Canadian Interiors May June 2024

Page 1

Making a Scene

Designers whose work appears on screens of all sizes and purposes.

New outdoor furniture collections that celebrate the joys of alfresco living.

May June 2024 / CDN $14.95
now open in
Step into ultimate luxury at the House of Rohl® Studio showrooms,
Toronto and Kelowna. Immerse yourself in endless curated design possibilities with
portfolio of


Despite a current international landscape that presents formidable challenges for the furniture industry, many signs point to an improvement as we move forward. By Alessandra Tracogna


Screens hungry for content are ubiquitous. And while they may not accurately reflect the design industry, they can be valuable tools for building an interior designers’ brand and generating business.



We discuss production design with Shayne Fox as she wraps the final season of What We Do in The Shadows and just how much it mirrors the built environment design professions we are familiar with.

How Moment Factory uses futuristic technology and good old-fashioned teamwork to create dazzling immersive environments. By Matthew Hague 10 20 24 20 24 28 28

COVER – Moment Factory’s collaboration with rock band Phish at the Sphere in Las Vegas. Photo by Rich Fury / Sphere Entertainment

05/06 2024


12 SEEN MIFF and VIFA, two of Southeast Asia’s largest B2B home and office furniture trade shows, and Coverings in Atlanta, all posted strong numbers. Plus, interior products as seen in our favourite TV shows.

17 THE GOODS Outdoor aficionados are breathing new life into their open-air environments, enhancing their backyard retreats, patio sanctuaries, rooftop oases, decks, and beyond.

36 OVER & OUT Canada Pavilion installation challenges how far we think modern global commerce and economics have advanced.

// 3

Play Ball: Rogers Centre 100-Level

The original infield seating bowl was demolished from foul pole to foul pole and redesigned for a baseball-first viewing experience.

Collaborative Culture: Media Monks Studio

Lebel & Bouliane design a collaborative workspace studio in Toronto that places importance on culture.

Vintage Vibes: Duke’s Castle Barbershop

For this space, RZ Interiors was inspired by Old English vintage vibes mixed with modern and classic elements.

Combining Cultures: Huevos Gourmet

Rosa Constanzo Design combines elements of a traditional French bistro with vibrant colours that reflect the culture and cuisine of Mexico.

We see design everywhere: our homes, the office, public places. We even see design from our couches as we binge our favourite shows. As Seen on TV Exclusive to our DIGITAL EDITION

Visit the expanded digital edition at
Episode 25 Behind the Curtain with a Production Designer w/ Shayne Fox Canadian Interiors conversations

The 27th Best of Canada Awards is the only national design competition in Canada to focus on interior design projects and products without regard to size, budget or location!

All winners will be published in the September/October 2024 issue of Canadian Interiors

Submission portal now open!

Centre Culturel Desjardins Atelier TAG Photography by Adrien Williams

May | June 2024 / V61 #3

Editor in Chief Peter Sobchak

Art Director Roy Gaiot


Matthew Hague, David Lasker, Alessandra Tracogna

Online Editor Lucy Mazzucco

Publisher Faria Ahmed 416-441-2085 x. 5

Vice President / Sales

Steve Wilson

Circulation Manager

President & Executive Publisher Alex Papanou

Canadian Interiors magazine is published by iQ Business Media Inc.

126 Old Sheppard Ave, Toronto, ON M2J 3L9

Telephone 416-441-2085



Canadian Interiors publishes six issues, per year. Printed in Canada. The content of this publication is the property of Canadian Interiors and cannot be reproduced without permission from the publisher. Subscription rates > Canada $38.95 per year (plus taxes) U.S.A. $71.95 USD per year, Overseas $98.95 USD per year.

Back issues > Back copies are available for $15 for delivery in Canada, $20 USD for delivery in U.S.A. and $30 USD overseas.

Please send payment to:

Canadian Interiors, 126 Old Sheppard Ave, Toronto, ON M2J 3L9 or order online

For subscription and back issues inquiries please call 416-441-2085 x2 e-mail:, or go to our website at:

Member of the Alliance for Audited Media

ISSN 1923-3329 (Online), ISSN 0008-3887 (Print)

H.S.T. # 80456 2965 RT0001 iQ Business Media Inc.

Canada Post Sales Product Agreement No. 43096012

Strata™ PANELS @2024 modularArts, Inc. | | made in the USA
Ventanas™ PANELS ©2019 modularArts, Inc.
seamless sculptural textures in natural gypsum Now entirely non-combustible!
Shayle™ PANELS @2023 modularArts, Inc. Añejo™ PANELS ©2024 modularArts, Inc. Kahn™ PANELS ©2023 modularArts, Inc.

And… scene

Used in theatre and film, this phrase has simple yet powerful utility. It means “and now the scene is over” but its value goes beyond just as a tool of direction. It unconsciously reminds everyone that they are not only involved in the scene but are in fact part of making the scene. In other words, participants in scenography. An artform usually attributed to the world of stage craft, scenography is all about creating an emotion, a feeling, a sensation, something interior designers know and do well. In this issue we explore some of the ways designers are involved in creating scenes — be it the imaginary world of vampires or the transitory spaces of airports and rock concerts — or capturing scenes that illuminate their work and profession by using mediums tailor-made for documenting such narratives, such as television.

We explore more than just scenography for storytelling. “As the nature of how people interact with space rapidly evolves, understanding how we experience technology [and] use new applications…is critical,” say the forecasters at Gensler. “With a focus on people and their multisensory needs, greater physical and digital fluidity will enable highimpact, immersive, and seamless experiences that inspire, educate, and inform. As nearly every experience becomes hybrid, the design of physical-digital ecosystems is more critical than ever. Our new hybrid lifestyles will require spaces for digital interactions to work.”

Scenes leave lasting impressions, yet themselves don’t always last for long. And speaking of impermanence, we’ve been navigating some pretty significant transitions over here at Canadian Interiors This issue officially marks the last for our long-time publisher, Martin Spreer, who has taken on new challenges in his professional life. As we clear out his dressing room, I asked him to pen some thoughts, project to the back of the room, and scene-steal with a monologue to make the dramatists proud.

Change inevitably sweeps through our lives, and after 17 fulfilling years at Canadian Interiors, the time has come to hand over the reins. Reflecting on February of 2007, when I was tasked with the mandate to breathe new life into the Canadian Interiors brand, I recall an industry still navigating its path. Sustainability in design and architecture was on the cusp of emerging as a dominant force reshaping our approach to building and spatial design.

While Canadian Interiors had maintained a steady presence since the 1960s, a pivotal decision was made to embark on a comprehensive overhaul, repositioning it as the premier industry publication for interior design professionals. The redesigned magazine, unveiled

in September/October 2007 through the collaborative efforts of Pylon Design and Scott Christie, garnered enthusiastic acclaim within the professional design community. Even though the print industry was predicted to decline rapidly, Canadian Interiors continued to thrive and our in-depth coverage and expertise appealed to design professionals, fostering reader loyalty and engagement.

