Winners of Design by Nature 2014!

We are thrilled to announce the seven winning proposals for Design by Nature 2014!!! The incredible works of Miles Keller, Scott Barker, Andre Joyau, Mark Grimsrud, Scott Bodaly, Daniel Gruetter and Jeff Forrest will be on display this fall at Evergreen Brick Works from mid- September to the end of November.

Our call for proposals asked for innovative public art, sculpture and functional furniture using a creative re-imagination of pre-existing and “resource-based” materials. We received an incredible 118 submissions, many of which included beautifully designed and functional furniture made from discarded city wood and salvaged materials.

Our multidisciplinary jury considered each submission equally and thoughtfully against the judging criteria. After a full day of heated debate, the following proposals were selected for their overall design concept, creative re-use of salvaged materials and adaptability of design.
We thank all the artists who submitted to this year’s competition and deeply appreciate the time and effort that went into your proposal. We encourage you to keep up the amazing work and consider re-submitting next year as we turn our focus to public art and sculptural installations for Evergreen Brick Works.

Now….for the winners of 2014!



Name of piece: Caygua
Materials:  Seat Deck: salvaged wood from The City of Toronto (ice storm and or ash borer) Base: a lightweight composite of cement/ wood chips (City of Toronto wood yard) and straw.
Artist(s): Miles Keller

Cayuga is a modular outdoor (and indoor) public seating system. Its sculptural puzzle-like shape allows for multiple configurations creating an undulating topography that speaks to the multiple layers of glacial till that form the landscape in this part of southern Ontario. The wood seating deck (utilizing salvaged wood) is warm, friendly and inviting. The cement/ wood composite base is solid, durable and references the kind of technology used to form the bricks produced in the Brickworks kilns. The idea is to employ something we have been experimenting with, a hybrid of cement, wood chips from The City of Toronto wood lots and straw. This will produce a super strong and durable cement composite (essentially a hybrid sustainable indigenous technology) that should stand up well to outdoor public use.






Snow, Ice and our exhibit for TO DO in the Junction

Design by Nature was thrilled to be a part of the fourth annual Toronto Design Offsite Festival -  a festival promoting local artists and design in venues throughout the city.  It was our first time venturing from the Brick Works and bringing the DxN exhibit to a new location in Toronto.  We felt right at home in the Junction at Neill Cunningham’s Panedomium Books & Discs.

Our exhibit received some great coverage in Design Lines Magazine and a steady stream of visitors during the two week long display from January 13-31, 2014.  We also had a fantastic turn out for our opening night party on January 22nd. Thank you to all the artists and folks who trooped through the snow and cold - that was real dedication!

Of course, none of this would have been possible without the generous support of Neill Cunningham and his amazing staff at Panedomium Books & Discs and our amazing reception food sponsor - The Sweet Potato. This local organic neighbourhood grocer was kind enough to stock us with plenty of fruit, vegetables, dips, coffee and tea for the event.  We also had a sweet donation from Toronto Wheat grass  – a local delivery service for home grown wheat grass. All in all, it was one healthy reception.

Pictures always speak louder than words, so below are some gorgeous photos capturing the magic of the evening by Danielle Griscti. Enjoy!

Check out more photos or follow us flickr.

Winners of DxN 2013 and works on display include:

  1. Jeff Forrest of STACKLAB - “Cast Composite Cubes
  2. Yvonne Popovska, Aleksandra Popovska, and Leland Dadson of PopTarts - “BeeHive
  3. Scott Eunson of Scott Eunson Studios - “End Grain Block Bench
  4. Luc Johnston, Joseph Sauvé and Nan Chao of Lloyd London Studios (email only) - ”Unearthed




Opening Party in the Junction for Toronto Design Offsite Festival

Join us on January 22nd, 6 to 8 pm to celebrate Design by Nature’s exhibit in the Junction at the Toronto Design Offsite Festival.

The exhibit features the works of Scott Eunson; Yvonne Popovska, Aleksandra Popovska, and Leland Dadson; Jeff Forrest; Nan Chao and Luke Johnston. All pieces are made with a minimum of 50% salvaged materials and seek to push the boundaries of sustainable design through an innovative approach to public art.

Healthy, organic snacks generously provided by The Sweet Potato 

When: Wednesday, January 22nd, 6-8 pm

Where: Pandemonium Books & Discs, 2920 Dundas Street West, Toronto

Plus, visit other exhibits in the neighbourhood followed by TO DO’s opening party at SMASH!

End-Grain Block Bench by Scott Eunson

End-Grain Block Bench by Scott Eunson Studios

Beehive Hotel

Beehive Hotel by PopTarts

Cast Composite Cubes

Cast Composite Cubes by STACKLAB


Unearthed by Lloyd London Studios

> Read more details about Design by Nature’s exhibit at TO DO

Lots “TO DO” in the Junction

Junction at Keele and Dundas WestThinking of visiting the Junction for Toronto Design Offsite Festival (TO DO), January 20 – 26th?

Below is a list of all the exhibits in the area – including Design by Nature’s exhibit.

And don’t forget! Join us for our opening reception on January 22nd, followed by TO DO’s opening party at SMASH.

All good reasons to come to the Junction right?

