IIDEX Woodshop Winner 2017: Edward WooHyun Chung & Hamza Adenali
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 Wood, AWMAC, 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 Edward & Hamza, students of the McEwen School of Architecture
Edward and Hamza are students at the McEwen School of architecture. Since meeting in their first year, the two have collaborated on many projects; developing a creative process that finds the perfect balance between their shared appreciation of beauty in design, alongside each or their own preferences. They both believe in designs that embody innovation, craft, and interaction in at least one or multiple facets.
What are your thoughts on the intersection of functionality and aesthetics in design?
Function is the purpose for which design has developed. Function is intentionally designed to meet human needs, and aesthetic is a human reaction to the artistic experience in sensory ways. We love beautiful objects, and we are attracted to the artistic experiences. We believe that design should not be separate and the debate should concern whether design is a primary or secondary consideration vis-a-vis functionality. One could be set as primary and another could be set as secondary depending on the circumstances. Moreover, one design may have a more functional quality, and another may have more of an aesthetic quality depending on the purpose and intentions of design. But we strongly believe that the best design is the one which imparts mnemonics and an emotional reaction on the user.
What inspired you to apply for the IIDEX Woodshop 2017 competition?
We thought it would be interesting to design furniture which is more easily engaging and which also could create interactivity by people actually putting flowers into the vase. The concept of social interaction was a key inspiration for our design for the IIDEX Woodshop 2017 competition. We believed that by creating this engaging movement of atmosphere, people would learn and physically feel what the theme of this competition is all about. The design was intended for people to intuitively learn about dead and damaged trees and how to respect them.
Why do you like working with wood as a material?
Wood is a wonderful medium for artistic expression, and woodworking allows us to be creative in designing furniture, choosing ideal cuts of wood, milling, joinery, and finishing. All these processes involve a lot of thinking and creativity in which working with wood is particularly ideal. We like the complexity of thought in working with wood, while the produced object may seem like a simple accomplishment.
In your opinion, why are people drawn to wood as a material in the spaces they often frequent?
We believe that people are not just visually experiencing wood. Each individual has a different memory involving wood, and memory thus leads to the propagation of other senses: touching the grain, visualizing colors of wood, smelling the wood and listening to the wood. People are familiar with their memory of being in nature, and they have a marital attraction to the wood as it conforms to their space and surrounds their environment. People are drawn to wood because the medium invokes a feeling of warmth that no other material can muster.
Tell us a little-known fact about you.
Edward is in a constant state of curiosity. He strives to create objects that are experimental, innovative and of a well-crafted design which embodies aesthetics, function, meaning and emotions. He studies architecture at the McEwen School of Architecture, and trained in Woodworking at Toronto-based furniture design company, Storyboard Furniture. Edward just recently completed his architectural internship at Takashige Yamashita Office in Tokyo, Japan. He is an IIDEX Woodshop 2016 alumnus and recently received Design Award from Sudbury Design Society.
Hamza Adenali is an explorer who is constantly on the search for the joy attained in all aspects of design. As a member of the charter undergraduate class at the McEwen School of Architecture, he is an individual that hopes to promote a heightened sense interaction within his designs. He is currently working at the Danielson Architecture Office, and is constantly striving to challenge himself and his colleagues.
Don't miss the fifth annual IIDEX Woodshop at IIDEXCanada 2017. Register today!