Those early days demanded rapid adaptation as I navigated the intricacies of design brands, industry jargon, and the inner workings of the profession. Our editorial focus on design concepts and space planning propelled us to spotlight intricate stories of spaces optimized for layout, flow, and functionality. As interior design and decoration captured the spotlight on television in the late 2000s, the industry experienced exponential growth, fuelled by renewed interest among the younger demographic. Interior design became synonymous with cultural cachet, while European design brands seized the opportunity presented by Canada’s burgeoning construction boom and flooded the market.

Our intensified dedication to serving professionals facilitated deeper engagement with interior design associations, culminating in Canadian Interiors being designated as the official magazine of the Interior Designers of Canada (IDC), publishing monthly association updates, as well as producing the Awards magazine for the Association of Registered Interior Designers of Ontario (ARIDO).

Over the years, I have forged lasting friendships within the industry, witnessed the ascent of countless young designers into household names, and observed trends wax and wane. Amidst this flux, my enduring affection for exemplary design and craftsmanship remains unwavering. The remarkable contributions of our talented team of editors, writers, graphic designers, photographers, and interior designers have indelibly shaped the magazine and its content. As the industry continues to thrive, the team at Canadian Interiors fervently hopes that our collective efforts have left a positive imprint on the landscape of Canadian design.

Leaving publishing behind, I’m excited about new challenges and continuing to engage with the amazingly talented individuals I’ve crossed paths with in the industry. It’s been a joy seeing their creativity and drive make a positive impact in our field. And hey, there’s still plenty of design stories to be told for Canadian Interiors magazine from here on out.

Auf Wiedersehen, Marty, und viel Glück!

// 7
// 7



Back Again, and Gone The Celestial Cycle , a series of five artworks by Kelly Nunes and commissioned by environmental activist Dax Dasilva that has been growing over the course of 10 years, popped up again in Montréal for a brief period this spring. Seen in five “rooms” — Earth Room, Sun Room, Moon Room, Glacier Cave (shown), and Black Hole Room — Nunes’ tableaus focus on themes of care and emphasize the “therapeutic impact of nature immersion” while also addressing the “evolving discourse on healing and well-being.”

Stitch in Size Challenging a void created by the high ceilings of the KLAUS showroom in downtown Toronto hung Sanctuary the newest piece by Jamaican-born Canadian sculptor Sharl G. Smith. Composed of 924 polished stainless-steel orbs and weighing approximately 600 lbs., the installation was woven by hand using hollow stainless-steel spheres as beads, with industrial steel cables serving as thread, taking the traditional bead-stitching method to Brobdingnagian dimensions. “My art practice focuses on researching and developing the sculptural potential of bead-stitching through the creation of shapes that derive their form solely from the tension between the beads and the thread,” says Smith. “It is a time-intensive and meticulous process of repetition and refinement as I continually experiment with strengthening the structural capacity of beadwork”

Dead Flowers Winner of the Jury Prize at the 17th Festival des Architectures Vives in Montpellier, France, Les Fleurs de la Maladie by Subset confronted the festival theme of Sacrality with an installation that provokes a personal and emotional engagement with the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic through an aesthetic, sensual experience. Like white flowers, 1,482 COVID-19 test cassettes float above a blue platform, asking what value we attribute to our own and public health in general.

After a Drop Comes the Bounce

Despite a current international landscape that presents formidable challenges for the furniture industry, many signs point to an improvement as we move forward.

When approaching furniture industry statistics, several aspects need to be highlighted. Firstly, the sector relevance: global furniture production is worth approximately US$500 billion according to CSIL World Furniture Outlook estimates, making it a large industry. Looking at the main actors, China is the largest producer (34 per cent of world output), followed by the United States (16 per cent) and Italy (five per cent). Canada ranks in the eighth position in CSIL ranking. Secondly, its global dimension with around onethird (36 per cent) of world production traded internationally (that is, products that cross national borders and are purchased in a foreign market). Thirdly, the sectors’ historical growth trend: the value of the global industry has grown by over 10 per cent in the last decade, in value.

Although the industry was historically growing, the last two years were marked by a difficult economic and geopolitical context. After the rebound of activities in 2021, according to CSIL data both global furniture production and international trade contracted in 2022 and 2023. The global furniture sector was suffering because of multiple challenges including the slowdown of economic growth, rising inflation and interest rates; conflicts and tensions in the geopolitical context, difficult functioning of supply chains and logistics, and trade tensions. Additionally, market deterioration with consumers’ budget

erosion because of inflation and weakening furniture demand in favour of other products, especially services such as leisure and tourism, put additional pressure on the industry. All these aspects have led in recent years to a context of considerable uncertainty.

CSIL forecasts are for a gradual, but not immediate, reversal of the trend. Economic growth forecasts are becoming more positive with global GDP growth anticipated at a rate exceeding three per cent in the coming years along with a gradual restoration of income levels and consumer purchasing power which should, among others, favour furniture demand. More specifically, CSIL foresees a more

By Alessandra Tracogna INSIGHT 10 // CANADIAN INTERIORS May/June 2024
International furniture trade. Share on world furniture production.
Source: CSIL US$ Billion 2014 0 100 200 300 400 500 600 Growth Trend Rebound Drop 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023 World furniture production Traded Internationally trade Traded Domestically 36% 64%

The largest furniture manufacturers worldwide. Furniture production, year 2023. CSIL Ranking

Source: report/world-furniture-outlook/ Source: CSIL’s World Furniture Outlook 2024: 2023 preinventory estimates

pronounced growth of the Asian furniture markets, a progressive stabilization in North America already in 2024, and an improving, but still delicate situation, in Europe before an expected stabilization from 2025 onwards. Downside risks to growth include the persistence of geopolitical uncertainties, and the intensification of trade tensions (e.g. trade barriers to international trade), and logistical and transportation pressures (e.g. those in the Red Sea).

What CSIL observes is that, in this context, furniture company strategies and investments are continuously evolving and leading to careful reflection on sourcing strategies and dynamics to reduce

business risks and vulnerabilities. For example: shortening supply chains, nearshoring, careful evaluation and selection of suppliers are examples of topics becoming more and more relevant.

Alessandra Tracogna is a partner and senior market researcher at CSIL. With over 40 years of activity in market research focused on the furniture sector, CSIL has built a unique observatory by collecting and analyzing industry and company data on a global scale for over 100 countries worldwide.