TO DO exhibits in the Junction

Window installations

Special Events


Photo by Chris Tyler from Toronto, via Wikimedia Commons

Design by Nature announces exhibit at Toronto Design Offsite Festival


We are happy to announce the Design by Nature exhibit will continue to be on display in the Junction for the Toronto Design Offsite Festival.

All pieces featured in the exhibit consist of a minimum content of 50% recycled materials and seek to push the boundaries of sustainable design through an innovative approach to public art.

Visit us during store hours until the end of January or join us on Wednesday, January 22nd and see the incredible works of Jeff Forrest; Yvonne Popovska, Aleksandra Popovska, and Leland Dadson; Scott Eunson;  Nan Chao and Luke Johnston.

Mon, Jan 13, 2014 – Fri, Jan 31, 2014

Window viewing 24 hours; from indoors: Monday to Wednesday 11am-7pm, Thursday & Friday 11am-8pm, Saturday 10am-7pm, Sunday 11am-5pm

Pandemonium Books & Discs
2920 Dundas Street West, Toronto

Reception Party
Wed, Jan 22 | 6-8pm

Design by Nature is a recurring, rotating, juried exhibition of design, public art and furniture at Evergreen Brick Works.

We are pleased to recognize the works of  four winners for this exhibit:

Cast Composite Cubes

STACKLAB’s Cast Composite Cubes: A collection of four concrete composite cubes that have industrial volumes ‘subtracted’ from 3 or more of their 6 surfaces. The pieces are suitable for both indoor and outdoor uses: low + high seating, side tables, coffee tables and sculpture.

Beehive Hotel

PopTarts’ Beehive: To encourage pollinators in the Toronto region to inhabit and reproduce as well as create an art project that would have a contemporary form and stand as a beautiful ‘beehive’ sculpture. The beehive would be constructed using 100% recycled, corrugated cardboard, bees would nest in the summer and then vacate in the fall after the cocoons have been harvested.

UnearthedProposal for Unearthed in Junction

Lloyd London Studio’s UnearthedEnvisioned as both seating and play area, Unearthed aims to instill a sense of discovery and intrigue for the repeat visitor to the Evergreen Brick Works. At Pandemonium, there will be a free-standing element which showcases a video and acts as seating for kids, in the children’s book section. The video shows the process of the bench while still maintaining its playful nature. The thin ‘fins’ on the corners of the bench are bookmarks which people can take and mimics the erosion of the Unearthed bench.

End-Grain Block Bench small

Scott Eunson Studios’ End Grain Block BenchA solid block assembled from massive timbers is CNC carved with a pattern derived from microscopic end-grain. The cells are scaled so that they function as places to sit.  An emphasized materiality combined with an organic complexity aims to give a new understanding of wood, its physical qualities, structure and patterns.

A Night to Celebrate the Winners of DxN

DxN ReceptionMore than 200 guests from the design community joined us for a lovely summer evening to celebrate the works of Jeff Forrest; Yvonne Popovska, Aleksandra Popovska, and Leland Dadson; Scott Eunson; Luc Johnston and Nan Chao. We toasted the four winning pieces over some fine wine, nibbles and friendly conversation amid the beautiful backdrop of Koerner Hall at Evergreen Brick Works.

Below are some wonderful pictures capturing the essence of the evening by Danielle Griscti and Yvonne Bambrick.

We also had a great response from the media including this Torontoist article: ”Salvaged Materials Make Surprisingly Nice Furniture at Design by Nature“.


> See more photos at

Thank you to all of our volunteers and event sponsors for making the evening a great success!

Event sponsors: Office Source, Teknion, Stratus Wines, Steam Whistle Brewery and Evergreen Brick Works.

Selected pieces will be on display at the Brick Works until the end of fall 2013.

2013: A Coming of Age for DxN

Matthew, David and Sue at EBWWe are very excited to be kicking off our second year of Design by Nature; this year feels something like a coming of age for the program.  A new website, a refreshed look, and an ambitious set of goals all come together in one emerging public art competition that is rapidly becoming a big red circle on the Toronto creative calendar.

Fresh off the success of our first year, we are excited to announce that Teknion will continue as the founding sponsor of the program.  And frankly – we couldn’t do it without them.  Its only through the foresight and great support of the people at this amazing Canadian design legacy that Design By Nature has found its wings and is starting to soar.

So what is in store for 2013? Once again our kick- off event is set for late spring, with the call for proposals due on May 5th.  Our emphasis this year will be on functional furniture– Brick Works can always use more places to sit, eat, recline and enjoy the amazing wonders of the site – and the jury will be looking for these pieces in particular this year.

We will also look to expand our network and reach out to the broader Canadian artistic community.  So please, help us:  tell your colleagues, forward along the call for proposals to your talented artist-friends, tweet about us (#DesignxNature) shout from the rooftops…the more people that know about us the better the program will be.  Which ultimately means the better the vehicle it will be to promote innovative local art, furniture and sculpture for all to enjoy.

We are also looking for ways to be better in touch throughout the duration of the program.  The launch of our new blog, updated FAQ’s, and regular announcements on our website.  Lori has taken over from Joanna (who is now a momma!) as our new program coordinator and is busy making sure our information is accessible, responsive and current.  She’s also the wonderful voice who is patiently responding to all of your emails.

So…a lot.  A lot of reasons to be excited.  A lot of reasons to participate.  We can’t wait.