Art Toronto
October 26 – 29 , 2023
Metro Toronto Convention Centre
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Art Toronto 2021 featured a series of beautifully designed lounge spaces brought to life through the creative vision of Future Studio and featured stunning furniture by StyleGarage. We chatted with Andrew Guay, Marketing Director at StyleGarage and Ali McQuaid Mitchell, Creative Director at Future Studio to find out more about how these spaces came together.

Andrew Guay, Marketing Director, StyleGarage

1. How did you choose pieces from your collections to compliment Future Studio’s concept? Tell us more about the selected pieces.

We chose pieces based initially on design direction from Future Studio, but we were able to preferentially select some of the newest featured designs from our sister company Gus Modern so that everything in the lounge space was unique and striking, and suitable to the presentation. We chose pieces that were available in multiple compatible colorways so that the designers could mix and match them over the four spaces and maintain a consistent look and feel.

2. What are your design influences and how have your designs evolved over time?

We've always been inspired by classic mid-century modern but over time our designs have started to integrate contemporary elements with a Scandinavian flavour, as well as a focus on designs that really unleash the beauty and presence of striking, locally-sourced natural materials.

3. What role does sustainability play in your work?

Our SG Originals line is designed and manufactured in the GTA using carefully sourced local sources for raw materials. Our Gus Modern line takes a similar approach by using FSC certified wood in frames of all of their upholstery. Ultimately, building quality long lasting furniture is the foundation to sustainability.

4. Is there a favourite element or piece in the lounge designs at ArtTO you want us to remember?

The Baltic Chair in the vibrant "Russet" fabric was a clear winner for "best in show".

5. What’s up next for you that we should know about?

As we enter our 21st year in business we are excited to unveil new core designs in our locally-designed SG Originals line as well as helping our clients, new and long-standing, to achieve their goals inside their homes.

Ali McQuaid Mitchell, Creative Director, Future Studio

1. What was the inspiration behind your vision for the fair this year?

The concept for the decor for this year’s Art TO was inspired by the the origins of art creation. Materials were showcased in their “virgin” forms, the elements and tools of the creative process used by artists.
Raw canvas, dried grasses, linear guides and cardboard tubes form a raw palette that allowed the spectacle of the surrounding art shine, yet still anchored the fair’s identity. The Installations are minimal and intentional- but overscaled to have a strong presence in the space, treating each object as it were its own piece of art; a gallery within a gallery.

2. How was the ArtTO project different from your usual work?

The ArtTO project is different from our usual work in a few ways. The first is having so much height to play with! We are used to tight Toronto restaurants and storefront spaces, where we don't have soaring ceilings. It has been such a fun experience to expand the design by rigging elements up to 16' in the air. We also had the opportunity to build the installation together as a team on site which was a fun challenge to strategize. Being able to work with our hands to install the project was so rewarding and a great exercise in logistics and problem solving,

3. What role does sustainability play in your work?

Sustainability is critical. The ArtTO team was very clear that the project needed to be sustainable. We sourced materials for the design that were either used or would be used again in a different way after the show. We managed to get some used drop cloths from a few of our existing construction sites, borrowed furniture from StyleGarage and created dried floral arrangements using tins of tomatoes that were donated after the show. Anything that wasn’t able to be reused was ensured to be recyclable or biodegradable.

4. Is there a favourite element or piece in the lounge designs at ArtTO you want us to remember?

The used drop cloths, borrowed from our other job sites definitely made a bigger impact on the final design than we expected. As we were creating the concept we always considered them a “nice to have” element, not knowing if we’d be able to get them, but seeing the final design it’s hard to imagine it without them. They brought an aspect of authenticity and human touch to the final installations that really made an impact.

What’s up next for you that we should know about?

We are really excited about all of our projects that are works in progress right now- check out our Instagram (@wearefuturestudio) to follow along!