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.

IIDEX Woodshop Winners Spotlight | Miles Keller

The IIDEX Woodshop Exhibition is just 2 weeks away, and now that we’ve covered the featured designers that were solicited for the initiative, we’re going to turn the spotlight on the 5 competition winners who will be joining their ranks at IIDEX. This week: Miles Keller for the Kona Chair

Miles15bw3

Miles Keller has over twenty years of professional experience as an industrial designer. His company, Dystil, is based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada and provides services in all facets of the design process. You may remember from the Designer Profile we posted some time ago, that Miles is one of Canada’s most highly regarded industrial designers and his work has been widely recognized, including the ID Magazine Annual Design Review (1989), the IDEA Awards (1997, 2005), the Virtu Canadian Design Awards (1995, 6, 7, 8, 9), the IIDEX/NeoCon Canada Awards (2002), the Best of Canada Design Awards (2002), and the Good Design Award (2002, 2003, 2004, 2005). His most recent accolades include a Silver IDEA award from IDSA and a Silver Design Exchange Award, both in 2006.

We caught up with Miles this week, and here’s what they had to say about about his competition submission, the IIDEX Woodshop initiative, and his new found love of Ash:

ideacious: As a city and IIDEX supported initiative to use a portion of the 200,000+ ash trees being destroyed over the next 5 years, IIDEX Woodshop has a strong narrative going for it. How did this inspire you when designing your piece?

Miles Keller: As has been pointed out by the first peoples, we breath what the trees exhale and they breath what we exhale…. we share a common destiny. We are joined, we are one. So losing up to 900,000 trees over the next ten years is a tragedy.

Many designers opt to work with aesthetically 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 disagree and think Ash is amazing?

I have to be honest, I have never really liked ash. But we did a lot of research for this project. And I discovered that ash was once one of the most revered hardwoods. And its one of the toughest; used in everything from baseball bats to hockey sticks. North American indigenous peoples used the wood to make things like spears in part because it was so tough and flexible.

We went to the Scarborough wood lot and walked through that vast pile of logs and picked one that would work for us. We needed green wood and straight grain. Then we found a sawyer and had it cut into planks. And in the process I can honestly I’ve developed a great affection for the wood. Its a beautiful, honest and strong, tough wood.

What qualities in other designers’ work often catch your attention or make you really think the designer is on to something?

Well, first off we’ re industrial designers, not woodworkers. But what I look for and really respect in other designers work is honesty, respect and craft. I love seeing work that respects the process, the material and the user. And hopefully its done in a creative, witty way.

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

What am I in to now? Ash! Honestly, I’m going to be doing more with this amazing wood. And sadly there’s a lot of trees coming down in the next few years. I love the idea of combining wood with new materials like carbon fibre or aluminum to create entirely unexpected and hopefully inspiring results. As for industrial design in general, there’s never been a better time to be in the profession. The tools and technology at our fingertips means the big problems facing us all can be attacked in new ways, like Elon Musk’s Hyperloop.

Stay tuned for next week as we have the scoop on Randy Kerr and his submission, Vessel.

IIDEX Woodshop Winners Spotlight | Sathvik Sivaprakash

The IIDEX Woodshop Exhibition is just a few weeks away, and now that we’ve covered the featured designers that were solicited for the initiative, we’re going to turn the spotlight on the 5 competition winners who will be joining their ranks at IIDEX. This week: Sathvik Sivaprakash for Halcyon

282093_853795884945_3029457_n

Sathvik Sivaprakash is a Toronto-based freelance Industrial Designer with a degree from the School of Industrial Design at Carleton University. A rising creative force in the design scene, some of Sathvik’s more prominent achievements include being a finalist in Design21’s Power to the Pedal competition (2008), being part of the team that developed Teknion’s Optos Curve Wall that won a Silver Award at NEOCON (2009) and presenting his thesis project at the Design Indaba conference in Cape Town, South Africa (2010). More recently, he was involved in developing The Capitalist iPhone case that is currently in preorder on ideacious.

We caught up with Sathvik this week, and here’s what they had to say about about his competition submission, the IIDEX Woodshop initiative, and doubling over with laughter:

ideacious: As a city and IIDEX supported initiative to use a portion of the 200,000+ ash trees being destroyed over the next 5 years, IIDEX Woodshop has a strong narrative going for it. How did this inspire you when designing your piece?

Sathvik Sivaprakash: The one thing that struck a cord with me as I was creating my IIDEX Woodshop submission was the sheer volume of surplus Ash that is going to be available in the next few years. To this end, I strived to create a product with wide applicability, that still addressed a gap in the market – and that’s where Halcyon comes in with a fresh take on window blinds.

