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Design

Design

Canoes

Proud Canadian heritage Paul Epp I grew up on the Grande Prairie in northwestern Alberta, an anomalous patch of grassland deep in the Boreal Forest. It takes only a moment of reflection to understand that it was

Big wood

Counting the rings on legacy timber Paul Epp I was sitting in a bar recently, with my son. We were in Vancouver, at the lower level of a large, late 19th century brick building. As nice as the decorations were, what

Growth rings

Annals of our work, thick and thin One of the many beauties of wood is their growth rings. These variations in the rate of growth, season- to-season and year-to-year, are a large part of what gives wood its visual interest. There are…

Country-style

Design elegance has rural roots It has always surprised me that country-style furniture is often a bit crude. It seems to not only be accepted but also expected that this anti-urban version of things be kind of rough and ready.…

Artisanal

Marketers do home-made one better It has become pretty hard to reflect on marketing without tripping over the word artisanal. We have artisanal beer, artisanal bread and artisanal cheese, to name just a few of the things to which this…

Staying busy

New chapter: RV conversion Now that I’m not teaching, I’ve had to find a project to keep busy with. And what that has turned out to be is a DIY Sprinter cargo-van-to-RV conversion. It’s certainly kept me busy and I’m not done yet. I…

Right to repair

Preventing waste is a responsibility To be a designer is to be very lucky. It’s our job to dream and to turn these dreams into reality. What a privilege. We get to impose our vision onto the world around us. That’s pretty good. Of…

Handle with care

Both tool and furniture touchpoints are key Handle: derived from the word hand. As a verb, it means: to feel or manipulate with the hands. As a noun, it means the part by which a thing is held, carried or controlled. Many of the…

Balance, for now

It was harder than I had anticipated. But that’s because I didn’t think it through. I wanted to visit a furniture factory in Cambodia, and that isn’t what the tour operators usually handle. I’m not sure they quite believed that was…

Mindful museums

Where manual and fine art meet By Paul Epp I go to a lot of museums. I see it as professional development. I’m kind of in that business myself. I design things and I try to do a good job. Museums collect and display things that are done…

Canadian copies

I hate being embarrassed. Most of us do. Our dislike of that self-conscious sting is part of what keeps us behaving in a socially acceptable way and that’s a good thing. But we tend to remember when we get caught out. Years ago, I was…

Pursuit of perfection

I was recently helping another designer with a project — a kind of DIY project — and in this case I was playing the role of fabricator, not designer. At a certain point, I told the designer that we had a problem, that there was an issue…

Order or chaos?

There is a lot to be known when one sets out to design products. Probably too much. The complexities of production have multiplied with advances in technology and now its unlikely that an individual will be able to obtain a comprehension…

Three boards

There are some lovely little boats on the upper Mekong River. They are made with only three boards. The one in the centre is basically parallel edged, but bent while lying flat, to raise both ends. Attached to this lengthwise, at 45…