Product Profile | LOCAL Table by Roundabout Studio

Community, family & sharing
This 13′ dining table is a place of community, family, and where we share. White Oak, Cherry, Black Walnut and Maple panels combine to create a subtle and varied composition.

These woods, indigenous to the area in which the table is made and sold, reflect both cultural and geographical contexts. This modern piece of furniture is meant to sit at the heart of that, rooted in place. The table is finished using a durable and natural penetrating oil that, when maintained properly, will last a lifetime. It even comes with a litre of refinishing oil to be applied as necessary.

About Roundabout Studio Inc. and LOCAL Furniture
Roundabout Studio Inc is a Toronto-based design company focused on creating custom houses. They have a diverse background ranging from carpentry, finance, sciences, animal care, and software development. Their projects have ranged from furniture to houses to master plans for 300,000 square foot buildings.

LOCAL Furniture is a natural extension specializing in furniture. Roundabout Studio applies the same design standards to this new division and the LOCAL table is officially the first product for sale to the public.

Product Profile | Timbre by Tyler Pratt Design

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Big Sound in a Small Package

Timbre was created out of Tyler Pratt’s desire to amplify his iPhone’s sound without the hassle of batteries or cables. The Timbre uses its internal structure to boost the iPhone’s speaker up to 20 decibels more through passive amplification.

To top things off, it is light and small enough to carry around in your pocket or throw into your backpack. Its dimensions measure at approximately 9cm x 6cm x 4cm. It is locally crafted using black walnut and comes in two finishes.

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Moving Away from Convention

Tyler put a lot of thought into the Timbre’s miniature/minimal design and referenced a lot of existing passive amplifiers. Moving away from convention, Tyler created the Timbre to look more like an actual speaker—taking inspiration from the vintage radios of the older days—as opposed to a horn. A lot of time was spent experimenting with and shaping the inner cavity of the Timbre to offer a significant increase in volume without sacrificing sound quality.

About Tyler Pratt

Tyler Pratt is an Industrial Design Student from Carleton University. He focuses on creating simple and clean designs that are also functional, combining aesthetics with practicality. When he isn’t busy crafting new works, you can find him riding his mountain bikes across Canada. He is a successful sponsored athlete and has participated in multiple biking events including the Ontario Cup.

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Perpetually creative, Tyler has a few products currently in development and has been working with a few clients on contract as well. The 2 personal projects he currently has on the go (and are likely to be up on ideacious shortly) are a money clip made entirely out of plywood (pictured above) and a set of shelves that can be arranged on your wall as a sculpture.

IIDEX Woodshop Designer Spotlight | Said the King

This is the 9th in a series of 10 posts where we will be placing the spotlight on the amazing talent signed up for the IIDEX Woodshop initiative. This week: Said the King.

Said the King is based in Toronto and always thinking of the people. Accordingly, their pieces are made locally using responsible materials. Each of their products aim to create a story, an experience, or at the very least a moment of ‘ahhh, I see what you did there’. Said the King designs are fun and uncomplicated, using simple materials like wood, ceramic, or screenprinted fabric.

We had the chance to have Said the King founder, Karen King, answer our questions. Here’s what she had to say about the IIDEX Woodshop competition, working with ash wood and her love for bourbon:

ideacious: IIDEX Woodshop has a strong narrative going for it — a city and IIDEX supported initiative to use a portion of the 200,000+ ash trees the Emerald Ash Borer will bring down over the next 5 years. How do you plan to embrace this narrative through the work you submit?

Said the King: I’ve really taken the idea of ‘the end of Toronto’s ash trees’ and used it in two ways: to inspire a fun narrative around the piece and to inform the design.

As a story: I took the idea of ‘the end’ and pushed it to ‘the end of days’ to imagine the one piece of furniture you’d want with you during your final moments just before the zombies, the rage – whatever is bringing the end of the world – comes crashing through your door.

Design-wise: Because Toronto’s ash is coming to an end all at once, creating a surplus of material, I’ve added an extra element to my design. In addition to my core piece I’ll be creating a few variations catered specifically to other major brands. If one picks it up they’ll have the audience and resources to order in much larger volume, using up more of the available ash.

From an aesthetic perspective, many designers opt to work with rich woods like Walnut or Maple. What are your thoughts on using Ash as your primary material? Is it a challenge, does it change your process, or do you simply disagree and think Ash is amazing?

Of the hardwood pieces Said the King currently offers, ash is already an option so it doesn’t change much. What is different though is the story behind this wood – being able to say that we’re using Toronto ash and to tell the story of the beetle infestation makes this particular ash really rich.

