I’m currently exhibiting two works, plus one new item, at the RAW: Gallery of Architecture and Design in Winnipeg, MB from January 11 – February 16. Curated by former Winnipeger and good friend Craig Alun Smith, the show finally brings together the small sample of designers dispersed across Winnipeg.
Below are some images of the event, and the show description:
Separation & Connection & Navel Gazing
Why Winnipeg? What is it about this place that fosters such a strong cultural community to flourish? How can a small Canadian city of only 700,000 inhabitants produce the likes of Neil Young, Marshall McLuhan, Gabrielle Roy, Lenny Breau, Guy Maddin, The Guess Who, Weakerthans, Carol Shields and Tyler Brûlé. The typical, “mytho-poetic” answer is that it has something to do with isolation and separation, a city on the vast open prairie landscape, alone at the centre of a cold continent. The myth tells of the remoteness and long harsh winters forcing the city’s inhabitants to band together for warmth and safety and somehow in this communal attachment, a great collective cultural conciseness is born. But that’s the myth, the one we tell because we don’t really know the truth. Could it be that the truth has just as much to do with broader interconnectivity? Winnipeg has always been a transportation hub, the gateway to the west. It has never truly been isolated. It is a city with a transient population; people come and go, we work and live in other cities but still call Winnipeg home, always maintaining a connection. Do these invisible connections allow the city to spread a tentacle like network out into the world connecting the city's cultural innovators to ex-pats and counterparts in major world centres? If it were simply a case of isolation creating great artists then Davis Inlet, Prince Rupert or Flin Flon would be the cultural capital of Canada.
The Quiet Influence
The Winnipeg design community has always been extremely small and usually no more than four or five designers make up the community at any one time. However, these designers tend to go on to find national and international success at a rate far greater than their counterparts from other Canadian cities. Examples include designers such as A. J Donahue whose iconic “Winnipeg chair” inspired George Nelson to create the Coconut chair. John van Koert who helped to introduce modernism to North America. Studio plastic buddha, one of the first Canadian design studios to be invited to work with European powerhouse manufacturers such as Alessi, Stelton, and Herman Miller. Motherbrand who’s first international design exhibition debuted in Tokyo, Japan as part of Designers Block, and is now credited with launching a new Canadian design vernacular. Allan Kiesler, not a designer but a design agent, one of the first in Canada Matthew Kroeker winner of both Best Western Canadian Designer as well as Best Canadian Designer. And most recently the award winning young designers Thom Fougere and Ilana Ben-Ari. Each “generation” or new wave inspires and connects to the next. The Quiet Influence exhibition is the first major retrospective to examine the wide-range of works of Winnipeg designers by bringing together key design pieces from the past twelve years. Through the exhibition and subsequent book, we seek to fully explore the role and influence of this small Winnipeg design community on the greater Canadian and international design world. The exhibition is not intended to be prescriptive; the curators did not set out with any predetermined notion or thesis. Instead, they let the works submitted through an open call and selection tell the story of Winnipeg’s role within, and influence on Canadian design. This story forms the narrative for the exhibition.
Pictures Courtesy of RAW: Gallery of Architecture and Design
A few updates:
There has been some generous media coverage of the recently completed EQ3 Flagship store. You can read some of the articles and interviews here:
My good friends John and Juli, best known for their revered shop Mjolk located in Toronto, purchased the first prototype of the Tyndall Tabl earlier this year. They shared some images of the table in-situ on their blog - Kitka.
Maquette was a huge success. Thanks for everyone who came out for the opening event, as well as the all-night Nuit Blanche event. Thank you to the Winnipeg Design Festival, as well as Culture Days.
Below are some of the details of the event, as well as some photos of the exhibit itself. There will be more images and details on the event coming soon.
I'm putting on an exhibit of sorts for the Winnipg Design Festival. This is the first time I've curated and organized an exhibit, so I'm excited to see the results once it's finished.
Below is a description of the exhibit :
Three dimensional modeling is a tool employed by designers, architects, makers,and manufacturers to gain an understanding of the spatial implications of an idea. Three dimensional modeling – whether 1:1 or 100:1 – is arguably the most revealing stage in the design process. Its physicality allows for a hands-on interaction with the manifestation of the idea.
Something that was previously ideated along a single index, usually through sketches or drawings, can now be viewed from multiple perspectives. This can facilitate a deeper understanding of not only the physical connections within the object, but also the larger contextual spatial and emotional connections that the object will have with the surrounding environment.
The upcoming exhibit, Maquette, will showcase a selection of these three dimensional explorations from established Winnipeg-based designers, architects and artists. Maquette will present how some of Winnipeg’s foremost creators use three dimensional modeling in their creative process. Whether in the form of initial conceptual iterations or the result of countless hours of labourious refinement, each of the objects on display will offer an insight into the creative process.
The event times are :
September 28, 2012 – 8:30 p.m. (Opening Night)
September 29, 2012 – 6:00 p.m. – 6:00 a.m. (Nuit Blanche)
Participating firms / designers :
Craig Alun Smith
More information at :
2012 thus far has been a busy time for me - taking on both the creative direction for EQ3's fall catalogue and the architectural and spatial design of their new stand alone flagship in Toronto's liberty village. Both have recently launched. The following are some images of each project.
EQ3 Flagship location - Liberty Village in Toronto, Canada:
EQ3 2012 Autumn Catalogue:
Some more in-context photos have been added to the Steel Wood Table page.
New photos of the Bench Rack and Steel Wood Table have been added to their appropriate pages. I feel like these photos give a much better representation of the scale and utility of the pieces than the original white cove shots.
Just returned from the Salone del Mobile.
A small fold out document that accompanied the Tyndall Table at IDS12 in Toronto.
Big news coming to thomfougere.com soon.
Another successful show at IDS has come and gone. The reactions to the Tyndall Table from Torontonians was fun to witness. Often times puzzled by the material, only true Manitobans or Saskatchewanians recognized the regional stone.
The Tyndall Table will be stealing the show at IDS12 this year from January 26-29 in Toronto, Canada. Be sure to check out the show and say hello.
I will also be visiting (not exhibiting) IMM in Cologne and Heimtextil in Frankfurt this January.
A new page has been added to the site.
The 'Drawings' page will showcase drawings, photography, and other types of process work.
New business cards - Letterpressed + rubber stamp.
Hard at work on 2 new products to be released by the end 2011.
A small newsprint handout for IDS 11.
A warm and belated congratulations to John and Juli who tied the knot the week before IDS... as a side note, a visit to Toronto wouldn't be complete without a trip to one of the best shops in town, Mjolk. As per usual, their blog Kitka had good coverage of the annual IDS Prototype Exhibit.
Back from Toronto and pleased to say that the Bench Rack received the Rado Award for Best New Prototpe at the 2011 Interior Design Show in Toronto this past weekend. The Bench Rack also receive a Design Lines Love Tag as one of the Top 100 products at the Toronto International Design Festival.
If you didn't have a chance to see The Globe and Mail feature on myself and Nils Vik this past weekend, there is an online version available here.
The Bench Rack will make its debut at the IDS Prototype Exhibit in Toronto Canada on January 27, 2011.
Summerhome preliminary process models.
Vik & Fougere have been selected to exhibit a new design at the IDS Prototype Exhibit in Toronto in January 2011.
Currently working on a summerhome design.