This long-term project was created around the idea of finding unanticipated beauty in the urban landscape, inviting a moment of pause and response. It began with a sourcing trip to Portugal, where we gathered discontinued vintage commercial tiles in the countryside. We brought the tiles back with us to compose a large “patchwork” mural with them that debuted at the Toronto Design Offsite festival. Afterwards, the tiles were dispersed across the cities of Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver for lucky passersby to find in the dull winter landscape and take home.
In 2010, we launched Finders Keepers, creating and tagging 300 red, magnetic ceramic hearts on Granville Island in Vancouver. Those who found them, kept or gave them to loved ones. It became a scavenger hunt with a huge local following.
The enthusiasm for that project sparked the idea to design a similar creative experience on a much larger scale, while using objects with a deep cultural context–vintage tiles that tell a story of age-old architectural tradition around the world.