// 11
China 171,384 United States 60,807 Italy 22,693 Germany 21,207 India 20,162 Vietnam 16,188 Poland 15,195 Canada 10,670 United Kingdom 8,962 South Korea 8,337
0 0 20 20 40 40 60 60 80 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023 China Italy Vietnam Germany Germany USA France Netherlands Poland United Kingdom US$ Billion US$ Billion
Major furniture importing countries Major furniture exporting countries

Strong at Thirty

The Malaysian International Furniture Fair (MIFF) , Southeast Asia’s largest B2B home and office furniture trade show, reached a laudable milestone this year, turning 30. With the number of attendees as well as dollar-value of orders placed posting gains over previous years, organizers have a lot to be proud of.

1 Senna | Oasis Furniture Industries Designed by Sujak Hasbollah and one of many sound pod options in the company’s Ideas Incubator collection, they are all engineered with sound acoustic material able to reach Sound Transmission Class (STC) of 40.

2 TMH 583-1 & TMH2257SD | TMH Furniture Industries In a country that prides itself on wood furniture exports, to be one of the first to bring bentwood technology into Malaysia is a notable achievement, so kudos to TMH. This Desk and Chair pairing were launched at MIFF and are a departure for the company, which focuses mainly on dining tables.

3 Cairo Living Room Set | Hupsheng Furniture Industries A three-piece set that somehow manages to pay homage to the Malaysian staple of rattan but puts a modern spin on the material that doesn’t feel pejorative.

4 Hey Hatch | Vistawood Industries Several eye-catching pieces were on display that came from an incubator programme called Timb3r to assist the Malaysian timber and furniture industry to grow and upgrade along the design and brand value chain. This piece, designed by Cayenne Lim from A Moxie Associates and manufactured by Vistawood Industries using Semangkuk wood, can be transformed from a dressing table with a mirror to armchairs, a coffee table and a baby crib to adapt to different stages.

Compiled by Peter Sobchak SEEN 12 // CANADIAN INTERIORS May/June 2024
1 3 4 2

1 Joss | District Eight This collection of monolithic-sized sofas, designed by Toan Nguyen, pays explicit homage to traditional Asian architecture as seen in the curvature of the top of the solid wood base, a sinuous line that continues through the volumes of the seats, backs, and armrests and is reminiscent of the rooftops of doorways that lead into Buddhist temples. The collection includes nine components, including a daybed and a coffee table.

2 Chair 3008 | Santang Vietnam A massive booth with a dizzying array of plastic chair designs, the furniture manufacturer was perhaps one of the best at selling the right narrative: recyclability. Acknowledging how important the plastic furniture industry is in Southeast Asia, it was reassuring to hear agents speak about all the ways plastic bottles, cans and bags are sourced as raw materials for their various lines.

Cultural Additivity

A term used to explain how the values of Confucianism, Buddhism and Taoism mix and influence Vietnamese society, it could also be seen in the aisles of VIFA Expo, Vietnam’s oldest trade show for furniture and home décor which brings buyers and makers to the capital city of the fifth largest furniture manufacturer in the world, where influences will inevitably blend.

3 Sideboard | Antique House (HK) This Nordic-inspired Japandi-style living room piece uses recycled pine and steel and was designed in Belgium by Steven Vetters for a Vietnam-based furniture company and is a great example of European design sensibilities finding receptive audiences in a market dominated by rattan and bamboo cliches.

4 Lóp Lamp | BaNG Designed by Thomas Vincent, the lighting company’s creative director and designer, this floating sphere amidst layers of bright acrylic was a playful surprise in an aisle of cheap furniture knockoffs. Available in four sizes and eight vibrant colours, when lit, reflections of the sphere on the layers evoke the illusion of motion.

// 13
1 4 2 3 1 SEEN

Set in Stone

Ever-improving glazing technology paired with inspiration from Earth’s ancient geological past were a dominant trend on display at Coverings 2024. Limestone, bluestone, slate and even sand were represented with uncanny precision and included characteristics like veining, coal lines and visible fossils. The visual richness of their textures, nuances and details are maintained and paired with the practicality of ceramic.

1 Geo, a new collection from Halcón Cerámicas, explores limestone’s serene beauty, offering not just inspiration, but a language that speaks of history, culture and natural art.

2 Quartz Stone Grey Matte, the newest in Cicogres’ Quartz Stone collection, encourages creative design experimentation while enhancing the natural allure of stone to foster spaces with distinctive personality and visual delicacy.

3 Slate Design Project, Landmark Ceramics’ new porcelain collection inspired by natural slate, combines beauty, rich textures and a distinctive appearance with the superior performance of porcelain through its two distinct surface personalities.

4 Sinai, by Coem–Fioranese, is a newly introduced collection inspired by the timeless beauty of Golden Sinai stone mined in Egypt. Its dominating golden shades with grains from beige to pale brown add a charming flash of color to any space.

5 Blue Ridge Porcelain collection, by Wonder Porcelain, takes inspiration from the stone quarried in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Tennessee to craft an understated, minimalistic wood porcelain tile look.

The Coverings Installation & Design (CID) Award honours excellent accomplishments in ceramic tile and natural stone design as well as installation across multiple categories. The lone Canadian winner, Calgary-based Empire Kitchen & Bath, picked up an accolade in the Residential Stone Design category for their work on the Riverside Rouge project.

14 // CANADIAN INTERIORS Xxx/Xxx 2024 14 //
SEEN 1 3 2 4 5 Compiled by Peter

As Seen on TV

We see design everywhere. In our homes. At the office. In public places. We even see design when we’re propped up on our couches, binging the next season of our favourite shows.

1 Datum by Turf, seen on The Bear You might recognize the Michelin-starred restaurant Ever from Season 2, Episode 7 “Forks” of The Bear In a scene where Richie “Cousin” Jerimovich works at a high-end restaurant (shot in the Ever), Turf’s Datum ceiling baffles steal the show. In real life, the use of these baffles drowns out distractions to allow diners to focus on the food above all else.

2 Leather Boden Chair by Room & Board, seen on Succession Spotted in Logan Roy’s moody townhouse, the Leather Boden Chair appears on the hit TV series Succession. The Boden’s dramatic angles and firm seat are an apt inclusion to the statement items in Logan’s library, perhaps symbolic of Brian Cox’s powerful character himself.

3 Torroja Standing Lamp by David Weeks Studio, seen in Billions Lighting from David Weeks Studio is a set designer’s dream: statement-making minimalism without stealing the spotlight. If you’re a fan of Billions you may have spotted the Torroja Standing Lamp inside Bobby Axelrod’s swanky, glass-walled penthouse in Season 4. www.

4 Easy Peasy by Lodes, seen in Emily in Paris The fantastique, atmospheric, and portable lamps that feature on each table in Gabriel’s restaurant in Emily in Paris are Lodes’ Easy Peasy in Flamingo, designed by Luca Nichetto.

