Or Something In Between is a collection of forms that inhabit the blurred zone where designed objects become art and vice versa, sometimes seeming to be representational or functional and sometimes not.
Dear Human’s current methods of making objects and the unconventional place in the world where they belong was the inspiration for Or Something In Between.
The project will be exhibited at the Canadian Clay and Glass Gallery in Waterloo, Ontario from July 10th to September 4th, 2016.
Our designs often come from a place of personal need, and the Sweet Seat presented itself as such not long ago. Living/Moving from cities and apartments with two children, we were in need of versatile furniture. We wanted our future sofa to be an easy to move, multifunctional piece—something that would appeal to other nomadic folk like ourselves. We wanted the seat to be statement, but also affordable and an easily-to-convert bed for houseguests.
Dimensions: 90 X 60 x 90 cm
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We love subway tiles for their many possible variations in patterning, so we started experimenting and wound up with this new form of Wallpapering. They are like bars of chocolate and we can’t look at them on the wall without salivating.
They can now be ordered in this 7” x 3.5” format as well as its original 9” hexagonal form. Contact us with the form below for more information.
This three-legged stool was inspired by the simple and often crude handmade folk furniture we’ve come across on our travels, particularly stools from the Ethnographic Museum in Belgrade, whose collection of furniture and textiles is extensive.
The stools sometimes had handles, minimal decoration and were slapped together with whatever sticks could be found. Those for milking were low to the ground and light to be easily carried in one hand from cow to cow with a bucket in the other.
We had the opportunity to revisit our Pulplite explorations from two years ago to create a second generation. We are happy to present Pulplites Deux, or as we like to call them, Amis de Lumière.
These unusual beauties debuted during Toronto Design Week in January 2016 and are purchasable through the website. Lights are available with ceramic tops or recycled paper tops.
Paperscapes, is an extensive ongoing exploration into paper-made objects that function as furniture, lighting, and wall treatments. Using recycled paper sourced from the local industry waste, and drawing from our sculptural backgrounds, we have manipulated it in a similar way to how clay can be sculpted and have created limited edition functional stools/side tables and large dome lights.
Paperscapes, debuted at the Toronto's Gladstone Hotel for the annual event, Come Up To My Room, in 2016.
Materials: Handmade ceramic tiles
Originally designed for the Berdin-Cuddington residence with Measured Architecture, more than 30 different hexagonal tile types were developed for four rooms of the residence, each with their own colour palette, patterns and textures. There are a dozen print designs regularly used in our image library, six texture varieties, and many customizable options.
Tiles are handmade in our studio from scratch. Depending on the scale of your project, allow 6-8 weeks for production. Email us for more information or fill out the form at the bottom of the page for a quote.
Site and process photos by Andrew Latreilleand Ema Peter.
Materials: Moulded recycled paper and ceramic tiles
Wallpapering began as a material exploration that grew out our of witnessing the amount of paper waste from local industries. After an array of experiments, paper tiles emerged as a successful product made from recycled paper. The tiles are as hard as board, light as cork, and can be printed or painted like paper. Other than their decorative potential, they have great sound absorbing qualities and are easy to install. We continue to use 100% post-consumer paper collected from local businesses.
Installation photos by Nenad Stevanovic
Shadow plates were inspired by a project we executed a few years ago. Just like then, the plates are acquired from the now defunct Hycroft China Ltd., which have been lying dormant since the factory closed in the late 1980s. Hycroft in its heyday was a prominent Canadian manufacturer of industrial ceramic wares. Each plate is different in its 'placement' of shadow cutlery and are available for order. Contact us for more information.
Materials: Reworked commercial tiles
Just like embroidery, Stitch Tiles allow for the creation of any imagery and infinite ways to pay homage to grandmothers. Murals can wrap around corners and make a big impact on large or small scales. Design it yourself or let us do it for you. Allow four to six weeks for completion.
Site and process photos by Andrew Latreille and Ema Peter
There are still some hidden tiles out there!
Materials: Mixed Media
Finding a decent artist studio space in Vancouver, Canada, one of the most expensive cities in the world, is not an easy task. So when the opportunity came to create one in a local garment factory, we jumped.
The space came with a few design challenges/requests: 1) hosting the only heater throughout the whole space, we needed our partition to allow airflow throughout. 2) Allow the natural light of the North facing windows to filter through to the front of the space. 3) The artists’ limited budget (that in the end did not exceed $2000 in material and renovation costs).
The design solution that we came up with to solve all three of these challenges are fabric space dividers, suspended from the ceiling down the length of the studio and fixed to the entrance structure in the front, such that they can easily be repaired or taken down individually as needed.
Photos by Nenad Stevanovic
Materials: Ceramic tops, recycled paper shades, components
As a continuation of our interest in working with recycled materials, we began a few experiments with paper—pulping it and moulding it into the plaster moulds we already had around the studio. Our results were so exciting that it shifted our ceramic light designs we’d been working on to combine paper as well. Like clay, paper begins at a very base material value and has the potential to reach a precious level if treated right—something we’ve always appreciated about ceramics.
The paper was flexible and immediate, but not without a learning curve. Through many more experiments, we’ve developed the Pulplite series. The paper for these originals was entirely collected from the recycling bins of everyone around us.
Lights are assembled with colourful fabric cords and come in many colour combinations. They recently debuted at the show, Of Light at Circle Craft Gallery in Vancouver. Contact us to order.
