Celebrating the close connection between Italian tile manufacturers and their North American partners, Confindustria Ceramica (the Italian Association of Ceramics) announced Ciot, as the 2019 North American Distributor Award recipient.
Photo Courtesy of Ciot.
At the 2019 Coverings Show in Orlando, Confindustria Ceramica’s chairman, Giovanni Savorani, presented the award to Kristina Panzera, vice president of marketing and buying at Ciot.
“We are very honoured for the recognition. We are very lucky because our staff is truly committed to their jobs and the company. They take what they do to heart and want to make sure they always have the right fit between customer needs and the products they recommend,” Panzera.
The influential presence of Italian ceramic tiles in North America is comprised of distributors with a diverse display of products, fused with knowledge and passion of the trade.
Each year, Confindustria Ceramica honors an ideal North American tile distributor with the North American Distributor Award, as an acknowledgement of their valuable contribution.
A jury of members of the Confindustria Ceramica Board of Directors, and representatives from Italian tile manufacturers, selected Ciot based on their industry intelligence, passion for the trade, and commitment to Ceramics of Italy products.
Ciot also demonstrated an exemplary service as an Italian tile importer and distributor, consistency, and fair-trade practices in relation to Italian manufacturers.
Celebrating their 69th anniversary, the Montréal-based distributor was founded in 1950 by Giovanni Battista as a terrazzo manufacturing company, and began importing Italian stone and ceramics after a decade. Ciot presently has showrooms in Vaughan, Toronto, Halifax, Mississauga, Québec City, Detroit and Brossard.
Italian products make up 95 per cent of Ciot’s ceramic business. The company carries the following Ceramics of Italy brands: Atlas Concorde, Cooperativa d’Imola, Marazzi, Ragno, Marca Carona, Coem Fioranese, Gruppo Emilceramica, Lea, Vogue, ABK, Campogalliano, Casalgrande Padana, Dom, Edimax Ermes Aurelia, Impronta, and Sichenia.
The next generation of catering and hospitality structures are heading towards sustainable, hyper-technological, experiential and personalised lifestyles. These trends are the upcoming must-haves that will be revealed at HostMilano’s 41st hospitality exhibition, at Fiera Milano.
Photo Courtesy of host.fieramilano.it.
HostMilano is a hub of innovation, knowledge and culture that encourages their visitors to seize changes, and transform them into business opportunities. As an international trade fair of the Ho.Re.Ca, (foodservice, retail, mass-market distribution and hotel) industry, HostMilano focuses intently on the future of products and services.
According to HostMilano, unconventional eating out is leveraging the future of hospitality. The HostMilano Observatory has identified trends from market analysts that observe the promotion of home deliveries, exportation, and automation in the catering arena.
Euromonitor recognizes a general trend of hyper-personalization, with individualized eating experiences and made to measure sustainable portions. Meanwhile, Forbes foresees a growth in healthy options for recreational eating at the cinema, shopping centres, or airports.
HostMilano also reports that Forbes perceives an increase in automation within catering, freeing human operators from mechanical and repetitive tasks, such as spreading the toppings on a pizza.
The Host Observatory suggests that this development in catering will be further driven by home deliveries that will increasingly involve independent local firms and chains.
This year will see seven Design Talks seminars, in collaboration with POLI.design. Topics will include cutting-edge solutions based on data, urban scenarios, and the customer experience.
The show is arranged according to the three macro areas of foodservice equipment including bread, pizza, pasta; coffee-tea with bar, coffee machines, vending machines, gelato/bakery; table-decor and technology.
The Food-Technology Lounge, in collaboration with EFCEM Italia and ANIMA and its associations, Assofoodtec, Fiac, Aqua Italia and Uida, will focus on the impact technology has on the sector, while Futurbar by Comufficio and Consorzio FIA will present a preview of the food establishments of tomorrow.
Hailing from 50 countries, 43 per cent of which are international, more than 1,650 companies have already registered, according to HostMilano.
