Based on Toronto (Canada's most artistic city with close to 24,000 residing artists*), the design studio cleverly called Objects & Ideas was founded in 2015 by Di Tao and Bob Dodd. Their vision? Create a transformative design process that turns unique concepts and ideas into beautiful and functional furniture, homeware, and décor.
As the legendary 20th-century designer and pioneer of minimalism, Mies van der Rohe once said, “Less is more,” an idea that still inspires designers and craftsmen to this day, including Tao and Dodd. Let's take a look at how this approach is reflected in their work.
Their design style features an intriguing combination of bold, modern geometric shapes that are accented.
The natural material complements the simplicity of the forms it's comprised of. A great example of this is their Aero Coffee Table.
This table's structural design is remarkably simple, featuring two intersecting solid wooden pill-shaped flat planes connected with a slot joint and a pill-shaped glass top for the table lightly elevated by small steel inserts. The piece's visual language is consistent, and the simple geometry merits appreciation of the splendour to be found in minimalism.
By reducing these forms to fundamental and elementary shapes, designers Tao & Dodd also focus on the piece's materiality and emphasize its textures and colours.
Another one of my own favourites is the Wye Rocker chair, named after the Wye Marsh in Southern Ontario. The Wye Rocker chair’s delicate curves of solid wood were inspired by the beautiful, expansive rolling hills of the Canadian landscape. As an homage to the gorgeous Northern countryside, Tao and Dodd's Wye Rocker and other wood projects are always sustainably sourced from Canadian soil.
The padded cushion seat is attached at the edges to the curved flowing frame loops, designed to look as if in motion even when perfectly still. The smooth yet striking form holds itself up against the stiff, traditional curved-based rocking chair, the classic shape that’s so recognizably familiar in popular vernacular.
Objects & Ideas takes a creative departure from traditional customs to create something unique and extraordinary. Personally, I’m also impressed at how well Di Tao and Bob Dodd manage to stylistically strike a balance, creating designs with playful and eccentric flair while maintaining a dignified sophistication that reads as high-end craftsmanship & design. Objects & Ideas is an acceptable model for innovation and material-exploration in design.
Interested in seeing more of their beautiful furniture? Visit Objects & Idea.
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Photography courtesy of Objects & Ideas.
Researched and Written by Mikhail SK, Undergraduate Environmental Design, OCAD University