IIDEXCanada 2017
IIDEXCanada Blog

IIDEX Woodshop Winner 2017: Curtis Dwyer

IIDEX Woodshop Winner 2017: Curtis Dwyer

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 Curtis Dwyer

Curtis is a 4th-year industrial design student at OCAD University, originally from Cambridge Ontario.  From a young age, he has always been fascinated with how things are made, spending most of his childhood learning how to build furniture with his grandfather.  Currently his main focus has been product and furniture design. 

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

I was inspired to apply for the IIDEX Woodshop because of the parameters of this year's competition.  I had recently worked on a school project where we had to upcycle discarded material within the GTA, and I had planned to spend my summer continuing the project further.  When one of my professors informed me of the competition, I was very eager to be a part of this exciting event.

Why do you like working with wood as a material?

I like working with wood because it is a very forgiving material.  There are so many methods of wood working that I haven't begun to explore. 

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

I find that people are drawn to wood as a material because it creates a warm and inviting environment. 

Where do you see yourself in 10 years (with respect to industrial/furniture design)?

I see myself being a well rounded Industrial designer, I don't want to focus completely on furniture for my entire career.  As a designer I don't want to limit myself to just one area of design,  I want to explore every corner of the industry before a make a decision.  In the next 10 years, I want to constantly seek out new ideas and continue to be creative. 

You get to add any new tool or piece of equipment to your workshop/studio. What would it be and why?

If I were to add any piece of equipment to my shop it would have to be a jointer or a thickness planer, because it was a tool that my grandfather never owned in his shop. Up until my first year at OCAD I was ecstatic that I didn't have to hand plane another board again. 

Visit Curtis on Instagram to discover his work. 

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