// 15 SEEN
Compiled by Majesty Henry 1 2 3 4 Courtesy of HBO Courtesy of Hulu
of Netflix

Awaiting Sunnier Days

Outdoor aficionados are breathing new life into their open-air environments, enhancing their backyard retreats, patio sanctuaries, rooftop oases, decks, and beyond. Here, we’ve assembled some eye-catching new collections that celebrate the joys of alfresco living while embodying the freshest trends in outdoor space aesthetics.

Compiled by Peter Sobchak GL101 Timbur Outdoor Bench | Carl Hansen & Søn // 17
Designed by Iceland-based Gudmundur Ludvik, this outdoor bench’s name means ‘timber’ in the designer’s native tongue and is made from certified teak, which patinas well over time. Generously shaped armrests function as side tables and an optional seat cushion is fashioned in water-resistant textile.
CANADIAN INTERIORS May/Jun 2024 1 2 5 4 18 // THE GOODS 3

1 Uves Sofa | Andreu World Designed by Alberto Lievore using 100 per cent FSC-certified iroko wood and available in one, two and three-seater versions with customizable fabric options, but it is the extra-wide arms that provide space for all your patio-lounging activities, be it books, drink glasses and other objects, that will catch most eyes (and bottoms).

2 Ocean Collection in Burnt Red | Mater Originally produced in 1955 by Jørgen and Nanna Ditzel using wood veneer and characterised by a light structure, with repeated slats and sturdy metal frames, since 2019 the outdoor collection has been re-imagined to tackle various waste streams. Launched in March, the new six-piece collection combines post-consumer e-waste with fiberglass in a colour intended to honour the originators.

3 Moony | Karman Designed by Marcantonio, this outdoor lamp’s name is a word pun for the spherical shape of the diffuser and the adaptability of the position thanks to its flexible stem, which moves “according to the mood.” Its movable metal stem covered with a white cloth stocking supports an opaque white PMMA globe that carries the LED source, and the concrete hemisphere base carries two heights.

4 Clara | Contardi Lighting Designed by Chiara Caberlon in collaboration with Marco Forbicioni, this portable lantern features a functional ring in the upper part available in matte white lacquered or bronze painted versions. Characterised by the original diffuser made of resin with a Vienna straw effect, a material usually associated with indoor seating typical of the Bauhaus period, it can be hung or moved easily.

5 Every Day Chair | Landscape Forms Bent wire and steel strapping come together in a design that is visually light while being robust enough to withstand stacking and repeated reconfiguration. Available with or without arms, the chair’s curves and softened edges create an inviting personality, while a sled base bolsters structural integrity and stability on a variety of surfaces.

6 Copenhagen | OASIQ A hygge-inspired collection that incorporates weatherresistant teak with high-performance solution-dyed rope, the collection is designed by Milan-based duo Meneghello Paolelli Associati, whose initial commercial success with an earlier armchair version prompted an expansion into a complete outdoor line.

7 Mobile Sauna | Emil Löber, Friedrich Gerlach and Sophia Reißenweber Designed as a meeting and relaxation point on the campus of Burg Giebichenstein art and design school, this sauna’s mobility allowed it to be used both on and around the campus, with the option to cool down in the river. Featuring transparency and lightness (a contrast to traditional saunas), it accommodates up to five people, utilizes waste wood as an energy source and can be easily transported using a wheelbarrow-like system. The stove is externally fired to prevent exhaust fumes inside.

8 Cottage Comfort | RONA Inspired by the Cottagecore trend, this assortment captures the cozy appeal of grandma’s cottage, featuring a blend of mismatched tableware, crochet cushions, and wildflower accents. Natural fibers and eco-conscious materials enhance the line, paired with a soothing colour scheme of greens and light neutrals, accented by touches of teal, coral, and washed terracotta.

// 19
6 7 8


Screens hungry for content are ubiquitous. But while they may not accurately reflect the design industry, they can be valuable tools for building an interior designers’ brand and generating business.


To TV or not to TV? That is the question we put to a few veteran interior designers who have appeared on network television, asking if such a vehicle is the best form of promotion and how the experience helped their business.

Among the new generation of designers, the topic interests those who dream that their YouTube podcasts will be picked up by HGTV. They want to be influencers without first paying their dues by slogging through the bowels of a large architecture or design firm as a CAD monkey for 20 years.

Ami McKay, based in Lions Bay, B.C., founded her nine-person firm Pure Design in 2000 and runs a construction company and a brick-and-mortar artisan retail shop. She’s been published in a variety of consumer and trade publications that focus on architecture and design and was a “regular” on HGTV’s Makeover Wish (2007-08). The pilot for her new series, Vancouver Reno, on the Magnolia and Discovery+ networks, features her transformation of a bungalow through its “before” and “after” phases. It highlights her imaginative, non-generic ideas, such as the custom cover for a small galley kitchen’s stainless-steel range hood that evokes the arc of resonator pipes on a marimba or vibraharp.

Yes, McKay has won new clients through her TV appearances yet — and this was a recurring theme through the interviews for this story — it was Instagram that paved the way for her TV pilot. “The client was following me on Instagram, then contacted me and asked if I would come look at this adorable little bungalow and tell her if it would be a good idea to buy it,” McKay says. “Instagram is my number one. A lot of people who have been following me on social media for years will reach out when they’re finally ready to renovate their kitchen or house.”

The pilot opportunity came about circuitously and fortuitously: McKay filmed her sequence of renovating a house in Italy and sent a sizzle reel to a friend who pitched it to a Magnolia producer in Los Angeles. “Put a camera in front of me and it’s the easiest thing in the world,” she says. “I don’t struggle, I have zero nerves. I’m definitely not an actor so don’t give me lines. I won’t remember them; I’ll mess them up. But if I can just be me, I’ll shine.”

Ironically, McKay shies away from giving advice about how to get on television because, surprise, they’re all too busy designing to watch design shows on television. “For most people, these shows are like going to the spa, but these folks aren’t designing all day.”

But she suggests that a first step for designers eager to appear on television would be guest appearances on established podcasts such as Kimberly Seldon’s Business of Design and Apple Podcast’s Measure Twice, Cut Once

// 21

Previous page and left Ami McKay’s television show Vancouver Reno is currently streaming on the Magnolia Network and Discovery+ in the U.S. and Canada. Shot as a docuseries, the show chronicles Ami’s day to day life as principal of Pure Design Inc. and retail shop owner.

Another British Columbian, Trisha Isabey, of her eponymous Kelowna-based Isabey Collective, founded one of the largest interior design firms in the country, with 43 staff members, in 2013. The former investment advisor at RBC Dominion Securities and CIBC Wood Gundy parlayed her financial savvy to become Canada’s newest lifestyle guru. Her adjunct business, Furnish, offers B.C.-lifestyle-inspired home furnishings at a retail store in Kelowna and an e-commerce website that ships “B.C. Style” across Canada. “We’re becoming everything ‘home’ now,” Isabey explains.

