At the invitation of the Finnish design company Artek we recently left Vancouver behind and headed to Helsinki to experience the architecture and history of one of Artek’s founders — Alvar Aalto.
The visit began at the original 1935 Aalto House — the home and office designed by Alvar and his wife Aino. This is a humble and private structure that can easily be missed. Once inside, one can see that the main focal point of the home is its Southern facing side which opens itself up to the sunlight, a key theme in Aalto’s work.
Continue reading “Remembering Aalto”
This season at Inform Interiors we have been taking time to consider community. What is community? Where does one find it? How are the spaces and objects around us designed to facilitate or encourage community?
We have taken inspiration from the Dutch concept of Natafelen — literally meaning, after table-ing — the act of lingering at the table after a finished meal to continue talking, drinking and enjoying the atmosphere and company.
Continue reading “Natafelen — Table-ing”
In mid-June of this year, we were honoured to welcome four Master Craftsmen from Kyoto, Japan. Each has honed their craft in very different disciplines. Intimate, hands-on workshops showcasing each craft were offered to lucky participants who gained insight into the intricacies, as well as, the greater principles centred around craft in Japan.
Continue reading “Japan Handmade”
On March 15th we welcomed Architect Gair Williamson into our showroom.
His firm was founded in 2003 and, over the past 15 years, has become one of the most prolific practices in the historic precincts, focusing on adaptive reuse and new infill construction. The practice began with the lofty intention to unite the often opposing interests of the community and developer and the conflicting priorities of the art of architecture and the economics of the marketplace.
It pursues the retention of cultural memory through a clear distinction between the existing urban fabric and their contemporary interventions.
In this talk Gair illustrated the buildings, paintings and writings that have inspired the work of the office and the aspirations of the firm’s completed works.
Born on September 14th, 1917 in Innsbruck, Austria and died on New Year’s eve 2007 in Milan. His father who shared his name and profession moved to Turin so that his junior could study Architecture at Politecnico di Torino. The elder Ettore was a traditionalist, his son wanted to be everything that he was not, drawn to bold shapes and colours, often bending and breaking the rules of Architecture and Design. After graduation, Ettore was drafted into the Italian military to fight in the Balkan Campaign, was captured and held in a POW camp in Yugoslavia.
Continue reading “Ettore Sottsass”
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.
Florence Marguerite Knoll Bassett née Schust was born May 24, 1917 in Saginaw, Michigan. Florence studied Architecture under Eliel Saarinen at the Cranbrook Academy of Art in 1934. In 1936, she started to explore furniture making with Eliel’s son Eero and the now legendary Charles Eames.
Florence discussing the now infamous Tulip base with Eero Saarinen
Continue reading “Happy Birthday Florence Knoll”
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.
Continue reading “UBC SALA Modern House Series”