IIDEXCanada Blog

IIDEX Woodshop Winner 2017: Ryo Yonekawa

IIDEX Woodshop Winner 2017: Ryo Yonekawa

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 Ryo: Ryo is a designer based in Canada. His designs range from products, graphics, and illustrations. Outside of the studio, Ryo can be found roaming beaches and ravines, shin-deep in local flora with a pen and a sketchbook in hand.

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

I think all designers should take some time to ponder the impact their designs could have on people, culture and the environment. In this case, aesthetics and functionality should reflect the people who will use it. It's also important to be sensitive to cultural differences, the inclusivity of the design and the influence it will have on the environment -- both in the short and long-run.

Why do you like working with wood as a material?

The balance of advantages and limitations make wood a challenging and fun material to work with.

What inspires you?

Nature -- specifically, Toronto's ravines and parks. But this year, I've found a great love for the fungi due to the abnormally wet and cool spring and summer we've been having.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

Working at a firm or perhaps starting my own.

What would be your dream commission?

I'd love to work for nendo, IKEA, or even create stuff for a prolific company such as Nintendo.

To learn more about Ryo, visit him at www.dcobco.comon Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

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