Fashion comes to restaurants, kitchens and hotel rooms
The links between hospitality and the world of fashion are becoming increasingly evident. For some time now, top fashion designers have been expressing their creativity also through the world of hospitality, paying great attention to detail: from plates and tablecloths to flower arrangements and design items that embellish dining rooms and hotel bedrooms, visually welcoming guests and arousing their emotions.
What do the companies who work together with designer labels say about this collaboration? Caterine Alvarez, marketing manager at Vista Alegre says that their collaboration with fashion designers is “part of an international strategy to enter new geographies and in order to compete internationally with the best porcelain brands. In addition, these partnerships enhance Vista Alegre’s prestigious positioning and brand awareness nationally and internationally.” Every year, Vista Alegre launches one collection with Christian Lacroix. In 2019, Vista Alegre will also present new collections with Ross Lovegrove, Marcel Wanders, Arik Levy and Pineda Covalin. What does food design mean for them? “Expectations for plating evolve over time, which means continuing to explore new recipes and also the way food appears on the plate and on the table. For Vista Alegre it is crucial to be always close to the chefs to develop and innovate every year, create new dishes and add value to them.
Plating has changed over time, shifting from the classic French service with silver trays and plates to simple white porcelain that offsets the colours and the sauces. “Today, the trend towards using stone with new forms and textures conveys a more naturalistic and organic sense to customers, and some chefs also use fossil wood or even the table itself as plates.”
Eight projects and individuals have received a 2019 RAIC Award of Excellence from the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC). The Awards reflect outstanding achievements in architecture through innovation, green building, allied arts, advocacy, and journalism.
“By sharing examples of the best current architecture with our peers and the public, the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC) aims to contribute to an enriched and demanding dialogue about the buildings we make,” says RAIC President Michael Cox, FRAIC.
“The CaGBC is committed to helping Canada reach its 2030 greenhouse-gas reduction commitments by supporting the building industry in achieving the most high-performing and low-carbon buildings possible,” said CaGBC President and CEO Thomas Mueller.
Architect Brent Bellamy has become a leading advocate for sustainable city building and human-focused design through public speaking, teaching, mentoring, writing, and conventional and social media. Since 2010, Brent has contributed a regular column to the Winnipeg Free Press, and his political engagement has brought opportunities to influence public policy.
For five decades, furniture manufacturer Klaus Nienkämper has championed design in Canada. He has continuously collaborated with architects and industrial designers, realizing a broad range of chairs, tables, and sofas to create holistic and integrated spaces.
For almost 20 years, Toronto artist and designer Kathryn Walter has created feature wall installations through collaborations with architects and interior designers. Since founding FELT Studio in 2000, she has worked almost exclusively with FELT.
This state-of-the-art hot water facility supports the University of British Columbia’s target of eliminating the use of fossil fuels on campus by 2050. The centre uses almost 63 percent less energy and 31 percent less water than a baseline building of its type.
The pool in Borden Park is the first chemical-free public outdoor pool in Canada. The design process involved developing a pool technology that cleanses water through stone, gravel, sand, and botanic filtering processes.
One of the region’s first and largest net-zero institutional buildings, the facility is helping determine the standards for the Canada Green Building Council Zero Carbon Buildings Framework. The mechanical and electrical areas and the green roofs are accessible to all and part of the learning environment.
The project modernized the 19th-century building with state-of-the-art facilities and preserved the heritage and character-defining elements. It also designed a contemporary addition for an interim House of Commons under a glass canopy roof within the West Block courtyard.
Alex Bozikovic is the architecture critic for The Globe and Mail. In his columns, he mixes reporting and critical analysis to reveal what is happening in the built environment, and to advocate for better buildings and better cities.
Luum Textiles announced the launch of their latest collection, Future Tense, designed by Suzanne Tick using fabrics that highlight their progressive approach to textile. The new design comprises the upholstery fabrics schema, macrotweed, color fuse and tilt shift, in addition to the actuate multi-purpose fabric.
