Monday, October 4, 2010

Oh Canada!

As I walked around the From Quebec showcase, I couldn't help but imagine myself at the Montreal Expo of 1967. I've conjured up a faux nostalgia for the World's Fair of yore. I can only imagine the collective ooh and ahs as nation's peddled their finest wares. Luckily for me, From Quebec was able to recreate the kind of futuristic wonder one might have felt under Buckminster Fuller's Geodesic Dome.

This World's Fair feel was enhanced by the hands-on nature of product display. The Quebecois designers were in house for a show and tell, encouraging guests to test their products and ask questions. Like moths to a flame, many attendees lined up to touch Olonia's interactive light panel. This luminescent wall piece responds to your touch changing color and mood. Hands-on, indeed!

Other products were equally as colorful and eye catching, including plastic zip ties used for light shades and Brut's animal cutting board (the Rat design, a nod to New York), pictured below.

Many of the featured designs emphasized their mode of production. Although these designers are aesthetically driven, they also insist on supplying method and material specifics. They are re-imagining design as a total process. It's no wonder then that you could have found me poring over the À Hauteur d'homme display. I was interested to see a relatively new company embrace the same craftsmanship mentality toward wood as Grange. À Hauteur d'homme draws inspiration from the material itself, believing if you start with quality material, you will create a lasting and durable piece of furniture. Sounds familiar, no?

From Quebec is open through October 22nd. Drop by their pop-up store and be transported, if not light-years, at least a few hundred miles to Canada's innovative capital.

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