The 10th annual DesignTO Awards, presented by Yabu Pushelberg, recognize design excellence at the DesignTO Festival, Canada’s leading and largest annual design festival that celebrates design as a multidisciplinary form of creative thinking and making. Featuring the work of hundreds of designers each year, the Festival showcases locally made furniture, lighting, products, graphic and experiential design, interiors and architecture, accessories, ceramics, and more.
The Festival emphasizes collaboration and the expression of personal values and identities through the creative process. The DesignTO Awards celebrates the talent, expression, and diversity of designers from Toronto and abroad.
Anya Georgijevic, writer and designer
Anya Georgijevic (BFA, MA) is a design writer and fashion designer based in Toronto. Her bylines have appeared in magazines such as ELLE Canada and FASHION, as well as top newspapers, including The Globe and Mail and Toronto Star. She studied fine arts at the Alberta University of the Arts and Yale University, architecture at the University of British Columbia, and fashion at Ryerson University. She recently launched a line of sustainable, made in Canada resortwear, Anushka.
Bahar Ghaemi, Creative Director of Products, Yabu Pushelberg
Bahar Ghaemi establishes the strategy and creative vision of Yabu Pushelberg’s Product Design department. Working closely with the Founding Partners, Bahar leads the growth of the studio’s furniture and product divisions through identifying, interpreting, and translating creative ideas into tangible goods which reflect the Yabu Pushelberg brand.
Trained at OCAD University in graphic and furniture design, Bahar has a deep interest in understanding how people see and interact with the world. Infusing personality and charm into each touchpoint of her work, she brings people and their environments closer together. As Yabu Pushelberg conceived their product sector of the business, Bahar began as an intern post-graduation, working her way to becoming the department lead and onward to Yabu Pushelberg’s Creative Director of Products. Today, the department designs bespoke pieces for the studio’s international portfolio while crafting collections for the world’s most notable furniture brands, including Molteni&C, B&B Italia, Salvatori, and Ligne Roset.
Sylvia Lee, Creative and Executive Director, Jeff Goodman Studio
Sylvia Lee is a Toronto-based, interdisciplinary designer who specializes in glass design. With over 20 years of experience, she has contributed her talent and leadership to multiple design studios and global projects. She currently leads Sylvia Lee Design, her own platform producing lighting and installation work, and remains the creative and executive director of Jeff Goodman Studio. Her work exploring how glass can live within the built environment has been featured in media outlets around the world.
Marcia MacDonald, Senior Creative Director, Yabu Pushelberg
Marcia MacDonald has worked at Yabu Pushelberg for over 20 years and has contributed to producing iconic, award-winning retail and hospitality projects around the world including La Samaritaine, Alila Napa Valley, Moxy Times Square, Arbor, goop MRKT, Ports 1961, and Waldorf Astoria Beijing, among many others.
In her current role as Senior Creative Director of Yabu Pushelberg, Marcia leads the studio’s interiors practice in collaboration with the Founding Partners and guides the design team concepts, schematic design, and final direction for all design elements. She ensures the creative vision and quality of Yabu Pushelberg projects are maintained with clarity and care.
With a naturally curious mind, Marcia is inspired by regional handicraft, beauty in materials and exploring ways to infuse the spirit of these crafts into Yabu Pushelberg projects to create authentic and thoughtful spaces to enrich the personal experience. Through this creative lens, Marcia has introduced a use of materials with profound detailing and an honest approach to her work. She is a graduate of Sheridan College’s Interior Design program and a passionate nature and traditional crafts enthusiast.
Samira Matan, designer and researcher
With an intense enthusiasm for equity, people, and culture, Samira Matan (she/her) is a Canadian human-centered designer and design researcher based in Dakar, Senegal. Her interdisciplinary background in sociocultural anthropology, health sciences, and design strategy has allowed her to work across tech and social impact projects in Canada, Germany, and Africa. She is guided by a deep understanding of the communities she works in and with. In 2020, Samira and her classmates at the Institute without Boundaries won the DesignTO Best in Festival: Juror’s Choice for Community Wellbeing Award for the Ethical Smart City Exhibition Playroom.TO.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we ask that 2022 DesignTO Festival participants who wish to be considered for an Award submit an application to the jury. The deadline to apply is Wednesday, February 2, 2022.
Vote for your favourites in four People’s Choice categories by January 31, 2022.
The 10th annual DesignTO Awards are presented by Yabu Pushelberg.