MEET OUR (LOCAL) MAKERS: From filmmaker to textile designer, Stephanie Symns brings a painterly eye to her craft

By Laura Goldstein

Imaginative, playful, and a passion for hand-made craft with enduring design describes each of our local artisans, whose unique, small production pieces can be found in the Pop-Up Shop at SwitzerCultCreative and online at Oden Gallery. Their labours of love easily translate into your own conception of what makes a comfortable and luxurious living space.

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‘DigiFlora’ throw pillows resemble a kaleidoscope of images originating from torn posters and photographs. Photo: Eydis Einarsdottir

One of the biggest trends in home décor for 2018 are bold, colourful geometrics and optical illusions in furniture, wallpaper, lighting and textiles.  STEPHANIE SYMNS Antipod Workshop, Vancouver, brings a mathematician’s meticulous process, combined with a painterly eye, to her stunning collections of hand-made, block and digitally printed pillows, runners and throws.

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Syms created the graphic custom upholstery for a client’s vintage chair with ‘Pixelshift’ pillow. Photo: Eydis Einarsdottir

“I’m really interested in repetitive patterns from ancient Greek times, indigenous cultures to modern graphic design like the doodles and murals by contemporary British artist, John Burgerman,” explains the award-winning textile designer, a native New Zealander who moved to Vancouver in 2000.

Ripped and frayed fragments from old posters on hoardings in Chinatown – even remnants of text, become inspirational fodder for Symns’ creations, re-born in tangerine, blue and black abstracts printed on velvet for her Artifact Pillows. Windows 3.0 Pillows (Symns’ wry commentary on urban life,) is an optical illusion in hot rhodamine pink reflecting “the patterns in rows of ubiquitous office buildings around the city.”

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Symns’ eco-friendly, hand-dyed ‘Indigo Collection’ riffs on the ancient Japanese dyeing process of Shibori. Photo: Stephanie Symns

Her vivid blue eco-friendly, hand-dyed Indigo Collection, riffs on the traditional Japanese technique of ‘Shibori ’ dyeing, originally used only for royalty and the samurai.

Look through a kaleidoscope and you see the DigiFlora Throw Pillows. Symns photographs small details in her everyday environment that when combined and digitally printed on fabric, makes for boldly graphic plush décor.

Says Symns,“I think that buying beautifully made durable goods that you love from people with a story to tell, is an antidote to a fast-paced world of mass production.”

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Vancouver’s award-winning textile designer, Stephanie Symns. Photo credit: Brent Haynes

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Celebrated Spanish Designer, Jaime Hayon Wows at SwitzerCultCreative Booth & Presentation at IDS-Vancouver

By Laura Goldstein

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Spanish designer, Jaime Hayon (l) with Adam Bellas, partner SwitzerCultCreative and the Arpa Armchair at IDS-Vancouver. Photo: Grace Lanuza

If Jaime Hayon’s day job doesn’t work out, he can always be a stand-up comedian. The charismatic Spanish artist and designer whose international accolades include Time Magazine and Wallpaper naming him in their 100 most relevant and influential creators of our times, is sitting in his Arpa Armchair  in the SwitzerCultCreative booth at 2017 IDS-Vancouver. He’s a headline speaker here at the Pacific Northwest’s largest interior design show. As sponsors of his presentation, SwitzerCultCreative feted Hayon at a celebratory dinner  the evening before. “Jaime is so down-to-earth and fascinating to speak with and never seems to be affected by jet lag,” laughs Adam Bellas, SwitzerCultCreative partner. “I finally had to call it quits at 2:30 a.m. and look at him- he’s fresh as a daisy this morning!”

Born in Madrid but now based in Valencia, the man with the fantastical imagination has a prolific output of collaborations: Stone Age Folk furniture and lighting in kaleidoscopic colours for Israeli company, Caesarstone; porcelain for Spanish brand Lladro; fruity crystal objects for Baccarat; Afghani and Japanese folklore-inspired tapestries and rugs for Nanimarquina; interiors for Hotel Barcelo Torre in Madrid; designs for Camper shoe brand and most recently- as fashion apparel designer for his new company, Jijibaba in London.

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Jaime Hayon takes to the Caesarstone Stage at IDS-Vancouver to illustrate his many imaginative projects. Photo: Grace Lanuza

Does he ever sleep?

“I feel like I’m a little boy telling stories,” Hayon says to a rapt IDS-Vancouver audience of 300 that he holds in the palm of his hand through humorous anecdotes, PowerPoint presentation and the sheer speed at which his mind works. “I only try to work on things that I love and they must not be too serious. I have a third eye when I see something and I’m really influenced by something old – like folk tales- then give it a modern twist.”

