Space Oddity



Some designers are tame in practice and personality. Others have edge, strive to be unique and make impressions on whomever they meet. You’ll find Tom Dixon somewhere in-between, comfortably poised in no-man’s land. When you find him there, he’ll make you second guess the preconceptions. He is humble while proud, boisterous but timid, chaotic yet well defined – somehow there isn’t any contradiction. To say that Tom Dixon is a paradox is probably the most accurate description that one could give to him though it’s still far from actuality. He occupies a finite space where intellect and passion are paramount and few external factors hold any creative weight. You have to meet him… did you? He was just here.

Tom flew in on the Thursday before last and went straight to work, not stopping until he flew to LA and did it all over again, two days later. Most highly sought-after personalities might head to their hotel to wash, rest, and go out for an overpriced meal with those that they deemed fit. Not Tom. Tom wanted to go to the scrap-yard and dig through objects long forgotten and like the mad scientist that he is, bring the dead back to life, striving to leave Vancouver a little better than how he found it. This is after all what he attributes as the cause of his rise to fame. __

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Inform Presents Jakub Zak


Currently showcased in our front window is an installation designed by Jakub Zak featuring his selection of pieces chosen for their simplicity and reduction of form and material. Included in the display are Jakub’s Memoir coat rack for Dante Goods&Bads and the Kapital stool collection developed through OEUFFICE, a collaborative design laboratory that Jakub cofounded with fellow designer Nicolas Bellavance-Lecompte. Inspiration for the window was derived from Eli Bornstein’s work which is currently on display at the Initial Gallery.


Lukas Peet’s Rudi light for Roll & Hill & Pots by Benjamin Hubert for Menu

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Mario Bellini | The Essence of Innovation


Last month, we had the pleasure of hosting Mario Bellini – iconic Italian Architect and Designer –  who shared his thoughts on his work and inspirations since the 1960’s.  Prior to his talk, we took Mr. Bellini to see the Museum of Anthropology, designed by our local favorite Arthur Erickson.  This mildly Brutalist building seemed to please Mr. Bellini – it’s sensitivity to the environment, and use of materials spoke to some of Bellini’s work which he described at length to us later that evening…

Bellini is a fascinating designer, and someone who has helped mold Modern design since he graduated from Milan Polytechnic with a degree in Architecture in 1959.

He is the winner of 8 Compasso d’Oro awards and the MoMA holds 25 of his designs in their permanent collection. Throughout his career he has moved between the worlds of design, architecture and interior design by applying design principals on a variety of scales.  His many influences are diverse and range from the human body to classical architecture, fashion, and animals.

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House Shumiatcher Book Launch

Last week, we welcomed Leslie Van Duzer of UBC’s SALA and Judah Shumiatcher to our showroom. They discussed significant moments during Architect Shumiatcher’s career, inspirations and how he came to build a very special Vancouver home for his family.

There are still copies of the publication available in-store and for online purchase. Signed copies are available upon request.

Charlotte Perriand | Living in Freeform


Charlotte Perriand was driven by her incredible aesthetic sense paired with an indomitable work ethic. Twenty-four years young, she graduated from L’Union Centrale de Arts Decoratifs and wasted no time pursuing her calling as an industrial designer. She was hard-headed, focused; a woman that knew exactly what she wanted and how to obtain it. Through perseverance, she secured an interview with the world’s leading designer, Le Corbusier. Though not long after their initial encounter Le Corbusier would call upon her for all of his projects dealing with furniture arrangements and colour selections, on this particular October afternoon, he dismissed the bright-eyed, bushy tailed Perriand with a dry and most likely sexist comment “…we don’t embroider cushions here”.


Le Corbusier, Percy Scholefield, Charlotte Perriand, George D. Bourgeois, and Jean Fouquet

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Nani Marquina | Carpet Diem

In Barcelona, Spain – well known industrial designer, Rafael Marquina, has a daughter named Nani. She would grow to continue her fathers design legacy while also carving a new path for herself. Starting in Spain and branching outwards, Nani Marquina would go on to open her own interior design shop. In the late 80s, she went one step further and begun to manufacture her own carpet design collection. Today she is internationally known and praised, winning awards and even holding the presidency of the ADP (Design Professionals Association). On October 24th, we welcome Nani Marquina to our showroom for a very special engagement. 

Nani Marquina was a student of industrial design at the Massana School. At the age of 22, she opened her first retail store “Self-Decor”. Ten years later, Nani began to design custom carpets and textiles. Not long after that, the nanimarquina brand was created. The Begonia collection was selected to be a part of the MoMA store.


Spain has an incredibly rich artistic and architectural heritage. Especially in Barcelona – with it’s countless Gaudi structures, beautiful concert halls and world-class culinary artists throughout. It is no wonder that Nani found inspiration in her home-town, along with her radiant personality and drive, she would generate mass appeal that has paired her company with the world’s leading designers. Nani is pictured on the left with her daughter Maria who also works at the company.

Nanimarquina has received numerous awards including the Red Dot, Delta Awards, National Design Award, and the Award for Woman Entrepreneurs FIDEM.

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Jean-Claude Leblanc’s Core Collection

Like many lasting designs, Jean-Claude’s Core vessels were created out of a need for the product by the designer:

“The idea to create a pot came from a succulent installation I saw on a trip to Tokyo a year and a half ago. It reminded me of my mother’s love for plants and the life it added to my family’s home as a child, something i’ve been trying to emulate ever since.  This inspired me to buy a succulent for my bedside table so I always had this life form to wake up to. After searching, I couldn’t find the right pot. I then began designing my own, knowing I wanted the finished product to be made from marble.”

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Carlo Mollino

I have always held a great appreciation and admiration for Carlo Mollino. He was a true renaissance man of the 20th century. He is mainly known as a designer of hand-made furniture and exclusive interiors.


He designed a double-torpedo race car for the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans of 1955.

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Achille Castiglioni | Further Functions Found

Achille Castiglioni (1918-2002) Architect / Designer

Born in Milan, the epicentre of industrial design, Castiglioni graduated from Architecture in 1944 at the Politecnico di Milano University. The same year, he started a design office in with his brothers, Livio and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni. Their interests lead them to research new forms, techniques and materials, aimed at developing a process of “integral design”. Most of their theories are still taught in Universities and resonate with young designers today.

VIDEO: During the 1989 International Design Conference of Aspen, Achille made a presentation on his affair with lighting design. His enthusiasm and sense of humour is awe-inspiring – he seems to have the energy of a much younger man.

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