Feltro 2 Feltro 3

by Rebecca Brunette

If you attended this year’s Interior Design Show in Toronto, you likely have an affinity for design and beautiful spaces. Rooms adorned with designer furniture delicately arranged according to the golden ratio, flanked in symmetry by ceiling-high windows, topped with a grand chandelier! What order – what bliss! Who doesn’t indulge in the reverie of what stylish domestic living should be? But what happens when you through kids in the mix?

The Modern Building Block
Sam Kennedy, a recent graduate from OCAD’s Industrial Design program, may just have the solution to maintaining the fine balance between play space and adult space within the home. Sam is the enthusiastic creator of Feltro, an interactive construction toy; a sort of modern take on the classic building block. Those of us who remember our grade school geometry lessons will recognize the Feltro module as the friendly trapezoid, made of blended wool felt and edged with magnets. Currently designed in two sizes and in a multitude of beautiful colours, Feltro becomes a geometric rug, a modern play fort, or your next ball gown. As if there weren’t enough reasons to get excited about these clever fabric sheets, the Feltro building modules are also manufactured in Cambridge, with most materials sourced from North America.

Rocket to Reality
We first met Sam at the ACIDO Rocket Competition in May 2013, where he showcased Feltro as his design thesis project. Sam cleaned up a multitude of awards including recognition from Ideatious and Umbra. Rocket boasts participation from Ontario’s top industrial design graduates of Carleton University, OCADU, and Humber; a fascinating window into the minds of tomorrows creative professionals. Not only did Sam feel Feltro was validated as a market worthy product, he also received valuable counsel from experienced members of the design community; advice that has led to a patent and trademark pending on the Feltro product and brand.

More than Child’s Play
Feltro bridges the worlds of play, design, and abstract creativity, bringing playful exploration into any living space. But don’t expect Feltro to stay within the confines of domestic life. With its minimalist design and simple assembly, the soft modules transform into flexible dividers, creating pockets of privacy within open concept offices.

Local Support
It seems Feltro is well on its way to home (and office) spaces across Canada, a claim not many designers can make so soon after graduation. Sam has been working with the Imagination Catalyst, OCAD U’s entrepreneurship and commercialization hub, exploring funding opportunities, and receiving entrepreneurial support. Armed with talented illustrator, Adam Hilborn, buddies Steve Tam and Jesse Cowan, and even his dear mother, Sam Kennedy is braving the many challenges of bringing Feltro to life.

To follow Feltro’s adventures towards production you can visit their website (link http://playfeltro.com/) to sign up for their newsletter. We also heard word that a Kickstarter campaign is on the horizon, so you can back this budding company and help build Feltro into a force of imaginative play. Whether you’re after a stylish diversion for the kids or you simply can’t resist its limitless building potential, Feltro is one playful pastime that won’t need stowing away.

Rebecca Brunette squareRebecca Brunette is an Industrial Designer at Swave Studios and the Social Media Strategist for ACIDO.

Feltro 4

Image source playfeltro.com

Feltro 5 - Credit Feltro Site 1

Image source playfeltro.com

Feltro 5 - Credit Feltro Site 2

Image source playfeltro.com

DX My Faourite thing

At this week’s Interior Design Show, Design Exchange and the Association of Chartered Industrial Designers of Ontario ask: What is your favourite thing? Step into our video booth – designed by the young and talented National Design Collective – and tell us about your most adored accessory, gadget or furnishing. Whether it’s a vintage lamp, an appliance that makes carbonated drinks or a mobile phone, share your story and join the conversation on local and international design in Toronto.

My Favourite Thing is supported by ACIDO and the City of Toronto. Booth design by National Design Collective. Identity by Coolaide Design Field Office. Videographer: Reynard Li.

Special thanks to furniture showroom Klaus for providing Last Minute stools by Viccarbe.

The bublcam, designed by ACIDO member Dylan Horvath with Cortex design, is a 360º camera and software technology that shares everything around you through spherical photos and videos.

360º Technology for Everyone

The bublcam is the world’s most innovative 360º camera, inside and out. Our camera has been developed to be light and extremely portable (it’s slightly larger than a baseball). It was also created to provide users with the ability to capture 14 mega pixel spherical photos and videos at 1080p at 15 fps and 720p at 30fps. Our software suite lets you experience content by looking up, down and all around in any direction. You can even share your moments across your favourite social networks. It utilizes Wi-fi to allow you to live stream directly to your PC, mobile devices and via the web. We’ve also made easy for you to save your content to a MicroSD card. Get ready because your content will soon be available for storage directly to your favourite cloud storage providers like Drop Box, Google Drive and Younity. We’re doing our best to help you capture life in a bubl.

Check out their KICKSTARTER campaign to learn more; it has already been successful (after 14 hrs!) in raising the $100K they were looking for to fund development of the first pilot run of the camera.

Transcending Fearl - 2013

Panellists from left to right: Indigo’s creative director Paddy Harrington, architect Andrei Zerebecky of Four O Nine, designer Alison Phillips of Blackberry, and designer Jonathan Loudon of Swave Studios.

By Rebecca Brunette

October 4th, 2013

Fear. It can be your biggest impediment to innovation, but can it be harnessed to spark creativity? A panel of Canadian and international designers braved the question, exposing personal and professional fears last week at the IIDEX Canada seminar “Transcending fear to Drive Innovation”.

