Category Archives: 2011 Participants

Video: Come Up To My Room 2011

Published :    By : JeremyV      Cat :    Comments : 1

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

Christina Zeidler & Deanne Lehtinen

Published :    By : JeremyV      Cat :    Comments : 0


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.

TUG installation curated by MADE – Cafe

Published :    By : Deborah      Cat :    Comments : 0

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

Published :    By : JeremyV      Cat :    Comments : 0

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

Published :    By : JeremyV      Cat :    Comments : 0


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

Published :    By : JeremyV      Cat :    Comments : 0

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

Published :    By : JeremyV      Cat :    Comments : 0


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

Published :    By : JeremyV      Cat :    Comments : 0

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

Proudly Supported by:

Lubo Brezina & Scott Eunson – Room 207

Published :    By : JeremyV   Tags :    Cat :    Comments : 0

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

Published :    By : JeremyV      Cat :    Comments : 0

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

Published :    By : JeremyV      Cat :    Comments : 2

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

Published :    By : JeremyV      Cat :    Comments : 0

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

Published :    By : JeremyV      Cat :    Comments : 0

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

Published :    By : JeremyV      Cat :    Comments : 0

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

Published :    By : JeremyV      Cat :    Comments : 0

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

Published :    By : JeremyV      Cat :    Comments : 0

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

Published :    By : JeremyV      Cat :    Comments : 0

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

Published :    By : JeremyV   Tags : ,    Cat :    Comments : 0

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

Published :    By : JeremyV      Cat :    Comments : 0

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

Published :    By : JeremyV      Cat :    Comments : 0

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.

Proudly supported by:

Xiaojing Yan – Room 210

Published :    By : JeremyV      Cat :    Comments : 0

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

Published :    By : Deborah      Cat :    Comments : 0

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

Published :    By : JeremyV      Cat :    Comments : 0

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

Published :    By : JeremyV      Cat :    Comments : 0

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.

Proudly Supported by:

The Cyborgesses – Room 206

Published :    By : JeremyV      Cat :    Comments : 0

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

Published :    By : JeremyV      Cat :    Comments : 0

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

Published :    By : JeremyV      Cat :    Comments : 0

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!.