Photo Courtesy of Luum Textiles
“Harkening to past eras characterized by large graphic applications and the elevation of everyday materials, the Future Tense collection harnesses the power of textiles to simultaneously define and shift our spatial perspective,” said Suzanne Tick, Creative Director, Luum Textiles.
Accoring to Luum, the fragmented graphic pattern of schema acknowledges generations of restless designers. Nodding to recurring visual cues, the super graphic patterning shifts the impression of scale and context, and adds vibrancy to an interior.
Photo Courtesy of Luum Textiles
Actuate is a versatile tonal texture that expands the offering of resonant colours in this construction. Integrating a yarn that combines rich colours with subtle luster softens technical fibers in a multi-faceted basket weave. This blended yarn interrupts the balanced weave structure to create natural movement and visual interest.
“The new fabrics are grounded in industrial design, celebrating advances in conscious manufacturing and sustainability. The expressive patterns and palettes are both bold and complex, reflecting the balance between harmony and discord. Each fabric requires a second look, encouraging interaction with the environment and promoting curiosity. Through questioning the tangible, we become more engaged with our surroundings,” said Tick.
Macrotweed’s marled and chunky yarns blend to create a hyper-textural upholstery product, while exploring the volume through texture and colour. Macrotweed’s amplified and graphic colour combinations creates an explosion of detailed hues.
Photo Courtesy of Luum Textiles
Colour fuse transforms natural materials. This polyurethane is transparent and bonded to a chunky black and white cotton weave structure, creating a chromatic barrier between the user and the natural fiber below. The tinted colour softens the effect of the high-contrast layer, and highlights the depth and texture of the weave.
The use of recycled cotton matter and the linear design of tilt shift is an encouragement to shift the value system toward sustainability. Luum’s use of post-industrial and post-consumer cotton derived from apparel waste, which was carefully sorted by colour, shredded and spun into yarn. With inspirations by the isometric language and a perspective of architectural drawings, the parallax pattern engages viewers to adopt new ways of thinking.
“Future Tense highlights our progressive approach to textile design and emphasis on super scale and the duality of materials,” said Dave White, Vice President of Luum Textiles. “Non-traditional processes are applied to honest materials, providing new context. As we create new patterns, we explore how the graphic qualities of a fabric alter the way a space is perceived and experienced. Patterns can captivate as well as forgive. They can make a statement or hide imperfections.”
Teknion invited the A&D community, as the invitation said, “to see, sample, connect and play in our expanded showroom,” known as their downtown Collaboration Hub. Partygoers were duly impressed by the views of the downtown financial core and Lake Ontario wrapping around three sides of 129 Bremner Blvd.’s 20th floor.
Challenged to develop a design concept that would support a collaborative culture, IBI Group has completed the interior design of Capital One’s new Toronto head office, located in Brookfield Place on Bay Street.
PHOTO: BEN RAHN/A-FRAME INC.
With a series of under-utilized service spaces in the middle of each floor, visibility and access throughout the office was being impeded.
Inspired by New York City’s High Line, IBI Group gave the central corridors new life and transformed them into five destination spaces, creating a connection between the east and west sides of the office.
Bringing back the public realm into these areas helped foster a collaborative and flexible use of space through a wayfinding motif around the office. This system allows the adoption of multi-functional “scrum” destinations.
“We took underutilized space in the office and made it the focal point of our design. Representing introspective and inspiring spaces that encourage creativity and contemplative thought, the five unique corridor design concepts are tied together through names that nod to the word “In” (In-stinct, In-line, In-time, In-focus and In-sight),” said Barry Nathan, IBI Group Practice Lead, Interior Design. “A refuge for staff from the traditional workplace, these spaces bring elements of the outside ‘in’. We could not have fulfilled this bold concept without a forward-thinking and supportive client, which we were very fortunate to have.”
