IIDEXCanada 2017
IIDEXCanada Blog

IIDEX Woodshop Winner 2017: Brian Velocci

IIDEX Woodshop Winner 2017: Brian Velocci

Toronto's vibrant urban wood industry is being threatened by invasive species, old age and natural disasters. The result of which is having a devastating impact on Toronto's urban forests and canopy coverage which sees 100,000 felled trees headed to city landfills annually.

To respond to this issue, Economic Development and Culture at the City of Toronto launched the Urban Wood Industry Development Initiative in order to encourage homeowners and industries to salvage and re-use trees felled in the Greater Toronto Area.

Together with our partners at the City of Toronto, Ontario WoodAWMAC, Sawmill Sid and PCL Graphics, IIDEX Woodshop has become the place to showcase how this valuable resource can be repurposed to create innovative, market-ready commercial and consumer prototypes.

Meet the designers that will be a part of this year's 5th annual special feature collection.

About Brian Velocci:

Brian has been a maker since he was a child. A career change later in life put him into school for architecture, and back on the creative path. He was introduced to furniture design during his undergrad at Lawrence Technological university in Detroit, Michigan where he developed his design vocabulary. After experience gained in various architectural offices, he wanted more. Various experimental projects led him into digital fabrication and Bit Modern was born. Armed with a CNC machine and a different perspective, his pieces range from 3D landscape models to open-source furniture, to bicycle accessory design, and anything in between.  It is the challenge that drives him; questions like:  Can I make a....? , and:  Daddy, can we make a...?

What inspired you to apply for the IIDEX Woodshop 2017 competition?

The past finalists of the competitions have always inspired me to enter.  There is always such a great range of designs, functionally and aesthetically.  It is also an honour to have my piece judged by such a highly respected panel of professionals.

Why do you like working with wood as a material?

Wood offers such a range of applications.  It can be quickly cut, shaped, fastened together, or glued.  It can be machined to any level of finish and texture.  And, when painted, even the grain of the wood adds a depth that most other materials don't offer.

In your opinion, why are people drawn to wood as a material in the spaces they often frequent?

There is a primordial thing about wood.  Throughout human history wood has always been a part of our lives; as tools, weapons, toys, shelter, as a source of heat and light.  I think we have a natural affinity to having wood around us at a near genetic level.

Where do you see the future of wood design going?

I think the designs will remain fairly constant, but I see more integration with technology.  There is warmth that wood offers that is a welcome contrast to the sterility of aluminum/glass tech that is in our lives. 

What would be your dream commission (this project can be for any client (person-living or dead), organization (gov’t, arts, private, etc.), or size)? 

I love building things for my family!  I find a great satisfaction of having my daughter be involved in the design and building process.  It is also nice to see the pieces that we have made around the house.  They hold memories of time spent like no other objects do.

Discover Brian's work at Bit Modern, on Facebook and on Instagram.

Don't miss the fifth annual IIDEX Woodshop at IIDEXCanada 2017. Register today