Interior Design Show West 2013

On Saturday, I attended the Interior Design Show West, held at the Vancouver Convention Centre.

Interior Design Show West Sign

Future Masters

Although I enjoyed the whole show, Future Masters, which showcases the work of design students and recent graduates, was the highlight for me.  Although this can be partially attributed to the fact that I was already familiar with the work of many of the other vendors (woodworkers especially), you’ll soon see why that isn’t the only reason I spent so much time in their booth.

The first piece that caught my attention was Wicker Coffee Table by Arthur Hobden.  This image was from his website; the prototype he brought to the show utilized birch for the table top.

Arthur Hobden - Wicker Coffee Table

Wicker Coffee Table (in mahogany) by Arthur Hobden

The table is comprised of a large bent lamination supported by a cantilevered frame made of flat steel, hidden behind a series of dowels.  I really liked the effect provided by the dowels.  However, I did not care for the open triangle which Arthur included for stability.  He and I discussed the design and possible ways to eliminate the triangle.

I took this picture of his birch prototype which showed the dowels a little better.

Arthur Hobden - Wicker Coffee Table Low

Wicker Coffee Table (in birch) by Arthur Hobden

The prismatic interior of the night club designed by Avery Titchkosky captured my attention first, but what I found really fascinating was the Scissor Stair.  It’s a very interesting form that fits two staircases into the space of one the same way as a double helix.

It took me a while to realize why the form was so interesting – one staircase, instead of running parallel to the walls, is angled at an approximately 20-degree angle.  The staircase was showed off nicely in the two-sided glass wall overlooking Vancouver’s Granville Street in his Friday Night on Granville Street rendering.

Avery Titchkosky - Scissor Stair

Scissor Stair by Avery Titchkosky

Industrial designers, Charlotte Kennedy and Xiaolu Wu, worked together to design The Three Stool.  Their goal was “to use the least amount of materials while maintaining maximum strength.”

Made predominantly from western maple, steel was also used to reinforce the stretcher.  Despite a noticeable amount of flex in the design, I felt secure sitting on the stool.

Charlotte Kennedy - The Three Stool

The Three Stool by Charlotte Kennedy and Xiaolu Wu

The team of Jason R. Miller, Kirk Loveland and Yoyo Wu also took on the challenge of creating a lightweight stool from maple.  They came up with design, which reminded me of my V-Table.  I liked the clean lines of their stool, though I wasn’t too keen on the fibre rush seat.  They also had on display a previous prototype which featured a cast aluminum seat (you can see many more of their stool ideas on Jason R. Miller’s website).

Jason Roy Miller - Isosceles

Isosceles by Jason R. Miller, Kirk Loveland and Yoyo Wo

And that is what caught my attention at the first booth I saw at the show.  According to Arthur Hobden, Future Masters was given the booth right at the entry because they put on a good show.  I had no doubt.

Around the Interior Design Show West

I always enjoy looking at all the shapes and combinations of lines in jewelry.  I liked the incorporation of a level vial in the Balance series from EvenDesign.  I suggested that they make a hair band to show whether or not someone is level-headed.

Even Design - Balance

Even Design – Balance

I also snapped these pictures of some interesting shapes in wall tiles.  I think that this one would look sharp carved into a wood panel.

Suclpted Panel The shape of these tiles made me thing about making a stool seat.

Curved Panels

Fun highlights of the show included a game of table tennis being played on a dining table at the BoConcept booth and the latest work from Judson Beaumont of Straight Line Designs, Inc.  (PS:  Next month, Judson and I are leading a seminar at Lee Valley Tools, Coquitlam on developing ideas into finished products.)


New Quotes from “Woodwork”

The magazine simply titled Woodwork is by far my favourite.  The latest issue, #118 – Winter 2012, is on magazine stands now and I strongly recommend that you look for it.  (It is also available in the American Woodworker Online Bookstore.)

Woodwork #118 - Winter 2012

Woodwork is a different magazine.  Instead of focusing on step-by-step projects, it showcases woodworkers and their work.  Read more of my thoughts on Woodwork HERE.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading the annual issue and gleaned four excellent quotes from its pages.  You can find these and more on the page titled Quotes from Woodwork (Resources -> Quotables -> Quotes from Woodwork).

* * * * *

“My work is a reflection of what is going on in my life.  You take a pathway that leads to consequences, both good and bad.  Work will reflect that if you trust your intuition.” – Todd Hoyer

Todd Hoyer: Pathways and Choices by Terry Martin in Woodwork #118, p. 30, ¶6

* * * * *

“If a woodworker is going to break from traditional construction, it behooves him to understand it and think through the consequences of any novel approaches.” – Rob Porcaro

The Design Journey: How to Turn an Idea into a Finished Piece by Rob Porcaro in Woodwork #118, p. 36, ¶6

* * * * *

“Obstructions lead to creativity.” – Stephen Gleasner

Visions in Plywood: The Plyscapes of Stephen Gleasner by Patrick Downes in Woodwork #118, p. 48, ¶10

 * * * * *

“From the time he started his own workshop in the 1960s, Alan [Peters] worked long and hard to prove that one could still earn a living in the contemporary world by building useful, beautiful furniture with integrity, one piece at a time, and he prided himself on making furniture that was priced within reach of working people like himself.” – Peter Korn

Thinking With Things: Design as Discovery by Peter Korn in Woodwork #118, p. 63, ¶7

Christmas Gift Ideas

I love making gifts.  I really do.  I was raised to believe that anything hand-made will always have more meaning than something store-bought.  While there may or may not be a capital investment for materials, the real investment is the time and thought to develop and produce the item.  For me, making gifts is a fantastic opportunity to explore processes, designs and materials.

Balancing wine bottle holders are a simple gift for the wine-lover.  Give one with a bottle of wine but without any documentation and see how long it takes the recipient to figure out what it’s for.

Balancing Wine Bottle Holders by Tim Charles

Turned items can be quick and are also often practical.  Pens and pencils are always popular.  For that extra-special someone, consider making a box for a pen-and-pencil set.

Pens and Pen Box by Mike Bardell

Paperweights are probably the most unrestrictive things you can make.  Use your imagination.  A small paperweight can double as a playing piece for a board game.

Paperweight/Playing Piece by Chris Wong

Cutting boards can be as simple as a single board planed smooth, or as complex as you can dream.  Every household needs at least one good, wooden cutting board.

Cutting Boards by Larry Maykin

Looking for something a little more obscure but still fairly quick?  Last year, I scrolled Diamond Challenge, a 65-piece puzzle.  This one will keep anyone occupied for hours.

Diamond Challenge by Chris Wong

If you have a little more time, a cribbage board is a fun, practical gift.  (Okay, it’s more fun to use than to make and you’ll want to have a drill press for one of these!)  If you choose a simpler design, you can easily make one in a day.  There isn’t much better than a gift that forces people to sit down for a while and just have some fun and enjoy each other’s company.

Live-Edge Cribbage Board by Chris Wong

Regardless of what you make, take an extra few minutes and add value by embellishing the item with a little carving, paint, or pyrography.  The idea is to make it unique and personalized.  I like to use an engraver to dedicate the project to the recipient.  And of course, I sign my name too.

In the age where so much of our surrounding environment is mass-produced, who wouldn’t like something unique, made just for them?

(Last year, I wrote a similar post HERE.)