Happy New Year!
The Interior Design Show is just around the corner (yes, they’ve brought the date forward this year!), and I’m already getting pumped to make the rounds, browse the booths and see the amazing schedule of speakers they’ve got lined up. My favourite aspect of the Interior Design Show, though, is the opportunity to meet some of Canada’s rising stars in interior and product design. Some new names to know are already emerging in the pre-show buzz, and one of the ones I’m watching is Katherine Morley, a Toronto-based industrial designer working primarily in textiles and ceramics. I had the chance to chat with the talented Ms Morley a few weeks back, and just had to introduce you all.
Canada, meet Katherine!
Name: Katherine Morley
Home base: Toronto
Claim to fame: Textile and ceramic design with a creative twist on Canadiana
Style Sleuth: What does the IDS mean to you?
Katherine Morley: “The IDS has evolved for me over the years. In my pre-design years, as a young homeowner, it was an outing I’d look forward to all year long. I would literally pack a bag with a weekend’s worth of snacks, and have an IDS marathon, exploring, researching, planning, and of course, shopping! Later, as an industrial design student, it became a magical place of possibility. Being there was exciting and very intimidating. I would walk down the aisles barely daring to wonder what it would be like to have an exhibit there. Now, my first year IN the show, it’s quite an honour to have been chosen to take part in both Studio North, and the Weaver’s Art “E.R.A. Evolution of Rug Artistry” exhibit, in which my “Une Affaire de Coeur carpet will be unveiled. I responded to an open call for submissions, and “Une Affaire de Couer” was selected as one of the 10 winning designs. It feels like a huge step in my career as a designer.”
SS: What else are you debuting at IDS 10?
Katherine: “My ‘Low Profile Bowls’ – a series of large ceramic bowls honouring great but under-celebrated Canadians – will be part of Limited Edition at Studio North. First in the series are Celia Franca, Pierre Berton, Jane Jacobs and Chief Dan George. The subjects have been carefully chosen not only for the quality, but also for the broad scope of their accomplishments.These are true Canadian luminaries that too many Canadians have never heard of.”
Celia Franca bowl, view of underside
Celia Franca bowl, from top
Chief Dan George bowl, view of underside
Chief Dan George bowl, from top
SS: What was your last home purchase?
Katherine: “I recently design a wall-unit and had it built by Space Furniture, using reclaimed wood from Urban Tree Salvage. The wood was salvaged from a recently torn-up Toronto Whart. It’s 400 year-old pine, which had been submerged since the late 1700s. It’s beautiful, and incredible to have that much Canadian history sitting in my living room!”
SS: Where is design going in 2010?
Katherine: “This is the decade in which Canadian design matures. In the ’10s, Canadian designers will begin to explore the more subtle aspects of Canadian identity, moving beyond the likeable but tired stereotypes. Canada is a sophisticated and diverse nation, and deserves to be represented globally by high-quality, innovative Canadian design – no mascots required. On that note, the emergence of the Toronto International Design Festival (TIDF) is a big step in the right direction. We needed an official, coordinated international design event to call attention to the fact that design is thriving in Canada, and has been for years. We just needed to put a name on it and embrace our own excellence!”
SS: What’s your favourite colour of the moment?
Katherine: “Any colour that reminds me of candy.”
SS: What else have you got on the go, in addition to the IDS?
Katherine: “This year marks the inauguration of the Toronto International Design Festival (TIDF), and I will be involved in two other TIDF shows as well. For Radiant Dark ’10, I’ll be debuting “Saving Seas”, which is a series of porcelain objects designed to replace harvested coral and other reef life in hobby aquariums. The pieces also “survive outside the tank”, and can be used as vases or decorative objects. Also, I’m once again co-curating Come Up To My Room, Toronto’s largest annual alternative design event at the Gladstone Hotel.”
See Katherine’s work at the Interior Design Show,Â January 21 – 24, 2010,Â Metro Toronto Convention Centre.
Over the next few weeks, I’ll bring you more names to know among the Rising Stars of the IDS!
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