And finally, what’s something that you’re really into right now?

Bourbon cocktails. I got hooked when someone made me a Paper Plane. Now I’m trying to learn the basics like an Old Fashioned and a Boulevardier. And once I can get my hands on some agave nectar I can’t wait to make a Bourbon Bomber.

Stay tuned for our next IIDEX Woodshop Designer Spotlight: Scott Eunson!

IIDEX Woodshop Designer Spotlight | Rob Southcott

This is the 8th in a series of 10 posts where we will be placing the spotlight on the amazing talent signed up for the IIDEX Woodshop initiative. This week: Rob Southcott Studio Works!

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Rob Southcott produces “artful objects, which enhance our daily lives”, which he accomplishes by maintaining an openness and awareness to his surroundings. His works have been exhibited to international audiences in North America, Germany and Korea.

We caught up with Rob to get his insights on the IIDEX Woodshop competition, ash wood and his newest interests!

ideacious: IIDEX Woodshop has a strong narrative going for it — a city and IIDEX supported initiative to use a portion of the 200,000+ ash trees the Emerald Ash Borer will bring down over the next 5 years. How do you plan to embrace this narrative through the work you submit?

Rob Southcott: By producing works that considers the past and present lives of Toronto’s dwindling ash population while building a connection between the material, it’s history, location and as always the end user. 

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From an aesthetic perspective, many designers opt to work with rich woods like Walnut or Maple. What are your thoughts on using Ash as your primary material? Is it a challenge, does it change your process, or do you simply disagree and think Ash is amazing?

I’ve never shied away from ash and have used it in other projects for its amazing strength to weight qualities. It looks nice too!

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And finally, what’s something that you’re really into right now?

Anything with two wheels and a motor or a voronoi pattern. 

Stay tuned for our next IIDEX Woodshop Designer Spotlight: Said the King!

IIDEX Woodshop Designer Spotlight | Brothers Dressler

This is the 7th in a series of 10 posts where we will be placing the spotlight on the amazing talent signed up for the IIDEX Woodshop initiative. This week: the Brothers Dressler!

The Brothers Dressler are material-based designers specializing in crafting custom furnishings, lighting, objects and special products using sustainable processes such as using reclaimed, ecologically friendly and responsibly harvested materials.

The Brothers shared some of their thoughts with us regarding the IIDEX Woodshop competition, their fondness for ash wood and engaging their sons in the building blocks of design.

ideacious: IIDEX Woodshop has a strong narrative going for it — a city and IIDEX supported initiative to use a portion of the 200,000+ ash trees the Emerald Ash Borer will bring down over the next 5 years. How do you plan to embrace this narrative through the work you submit?

Brothers Dressler: This is something that we have been embracing for some time with our Ash Out of Quarantine project. It’s a continuation of that exploration of using this abundant and untapped local resource as well as bringing awareness to the plight of the Ash trees. The City of Toronto is showing initiative in pursuing this opportunity and there is great potential to change the way people think about where the objects they buy come from and what they’re made of. This narrative will be carried on through these newly designed pieces and throughout our catalogue.  

From an aesthetic perspective, many designers opt to work with rich woods like Walnut or Maple. What are your thoughts on using Ash as your primary material? Is it a challenge, does it change your process, or do you simply disagree and think Ash is amazing?

All woods have their own unique feel and beauty and ash is no different. It is a strong and malleable wood with its own unique richness and other special properties. It can be manipulated in so many ways and we’ve been using it in many of our pieces. One of the unique characteristics of ash, particularly those trees that endure growing within the city, is the unique grain pattern. Ash also has great bending properties, which allow us to utilize steam and bent lamination for our designs.

And finally, what’s something that you’re really into right now?

Besides using ash we have both been really into playing with Lego with our sons. It was a huge inspiration for us growing up and we find ourselves continuously amazed at the enthusiasm and creativity it inspires. Watching our boys manipulating the bricks, dismantling a creation and inventing something different is a potent reminder of how playful we should be with design.

Stay tuned for our next IIDEX Woodshop Designer Spotlight: Heidi Earnshaw Design!

IIDEX Woodshop Designer Spotlight | Heidi Earnshaw

This is the 6th in a series of 10 posts where we will be placing the spotlight on the amazing talent signed up for the IIDEX Woodshop initiative. This week: Heidi Earnshaw Design!

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Heidi Earnshaw Design is a studio founded by Heidi Earnshaw focused on designing and producing handcrafted wooden furniture and objects and fully-fitted spaces for private, public and corporate projects using carefully and responsibly made unique pieces.

