IIDEXCanada 2017
IIDEXCanada Blog

IIDEX Woodshop Winner 2017: Shift Studio

IIDEX Woodshop Winner 2017: Shift Studio

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 Donovan Jesse & Tapunha Graeme Anderson of Shift Studio

The Toronto based startup Shift Studio provides innovative designs that enhance the relationship between users, objects and the environment in which they live. ||Donovan Jesse Tapunha is a designer and entrepreneur based in Toronto. He uses his multi-disciplinary skills to uncover sustainable solutions with the use of emerging technologies and materials.

Graeme Anderson is an Industrial Designer and furniture maker. He's currently based in Toronto but is originally from Bolton. He has a strong hands-on approach but has the digital skills to back up his process.

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

At the intersection between aesthetic and functionality is the outcome of good design. In order to achieve good design, we must apply basic concepts alongside the design process. Only then are we able to arrive at an outcome that creates something that is functional and appealing to its targeted user. When understanding that form follows function we can see that a well thought out design is most likely to meet at the intersection of functionality and aesthetics. As designers, we should aim for this intersection in hopes of achieving a well-thought-out and well-balanced outcome that could be considered good design. 

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

At Shift Studio we pride ourselves in exploring new ways in which materials can be manipulated in order to create unique sustainable solutions that engage users in better understanding where their products come from. IIDEX Woodshop has proved to be a great platform that teaches and raises awareness on how locally sourced materials should not be overlooked when talking about sustainability.

3. Why do you like working with wood as a material?

Wood is very diverse, unique, complicated, unforgiving, and yet very rewarding when understood.  

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

Wood on its own has positive psychological and physiological effects giving the sense of warmth and comfort. Studies have shown that spending time outside in nature can improve a person's life in a lot of different ways including to help relieve stress, anxiety, and lowering blood pressure. Unlike other materials we surround ourselves with such as cold, hard metals and plastics, it is clear to see why people would be drawn to wood in spaces they often frequent.  

6. Where do you see the future of wood design going?

We are in a time whereby designers are going to be able to use new found knowledge and processes in unison with wood to create new innovative things that we had not yet seen. Being a material which has a great impact on our world, we have come a long way from how we source and how we apply it to design. With a focus on sustainability, we can see wood design being more efficient allowing for products and outcomes that are more environmentally-friendly.

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