IIDEXCanada Blog

IIDEX Woodshop Winner 2017: ORIGINS

IIDEX Woodshop Winner 2017: ORIGINS

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 Deagan McDonald and Kelsey Nilsen:

Origins is an experimental design and fabrication studio based out of Vancouver, British Columbia. On paper, we are trained architects, artists, digital fabrication specialists, graphic designers, and entrepreneurs. At heart, we are makers. We operate at many scales, from furniture to built environment. We move fast. Our multi-faceted approach to design and making gives us the agility to shift gears and disciplines quickly, focusing our attention on the projects and problems that really speak to us.

What are your thoughts on the intersection of functionality and aesthetics in design?

We believe that good design should be honest, humble, and useful above all else. We believe the pieces we craft should be as beautiful to look at as they are fundamentally simple to use.

Why do you like working with wood as a material?

Wood can be a challenging and unforgiving medium at times, but the results are always worth the effort.

What inspires you?

Designing with restraint. It's so easy to get carried away in the world of software and technological capabilities today that you can lose sight of the problem you were trying to solve. That's not to say these tools shouldn't be used (we rely on them almost exclusively in our studio), but it's important to step back every now and then. We have a deep appreciation for any design/designer that knew when to stop.

Where do you see the future of wood design going?

We believe that the techniques of tradition and technology should carry equal weight in contemporary design culture. Our expertise in digital fabrication technologies is always supplemented and subsequently grounded by a rigorous approach to tectonic making and physical craft. One cannot exist without the other.

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

5 axis CNC (insert drooling emoji here).

To learn more about Deagan and Kelsey, visit their studio at ORIGINSon Twitter and Instagram.

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