Designers of the Year 2010: Ones to Watch
You heard it here first, these six are the designers to watch.
Architect to Watch: Ryan Scarff
Our judges agreed that the small batch of home designs we received from Calgary-based Ryan Scarff showed an immense amount of promise. “He’s embracing the outside as a room,” noticed judge Jeremy Sturgess. “It’s early on in his career, but this is encouraging.” His work is elegant and clearly conceived, and we loved his plans for harmonious modernist homes. And, as judge Neil Minuk said, we’re confident we’ll be hearing more from him. “The number of projects awaiting completion and the variation of those projects,” said Minuk, “is quite amazing.”
Interior Designer to Watch: Ines Hanl
It’s been just four years since Ines Hanl launched her Victoria-based design business, The Sky Is the Limit, yet her work shows a maturity that belies the youth of her practice. From a jewel-toned traditional downtown home to a cool concrete-and-wood waterfront retreat, Hanl’s designs demonstrate just how broad a range of styles she can successfully execute—consistent only in what judge Kelly Deck calls an “adventurous use of materials and colour, resulting in a playful series of interiors.”
Furniture Designer to Watch: Christian Woo
Vancouver native Christian Woo’s elegant new line of furniture, Covert, has that deceptively clean aesthetic that belies a rigorous attention to detail—so coveted by local designers. Woo launched his line at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair in New York in 2010. “To achieve simplicity, as Christian has,” notes Martha Sturdy, “requires perfect design. You cannot hide mistakes.”
Industrial Designer to Watch: Contexture
Nathan Lee and Trevor Coghill take a magpie approach to industrial design, incorporating reclaimed materials into products as diverse as iPod cases moulded from old cassettes and maps refashioned as hanging mobiles. Their latest project: a think piece called Home Phone, which retools the payphone cabinet as a micro-shelter for the homeless, folding the marginal—at least theoretically—back into larger society.
Jewellery Designer to Watch: Justine Brooks
Ontario-born, Vancouver-based jewellery designer Justine Brooks uses flora and fauna as the base for her organic, arresting pieces. Twigs, pine cones, barnacle-laden mussel shells and anchovy fish are cast in silver and gold, giving them a gothic quality. Brooks was praised by judge Catherine Regehr for using West Coast natural elements in her work. “I love this idea!” she said.
Eco Designer to Watch: Bryn Davidson
Along with Mat Turner of Lanefab Design/Build, Bryn Davidson created Vancouver’s first laneway house—a compact, smartly designed 710-square-foot residence that’s built with sustainability at the forefront. It represents the kind of thinking that led judge Thomas Mueller to comment, “I expect we’ll hear a lot more from Davidson in the future.”