Western Living Magazine
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Introducing Western Living’s 2022 Designers of the Year Award Winners
WL Architects of the Year 2022: Measured Architecture
WL Robert Ledingham Memorial Award for an Emerging Interior Designer 2022: Studio Roslyn
Here's a look at Vancouver Special's latest Design and Make collaboration with industrial design students from Emily Carr University.
Thinking back to when I was a university student, too often did I find myself putting finishing touches on did-it-the-night-before projects minutes before they were due at the top of art class.This is not that kind of student work.A collaboration now in its third year, a select group of industrial design students at Emily Carr University have been working for months on designing, building and packaging a product under $75 to bring to market. That market being local design shop Vancouver Special. You can see Zazen ($50) at Vancouver Special. Created by Dylan Moffat Design, it’s a portable, flat-pack mediation seat made from birch plywood. It was great to see people trying it out right there on the floor!This isn’t about building just one prototype, although they’ll build many iterations of their piece in the process, each student or team of students starts with a $75-and-under target and has to work backwards to create something well made and cost effective that people would actually buy. Successful pieces sold through this collaboration with Vancouver Special have even gone on to repeat orders—so the chance to go from student to legitimate small business is big for the students. They even do all their own graphic design and marketing materials, all of which looks totally at home next to Vancouver Special’s Hay trays and kindred modern accessories.And the work? Thoughtfully designed, elegant pieces in a multitude of West Coast woods that range from a new take on wall hooks, to a tension-based, collapsable coat rack to a scooped, flat-pack mediation seat. Definitely worth checking out, everything is on sale now and throughout the summer at Vancouver Special (3612 Main St., Vancouver).Here’s a sneak peek at what you’ll find in store:Trae: Designed to resemble a tree, Trae ($65) is a coat hanger with six branches that pop out from the inside.Designers: Liping Kuan, Ali Alemzadeh, Amanda Wang, Sharonna Chan Arkk: A tiny apartment inspired industrial design student Patrick McManus to create Arkk ($75), a self-supporting, tension-based birch coat rack that collapses in a flashDesigner: Patrick McManusAto: Celebrating the small things, Ato ($50) is a two-piece box for holding salt that contains a sliding spoon to dish it out (those markers denote teaspoons!).Designers: Golab Amini, Harry Guan Sejle: Taking Vancouver Special’s Scandinavian bent seriously, Sejle ($38) is actually a Danish word for “sail,” which makes sense as the designers were inspired by a Viking ship. And the wooden fan-like basket (available in two tones) gradually expands and contracts to the amount of goods it’s carrying.Designers: Mimo Designs Two-Up: Plywood, so hot right now! This coat hook is made from white oak plywood and comes with the hardware necessary to mount it on the wall (packaged they look like little wooden butterflies).Designers: Jordi Vilanova, Peter Orlowsky