Designers of the Year Photo Credit: Martin Tessler

Designers of the Year 2008: Ones to Watch

Meet these four powerhouses that are taking the design world by storm.

ARCHITECT TO WATCH: WALKER McKINLEY

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Calgary architectural designer Walker McKinley has a spectacular array of residential (The Shore), hospitality (Tofino Point Lodge) and public (Devonian Gardens) projects in the works with partners Dale Taylor and Mark Burkart at Eleven Eleven Architecture and MDB Design—not to mention his continuing reinvention of the Calgary restaurant scene (Jaroblue, Alloy). “At its extreme, can it change who we are and what we think? This is, we believe, exactly the task of design,” McKinley says. We can’t wait to see the results.

 

FASHION DESIGNER TO WATCH: COLLEEN BARAN

Vancouver jeweller Colleen Baran is reinventing the ring, with multi-finger and multi-part creations. This past year her work was published in books and exhibited in a solo show at Crafthouse in Vancouver.

Winnipeg-born fashion designer Rachel Gorenstein also had a big year: her family opened a Portland, Oregon location of their Moulé lifestyle stores, which—along with coverage in InStyle and Lucky—put the spotlight on her Rachel Mara line’s feminine, modern looks.

 

FURNITURE DESIGNER TO WATCH: ZACHARY FLUKER

KROEKER_BCBench_jrA cabinetmaker by trade, Zachary Fluker recently completed design and architecture studies in Vancouver and Paris and this fall is studying in London. Those broad, worldly influences show up in his latest work, like the sophisticated lines of his BC Bench, shortlisted in a Vancouver competition for public seating and exhibited at the IDS West show this year. Judge Douglas Coupland pays Fluker’s work the highest praise: as “stuff I’d have in my own house.”

 

LANDSCAPE DESIGNER TO WATCH: ZACHARY FLUKER

We don’t recommend that you hire Edmonton-based golf architect Rod Whitman to landscape your backyard, unless a gentle bulldozing is in order. Considered the country’s—if not one of the world’s—top shapers of classic, naturalistic courses (like Wolf Creek in Ponoka, Alberta, and Blackhawk in Edmonton), Whitman’s Cabot Links in Inverness, Nova Scotia, and Sagebrush in Quilchena, British Columbia, were two of the golf world’s most hotly anticipated openings in 2008.

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