieces for the Playing Doctor and Monster Show exhibitions.

The Fireweed ideology focuses on the creation of aesthetically pleasing pieces that redefine perfection by presenting the world as it is: the reality. Their hope is to find beauty in the seemingly awed or in the glimmers of hope that arise following a disaster. We consider this practice to be honest because it reects the world as it is.

Soon Cho

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CUTMR-PS-ChoArtist Statement

Cho’s goal is to create good design with everyday materials. She will play with plastic gimp and light to create a surface that will texture the walls to make them come alive with shadows.


Soon Cho is a textile artist trained in Rhode Island School of Design, and based in Toronto. She sees many products and materials that people use everyday (drinking straws, plastic forks, disposable cups, all the things that could be easily thrown away without a longer lifespan) as a new material that could be transformed for a new life, and given value though the artist’s hand.

This year, Cho has been working with drinking straws and plastic gimp to create lamps. While playing with the materials, she finds them imbued with endless possibilities in form and design. She hand knits the plastic gimp and melts it in different way for a variety of designs, using the large surfaces to cover floor lamps, and for wall decorations and hangings.

Cho participated in the 2009 Interior Design Show, and will also be showing at Radiant Dark 2010.

Participants – Chair Projects – University of Waterloo

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The project requires the design, construction and structural analysis of a folding or take-apart wood chair.  Course assignments guide the project through the steps of research, conceptualization, design development, construction, review and presentation, comprehensive structural analysis of the chair in its different positions, and complete documentation of the process in a booklet.  Students are encouraged to select a client who inspires them, and to approach the design with attention to the Vitruvian goals of firmness, commodity and delight –emphasis on delight!

Sit|Share|Relax, Chair for Guy Laliberte

Mike Love & Brian Muthaliff


Concrete Milking Stool

Makers: Adam Schwartzentruber & Sayjel Patel

Photo credit: Adam Lee Schwartzentruber

Minimal Chair (for William Carlos Williams)

Dan McTavish & Patrick Burke

For projects by Dan McTavish, see

Chair 25

Grace Yang


Above is the installation by Grace Yang for Come Up To My Room 2009 at the Gladstone Hotel.

Using humour and skepticism Grace Yang’s light boxes express her interpretation of the negative readings that she has received from various psychics around the world.


Grace Wawa Yang was born and raised in Taiwan. She currently works and lives in New York City, where she finished her MFA from Parsons School of Design. Yang uses various mediums such as digital photography, light box, and mixmedia painting. She uses art to express her inner and outer world, and to represent both her consciousness of the world around her and her imaginative subconscious.

Nicholas Bruscia & Patricia Schraven


Above is the installation by Nicholas Bruscia & Patricia Schraven for Come Up To My Room 2009 at the Gladstone Hotel.

Marshall McLuhan suggested that we cannot visualize while telephoning, as the act demands complete participation of our senses and faculties. This installation is an attempt to bring the other senses into play in a new relation by creating real time physical visualizations derived from speaking into a telephone.


Nicholas Bruscia is a recent graduate from the collaborative dual Masters Degree program between Architecture (Situated Technologies Research Group) and Media Robotics at SUNY Buffalo. His most recent work has been focused on the design for a reflexive architecture machine consisting of a system of heat sensitive soft molds that alter their shape as the poured material’s temperature increases, thus changing the morphology of the casted piece.

Patricia Schraven is an independent artist and designer. Her practice focuses on the conflicting ideas of craft vs. mass production, practical vs. speculative, and analog vs. digital. Her recent work deals with function and interactivity, and fosters a participatory, give and take relationship between the object and the user. Patricia is a graduate of Sheridan College’s Furniture Design program, and she also holds a BFA from the State University of New York at Buffalo.

Maté Szemeredy


Above is the installation by Maté Szemeredy for Come Up To My Room 2009 at the Gladstone Hotel.


Maté  was not born in Paris, he did not grow up in London, and he is not the product of a New York private school education. He has never sailed the oceans, or any body of water for that matter. He has had little contact with the academic elite of the 21st century, and can safely say that when it comes to day-to-day matters, he has seldom seen the upside of a downward spiral. Going left while looking right is something that has come naturally to this young man, hence his refined sense in all matters sartorial. He knows that a low-slung bottom bracket could be the potential answer to many of life’s key questions. He just doesn’t know which ones.

Jeremy Hatch



Above is the installation by Jeremy Hatch (presented by Made) for Come Up To My Room 2009 at the Gladstone Hotel.