“Instead of creating a traditional boutique design firm, I took a completely different approach, based on my previous career. All I knew was the brokerage industry, so I created an interior-design-style brokerage firm. Our designers are like investment advisors. Essentially, they run their own businesses under me; we support them with assistants and bookkeepers. They can work as much as they like and earn as much as they are capable of. They find their own clients, although our company receives many inquiries, which I pass along to them.”

“Interior design has been dumbed down for as long as television has been around,” she declares. Design shows “take a lot of shortcuts. They make the design process look much faster than it is. On a residential project, work takes place before anything happens in the home. Then we come in and monitor the progress of the job.”

But that’s not how it plays out on the small screen. Television shows, she says, present the designer as a celebrity who handles all aspects of the job while junior designers behind the scenes are actually doing the work. “But nobody really wants to know our process that intricately because it’s boring. Interior designers have a very technical job. We’re not stylists waving our hands with a tape measure. We understand architecture and the building code and everything else that makes a design viable. Design shows dumb down the level of education it takes to be an insider.”

With numerous guest appearances on CTV and Global under her belt, she opines, “If you want to make an impact on television, you need your own show.” Television exposure, she says, can be “helpful to a small degree” with marketing when integrated with Instagram. “I’ve had publicity with magazines, newspapers and TV and it all funnels through Instagram. Maybe TV is the medium for 50 and older, but Instagram, not TV, is the place for my target market: 30-to-50-years-olds.”

A better vehicle for attracting client prospects than television appearances, she’s found, is Google Ads (formerly AdWords). However, she advises, “to be successful with Google Ads, you need to spend $2,000 a month.” (With Google siphoning off all that ad revenue, no wonder traditional media is languishing.)

Ami McKay Janis Nicolay

She’s also acquired clients by appearing as a speaker at design, garden and home shows. Her recent IDS Vancouver appearance moderating a panel about women in design, she avers, “was standing room only. I had a lineup out the door of people wanting to come and talk to me after it was over because I spoke directly and honestly to a group of people who don’t get spoken to directly and honestly.”

Michael Lambie, founder of his eponymous three-person firm in Mississauga Ont., describes himself as an interior designer and artist who creates unique works for his spaces. After a television appearance, more inquisitive phone calls than usual will come in for the next 24 hours. As a judge on CBC’s Best in Miniature series and frequent guest on Breakfast Television and Cityline, “getting on TV puts me at the front of the line. When someone sees my business for the first time on TV, it instantly establishes my credibility. They know that the network did a background check on me and that I’m a reputable designer. Being a quote-unquote TV personality separates me from the hundreds of other designers out there whose work may be just as good. I’ve gotten quite a few projects over the years from people who saw me on TV even if it took years until they were ready to call me.” A viewer in Chicago even flew him out for a project there after seeing Lambie on television because Cityline is broadcast in the United States.

He also builds his firm’s visibility with Google Ads, guest-speaker engagements at design shows (he was emcee at the National Kitchen and Bath Association gala at Toronto’s Palais Royale in February)

and sponsored Instagram posts. “When I complete a new project that represents my brand well, I’ll do a boost. I finished a custom home in Florida and did a boosted Instagram buy targeted to local residents. I can control who I target.”

He feels that television design shows are “contrived and controlled. Usually, seven or eight minutes into the show, there’s a disaster that needs to be solved. Then at the end, there’s success. These shows are definitely dumbed down, but that’s not a criticism, that’s the purpose, right? It’s just entertainment.”

He also notes that these shows reinforce the stereotype “look” of designers. “I’m a unicorn in my industry. There’s not a lot of straight black males; it’s either a forty-something woman or a flamboyant guy who’s a little over the top. I get questioned about how creative I can be if don’t fit that demographic.”

While Lambie may not fit the clientele demographic for Jennifer Singh, a former television reporter and owner of She’s Newsworthy Media, based in Brampton, Ont., which helps designers become influencer marketers — “We amplify the voices of women entrepreneurs, in particular on television,” Singh says — her advice is certainly applicable across the spectrum. “Building your brand in different ways so that you can be relatable and approachable is important for making you stand out, especially if you’re an interior designer.”

Michael Lambie

Lights, Camera, Plywood and

Even illusory worlds need designers, and for the film and television industry, creating those worlds fall to the artistry and skill of Production Designers, who weave together imagination and technique, seamlessly blending illusion with reality. With disciplined precision and fiscal mindfulness, they elevate the script and bring it to life, transforming ideas into captivating imagery and purpose into tangible reality.


Editor in Chief, Peter Sobchak, was able to pull Shayne Fox away from the set of What We Do in The Shadows as it wraps shooting its sixth and final season in Toronto to understand her profession more fully and just how much it mirrors the built environment design professions we are familiar with.

For people who don’t know anything about the world of film and television production, please explain what the role of a Production Designer (PD) is, and where a PD fits in the hierarchy of a production.

Production Designers are the people who oversee the look of the show and build a world for our characters. Everything from the interior design and the choices of wallpaper and materials to things that fall into structural engineering. We are there to service the script and create the most interesting sets in the amount of time and budgets that we have. It’s about servicing the story, the vision of the show in general and understanding where our characters are supposed to be. Sometimes it’s as simple as an office space, or sometimes there’s major stunts that need to be accounted for.

When I talk to architects and designers about projects they’re working on, one of the first things that comes out is the relationship with the client and the budget. When you start on a production, do you get involved early on with budget? Can you ever fight for more money for the art department?

Even when we’re being considered for projects, one of my first questions will be “What’s the overall budget of this project?” Because it gives me an indication of what kind of work is involved. Sometimes, when we dive into a script, I’ll read something and say “Oh, my gosh, this is hugely ambitious. I’m not sure we can afford this.” Then we take it to the showrunners and [set out] priorities. And we’re constantly updating budgets and projections so that there are no surprises to accountants and production managers who must reconcile it all. We’re working with our vendors to always keep things realistic and get estimates from them before we commit to custom wallpaper or to whatever it is that we need. Our show is very stunt heavy, so we often must build things just for the stunt team to practice with. It’ll never make it to camera, but it’s an important step in the process that could be quite costly sometimes, depending on the parameters of what we’re trying to do.

The concept behind What We Do in The Shadows is a mockumentary crew follows around a group of vampires, capturing their misadventures. There’s a cinéma verité feel where the vampires acknowledge the camera is there, as opposed to most other shows were there’s a lot of effort put into hiding the camera. That said, in the world you create what’s more important: the actor or the camera?