That is certainly apparent in his Sé Collection II in the IDS booth and in his larger inventory of furniture in the SwitzerCultCreative showroom. Hayon’s Arpa Chair was inspired by musical instruments, specifically the harp and its legs from researching those of insects. Ancient drums and bongos are referenced in Hayon’s sculptured cylindrical side tables, Bala Lo in pastel colours and Bala Metal in a burnished copper wrap. The Tambor Table is a stunning space-defining coffee table with Carrara marble top and pastel green lacquered steel base.

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Bala Metal side tables designed by Jaime Hayon for Sé Collection II with Cararra marble in a burnished copper wrap. Photo: Grace Lanuza

“I know it’s not always easy convincing clients but it’s best to pursue quality rather than trying to please the masses.”

“I transform spaces into experiences,” Hayon continues. A statement particularly relevant for his many international outdoor installations. Like Hayon’s colourfully patterned menagerie of quirky creatures at the recent exhibition at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta or a 10-foot high chess set in London’s Trafalgar Square that completely changed the landscape. “Kids of course were attracted to them immediately and adults were very hesitant but after a while even they started climbing, sliding and riding on them,” Hayon laughs.

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Jaime Hayon’s Tambor Table for for Sé Collection II, is a stunning space-defining coffee table with Carrara marble top and pastel green lacquered steel base. Photo: Grace Lanuza

I ask Hayon, 43 and the father of two little boys, if he’s designed their toys and bedroom furniture (they must be the envy of all their friends.) “Oh absolutely. I designed a huge rope web over their beds with a gigantic elephant head inside.” They just love it!”

 

 

 

 

Posted in Contemporary, Designer Showroom, Interior Design, Interior Design Show, Interior Design Showroom, Jaime Hayon, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Art By Design: Furniture & Lighting by Israeli Makers Are Both Sculptural & Functional

By Laura Goldstein

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Hagit Pincovici established her studio near Milan. She’s greatly influenced by the geometrics and minimalist lines of Art Deco. Photo: Fabrizio Checchi

When Hagit Pincovici was a little girl in her grandparents’ atelier in Tel Aviv, she remembers the exhilaration of playing with and running between colourful sheets of plexiglass that would eventually be molded into trays, frames and furniture by her artisan grandparents. “When my grandfather left Romania for Israel, he brought the recipe for making plexiglass and I remember it was a kind of paradise looking through all the colourful pieces,” says Pincovici, now third generation maker, reminiscing by Skype from Tel Aviv.

It’s not entirely coincidental then, that her multi-hued Art Deco-inspired furniture in SwitzerCultCreative’s showroom evokes a modern twist on a bygone era. Pincovici’s From Above Coffee Table from The Eclipse Collection couldn’t be more timely; a geometric Carrara marble ‘moon’ is integrated into an abstract path of black shadow and coral sun in lacquered wood on a brushed brass base. Flamingo Storage Side Table, also from The Eclipse Collection, is a stunning sculptural platform perched atop stilt-like legs of its namesake. A secret compartment rotates out to store jewelry if placed in a bedroom or as a handy bar for drinks, sure to spark conversation in the living room. The Metaphysics Sideboard is Pincovici’s take on sophisticated elegance. The blue and black lacquered geometric wood console designed at multiple heights, is mounted on brushed brass and immediately recalls the glamour of the 20s and 30s. “I love the thin minimalist lines just bordering on the decorative,” she explains.

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Pincovici’s Flamingo Storage Side Table, is a sculptural piece that can double as a bar in the living room or jewelry case with hidden drawr in the bedroom. Photo courtesy Hagit Pincovici.

After working her way up as head of product development for Aqua Creations in Israel and organizing their exhibition at the annual Salone del Mobile, in Milan, Pincovici decided to re-locate to Italy “where I fell in love with the Italian spirit of creativity,” not to mention her husband, Fabrizio Checchi.

She opened her own design studio in the furniture district of Brianza in 2014 where she sketches her designs by hand. Then furniture is made with traditional craftsmanship and sold internationally. When not working on her first collection of lighting, Pincovici is also an instructor at NABA (Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti,) in Milan.

“You know, we (Israeli) designers are like chameleons,” Pincovici laughs. “I don’t think we share a common style but we do share that drive to create and in Italy they really appreciate that approach.”

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Product and industrial designer, Eli Chissick creates imaginative furniture pieces using re-purposed wood and Formica. Photo courtesy Chissick Design.

