One to Watch: Designer Sumer Singh
This local hero celebrates Canadian content.
Visit the Kartār showroom in Calgary’s Beltline neighbourhood and you just might find yourself invited downstairs. That’s where owner and furniture designer Sumer Singh keeps his basement studio, where he conceptualizes and builds pieces that are all, as the bold lettering on the concrete wall of his showroom proclaims, “Made in Canada.” It’s a promise that Singh is passionate to keep. “You always hear about ‘Danish modern’ and ‘Scandinavian modern,’” he explains. “But there’s no ‘Canadian modern.’ There’s so much beautiful design being made in this country and we need to promote that.
“Canadians are very resourceful, very industrious,” Singh says. “They know not to waste things.” As such, the pieces Kartār carries from 11 different designers and artists—like origami-inspired lamps by Along Came the Fold and reclaimed barnboard furniture by Dopewood—are all streamlined and minimalist, innovative in both their design and materials. Everything you’ll find in Kartār is timeless—pieces that can and should be passed down. Case in point: the custom-built Mtharu table by Singh himself. With a beeswax-polished concrete top and warped steel legs, the table is simultaneously a perspective-bending optical illusion and a stunning, functional showpiece. Made in Canada, indeed.