My first [instinct is] to say the camera, because I’m always wondering and worried about what the camera is going to see. It’s a visual medium and we want the camera to capture amazingness so I’m always hyper-aware of the camera’s location, the type of camera, the camera angle and even the camera height. We don’t do a lot of locked-off wide shots or we don’t come in for tight close-ups. It’s all very Steadicam style at eye level, and I cater to that. But having said that, because we’re mockumentary style and because I never know where they’re going to point the camera, that’s when the actor comes in, because the actor is given a real space that’s usable all around. We love to hand off sets that feel real, so the actors feel like it gives them a better playground to do their best work.

What do you think are the key attributes then that make for a good production designer?

Being a creative person is key, because being a creative person is going to put you in a better position to think on your feet, be adaptable but understand materials, time periods, architecture, and so on. If you’re dialed into design, you’re going to understand what it takes to build a world or augment an already built world. If you’re trying to suggest what a character is like, and all you have is a couple shots in their bedroom, how do you style it? What do you put in there? What is it that’s important to them? A good designer is someone who’s also open-minded and collaborative. I’ve seen designers who try and push their own agenda without listening to the showrunner, without really understanding the story arc. You sometimes have to put your own tastes and your own wishes for a character or story aside, and you have to embrace what’s in front of you, and what is being asked to view.

// 25
Above Matt Berry plays Laszlo in “Hybrid Creatures,” season 5, episode 7 of What We Do In The Shadows. Catch up on past episodes of What We Do in the Shadows on FX and Citytv+.

What tools do you use to help you do your job? From the early pre-production visualization stages (i.e. storyboarding) all the way through to building sets?

When I’m putting my brain towards a new set build, what I’ll do is think about it for a while, about what it is that I want to achieve and how I want it to look. Then I’ll create a board with a program called Canva, a presentation board of materials and influences and references. Basically a mood board of colours, finishes, palette of light and dark, all these materials that I want to use. Then I use a program called ArcSite for drawing floor plans and I’ll draw a layout, and then I’ll go to my set designers and my art directors to help me further expand and further draw that up. I know set designers use a combo of different programs: they use Rhino, SketchUp, Escape, Blender. Depending on how in-depth we need to get sometimes we’ll do hyper-realistic renders of the space so we can look at it and almost walk through it as if the camera is there. And sometimes we’ll bring in the DP and the director and we’ll talk about what type of lenses they’re going to use and throw those lenses into Rhino or Blender so we can see our depth of field and see if there’s a window in a hall, how much of the view of the hall do we get? Do we want to make the hole longer, wider, taller? Once we have a good model and a good layout that feels right for the director and the DP, we’ll bring in our set decorating team and we’ll talk about where and how we want to dress it with furniture, sconces, flooring, etcetera. We’ll also bring in our grips and rigging gaffers to talk about the ceiling; do we need a truss or a grid; how are we going to hang lights? Everything we need to make this look and feel good on camera.

You basically just described the exact process of every architect and interior designer I’ve ever spoken to. From ideation to completion, your process mirrors most building professionals. So then, what do you think are the differences between building for film versus building for real people?

(Laughs) Our toilets are not plumbed. Unless there’s a scripted beat where someone’s washing dishes and they need water coming under the faucet, there’s no plumbing. Everything we do is temporary. It’s built for the camera. Sometimes we exaggerate the depth of something because on camera it might get squished, so we build a bedroom extra big. We don’t build for permanence: it might be shot one day and torn down the next day.

That’s the key difference: temporality. Basically, you’re doing interior design just for a camera, but you are telling a story. And interior designers tell me that all the time, that “we’re telling a story about how people will interact with the space.” You’re telling a story, in this case an actual story, and you’re very concerned about how the audience will react to how that story is being told through images and everything being built into the images, which includes the world in which it is being shot. You’re an interior designer, you’re just doing it slightly differently.

I feel like if I were an actual real interior designer, I would be way more versed in code and real-world realities and parameters, because we fudge things all the time.

True. And in the A&D profession, a huge issue they must deal with every day are mandates for sustainability such as certification programs like LEED, which impact everything from materials to energy use to end-of-life Cradle to Cradle sensibilities. Does the film industry have any certification programs or mandates to achieve certain levels of material reduction or recyclability afterwards?

The short answer is no, we don’t have anything official. Everything we do is so fast and furious, and it would have to be an extra department or an extra step or an extra process to be more environmentally mindful. It’s awful. There’s a lot of waste in the film industry. Sometimes things get trashed because it’s proprietary, like the way you shred documents, [and studios] don’t want things out there to the public until they’re ready to be shown. But having said that, we do reuse a lot of things internally, like if we’re just doing a very simple set and we have the walls painted blue, maybe we can use them the next week in a different configuration, and we’ll paint them green. And sometimes we’re able to sell just raw materials to another production when we’re done or pass them off. We do reuse things as much as we can, but there’s no certifications or governing body or anybody checking in on us if we’re meeting certain codes of environmental conduct.

Despite how incredibly hectic your schedule is normally — made even worse now that What We Do in The Shadows is wrapping up


It’s all made in Toronto. When supply chains were having issues during COVID, much to my surprise I was extremely busy because everyone was renovating their houses, and I could supply people because my foundry is like 30 kilometers from my house. Everything is made from cast bronze the old-fashioned way, pouring molten bronze into a sand cast mold impression, and then it goes through a finishing process [after which] we drill the threads for the cabinet bolts. I think our largest pieces are 48 inches long, [but] I just had someone asked me if I can make seven-foot-long handles. We embrace the imperfections and for us that’s part of the charm, the evidence of the process.

Do you design on a computer, or do you go pencil and paper?

All of the above. Sometimes I hand sculpt with modelling materials if I want a more organic shape, sometimes I just draw something up. Sometimes I use 3D rendering programs if it’s a very complex geometric shape and I need precision and then I’ll have things 3D printed to create the positives for the mold. Or I have a traditional-style mold maker help me create the tooling. Just whatever it is, it’s a very free flowing creative thing, and each series has its own little history and inspiration behind it.

What are your design influences as far as the actual styles?

Good question. They vary. I’m a very tactile person. I studied ceramics for years and I taught ceramics, so I love to mold with my hands. When I set to design my first line of wares I just reached for a bag of clay, [even though] it didn’t end up being what I ended up using. Sometimes it’s architectural shapes, sometimes it’s forms from nature, or sometimes it’s just what I think is cool or what might look good in a kitchen. I lean towards more clean, structural shapes, but sometimes there are subtleties of the bronze itself that brings in more lyrical fluidity.

— you also find time to design and build your own hardware line, called Shayne Fox Hardware. Can you tell me about that?