We were fortunate to have Heidi offer some insight into IIDEX Woodshop, ash wood and some of her other interests.

ideacious: IIDEX Woodshop has a strong narrative going for it — a city and IIDEX supported initiative to use a portion of the 200,000+ ash trees the Emerald Ash Borer will bring down over the next 5 years. How do you plan to embrace this narrative through the work you submit?

Heidi Earnshaw: There is an amazing practicality to the narrative in  finding creative ways to transform the ash bore problem into a positive shared opportunity and experience for the design community, city foresters and Torontonians in general. In that same spirit,  I hope the design I submit will hold a wide appeal as a beautiful, useful and accessible object of everyday use. 

From an aesthetic perspective, many designers opt to work with rich woods like Walnut or Maple. What are your thoughts on using Ash as your primary material? Is it a challenge, does it change your process, or do you simply disagree and think Ash is amazing?

Wood types come and go in popularity.  In the 90’s cherry and maple were the favourites, now it is walnut that is most popular. As designers we need to encourage the use of wood that is responsibly harvested and grown in North America. All woods have historical uses based on their particular characteristics.  Ash, known for it’s straight, reliable grain and excellent strength to weight ratio is commonly used in sports equipment, tools handles, oars etc.  This exhibition will hopefully remind us that all wood is good, it is simply a matter of using it appropriately and highlighting the best characteristics both functionally and aesthetically.  

And finally, what’s something that you’re really into right now?

Antiques.  I can spend hours roaming around country flea markets.  They are like museums of material culture that I find endlessly inspiring.

Stay tuned for a new designer next week!

IIDEX Woodshop Designer Spotlight | the National Design Collective

This is the 3rd in a series of 10 posts where we will be placing the spotlight on the amazing talent signed up for the IIDEX Woodshop initiative. This week: the National Design Collective.

The National Design Collective (NDC), currently comprised of Scott Bodaly and Heather Lam, was established in 2009. They specialize in creating custom furniture, interior, graphic, and product design, with a heavy emphasis on creating objects/experiences through narratives and experimentation.

Scott & Heather interviewed with us briefly and here is what they had to say on the subjects of Ash, local breweries, motorcycles and (ofcourse!) IIDEX Woodshop:

ideacious: IIDEX Woodshop has a strong narrative going for it — a city and IIDEX supported initiative to use a portion of the 200,000+ ash trees the Emerald Ash Borer will bring down over the next 5 years. How do you plan to embrace this narrative through the work you submit?

theNDC: Normally materials such as these would be incinerated or go straight to the landfill.  What is great about this initiative is that it creates a unique opportunity to take what would be waste and turn it into something that can benefit our community.  The trees were once a part of the city of Toronto, so it would be nice to give something back to replace what the city has lost.  

From an aesthetic perspective, many designers opt to work with rich woods like Walnut or Maple. What are your thoughts on using Ash as your primary material? Is it a challenge, does it change your process, or do you simply disagree and think Ash is amazing?

We disagree! We have always liked the more local woods, which tend to be lighter in colour.  We have experimented with ash in the past, playing not only with its aesthetic, but also its capabilities.  It can be stained, bleached, lamination and steam bent, and has nice grain, strength, and weight.  Being a local wood, it is well suited to our climate and doesn’t require crazy toxic finishing.

There could even be an opportunity to introduce a Toronto or Canadian design aesthetic using ash.  For example, the Dutch created a strong design identity by using dark oiled woods and earth toned fabrics that is recognizable all over the world. Canada had a similar scene in the 60s and 70s that was very innovative and funky using new material processes (new to that time), such as complex plywood bending and advances in plastics manufacturing. With the Ash Borer creating a surplus of ash in the city, local designers can embrace the processes that are well suited to the material, potentially creating a definable aesthetic in the international design scene.

4 Cities Coasters by the National Design Collective

You’ve clearly established yourself as a force to be reckoned with in the Toronto design scene. What tips or advice would you give to other creators hoping to be a part of IIDEX Woodshop through the competition?

Don’t be afraid to experiment and never turn down an opportunity to learn something new.  Most importantly, do exactly what makes you happy, have fun, and support your local breweries while designing!

And finally, what’s something that you’re really into right now?

A band from Ottawa called A Tribe Called Red, they’ve got a unique powwow-step vibe that is great to work to in the shop.    

We’re also currently obsessed with motorcycles.  There’s something really honest and simple about a motorcycle which we appreciate and can learn a lot from.

Stay tuned for our next IIDEX Woodshop Designer Spotlight: 608|Design!