Luigi Ferrara for Dekla

The Toronto International Design Festival wrapped up this past weekend. I attended numerous events (read: parties) as well as the country’s largest contemporary design fair. Here is a copy of a post-show write-up that I did for Azure magazine’s blog:

Canadian architect Luigi Ferrara has created an art installation entitled The Open Lattice for Dekla, the exclusive Toronto dealer for Scavolini kitchens.

Unveiled during the Interior Design Show, the partition was inspired by the IDS gala theme, “All You Need is Love.” It’s built of acrylic elements using the open lattice system. On one side, its 25 panel cabinets feature universal icons of love, while on the other, quotations and graphics in evolving combinations of crosses and squares conjure a meditation on love, belief and time, with a sweep through religion.

Ferrara is the Director of the Centre for Arts and Design and the Institute without Boundaries at George Brown College in Toronto. (IwB featured Imaginando Lota at IDS 2011, a project that invites students to imagine, rethink and propose solutions for the revitalization of the Chilean city of Lota, devastated by a lost mining industry and last year’s earthquake.)

His open lattice structure is based on his theory of scalable interactive modular simulations, or SIMS. This he sees as the future of design. He believes that by giving people the tools to develop furniture to suit their specific needs, they participate in the design process, rather than merely selecting ready-made products and systems. He has created software that is intuitive, with built-in construction parameters; by manipulating it, the end-user customizes and personalizes the design, or ‘co-creates.’ There is an inherent flexibility in the systems – pieces are reusable and can be adapted and rearranged as needs change.

The installation has since moved on to the Dekla showroom where it will be on display with samples of SIMS furniture from Ferrara’s Benchmark series launched last year. Interactive animations will allow visitors to experience design through the SIMS process.

The exhibition at the Dekla showroom, located at 1220 Yonge Street in Toronto, will run until early spring.


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