I’ve been working in the industry for a long time and there were occasionally big chunks of time, be it due to industry strikes or calamities in the world, of a few months between contracts where I wasn’t working. And as a creative person and as a person who has bills to pay, sometimes that would be traumatic. So, I decided I need to build something that’s mine, I need to have something that I can control as a creative outlet and that could be a revenue source. So I came up with my own line of cast bronze hardware handles and knobs for interiors. It started as a labour of love and a little side hustle, something that I did between gigs. But it’s grown and grown and it’s now way more than a side hustle. It’s its own front and centre hustle that I manage while I’m working in production. I supply hardware all over the world, with retailers in Australia, a couple in Europe and in the U.S. and all over Canada. I wholesale but I also sell direct to interior designers and off our website.

There’s a solidity and an importance to working with a material like bronze. I wonder if that creates a certain type of grounding that you’re not able to get in the film production design side, because bronze requires a lot of time and I remember you telling me that some of your TV show lead times are like six days before you start shooting. I’m sure you spend more than six days coming up with a piece for the hardware line.

It’s true, bronze lasts forever. I joke that the hardware will be around long after I am. But that’s part of the lure of the material for me, the antiquity and endurance of this beautiful substance that will morph in time and have its own life long after we’re gone.

Shayne Fox is a Toronto-based production designer and set decorator who for over three decades has created television programming and feature films for FX Network, NBC, Netflix, Warner Brothers, Sony, MGM and many others. She has received two prime time Emmy nominations as well as four Art Directors Guild nominations and two wins.

Listen to the full conversation at Bevel: Canadian Interiors Conversations everywhere podcasts are available.

// 27
Left Natasia Demetriou plays Nadja in “The Night Market,” season 4, episode 4 of What We Do In The Shadows. The Skew Family (top) and Spul Family (above) of hardware handles from Shayne Fox Hardware, both in bronze.

How Moment

Factory uses futuristic technology and good old-fashioned teamwork to create dazzling immersive environments.

Over 58 million people pass through Singapore’s Changi Airport every year. As they do, they experience the usual travel stresses and strains: baggage checks, security, customs. Yet in the departure area of a renovated Terminal 2, completed in 2023 after three and a half years of construction, there are two installations designed to surprise, delight, and give frazzled travellers a moment of respite.

One, in the Departure Hall, pays homage to Singapore’s status as a garden city, a metropolis replete with lots of green space. A four-story screen towers up from a passageway and bows across a wall otherwise planted with lush hanging gardens. The curved surface ensures the imagery — a rushing waterfall cascading over

Photo credit: Moment Factory By Matthew Hague
At Changi Airport and in collaboration with Boiffils, Moment Factory created two key installations that bring nature into the passenger experience: Airside (right), an garden that “sprouts from an elevated platform over a pond under a limitless digital sky,” and Wonderfall (next page), a four-story digital waterfall in the Departure Hall.
// 29

bulging, digital boulders — is visible from all directions. Periodically, not to mention surreally, the water appears to defy gravity and reverse course as a soundtrack by composer and pianist Jean-Michel Blais plays calmly.

Elsewhere in the terminal, a digital “sky” soars over massive pillars covered in creeping vines and other plant life. Through integration with the airport’s weather system, the sky — another massive screen — changes to reflect the meteorological conditions outside. As it does, a score of tropical sounds, including the croaks and cheeps of birds and insects, creates the vibe that passengers are resting in a peaceful natural environment, not battling through one of the world’s busiest air hubs.

The installations were conceived by a Montréal-based multimedia studio called Moment Factory. Neatly summing up their work in a simple phrase can be a bit tricky, partly because their efforts often combine an unusually broad skill set. They advertise themselves as a firm creating “immersive environments” and their projects could easily incorporate live dancers and laser shows, custom soundscapes, and high-quality, custom video productions.

“The architecture is often a starting point,” explains Fady Atallah, creative director at Moment Factory who oversaw the Changi installations and many other international transit projects. “We try to take the original vision of the architecture and add an ex-

perience that reflects the things that visitors will see and experience in the surrounding city. Our projects are highly specific to their locations.”

Moment Factory was founded in 2001 and has its roots in parties and concerts. Nine Inch Nails, the American rock band, was an early collaborator. Along the way, they expanded into exhibition design with a touring retrospective for haute couture fashion designer Jean Paul Gaultier, one of Madonna’s favourites, before taking on more increasingly complex undertakings.

The company, which has completed over 500 projects around the world, is perhaps the best known among a spate of Montréal multimedia experts that specialize in such immersive environments. Lucion, Lumin-ART Productions, and Denys Lavigne, a creative who previously had a marketing career in digital signage, are others. As is Gentilhomme Studio, which, in 2022, unveiled a whimsical installation at Orlando Airport that combines computer-generated images, underwater films, and artificial intelligence to project uniquely Floridian scenes — swimming manatees, launching spaceships — on large screens.

Gentilhomme Studio was founded in 2014 by creative director Thibaut Duverneix, a former Moment Factory freelance collaborator. He credits Montréal’s boom in multimedia design firms to the city’s strong tech community, which was also a magnet for

// 31

video game companies such as Ubisoft as well as various visual effects firms. A long history as a leader in arts and culture also helps. “We’re all children of Cirque du Soleil in Montréal,” he told the Sixteen:Nine Podcast last February.

Part of what sets Moment Factory apart is the size and talent of their staff. Whereas some of their smaller competitors might have a crew of one or two dozen, Moment Factory has a team of 400, spread between the Montréal head office and satellites in New York, Tokyo, Singapore, and Paris. The background of the group covers just about everything: business, theater production, user experience, events, lighting, and more.

The deep talent pool enables Moment Factory to tackle projects such as the renovation of the Grand Magic Hotel at Disneyland Paris. Entering the front door is like stepping into an animated feature. Literally. Guests are greeted at reception by a fictional, mustachioed character named Mr. Maurice, winking from a digital portrait on the wall à la Harry Potter. Part of Mr. Maurice’s job is to

This page At the Grand Magic Hotel, guests are exposed to four worlds: The French Garden, The Forest Pavilion, The Water Palace, and The Sky Gallery. Each is a multimedia show that unfolds over four acts that include relaxing ambient sequences and entertaining show moments.


guide guests to the hotel’s various spaces where over 120 Samsung HD LED screens and 300 million digital pixels on the walls display more than 40 terabytes of original content, among them the glittering constellations in an area called the Sky Gallery.

It might sound frenetic, but each space isn’t just calibrated for sugar-jacked tykes who can’t focus on anything for longer than a moment. Over 50 people at Moment Factory worked on the project over a two-year period, considering just about every aspect of the design, including how the screens could work mid-day by a sun-filled window, and how to integrate adequate task lighting for staff who need to see what they’re doing as the multimedia show goes on. “We also had to take care of the parents and the grandparents that might be tired after a day at Disneyland,” says Julie Boniche, Moment Factory’s multimedia director who oversaw the project. “Many of the screens show ambient content, creating a relaxing mood, with intermittent bursts of activity that only last for a short while.”