A struggling economy is often perceived as an impediment to business. People become conservative and risk adverse, making experimentation scarce. In these times [clients] often want to follow rather than lead, and only make incremental improvements”, says designer Jonathan Loudon, owner of Toronto creative agency Swave Studios. But fear turns into excitement and energy, and can make us very resourceful, he says, reminding us that the weak economy has been a catalyst for entrepreneurial platforms such as Kickstarter. As president of Ontario’s Association of Chartered Industrial Designers (ACIDO), Loudon is familiar with the fear that often accompanies innovative projects, known to passionate entrepreneurs and  established companies alike who look to disrupt a given market.

But the world is changing, rapidly. It can be difficult to keep up with the competition, let alone lead the way. Panel moderator, Azure editor Catherine Osborne, inquires as to how Indigo is addressing changes in technology and shifts in customers reading habits from paperback to digital. Paddy Harrington, SVP of design innovation and digital creative director, offers a refreshingly philosophical perspective. Indigo is a “purveyor of every idea, ever had by man”, it just so happens, says Harrington, to be in book form. Broadening the context of such questions has allowed Indigo to move beyond the challenge of reading habits, to consider what’s at heart, “the stories that go along with the books”.

This kind of soul searching takes guts, and it’s “easy to get distracted by your competition”, says Alison Phillips, industrial design lead at BlackBerry. Fear can be “palpable”, she confesses. But despite global criticisms and market challenges, BlackBerry is staying true to their core; who they are. “For us, it’s always about the user”, says Phillips, “tapping into the emotions that people experience when they use your product.”

Understanding your customer is critical to ensuring that what your company offers will be valued and relevant. Yet having confidence in the development of innovative ideas is not always simple. There is always the risk of failure,” but you cannot let it paralyze you from innovating”, says architect Andrei Zerebecky, who boldly moved his life from Toronto to Shanghai, in the pursuit of new markets. At the time, there were no guarantees, just instinct and intuition. Now owner of the successful company O Nine, Zerebecky describes Asia as a “sandbox” for creative design work.

In this figurative sandbox, where designers play and new ideas abound, future success is often a cocktail of strategy and intuition. According to Phillips, “intuition must be combined with depth of knowledge and insight”, an approach which offers companies the conviction to carry out innovative ideas. Pragmatically, Harrington reserves his intuition, choosing to hold design solutions against a well defined brief; a check list to affirm his gut feelings. With their many tools, designers are challenging themselves and their clients to harness their fears and approach innovation with nerve.

To sum it up frankly, Loudon suggests the leap of faith for those experiencing fear in the face of innovation. Whether you are a new or existing company, “you have to expect to be disruptive, or else why do you exist?”


Rebecca Brunette square



Rebecca Brunette is an Industrial Designer at Swave Studios and the Social Media Strategist for ACIDO.

What’s the biggest impediment to innovation within an organization? Fear. Join a prestigious panel of Canadian and international industrial designers as they explore, through their personal insights, how fear is the primary roadblock to innovation. It’s a major buzzword in the business community, but what does it really mean? And how can you be truly innovative when companies are reluctant to take risks? Learn how industrial designers can be change-agents of innovation. Gain valuable insights on how to lead clients to undertake real innovation, by breaking down fear and enabling companies to develop results-driven strategic business plans with innovation as their calling card.

On Friday September 27 ACIDO President, Jonathan Loudon, will be part of an AZURE/IIDEX panel discussing “Transcending Fear to Drive Innovation.”

For more information please click HERE

Seminar Registration Instructions:
Step 1: Click here and select the seminars you would like to attend. The ACIDO association seminar is entitled: F05 Transcending Fear to Drive Innovation

Step 2: Click the Register button.

Step 3: Complete the registration process, including your personal details and demographics. When you reach the Select Sessions stage the seminars you selected in Step 1 (above) will be pre-selected.

IIDEX Innovation Panel - 2013




Dates: September 26 + 27, 2013
Times: 9am-6pm daily
Title: IIDEX Canada

IIDEX is Canada’s National Design + Architecture Expo and Conference, and is co-presented by the Interior Designers of Canada and Architecture Canada | RAIC. Now in its 29th year, IIDEX brings together over 15,000 interior designers, architects, facility managers, real estate and business executives in a national forum which powers the design industry in Canada.

During two action packed days in September, IIDEX Canada’s 350 exhibitors showcase hundreds of innovative products and services, from all areas of design – workplace, hospitality, retail, healthcare, lighting and sustainable design, while our CEU accredited international conference program ensures attendees receive expert advice on the issues shaping this rapidly changing industry. IIDEX also offers numerous opportunities to network, through receptions, award ceremonies and tours.

New for the 2013, IIDEX will co-host the UIA/PHG 2013 International Healthcare Forum and feature an expanded Healthcare Canada Expo showcasing the latest products and services specifically for professionals who design healthcare environments.

To learn more about IIDEX click here.
To register for IIDEX click here. Free registration has ended but seminar registration includes access to the exhibit hall at IIDEX 2013.


Read the full article HERE

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Radice stool by Industrial Facility for Mattiazzi

News: the deliberate copying of a design is set to become a criminal offence in the UK, in line with the law on breaching copyright and trademarks.

The change, announced this week by the Intellectual Property Office, is intended to simplify and shorten the legal process surrounding design right disputes by moving them from the UK’s civil courts to its criminal courts.




Grano-Hellwig May 7