To accommodate Capital One’s need for flexibility of work space, more formalized collaboration hubs were created on each floor.
These hubs are open concept with seven-foot-high freestanding walls, each designed in a distinct colour scheme and features a custom steel-top table with built-in storage and technology.
There is also a lounge area with a view of the city that offers a feeling of open space, and amenity hubs on each floor include a technology lounge, café and banquette seating areas that unfold in a dynamic sequence of geometric cubes.
Leaving the traditional, corporate-feel of Brookfield Place behind, visitors are immersed in a space that, according to the design team, feels more like a trendy, boutique hotel.
The lobby opens into a flexible meeting/training/event conference centre, divided by an acoustical glass wall and configured from one to three rooms by vertical, stacking skyfold walls.
Designed for internal and external guests, the conference space provides an extension of the lobby’s hospitality lounge-vibe, complete with a spacious amenity area for informal gathering and refreshments.
IBI Group provided interior design services, working with JLL as Project Manager, Govan Brown as Construction Manager, and Eventscape on all custom fabrication.
Teams of professional designers, architects, engineers and students took part in CanArt, Toronto’s 20th annual Canstruction competition in the financial district.
In an effort to fill Toronto’s hunger gap, 68,785 pounds of donated non-perishable food were sculpted into artistic edible statues.
“Canstruction is an engaging and creative way for the design and construction community to work together in support of Daily Bread Food Bank,” said Christina Facey, co-chair of Canstruction Toronto. “More importantly, this friendly competition shines a spotlight on the fact that hunger is a reality for many people right here in our very own city.”
CanArt is on display and open for public viewing in the lobbies of the of the TD Centre at 66 Wellington Street West—TD Bank, TD North, TD South and Ernst & Young tower until May 17th.
According to Canstruction, their competition recognizes a variety of factors. The Best Use of Labels award focuses on creative graphic possibilities, the Best Meal award considers the variety and quality of the food donated, and Structural Ingenuity regards the complexity of the design.
Canstruction Toronto is also encouraging those passing through the TD Towers, and others, online to participate in their People’s Choice Award by liking a picture of their favourite sculpture on Facebook through the Canstruction Toronto page. The contest closes on Sunday, May 19th at noon.
Canstruction Toronto 2019 winning “Canstructures”:
Ending food insecurity is not an abstract idea—particularly not as abstract as a mobius strip!
Structural Ingenuity EllisDon & Zeilder Partnership Architects
Photo Credit: David Crowder Photography
The CANadian Moose team was inspired to help their community conquer hunger by the CANadian Moose, a symbol of endurance and a highly protective animal that will defend its most vulnerable from adversity, showing solidarity and togetherness.
Best Use of Labels RJC Engineers
A Balanced Lunch Tray Keeps Hunger at Bay
Photo Credit: David Crowder Photography
RJC Engineers’ structure depicts a balanced lunch with food items from all of Canada’s food groups and a cupcake treat to celebrate the 20th birthday of Canstruction Toronto
The ‘barn raising’ is one of rural North America’s oldest humanitarian rituals; Aercoustics Engineering Ltd.’s barn-silo CANstructure symbolizes the coming together of a community to invest in the wellbeing of those who need it most, and has been built from vegetables commonly grown on farms across Ontario.
Gensler’s aim this year is to re-create Vincent Van Gogh’s Self Portrait out of cans, this structure is made up of 3326 cans that are being donated in effort to help end hunger because we believe Hunger CAN “Gogh”.
The business world has witnessed significant social and technological transformations over the past few decades that have dramatically impacted how we work. And with these transformations comes a drastically different method to approaching modern office design. Trends like cubicles and individual offices are losing popularity, and flexible multifunctional offices are becoming the norm. Look no further than Inscape’s Toronto showroom to visualize this trend in action. Together with interior designer figure3, we designed a multifunctional space for Inscape to operate as a product showroom, office, collaboration space, study area and also a training headquarters. To successfully incorporate each of these functions, we created a residential atmosphere where both guests and employees could feel at home, even while at work.
