Pause and Reflect
F&Y is an up-and-coming, multi-disciplinary design studio in Montreal. The name is an amalgam of founders Frédéric Beaubien and Yannic Ryan’s intitials. They define their work as “a search for solutions to the Nordic realities of Quebec life.” The result is pragmatic yet polished beauty. F&Y pieces range from handcrafted wooden handlebars for bikes to this Miroir console originally custom-built for a Montreal salon. Channelling Bauhaus and Art Deco while combining organic materials of concrete, wood, metal and, of course, glass, the standalone mirror works as a reflective spot and practical console in any space.
Design-world icon Karim Rashid (who studied industrial design at Carleton University in Ottawa and holds an honorary doctorate from OCAD University in Toronto) has incorporated mirrors throughout his pluralist creations – some 3,000 designs in production, with more than 300 awards. “The potential is endless, and mirrors are endless, and the complexity of finishes, surface treatments, colours and tints is very inspiring,” he’s said of the reflective material. In his Dawn to Dusk collection of furniture, created for Italian manufacturer Antique Mirror, a series of curvilinear “islands” (ottomans or tables) are wrapped or topped in a dizzying array of mirrors to reflect their surroundings.
Divide and Conquer
Mirrors have a curious duality in that they seem transparent while being solid, and this Roaring Twenties room divider expands and extends a space while effectively sectioning it off – with some serious retro glamour. Designer Janette Ewen (who grew up in Ontario and now divides her time between Toronto and California) created the piece as part of a collection for Montreal design house Mobilia, mixing gleaming marble and mirrors to reflect the Art Deco era’s reputation for opulence and excess. “It’s a nod to nostalgia without being too literal,” says Ewen of the vintage-inspired mirrored collection.
Conjuring up the dark depths of a fairy-tale mirror on the wall, Castor Design’s Black Mirrors have a magical quality. With a black-tint finish and black powder-coated spun-metal back, the mirrors seem to hover off the wall and allude to another dimension. It’s a telltale space between art and design for Castor Design’s award-winning Toronto design team – the joint force of architectural stone carver Brian Richer and trained architect/set designer Kei Ng.
Poetic value is inherent in all the work of Canadian-born and world-renowned architect Frank Gehry, from the iconic Guggenheim Museum Bilbao to this Pito kettle designed for Alessi. Diminutive in comparison to the Pritzker Prize winner’s grand architectural masterpieces, the gleaming kettle retains and reiterates the same curvaceous and sculptural mirrored surface of Gehry’s most recognizable buildings. In mirror-like polished stainless steel with a mahogany cap and fish-shaped handle, it produces a melody, inspiring its name: Pito is Spanish for whistle.
Everyone could use a vide-poche. French for “empty pocket,” it’s the term for a dish or container that serves as a catch-all. Set on a dresser or desktop, the Elli mirror is just that – a pretty place to collect and reflect everyday items. The playful blush-hued mirror is one of several designed by Vancouver duo Knauf and Brown. D Calen Knauf and Conrad Brown are skateboard buddies who started their studio while at Emily Carr University of Art and Design. They have become known for their stripped-down, irreverent pieces – even making an appearance at Maison & Objet in Paris.