Tafui’s digitally printed textiles are designed to tell stories.

One to Watch: Industrial Design


Tafui McLean was just 10 years old when she realized art was her calling. €œIt was my first week of this new elementary school,€ she recalls, €œand I wouldn€™t stop crying, so the teacher gave me watercolours and told me to paint my feelings. I was hooked.€

Her entrepreneurial journey began when she received a commission for her first three paintings from her landlord while at Concordia's design program€”and has since grown from a passion to a business, with the launch of Tafui Design and Art Studio in 2014.

Her black-and-white, digitally printed textile designs reflect winter scenes, and are inspired by her research into the use of textiles to tell stories. €œI particularly love Indigenous cultures,€ she says. €œThe love for the environment, and the repurposing of things that we normally think are just mundane.€ Judge Akanksha Deo Sharma, designer with Ikea, praised that focus in McLean's work. €œI love that the designer has a strong sustainability focus,€ she noted, €œand talks about the heritage and community in her work.€€”Saphiya Zerrouk


Pigeon Study by Tracey Cameron

One to Watch: Maker

Tracey Cameron

Tracey Cameron's unique fabric €œpaintings€ emanate from a rich personal history with the art of sewing: her mother loved to sew and her grandmother made quilts. Her current body of work focuses on portraits of city birds like pigeons and magpies€”the wildness of nature in the urban environment. €œI feel most centred when I'm in nature or observing animals,€ says Calgary-based Cameron, who holds a bachelor's in design from the Alberta University of the Arts. €œBringing these pieces into my home helps along that feeling.€

The work is rich with colour, simple shapes and deeply layered textiles. Cameron sources her materials from friends€™ odds and ends and from thrift stores€”she notes that using recycled textiles is an important part of her work, highlighting the trend of overconsumption and the environmental impact of that excess. And those thrift-store discoveries inspire each new project: her latest, a '70s-era design, will soon transform into a vibrant peacock.€”Monika Wodzianek

Bebop Shelf by Same Old Studio

One to Watch: Furniture

Same Old Studio

Ryan Boechler and Han Huynh had put their previous effort€”the critically acclaimed Studio Bup, a 2015 One to Watch in our Industrial Design category€”on an extended hiatus when they moved to Brooklyn six years ago. But the West Coast called them back, and the resulting design break reinvigorated them for a furniture-focused, lighthearted new line as 

Same Old Studio (a name chosen, no doubt, fully tongue-in-cheek). In their new form, the duo expresses the same love for material, exploration and fun, along with an appreciation for simple and functional forms€”a move applauded by judge Jaye Buchbinder of Emeco: €œThe intentionality behind materials chosen and the way those materials were used makes Same Old Studio stand out.€

Their Bebop shelf, for example, designed for Vancouver tattoo shop Bebop Ink, has meticulously colour-coded frames meant to visualize each tattoo artist's unique personality and style. €œOnce you start interacting with it,€ Boechler explains, €œyou notice these playful and unexpected details that make it more special.€€”Lisa Sammoh

Sumatran Reflections scarf by Misheo

One to Watch: Fashion


€œI'm very inspired by nature's biodiversity,€ says Vancouver-based designer Michelle Pang. €œI feel like the possibilities seem endless, which is why I'm always learning about each new species and their characteristics.€ That endless learning translated into Misheo, her line of silk scarves featuring elegant hand-illustrated arrangements of natural motifs. Launched in 2016 by the Rhode Island School of Design graduate, Misheo merges art, fashion and Pang's passion for the environment.

Each scarf begins as a pencil and ink drawing of rare wildlife and flora, which is worked and reworked until Pang is satisfied with every detail. She converts the art to a digital format, where she plays with colour to create the harmonious combinations that you'll find in pieces like the Sumatran Reflections€”one of Pang's favourite designs€”which depicts a Sumatran tiger, orangutan, elephant and rhino framed by meticulously drawn banana plant leaves. Her focus on at-risk species is more than just the artwork, too: the digital print on the natural fabrics saves water, minimizes waste and reduces the amount of chemicals used. This year, Pang is planting a tree for every scarf sold and donating a percentage of Misheo's net profits to support wildlife conservation. €”Bridget Stringer-Holden