Tag Archives: people

People and Places – TIDF


The Brothers Dressler – twin woodworkers, Jason and Lars Dressler are the talk of the town this week.  The talented Toronto-based duo has work featured in two satellite exhibits during the Toronto International Design Festival (the Come Up To My Room retrospective and the Northern Lights exhibit at Atelier 688). And at the IDS11 itself their work is featured in two of the IDS’ Feature Exhibits: Sibling Revelry and Studio North.

The Sibling Revelry exhibit asks 4 teams of siblings to create unique 600 square foot concept spaces.  Speaking with the CBC’s Matt Galloway about the show earlier this week, the Dresslers talked about producing a building made from 2x4s and windows found around Toronto.  This structure will also  house their furniture creations.  Indeed repurposing and upcycling salvaged materials is at the core of their design mandate. Dedicated to producing socially conscious and responsible furniture and objects they want to challenge definitions of waste and value. To this end, Brothers Dressler embrace the constraints and challenges working with found materials pose, allowing these to focus a project’s potential.

"Creatures" constructed of found wood, scrap material, and salvaged hardware

They will be introducing their Cut Ups series as part of the IDS11’s Limited Edition/Studio North exhibit. In this series they transform waste material – the off cuts from their studio- into a range of products from furniture, lighting and household objects to toys and jewellery.

Brothers Dressler creations are always beautiful, their respect for the natural world shining brightly through.  I have long been enamoured by their pieces, how they are infused with  such character.


If you’re overwhelmed by the number of offsite events this week, consider sticking to Toronto’s west-end where a hub of energy and talent is on display all within a few block radius.  The blocks between Grace and Bathurst Streets on Dundas St W will be transformed into a gallery, during Do Design coordinated by the Trinity Bellwoods BIA.  This is an emerging gallery district in Toronto, also one that boasts some wonderful recently opened cafes and eateries.  From the 27th to the 30th, the two merge with storefronts – even a lumber yard – bedecked in designers’ creative wares.  Enjoy a wonderful meal at The Black Hoof, while also taking in the work of industrial designer Katherine Morley, or wander down the street with a cup of jo from Ella’s Uncle who’s featuring work by Lubo Brezina (walking by his shop, I am always stopped in awe).  Full listing of participating businesses is available on the Trinity Bellwoods BIA site.

Katherine Morley ceramics from the How to Eat Meat series. Image via Do West

In addition to this initiative, there are some wonderful exhibitions happening in these blocks including Capacity and MADE at Home.

Toronto Design Offsite has created a helpful app to those of you carrying iPhones.  Check out their site for the download and stay in the know!

Periphere's Iceberg Table on display at Dialogue 38. Image via Moco Loco

Dream Weaver: Kenneth Cobonpue

“Fly me away to the bright side of the moon
And meet me on the other side
Ooh dream weaver
I believe you can get me through the night”
– lyrics from “Dream Weaver” by Gary Wright

A Cobonpue-designed sofa

I would like a night spent exploring furniture designer Kenneth Cobonpue’s subconscious.

I am amazed at how he conceives his pieces. Where do they come from? What extremely fecund corner of his whimsical mind? If I could get in there, perhaps I could watch in fascination as objects floating around in his vault of experience–cooking implements, bread, Jedi masters–take on the spark of inspiration and set in motion the mystical process by which he transforms the mundane into magic.

Pendant light

The Noodle Lamp

Would there be gears and hinged forks twirling and twisting some noodles to make a lamp? Or would there be a whispery poof as an empty soda can becomes a couch? And, oh, this dreamer begets more dreamers through his work, for he does make wonderful couches and beds that seem to envelop slumberers in a “cozy cocoon”, perfect for taking flights of fancy.

Canopied bed

Ima Bed

A take on the four-poster bed

Hagia Day Bed

An encapsulated loveseat

The Lolah Capsule

Voyage Crib

Le Petit Voyage Crib

But… Awesome as the prospect of exploring Cobonpue’s mind Inception-style may seem, I best let his creative process alone, hidden in its mysteries, and just enjoy looking at the results.

Visit Kenneth Cobonpue’s website.


Dreamcatcher Stool

Fringe backed sofa

Yoda Sofa

A unique petaled chair

Bloom Chair

March 16, 2011 – Addendum: Check out Kenneth Cobonpue’s Voyage bed, prominently featured in Maroon 5′s music video for their song Never Gonna Leave this Bed.

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Julian Schnabel: Art and Film, an Art Gallery of Ontario exhibit

A painting by Schnabel

Schnabel’s self portrait, photo credit AGO

Oh Julian Schnabel. I’m enchanted by you. By your fuchsia castle in the West Village. By Diving Bell and Butterfly. By your wild 80s making art alongside the likes of Jean-Michel Basquiat. And by your beautiful wife.

Pink condo owned by Julian Schnabel

Palazzo Chupi, Schnabel’s very pink condo built atop an old stable. He sketched the form in 10 minutes. Photo credit New York Times.

A major retrospective of Schnabel’s art and films are on display at the AGO till January 2, 2011. If you’re in Toronto this month, don’t miss this exhibit featuring more than 25 of his key works that examine the interplay between his art as a painter and filmmaker. You can download the a free audio tour by the artist himself at iTunes. Oh Julian Schnabel.

Schnabel's elegy for Basquiat

JMB, a painting Schanbel created the day after Jean-Michel Basquiat’s death. Image courtesy of the AGO

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Tim Burton in Toronto!

A Tim Burton masterpieceClimb inside this man’s head? Not sure you’d come out the same. But we are thrilled to hear that just in time for Halloween, TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival) has announced that an exhibition of Tim’s drawings, sculptures, and videos will open here November 26th.

A scene from Alice in WonderlandFresh from the madly popular exhibit at The Museum of Modern Art in NYC (thank you MoMA – we owe you) there are over 700 items to terrify and titillate. Don’t know if we’ll get to see anything from his fashion shoots

An Installation by Tim Burtonbut since it’s being held at the newly opened hot new home of TIFF – The Bell Lightbox – we’ll have a chance to catch all his films on the big screen again, where they need to be seen.

From his childhood drawings – what must that childhood have been like – to his latest stuff, it looks to be an incredible collection from the reigning King of Set Design (He long ago dethroned Ridley Scott, who left behind his great cinematography days of Bladerunner and Legend to instead work on big overblown blockbusters like Gladiator…yawn)

Illustration by Tim Burton

Tickets go on sale November 2nd

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