London-born, Eli Chissick of Chissick Design is waxing poetic about wood. Skyping from his home-studio near Tel Aviv the award-winning designer is concerned about the environment, recycling and products that will increase the mobility of the disabled.  Unlike the vast forests found in Canada, trees are not harvested for the lumber industry in Israel and wood is usually imported. That forces the industrial and product designer to be ingenious about scavenging off-cuts and re-purposed wood from carpentry floors. “It’s a magical transformation when I sort what is usually thrown out, then press into large sheets from which I create my furniture,” explains Chissick.

The results are as sculptural as they are utilitarian. Mosaica, from Chissick’s Wood-Con-Fusion series, is a coffee table (or bench) composed of over 2,000 intricate puzzle pieces of multi-coloured wood. The Marmelade, coffee table is a mouth-watering compote of wood with inlaid lime, raspberry and white striped Formica laminate. It’s built on wheels for easy maneuvering in any space.

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Gradient Cocktail Table is hand-crafted from 8 types of veneer juxtaposed from light to dark. Photo courtesy Chissick Design

“I’m really excited about working with Renee at SwitzerCultCreative because I’m now able to send my furniture designs created on the computer to her and then have many pieces hand- made in British Columbia with the same quality as in Israel,” says Chissick. Those pieces include the Gradient Cocktail Table, hand-crafted from 8 types of veneer juxtaposed from light to dark in wenge, imbuia, American walnut, teak, African walnut, anigre, white oak and maple.

 Mirror 2012, from Chissick’s Wood-Con-Fusion series, is set in a painted and lacquered salvaged wood frame and can be customized in various colours. (It was a 2015 Platinum Winner at the U.S. ADEX Awards for Product and Project Design.)

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Chissick’s Mirror 2012 can be customized in many colours. Photo courtesy Chissick Design.

Always challenging himself, Chissick partnered with German company, LugerOptik to produce sleek binoculars including Manta, inspired by the sea; The Salarium Series of saltshakers based on coins from present-day currency and Sitybike that enables its rider to remove the seat and use as an independent chair.

He’s also a big proponent of TOMS- (Tikkun Olam Makers,) a global movement of extraordinary makers who donate their specialties to create solutions for people struggling with a debilitating problem. Over just three days, 100 designers, engineers and techies meet with these people personally then brainstorm in small groups and set to work making prototypes. Chissick has participated in these “Makeathons” in both Tel Aviv and San Francisco resulting in a walker that allows a person to navigate stairs; a door opener for a quadriplegic; a digital hand and a high-tech go-cart for a disabled child, to name only a few.

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Co-founder and designer of Aqua Creations, Albi Serfaty with his Lucky Lamp Wall Fixtures. Photo courtesy Aqua Creations

It’s impossible to look at Aqua Creations’ lamps, lighting installations and furniture without feeling a sense of awe and wonderment! The urge to touch them or curl up in the enveloping Gladis Lounge Chair, is overpowering. When co-founder, Albi Serfaty hears my confession, he’s laughing in agreement. “This is what art is all about,” he says, Skyping from his home in Tel Aviv. “There must be this emotional connection, both for me as a designer because I’m passionate about my work and hopefully from our pieces as interior décor in a home, a restaurant or hotel.”

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Organic floor lamps, from the Morning Glory Collection by Aqua Creations. Photo courtesy Aqua Creations

What began in 1994 as a small atelier in Tel Aviv is now a global brand with an Aqua Creations showroom in New York and their lighting installations world-wide including 1 Hotel, Brooklyn; Savoy Hotel, Seychelles; and Hotel Okura Fukuoka, Japan.

As a photographer and designer, Serfaty’s imagination has no limits, re-interpreting organic forms and abstract sea life into lighting and furniture. Morning Glory Floor Lamps, in silk over metal, when illuminated, seem to take on an otherworldly beauty all their own. Collections since 1994 show a definite evolutionary progression with current geometric shapes like The Simon Says Yes Pendant part of Aqua Creations Mino Collection. Whether as a singular hanging pendant or grouped together as colourful wall mounts as shown in the SwitzerCultCreative showroom, they add a sculptural yet functional addition to interiors.

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Geometric shapes like The Simon Says Yes Pendant are part of Aqua Creations Mino Collection and are available as one pendant or grouped together as sculptural art. Photo courtesy Aqua Creations.

If you can imagine thousands of magnified neurons under a microscope, you will see the genesis of The Mimosa Collection. Composed of laser-cut galvanized metal, sprayed with clear polymer, the hand-sculpted shades transmit a dreamy, calming light.