As a 130-year-old company, Inscape has become an industry leader by identifying market trends before they happen, and creating solutions to stay ahead. The three most important trends affecting today’s modern office design comes from business models of the past, present and future.
The Past: Switch from Cubicles to Adaptable Spaces
Over the past few decades, businesses experienced rapid change in how their workplace was structured. Most of this change is due to technological advances: no longer tethered to our desks with landlines, desktop computers and dial up internet connections, the need for a designated and private space for each individual worker has been significantly reduced.
The current work environment focuses on adaptable spaces and we have smart phones, laptops, cloud-based collaboration software, and video conferencing to make that happen. In fact we tend to transport each of these tools with us wherever we travel, making the work environment truly portable. Due to this technology advance, we have seen offices do away with the traditional 9-to-5 work culture. We only have to look back to 2002 to find that only 10 per cent of workers looked at their email outside of office hours. However with the increased adoption of portable communications technology since then, in 2018, 50 per cent of workers now check their email outside of work, according to Guardian.
The trend away from cubicles and the traditional 9-to-5 workdays has created an opportunity for creative and strategic office designers to emerge. Designers must now create more technology-centered workspaces, but also spaces that are more casual, playful and creative to adapt to modern working styles.
The Present: Demand for Flexible Real Estate
The current trend in 21st century office design surrounds the notion of flexibility. Businesses require spaces that are scalable enough to increase storage space, accommodate fluctuating staffing requirements, or even change the entire floor plan to incorporate new technology or strategy. In addition, all of these capabilities must be available “on demand.” This means that businesses want adaptable work environments that they can adjust themselves, instead of relying on time-consuming and expensive professional crews to reconfigure the spaces.
For office designers, this means creating workstations that are moveable, multi-purpose and, of course, flexible. A great case study to highlight this trend is Inscape’s work with U.S. telco giant, Verizon. The communications firm required a restructuring that turned their offices into activity-based workplaces that could adapt and evolve with their work force. 90 per cent of the workstations at their headquarters in New Jersey are unassigned and augmented with multifunctional meeting, collaboration and personal focus spaces. The key principle is to remain agile regardless of the needs of the day or the next year. The next phase of development will feature mobile workstations that even further increase flexibility and provide instant, DIY reconfigurability.
The Future: Focus on Sustainable and Healthy Environments
Businesses are increasingly focused on both environmental sustainability and personal wellbeing, both out of their responsibility for the planet, and also to provide employees with a healthier and more productive work environment.
Industry leaders use LEED guidelines as the gold standard of sustainable construction and environmentally conscious design. LEED is the global leader in green building rating, with almost 80,000 projects planned as of 2016 according to the USGBC. Bloomberg, for example, had 36 office spaces become LEED certified as of 2018, while Wells Fargo had 193 certifications. And so as businesses take a more conscious effort to reduce their impact on the environment, designers are incorporating more sustainable design into the spaces. One designer adding green consciousness to their business philosophy is Inscape which produces the RockIt system with up to 85 per cent recycled content, and the Nuform worksurfaces and Tables with up to 98 per cent FSC Certified Recycled wood content which can be used to contribute to clients’ LEED credits.
A global study by Human Spaces found that almost 48 per cent of Office Workers had no natural light in their workspace. To address this, office designers are incorporating the practice of biophilic design, which is the “theory of creating buildings inspired by nature, with the aim to continue the individual connection with nature in the environments in which we live and work every day” (Human Spaces, 2015). According to Work Design, this design approach has a positive impact on employee health like lowering heart rates and blood pressure levels, while improving overall mental and physical health.
Businesses are looking to incorporate more biophilic elements ranging from biomorphic shapes, organic patterns and natural materials like wood or stone. In the coming years, the rapidly decreasing costs of LCD and LED technology will give designers the ability to gently change colors and bring natural images and patterns within work spaces that lack views to daylight or nature. And so by mimicking the natural environment, designers can build office environments that bring about the positive emotional experience of actually being in nature.
