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A0 Perimeter Series

Mason Studio partnered with communication firm ALSO Collective to create a creative joint force called A0. The studios share philosophies of design, but originate from two distinct practices; ALSO occupies a space in digital media and graphic design, while Mason inhabits the space of environments and interiors.

 A0 represents a shift in the boundaries of design, offering a space where two, three and four dimensions cohabitate and coalesce into a hybrid design practice.

In 2014, A0 organized a series of panel discussion drawing hundreds of audience members to engage in critical discourse between industry, public and students. It was the interest of A0 to create a dialogue connecting different realms to instigate new ideas. The first three topics of discussion were:

  • Hybrid Design: Collaboration in Practice, at Ryerson University
  • Public and Community Engagement Through Design, at University of Toronto
  • Design and National Identity, at Design Exchange

The third talk of the series, Design and National Identity, drew a crowd of hundreds to participate with the distinguished panel including Dr. Michael Prokopow (OCAD University), Vanessa Eckstein (BLOK Design), Todd Falkowsky (Canadian Design Resource) and Catherine Osborne (Azure Magazine). The event was moderated by Design Exchange president Shauna Levy.

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MSDS

While the spaces that Mason Studio creates inform the type of objects that reside within, the inverse is also accurate whereby objects can lend guidance to the formation of the environment. In the later, the space becomes a backdrop to the voice of the object, highlighting the skill, craft and talent of the object’s maker.

In the case for Mason Studio’s Andaz Hotel, the Hyatt brand boutique hotel in Ottawa’s Byward Market, the objects specified from Canadian makers helped to inform the spatial design. The Toronto-based furniture and product designers, MSDS Studio, were an inspiration to the considered and carefully deliberated interiors.

Each of the 200 suites carry the Ladder Light by Jessica Nakanishi, and the Fewer Than 3 table by Jonathan Sabine. In mid-2016, the Andaz hotel will open to the public and show to international guests the strength and versatility of Canadian design talent, including that of MSDS Studio.

To learn more about their work, visit msds-studio.ca or info@msds-studio.ca

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ALSO Collective

Mason Studio has been fortunate to meet many organizations that share similar values, principles and approaches. These relationships have been invaluable to the Studio’s continual growth, learning and development. A particularly significantly bond was formed with Antonio Lennert and Symon Oliver after being captivated by the pair’s natural catalytic ability.  Together, they lead the Toronto-based design practice ALSO Collective, a multi-disciplinary communication studio exploring traditional design approaches and topics through design research and experimentation.


A union was since formed with the Collective to develop self-driven exploration projects including a site-specific installation for Toronto’s Gladstone Hotel and a series of discussion panels aimed to engage the general public with critical design discourse. Hundreds of participants attended the discussions.

In part recent discussions, Antonio and Symon tell Mason Studio, “We had said before that Toronto is a blank slate, and now is a good time to test out new models of a creative community. Let’s establish connections between the various professions that intersect with design. Let’s strengthen the ties between academia, art, design, and community initiatives. And let’s support each other to build a solid community. We are the future of Canadian design, and it is up to us to shape it collectively.”

Thank you to Antonio Lennert and Symon Oliver for their continued contributions to Mason Studio. They are invaluable and instrumental part of the community.  To learn more about ALSO Collective, visit their website at alsocollective.com or email at collaborate@alsocollective.com

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IIDEX Panel Discussion

During Toronto’s industry trade show IIDEX 2014, Mason Studio partner, Stanley Sun, was a panelist for the discussion revolving around research on the millennial generation in relation to home and work environments. There is controversy behind the accuracy and validity of some published articles so the panel was formed to counter and support the research to determine where further investigation is required for suitable application.

Joined by a panel consisting of Annie Bergeron (Design Director, Gensler), Kevin Rauch (Co-founder, hitplay) and moderator Zahra Ebrahim (Principal, archiTEXT), the key questions were:

How are Millennials and their relationship with their technology influencing the built environment today and into the future?  

What do organizations interested in attracting and retaining millennials - as employees or tenants - need to know about the behaviours, preferences, and expectations of this rising virtual generation, especially as it pertains to the architecture and interior design of the physical spaces in which they work and live?

Photograph: Yianni Tong.

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AZ Awards

For one night only, Mason Studio created a pop-up installation for Azure Magazine’s Annual ‘AZ Awards,’ held at the historic Evergreen Brickworks event space. The installation filled the ten-thousand square foot space with whimsical inflatable sculptures that swayed in the open-air, captivating the energy of the crowds and activating the otherwise derelict environment. The sculptures were crafted of four-foot wide by eight-foot-long white industrial bags bound together and inflated to create star-like forms suspended at variable heights.

Installed in the span of twelve hours, and disassembled in less than two, the installation responds to the spontaneity of the evening and celebratory air of the ambiance.

Photograph: Peter Sellar

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TO DO Designer Drinks

Join the Toronto Design Offsite Festival (TO DO) and Mason Studio for the second edition of TO DO Designer Drinks on Tuesday August 2, 2016, from 6pm-9pm at Northwood.

TO DO Designer Drinks is an informal networking event taking place every first Tuesday of the month. Come have a drink and get to know Mason Studio and other members of Toronto's design community.

When: Tuesday, August 2, 2016 from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM (EDT)
Where: Northwood - 815 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M6G 1M1

*This is a free event with a cash bar. Please RSVP.

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