Alex Schweder | Performance Architect

Alex Schweder coined the term “Performance Architecture” in 2007 to encapsulate the understanding of architecture that gives cues for how we are to behave and offers itself as a prop for inhabitants to form and perform their identities. His work along these lines has been exhibited and collected internationally in prestigious institutions including the Museum of Modern Art, the Tate Britain, Perform 17, the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale. He is a fellow of the American Academy in Rome and currently lives and works in New York City.

Todd Saunders | For Fogo’s Sake

Well known for his exemplary work on the Fogo Island Inn, Todd Saunders’ firm is led by a strong contemporary design sensibility. The studio believes that architecture must play an important role in creating place through the use of form, materials and texture to help evoke and shape memory and human interaction. The office operates within existing natural, as well as, manmade contexts. Examples range from an award nominated dramatic viewpoint structure set amidst a rich protected landscape to several new-build houses within more traditional suburban settings.

*This video contains mature language and may not be suitable for all viewers.

Returning from the Edge of Design

One week per year Eindhoven, Netherlands hosts Dutch Design Week where the world of design takes focus on the once tiny town. During this week, the visitors outnumber the locals, lasting professional relationships are born and many designers’ dreams of growing from ‘aspiring’ to ‘recognized’ come true. I knew nothing of Eindhoven before visiting but as soon as I arrived, I felt comfortable. It has Design coursing through its veins.

Eindhoven is roughly 1.5 hours south of Amsterdam by train. The city has a practical, industrial vibe thanks to the rise of industry initially centred around tobacco and textile. The city’s industrial sector grew significantly with the rise of lighting and electronics giant Philips, which was founded as a light bulb manufacturing company in Eindhoven in 1891.

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UBC SALA Modern House Series: Copp House

On October 26th, we hosted the launch of the latest in the SALA Modern House Series, Copp House by Adele Weder with photography by Michael Perlmutter.

In 1950, a young Vancouver architectural apprentice was handed a small house project that his boss was too busy to take on. The apprentice, Ron Thom, took the simple plan and rectangular foundation that had been roughed in, and transformed it into a groundbreaking work of architecture that gained national fame. Inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright and Richard Neutra, but using local wood and paying careful attention to its verdant oceanside setting, Thom created a landmark for the new architectural movement known as West Coast Modernism. The client, Dr. Harold Copp, was himself a trailblazer, the first head of the physiology department in the University of British Columbia’s new Faculty of Medicine and a research pioneer. Generously illustrated with both vintage and contemporary architectural photography, line drawings, and photographs of the architect and residents, the Copp House is the story of a cultural landmark on the shores of Vancouver.

The Little Book of Lykke


By now we’re all familiar with hygge, the Danish concept of cosiness that has become an international phenomenon in the past few years, largely thanks to Meik’s book on the topic.

But what is lykke? Pronounced luu-kah, it’s the Danish word for happiness. Danes have been shown to be the happiest people in the world, and Meik definitely fits that bill, as the CEO of The Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen. In this witty and informative book, Meik goes beyond the woolly socks and warm beverages of hygge to get at what really makes Danes so happy, and what the rest of the world can learn from them. He also travels across the globe on a quest to uncover the secrets of the very happiest people from Dubai to Rio de Janeiro, taking back to his native country their tips, tricks, and unique approaches to a fulfilled life. Here is Meik sharing a little insight into what he does and how he does it with our clients in our 50 Water St showroom.

Carpet Diem with cc-tapis

Born in France. Designed in Milan. Produced in Nepal. cc-tapis is an Italian company which produces contemporary hand-knotted rugs created in Nepal by expert Tibetan artisans. The company was founded by Nelcya and Fabrizio Cantoni who have been producing hand-knotted rugs in Nepal for over 17 years. A strong respect for the materials and for the culture of this ancient craft is reflected in the company’s eco-friendly approach to every step of production, ranging from the hand spinning of the softest Himalayan wool to the use of purified rainwater for the washing of the final products, making each one of cc-tapis’ rugs unique.

Far from mass production, cc-tapis aims to offer a tailored service to those who understand and enjoy a high-end product, where a three month production time contains a story of ageless culture.

Fabrizio and Daniele introduced their new collection titled Inventory, designed by Faye Toogood. cc-tapis works with a wide array of designers, such as Patricia Urquiola, Chiara Andreatti, Martino Gamper, Parisotto + Formenton, Alex Proba, and Mae Engelgeer.


We were honoured to host master craftsman Taka from the legendary Japanese manufacturer Kaikado.

Kaikado was established in 1875, shortly after Japan opened its doors to the rest of the world. With welcoming outside civilizations came the import of tinplate from England. Tin was used for the plating of steel, and was considered a fashionable foreign-made item at that time.

In the Edo era, canisters made from tin became commonplace means of storage for tea, as were jars made from china or earthenware. It was the company’s founder, Kiyosuke, who first designed the tin tea caddy and made it into a commercially available item, the very same caddies that they still make today.

The following day after Taka’s talk, he held a workshop with a lucky few in the craft of fabricating one of their small plates.

Arigato Taka-san!

UBC SALA Modern House Series

Merrick House is a documentation of one of the jewels of West Coast Modern architecture, a home that, as a young architect, Merrick built by hand on the steep wooded slopes of West Vancouver, BC in the early 1970s. The photographs by Michael Perlmutter bring out the wonders of the architectural space and materiality, and the text by Tony Robins explores Merrick’s influences, the many spatial moves he employed and the changes made over time with successive renovations.


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