In today’s fast-changing modern society, offices need to transform and adapt as fast as the world around it. And so the next big trend in design will most likely be improving the use of technology in the workplace by further integrating the Internet of Things into our daily lives.
One innovative case study of this already happening today is with WZMH Architects, the firm behind Toronto’s iconic CN Tower. They are the first-ever architectural practice to be accepted to participate in Microsoft’s global Internet of Things (IoT) Insider Labs, a program that accelerates businesses that are transforming the way people, devices, and data interact. The two firms are collaborating to further develop WZMH Architects’ smart building solution, called the Intelligent Structural Panel (ISP). The ISP is plug and play infrastructure which:
Enables a range of devices – from lighting, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC), elevators, motorized shades, smoke alarms, security systems, and more to be connected, networked and wirelessly controlled, and
Allows these connected devices to analyze data from their localized surroundings to react and respond to changes in environment, including: movement, touch, sound, sunlight, room temperature, or even personnel flow, to become proactive to the needs of end users.
As the world becomes more connected through technology, designers will be creating office spaces that incorporate the Internet of Things from the initial design and build phase. They will be able to leverage the connectivity of technology to help make offices more energy efficient, user friendly, barrier free, accessible and healthy. _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
David Gerson, Inscape’s Chief Brand Officer, is responsible for the overall brand and product marketing strategy for Inscape. Through a demonstration of best practices and design-led solutions he helps Inscape’s interior design partners and commercial end users imagine the workplace of the future – highly adaptable and always built to last.
Fantini USA is proud to announce their third annual Fantini Design Awards that recognizes excellence in kitchen and bath design throughout North America.
Photo Courtesy of fantiniusa.com
Since its launch in 2017, Fantini continues to expand the Design Awards program by adding a new category for future projects and increasing the number of entries by 73 per cent.
“Each year the Design Awards highlights incredible design and architecture across North America. It has been a wonderful experience getting to know the talented minds behind these projects and to develop a relationship with them. We look forward to seeing both new and familiar faces with the third edition,” said Riccardo Conti, Managing Director, Fantini USA.
The call for entries begins May 19, 2019 and architects, designers and developers who are passionate about Italian design and inspired by water are encouraged to submit their projects no later than July 9, 2019 at 11:59 pm EST. The winning projects will be announced on or before August 9, 2019.
Project entries will be judged by Stefano Giussani, CEO Lissoni Inc.; William Hanley, Editor in Chief of Dwell; and Zahid Sardar, Editor in Chief of SPACES.
Qualifying Projects should be:
A completed or a future project using Fantini
Completed on or after January 1, 2017 and no later than May 19, 2019 (Completed Projects)
Located in the USA or Canada
Documented with high-resolution, professional photography (completed projects) or a sketch, rendering, and/or floor plan (future projects)
The judges will select seven total winners, six from the Completed category and one from the Future category.
One representative per winning project will be invited on a four day, all-expenses-paid trip in fall 2019 to the Fantini headquarters on Lake Orta in Pella, Italy. Winners will stay at Fantini’s resort Casa Fantini/Lake Time.
For the complete Terms & Conditions of the Fantini Design Awards click here.
Interior design firm figure3 has updated its brand identity to reflect who they are as self-identifying compelling changemakers.
Photo Courtesy of figure3
The new style communicates a contemporary, relevant and confident approach that is driven by the connection of people to place.
“It’s a new era for figure3,” said Suzanne Bettencourt, Principal at the firm. “We knew it was time to refresh as we expand our business in exciting new directions. Figure3 has built such a strong legacy in the world of interior design and we’re excited for this next chapter.”
According to figure3, the firm is known in the industry for transforming how businesses operate, elevating living environments, and creating engaging retail experiences. The firm takes an in-depth look at the intersection of human behavior and client goals to rethink the physical environment.