Designers of the Year

Designers of the Year 2009: Ones to Watch

ECO DESIGNER TO WATCH: MOLO Stephanie Forsythe and Todd MacAllen of Vancouver’s Molo are already well-known and loved, not just...

ECO DESIGNER TO WATCH: MOLO

Stephanie Forsythe and Todd MacAllen of Vancouver’s Molo are already well-known and loved, not just by us but by the MoMA, the International Contemporary Furniture Fair and other design-world standards. The ethereal new lit versions of their Softwall and Softblock modular wall systems captivated us, not only for their eco-friendly materials (unbleached kraft paper and polyethylene made from recycled and recyclable content) but their use of energy-efficient LEDs.

INDUSTRIAL DESIGNER TO WATCH: CATHERINE REGEHR

Designers of the Year 2009
Photo courtesy of Catherine Regehr.

Though the products are produced in quantities, the exquisite hand finishes and details of the first home collection by fashion designer Catherine Regehr are both personal and luxurious. Inspired by the colours and textures of Canada’s north, many of the gorgeous quilts, throws, cushions and duvets incorporate work by First Nations and other artisans, along with modern techniques like laser-cutting.

FURNITURE DESIGNER TO WATCH: SABINA HILL

Designers of the Year 2009
Photo courtesy of Sabina Hill

Sabina Hill makes Pacific Northwest-inspired furnishings in collaboration with First Nations artists. Informed by her architecture background, the designer incorporates native motifs into sleek pieces. In the past year her work was acquired by the Royal Ontario Museum and shown as part of the 100% Design London show, as well as commissioned by residential and hospitality clients in B.C. and Alberta.

LANDSCAPE DESIGNER TO WATCH: SHAUN FORD

Designers of the Year 2009
Photo courtesy of Shaun Ford

Shaun Ford opened a Calgary showroom this year, putting his custom outdoor design work in the spotlight. We loved the luxe Indonesian mahogany surround he added around a sleek spa tub at a serenely remote Alberta lakefront home. And the heated patio he installed as part of an extensive landscape overhaul of a Calgary home is an inspired nod to outdoor living.

ARCHITECT TO WATCH: MARC BOUTIN

Designers of the Year 2009
Photo courtesy of Marc Boutin

The 2002 recipient of the prestigious Prix de Rome, Calgary-based Marc Boutin is well known for his public spaces, but this year wowed us with some recently designed homes, including the ridge-side Frame House in the B.C. interior and private residences in Calgary. Always sensitive to their sites and often using sharp modern geometry, these homes are jewel boxes that help define a new generation of residential architecture in the West.

INTERIOR DESIGNER TO WATCH: BRUCE WILSON

Designers of the Year 2009
Photo courtesy of Bruce Wilson.

Longtime Victoria interior designer Bruce Wilson completed his first West Coast modernist home project in Cordova Bay, B.C., this year. Previously known for his signature style of traditional with a contemporary edge, Wilson relished the challenge of a small-footprint seaside home. “This project can be considered a major breakthrough for me not only because it succeeds in providing maximum living in a minimal space, but it also represents my first modern-style house, with a design truly shaped by its surroundings.”

FASHION AND JEWELLERY DESIGNER TO WATCH: CLAUDIA BAIK

Designers of the Year 2009
Photo courtesy of Claudia Baik

Arriving in Canada from Korea at age 15, Claudia Baik found freedom of expression in her high school textile class. After studying fashion in Italy, New York and Belgium, she returned to Vancouver to produce stunning collections, including recent origami-inspired organza pieces and abstract jersey dresses.

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