The third night of the Trends in Design series was really interesting. This time the speaker was Julian Goss, program chair of the industrial design department at the Ontario College of Art and Design. He's also a teacher, a consultant, a designer and a very fun speaker to listen to.
After giving us a bit on info on his background, he started with sculpture in Glasgow, he walked us through the history of design, highlighting the major eras of industrial design from the 50s until today as well as where we might be heading. According to Goss, globalization has impacted design in general. It was also interesting to find out that from the outside (he's originally from Scotland) Canada is "the most awesome and confusing country" when it comes to design and "NAFTA decimated product design". Nevertheless, companies such as RIM, Cervélo and Teknion are great Canadian companies that deserve a bit of the spotlight.
Last week EQ3 and Azure magazine launched a new partnership between EQ3 and designer brands such as Herman Miller, Alessi, Stelton, Vitra, Pablo and Design House Stockholm. I had a chance to check it out during the launch party at EQ3 Byward, there were some neat items on display including iconic pieces and great gift ideas as you can see in the photos below.
It will be interesting to see what can be purchased through EQ3+. Vitra, for example, has a lot of neat items including cute mini Panton chairs for kids. This is great news for Ottawa's design community and the design savvy since iconic items will now be more accessible in Ottawa
Last year I blogged about how McDonalds is modernizing the look of its restaurants on M2JL STUDIO Blog. Well it seems like it's now happening in Ottawa. I took this picture a couple weeks ago at the McDonalds on the corner of St-Laurent Blvd and Bourassa St. You can see a fireplace on the left side. There was a lounge on the other side. It would be neat to design a modern McDonalds restaurant. I would use a bit more color.
Last week I attended the second night of the Trends in Design series at the Central sale center. George Dark, a landscape architect and urban designer was the speaker for the night. There was a great turnout (I believe it was sold out) and the finger food was delicious!
Dark gave a lot of neat examples on how cities are evolving, discussing what people are doing and can do to improve our cities. One of the points to consider is who we're building the cities for. The rules have changed, people are not looking for the same thing as before. The younger generation tends to put location at the forefront of their needs as opposed to the size of their house. What I retained from the presentation is that a sense of community and a constant interaction with nature are very important factors for the future of cities. This was illustrated with the presentation of projects such as the somewhat controversial gumwall in Seattle. It's a little nasty (at least for me), but I get the point that it brings people together. In fact, one of the attendants told me about the mini Inukshuks project in Ottawa. She built one just for fun near the Ottawa river and when she came back there was a series of them.
Dark also showed neat examples of projects aimed to make the city greener. One of my favorites is the Guerilla Gardening project, which has been going on for 5 years in Toronto as a way to embellish the city and allow visual beauty to "bring the joy back". All in all it was a very inspiring presentation with great ideas.
The next presentation will be about Industrial Design by Julian Goss on November 25 in Ottawa. Stay tuned for more
For those who read the Ottawa Citizen last spring, I wrote an article on the Slow Home project, which spread like wild fire to many newspapers all over Canada (that was cool). Ottawa has recently been getting some attention on the Slow Home website. John and Matthew, as well as several participants recently redesigned a little townhouse for some Ottawa residents. Check out the video sessions below.
For more details on the project, check out Slow Home's online workshop section here.
Habitat for Humanity-NCR received the biggest donation thus far: a nice home in a great neighbourhood. Called the Gift Home, it was completely revamped with the help of many local professionals in the building trade. Listed for $1,17M, the money will help build about 10 new low-income houses. For those like me who missed the tour there is a little video on it, and Design Ties posted some great pictures here.