Sathvik_Halcyon

Many designers opt to work with aesthetically 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 disagree and think Ash is amazing?

One of the tenets of my design philosophy is “everything in its right place”. While Walnut in particular is one of my favorite woods to work with in the context of creating richness and depth, I believe Ash has its own place as a strong, durable wood that lends itself well to a minimalist aesthetic. As I have been developing my prototype I’ve also really come to appreciate what a great wood it is to work with. It machines great and has excellent tensile strength.

Prototype Tiles

What qualities in other designers’ work often catch your attention or make you really think the designer is on to something?

I find this varies a lot based on the type of product I’m looking at. When it comes to furniture I find myself drawn to pieces with a strong attention to detail/proportions and interesting construction techniques. Konstantin Grcic happens to be one of my favorite designers when it comes to achieving this.

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

I’ve been really into all the work Nendo has been doing lately – they really excel at creating minimalist objects/spaces with just the right amount of flair and wit. Oki Sato’s presentation on creative process at IDS 2012 is also one of the most inspiring I’ve seen to date.

In my downtime, I recently discovered Creature Comforts USA – its by the creators of Wallace & Gromit and is simply incredible – its not often I find a show that makes me literally laugh out loud (like doubled over, not just the usual chuckle).

Stay tuned for next week as we have the scoop on Miles Keller and the Kona Chair.

IIDEX Woodshop Winners Spotlight | Fieldhouse, Ford + Reed

The IIDEX Woodshop Exhibtion is just about a month away, and now that we’ve covered the featured designers that were solicited for the initiative, we’re going to turn the spotlight on the 5 competition winners who will be joining their ranks at IIDEX. This week: Fieldhouse, Ford + Reed for their SLASH+BURN lamps.

Fieldhouse, Ford + Reed

Fieldhouse, Ford + Reed is an emerging collaborative design team formed by three former Furniture Craft & Design students from Sheridan College: C.R. Fieldhouse, Simon Ford and Lauren Reed.  The three have come together to imagine new and innovative designs that reflect their belief in the simplicity of functional objects that marry concept, experimentation and materiality.

We caught up with Fieldhouse, Ford + Reed recently, and here’s what they had to say about about their competition submission, ash trees and the IIDEX Woodshop initiative:

ideacious: As a city and IIDEX supported initiative to use a portion of the 200,000+ ash trees being destroyed over the next 5 years, IIDEX Woodshop has a strong narrative going for it. How did this inspire you when designing your piece?

Fieldhouse, Ford + Reed: We really latched on to the idea of a natural life cycle and destruction. These trees are being killed by an invasive pest, and many likely to become wood chips and firewood. We wanted to appropriate that concept of destruction and use it to define our concept. Shou-sugi-ban is a traditional Japanese method of burning the exterior of house siding to create a weather and pest proof exterior. Even though the trees are dead, their wood is still susceptible to rot, pests and weather. So through this somewhat destructive process we are actually protecting the wood from these threats. We took this idea of a natural armour, and applied it to hand-turned pendant lights; too late for the trees, but it provides us an interesting texture and finish.

Slash+Burn

Many designers opt to work with aesthetically 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 disagree and think Ash is amazing?

Much of our previous work has been in walnut and maple, but we’ve also worked with ash in the past.  It has a lightness of colour similar to maple, but also a strong graphic grain pattern.  It is predominantly used in tool handles and baseball bats, and is fairly inexpensive.  This brings a somewhat utilitarian aesthetic to the wood, which we think is an interesting characteristic to play with.  Ash may not be the most desirable wood out there, but we think this is changing.  It is an incredible local resource, so for us, if this project can help change perceptions of what ash can be, then all the better.FFR_project2_01What qualities in other designers’ work often catch your attention or make you really think the designer is on to something?

We’re attracted to fresh ways of solving common problems. A lot of popular design objects right now are more about aesthetics than function. For us, pieces with strong, even experimental, concepts backed up by clear and simple functionality are really attractive.

FFR_project5_01

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

The three of us have each become really interested in wood turning over the past few years. The process of working on the lathe is much more intuitive than other woodshop techniques – most are fairly calculated and planned. On the lathe you get instant feedback and can be much more spontaneous and experimental with your designs. Round is the new square?

Stay tuned for next week as we have the scoop on Sathvik Sivaprakash and the Halcyon window blinds.

Product Profile | Timbre by Tyler Pratt Design

2000000082M1

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.

2000000082M3

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.

photo

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!

Self_Portrait

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. 

Long_Lamp_RS


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!

RobSouthcott


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!