Photos of the work by Nenad Stevanovic
Photos of the process by Michael Sider
Materials: Moulded recycled paper, custom decals and ceramic tiles
We designed this mural for Vancity's new branch 88 in the abstracted form of the two islands that comprise the city of Richmond. The paper tiles for this project were made entirely from Vancity's recycled internal paper waste. On close inspection of the tiles, bits of Vancity's branding can still be made out.
The accompanying ceramic tiles feature reworked blue and white images of Richmond's industrial roots and landmarks. Images curtesy of the Vancouver Public Library and the Richmond City Archives. The white X represents the location on the map of the new branch.
Photos by Michael Sider
Materials: Wood, fabric bolts
Our favourite designs always have multiple functions, a dose of humour and the potential for interaction. These were our parameters when we designed a bench for our new studio space.
The Bolt Bench is a comfortable seat, as well as storage for a few fabric or paper bolts that work as an upholstery alternative. The material is easily accessible and replaceable when used up or if we are in need of a change of scenery.
Photos by Nenad Stevanovic
Client: Self-Initiated prototype
Pause at the Threshold is about the potential of everyday objects provoking a moment of pause during our day--each mundane interaction is an opportunity for unexpected discovery. Our necessary relationship with the door handle makes it a perfect place for our post-it notes and letters we need to send—and for a secret reminder to STAY.
Materials: Ceramic hearts, magnets
Over 300 hand made ceramic hearts were dispersed across Granville Island in Vancouver, for passersby to pick them up. Those who found them, kept or gave them to loved ones. Each tag had our web address and many of the finders left comments and sent photos. The project launched on Thursday, February 11th and by the end of the weekend all of the tags were gone. This project led us to receive a Canada Council grant for our more recent project, Patchworked In Canada.
Materials: Silk, retroreflective material
This tie was our reaction to the high visibility clothing offered on the market at present, the majority of which is strictly functional, with little or no attention to style or playfulness. Though understated during the day, the tie becomes highly visible in the evening. It was one of the shortlisted design entries from more than 3000 participants in designboom's ‘Seoul Cycle Design Competition‘, organized in collaboration with Seoul design foundation.
Materials: Antique factory blank dishware
Client: Vancity Credit Union
Dinner with Neighbors was commissioned by the local credit union, Vancity, as the two-story centerpiece for their prototype branch in South Burnaby. Well-respected in Vancouver and also very dedicated to community building, Vancity was a pleasure to work with on this project.
Each community no matter its size, race or creed has a tradition of food. This was the unifying subject we chose for the diverse community of South Burnaby. Superimposed onto a dishware canvas, we created the image of a long banquet table in mid-meal. The center of the table is an assortment of foods representing the specialty dishes of the many ethnic groups that make up South Burnaby.
The plates, acquired from the now defunct Hycroft China Ltd., have been lying dormant since the factory closed in the late 1980s. It has been a rewarding experience digging them out of piles, dusting them off, and breathing new life into them. Hycroft in its heyday was a prominent Canadian manufacturer of industrial ceramic wares. Now it is a part of Medalta and the Historic Clay District in Medicine Hat, Alberta where it has been restored and preserved as an historic landmark.
There is a part of the forest we visit regularly where there was once a grove of grand Douglas firs. They were probably cut over a century ago--the technique for cutting these giants back then was to chop wedges into the trees and embed horizontal planks to stand on so they could cut above the root line. What remains are eerie empty eye sockets that longed for an intervention. We gave these sentinels of the forest a second life with some fine porcelain peepers.
Year: 2013 Shortlisted Proposal
Materials: Steel and Mixed Media
Client: City of North Vancouver, Spirit Trail
RISE was a shortlisted proposal in collaboration with Measured Architecture for the City of North Vancouver’s Spirit Trail.
The Londsdale Quay site was a dynamic one that prompted us to focus on an intervention with strong visual connectivity to the primary route of the Spirit Trail. This brings travelers to a tributary line, provides a unique identity of place for those awaiting pick-up at the turnabout, and offers a potential engagement with an object as a device that orientates the traveler on the trail and to the city context beyond.
Aside from the intervention’s primary role as a beacon and marker, we saw it as an opportunity to rise above the pedestrian level, obstructed by the surrounding developments and fencing, and reveal a dramatic view of the sea and mountains to the north and the city to the south.
As a nodal of several converging paths, our design was an orienting device that addressed each of these: As a drop-off point for thousands of daily commuters and travelers, a resting point, meeting point, and shelter. As an entry point for the visitors of the Spirit Trail, a trail-marker and key point of reference of the route. For pedestrians walking to and from the Waterfront Park and along the quay, it was a viewpoint free of obstruction.
One of the key parameters given in the call for this project was that the piece be something that perpetuates interest over many visits. We designed a structure that would beautify the landscape and reference nearby maritime structures, but it is the landscape itself that people are coming to the Spirit Trail to see and maintains their continued interest.
These stumps stools were an off-shoot of one of our early collaborations together. While doing a residency in the Banff Centre in Alberta, we created a body of work called: A Growing Feeling of Dismemberment. It focused on the pine beetle infestation spreading across the west of North America. The extensions we made were meant to be prosthetic "limbs" for the tree stump victims of the beetle scourge. We loved the look of the stumps so much that we made these 3D illustrations for the home. Babies love them.
Year: In progress
Materials: Ceramic tiles, custom decals
This project is a response to blank concrete surfaces all over the city. Fake windows and doors are positioned onto walls as a reminder of human scale and to evoke a sense of magical curiosity. These will be full color decals on porcelain tiles.