The Lucky Lamp wall fixtures are Serfaty’s newest iteration using ground-breaking technology in which each sustainable and dimmable light is controlled by a micro- computer that alters colour, motion and intensity.

“I’d love to collaborate in the future with a fashion designer like Missoni,” confides Serfaty, “and at some point, build a place that combines home, work and studio in one location.” “I’m like a sheep dog in that way- I like everything together.”

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The enveloping organic Gladis Lounge Chairs by Aqua Creations. Photo courtesy Aqua Creations.

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Delinah Simmons Textiles

SwitzerCultCreative is thrilled to be representing the wonderful velvet collection from

Delinah Simmons.  It is available in “any colour under the sun” and milled in the U.S.A.

Visit us in the showroom to see and feel this wonderful textile collection.

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Ivan Meade Fabric Collection at SwitzerCultCreative

Check out this wonderful blog post from our design partner Ivan Meade Design Group on incorporating textiles into your design.

Ivan Meade Fabric Design

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Happy Holidays – Merry Christmas – Happy Hanukah

Watch the great team from Gillian Segal Design create our holiday window.

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What’s New at Switzer

Although we are about to head into Vancouver winter the atmosphere in our showroom is warm and welcoming. Adam and I would like to officially welcome the newest member of our Team, Jennifer Wosk.
Jennifer has a decade of experience in customer service and administration and brings her creative spirit and enthusiasm to our Team. In addition to her role with us at SwitzerCultCreative, Jennifer has her own jewelry line:http://www.soulshineyoga.ca/jewellery.html and is an experienced Yoga and Meditation guide.
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Visitors to our Showroom will have noticed the wonderful Murano Glass Chandeliers, Lamps and Accessories. We are very pleased to be representing the Steve Jensen Collection. Steve works with glassmakers on Murano to bring his designs to life and maintain the authentic craftsmanship that original Murano artisans are recognized for throughout the world.

In the showroom you will find many new pieces from the Artisan Wood Collection, as well as the Ingman Chair and Ottoman from Zanat and new works from local BC artisans, Ryan Inman and Richard Jarvis.

Next month to celebrate the holiday season our window will be dressed for the holidays by Gillian Segal Design Inc. and her team. We look forward to sharing a glass of bubbly to celebrate the coming New Year.

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IDSVancouver September 22-25, 2016

SwitzerCultCreative celebrated this Fall at IDS Vancouver. We introduced the Artisan Collection and the new Flamingo from Hagit Pincovici as well as highlighting select pieces from some of our other collections. The booth was designed and curated by Alda Pereira. For more information about Alda and her design company check out her website: http://www.aldapereiradesign.com

For those of you who were not able to attend the show, here are some images of the display.
Photo Credit: Jeremy Segal Photography

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Posted in Contemporary, Design Community, Designer Showroom, Interior Design, Luxury, Modern, Sustainable Home Furniture | Leave a comment

Exciting new model for the Eclipse Collection by Hagit Pincovici

In Solid Brass this art piece designed by Hagit Pincovici also serves as a small storage occasional piece.
Introduced in September in Milan and London the “Flamingo” is now available in Canada and the United States.

Please contact the showroom for more information.

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Se London: Collection of the month

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Sé London at SwitzerCultCreative™

Our featured collection of the month is the Sé London Collection, carried by SwitzerCultCreative™ exclusively for Western Canada. The Sé London Collection features contemporary luxury design from artisanal designers Jaime Hayon, Damien Langlois-Meurinne, and Nika Zupanc. Each of their designs serve as a magnificent focal point that can be easily incorporated into any space.

Jaime Hayon is an award-winning Spanish artist-designer with a flare for renaissance tones. Damien Langlois-Meurinne’s high-quality French craftsmanship is reflected in his unique approach to aesthetic and design. Nika Zupanc, a Slovenian designer recently awarded Elle “Woman of the Year”, presents an extraordinary range of pieces that channel the Olympics with a European feel.

The International Interiors Show

In January, our founder, Renee Switzer, visited IMM Cologne for the annual International Interiors Show. IMM Cologne highlighted some of the industry’s most talented leaders and offered immense inspiration from internationally renowned designers and artisans. Capturing the art of modern European minimalism is a huge part of what makes SwitzerCultCreative™ so unique. One of the trends we noted from IMM Cologne is that “one colour never stands alone.” Specifying any of the Sé London pieces, will create a focal point, while at the same time complement other pieces in the room. The SwitzerCultCreative™ Collection continues to expand it’s offerings with new and exciting modern designs.

We would love to hear from you! Please let us know what type of content you would like to see on our blog!

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