Jeremy’s installations employ the cultural associations of porcelain to invoke range of conflicting responses. Occupying both social and solitary space, his sculpture is simultaneously monument and souvenir– a mnemonic device that awakens feelings of loss and longing.  For Jeremy, the act of casting is a symbolic gesture: it freezes a moment in time, recording and preserving forms and events that are impossible to re-live. His work implicates the viewer as a participant – reflecting back the personal histories, desires and anxieties brought to it.

Born in 1974, Vancouver artist Jeremy Hatch has exhibited his large-scale cast porcelain sculpture nationally and internationally. Since receiving his MFA at NYSCC Alfred University Jeremy has taught courses at Interlochen Center for the Arts, Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design and the Rhode Island School of Design. He has received several Canada Council and BC Arts Council grants and has attended residencies at the Takumi Studios in Japan, the European Ceramic Work Centre in the Netherlands, Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts, and the Archie Bray Foundation, where he is the current recipient of the Taunt Fellowship. In 2008 Jeremy founded Ricochet Studio as a means to explore the intersections between craft, art and design. One goal of the studio is to collaborate with artists from various disciplines in order to develop limited edition works. Diyan Achjadi, David Khang and Mark Soo are the first to join in.




Above is Motherbrand’s public space installation for Come Up To My Room 2009 at the Gladstone Hotel.

Motherbrand proudly presents Penny Smash, a new Souvenir Shop project featuring original pressed pennies designed by Douglas Coupland, Marian Bantjes, Burton Kramer and Paul Butler – smash your own for only $2 (and 1 cent) each. Pick your favourite or collect them all! Partial proceeds go to Sketch, Toronto’s art studio for street youth.


Motherbrand, the partnership of designers Todd Falkowsky, John Ryan, and Michael Erdmann, is a creative agency and design incubator.

Einav Mekori, Erin McCutcheon, Annie Tung and Andrée Wejsmann



Above is the installation by Einav Mekori, Erin McCutcheon, Annie Tung and Andrée Wejsmann for Come Up To My Room 2009 at the Gladstone Hotel.

United by a love of objects and making, Erin, Einav, Annie and Andree take their inspiration from an obscure fairytale for CUTMR 2009. Together they will bring to life a gothic story of jealousy, innocence and death. They will be presenting their interpretation and vision of “The Juniper Tree” by the Brothers Grimm.


Erin McCutcheon is a Toronto based artist and designer recently graduated with a BDes in Industrial Design from OCAD and a previous BFA majoring in Jewellery and Metalsmithing from NSCAD. Erin enjoys combining craft, art and contemporary design. Her work takes into consideration the history of objects and people as well as memory, sentiment, the relationship built between object and owner, and the recording of time and moments. All work is handmade in her downtown studio.


Einav Mekori is currently in her third year as a resident artist at the Harbourfront centre glass studio. A native to Israel, she initially studied sculpture at the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem. Having moved to Canada in 2004, she subsequently graduated from the Sheridan College Craft and Design program. Her current work is influenced by the rich visualization of Victorian styles, and takes inspiration from jewellery and wallpaper designs.

annie tung

Toronto-based artist Annie Tung graduated from the Ontario College of Art & Design and is currently an artist-in-resident at Harbourfront Centre. In her creative practice, Annie combines her training in jewellery and penchant for sculpture to question expectations of seemingly insignificant objects.


Andrée Wejsmann is a graduate of the University of Toronto and the Ontario College of Art and Design. She has exhibited nationally and internationally and is the recipient of numerous awards and scholarships. Her work spans a number of media and disciplines, exploring the relativity of objects in their environment, often using narrative as a tool to investigate the construction of meaning, and the permeability of signifiers. Andrée currently lives and makes work in Toronto, and teaches at the Ontario College of Art and Design.

Room 2009: Bruno Billio and Matthew Nye



Above is the installation by Bruno Billio and Matthew Nye for Come Up To My Room 2009 at the Gladstone Hotel.

Billio and Nye’s Conversation Piece explores the personal and performative relationship between domesticity and technology, and the reverence of household furniture as both functional/dysfunctional object and purveyor of identity.


Bruno Billio is a sculptor and installation artist. His work has been exhibited internationally and involves a magical transformation of everyday objects that signify a deeper meaning while remaining, well… everyday. Bruno uses conventional items in unconventional ways, to create new life.


Matthew Nye is an artist and designer residing in Toronto. His work explores information science, theoretical architecture and the space occupied within the built environment– for artistic intervention. Having whetted an appetite for reading through trashy science fiction novels at a young age, the future of architecture and design seemed a logical trajectory.