Leading such projects and maintaining creative integrity can be challenging. Moment Factory’s structure works a bit like the film industry. Projects are typically led by a Creative Director, such as Fady Atallah at Changi Airport, and a Producer, who takes care of the business end of things, including contracts and budgeting. They also develop the overall brief of each project with the client (in the

Above Emulating the AURA shown at Basilique Notre-Dame de Montréal, AURA Invalides is a 50-minute immersive experience combining video mapping, lighting, special effects, orchestral music, and sound design to celebrate the architectural and historical heritage of one of Paris’s most iconic monuments: Dôme des Invalides.

case of the Grand Magic, that was global investment manager Schroders). The Creative Director then takes the brief and develops the artistic vision, collaborating with Multimedia Directors like Boniche who see to all the technical aspects of the work. “The projects require the stamina of a marathoner,” says Atallah, who is himself a half-marathon runner. “And collaboration is everything.”

“Sometimes a project is just too big for one person,” says Jean-Baptiste Hardoin, a creative and show director who helped oversee one of Moment Factory’s most monumental projects, an installation that will be on display until 2033 at Les Invalides in Paris. Called AURA and patterned after a similar venture at Montréal’s Notre Dame Basilica, the project recounts notable moments in French history using sound, light, and video projections within the walls of the iconic Baroque landmark. Because of the immensity of the project, Hardoin shared his leadership duties with another director, Bruno Ribeiro. “It was very humbling, maybe even a bit frightening to contemplate working in a space as historic as Les Invalides,” says Hardoin. “It helped to have someone to bounce ideas around with.”

This spread Moment Factory worked with Phish (their seventh collaboration) to create multimedia content generated from a fusion of real-time and pre-rendered visuals for the rock band’s four-night concert series in April at the Sphere in Las Vegas, where they were just the second band to perform, after U2 helped open the venue earlier this year. The studio’s work included staging, video design and production, and lighting design (together with the band’s longtime lighting designer, Chris Kuroda) for the world’s highest resolution LED screen, and combined elements of scenography, live 360° capture, and technologies such as Unreal and Notch.

Being humbled by Les Invalides is understandable. The 107-m.tall, gold-domed church was commissioned in 1670 by King Louis XIV, the so-called Sun King who also turned Versailles from a hunting lodge into a city-sized castle. Still one of the most recognizable features in the Paris skyline, it is perhaps most famous for being the resting place of Emperor Napoleon, who lies in a giant stone sarcophagus.

AURA, which lasts for about an hour every evening, features dazzling imagery. In one moment, the Eiffel Tower appears to float within the dome over the heads of the audience. Yet all the technology, such as the laser projectors necessary to make that happen, is discreetly hidden out of view, unobtrusively within the existing architecture, on cornices and the like. Hardoin and the team built many mock-ups and models and coordinated with conservation experts and local governments to nail the details. “The installation has to last for years,” he explains. “So we didn’t want it to appear in any way to be a temporary installation. Everything had to be seamless.”

The complexity was such that Hardoin wasn’t the only one who shared leadership duties over the two years that AURA was in production. “We did the same for the musical composition, with two musical composers for the score,” he says. “A lot of people think creativity needs a single vision. I think of it like flying a plane. Every pilot needs a co-pilot to make sure things land.”

// 35

What’s It Worth?

Installation challenges how far we think modern global commerce and economics have advanced.

Representing Canada at the 60th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, Canadian born Paris-based artist Kapwani Kiwanga has transformed the Canada Pavilion into a site-specific sculptural installation that reminds us how much value we historically put on objectively worthless materials. Through meticulous layering, transparency, and a deft manipulation of architectural forms, Kiwanga’s creation beckons viewers into a mesmerizing realm, where perceptions multiply and perspectives unfurl as one navigates its coil-like contours.

Central to Kiwanga’s installation, titled Trinket, is the utilization of conterie, colloquially known as seed beads, sourced from the storied isles of Murano in the Venetian archipelago. Symbolizing a convergence of disparate cultures and historical narratives, these minuscule glass beads serve as the building blocks for Kiwanga’s monumental constructs, bridging the chasm between the microscopic and the monumental. Within each bead lies a rich tapestry of socio-economic exchange, bearing witness to the transformative currents that have shaped our global landscape since the 16th century.

At the heart of Kiwanga’s practice lies a profound interrogation of power dynamics, historical narratives, and their tangible manifestations in everyday life. Through her multidisciplinary oeuvre, Kiwanga constructs experiential archives that offer fleeting glimpses into alternative realities, disrupting established norms and prompting audiences to reimagine their modes of existence. While her installation grapples with the tumultuous history of commerce, it transcends mere critique, inviting viewers to contemplate the enduring legacy of transoceanic trade and its enduring impact on contemporary society.

Complementing the luminous conterie are raw, elemental materials selected by Kiwanga to evoke the transoceanic exchanges that have shaped our world. Emerging organically from the exhibition space, these materials converge with the beads in a symphony of textures and forms, symbolizing the complex interplay of value systems, aesthetic sensibilities, and global economic relations. Through this tactile encounter, Kiwanga prompts viewers to reflect on the inherent fluidity of value, challenging entrenched notions of worth and inviting a deeper exploration of our interconnected world.

Valentina Mori
Above Installation view of the exhibition Kapwani Kiwanga: Trinket , 2024, Canada Pavilion, 60th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia. Commissioned by the National Gallery of Canada and supported by the Canada Council for the Arts. © Kapwani Kiwanga / Adagp Paris / CARCC Ottawa 2024.



Skycove is a projected glass structure that provides expansive views and captures light from three sides and from above. It’s an intimate space to disconnect, relax, and rejuvenate. While cozy for one, the seat can reach up to 20 square feet, which is large enough for multiple people. When hectic schedules and frequent distractions limit time spent with friends and loved ones, Skycove presents a unique and inviting place that can encourage people to gather and share their lives.

Skycove is a projected glass structure that provides expansive views and captures light from three sides and from above. It’s an intimate space to disconnect, relax, and rejuvenate. While cozy for one, the seat can reach up to 20 square feet, which is large enough for multiple people. When hectic schedules and frequent distractions limit time spent with friends and loved ones, Skycove presents a unique and inviting place that can encourage people to gather and share their lives.

WINDOWS AND DOORS. BUILT FOR HOW YOU LIVE. Call 1-800-263-6161 or visit us at
WINDOWS AND DOORS. BUILT FOR HOW YOU LIVE. Call 1-800-263-6161 or visit us at

Turn static files into dynamic content formats.

Create a flipbook
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.