‘Work/Life’ is an annual exhibition that explores new prototypes for contemporary life, showcasing the work of ten Canadian designers and studios including Annie Tung Creative, Castor Design, Department of Unusual Certainties, Joseph Zhuang, Keillor MacLeod, Mezzaluna Studio, Mickey LaForge, Plural, Radical Norms, and Studio Node.
Prototypes respond to how half of the world’s population now lives in urban centres where real estate is expensive and space is hard to come by. In Toronto alone, average condo sizes have shrunk by over 100 square feet over the last ten years. This has resulted in a trend toward making small spaces more livable and efficient. At the same time, the nature of and ways to work have changed drastically. We no longer work 9-5 in standard office spaces. For the knowledge industry, co-working spaces, home offices, and digital spaces have proliferated. The boundaries between work, home, and “life” are hard to define.
‘Work/Life’ is organized by DesignTO in partnership with Umbra. A jury will recognize best-in-show with a Best Product award and a cash prize. Visitors to the exhibition will be able to cast their vote to award Fan Favourite.
In 2020, Umbra will be celebrating its 40th Anniversary.
With headquarters based in Toronto, Canada, Umbra is a global design and manufacturer of original modern products for the home that are functional, affordable, and casual in attitude. Their products can be found in over 120 countries in leading retail stores, hotels, and e-commerce sites.
Umbra was founded by boyhood friends, Les Mandelbaum and Paul Rowan, with the launch of a single-window shade first designed, produced and sold in late 1979, and incorporated in Toronto in 1980. At that time, modern design did not extend to everyday home items such as window treatments, trash cans, clocks, photo frames, and kitchen, bath and furniture accessories. With fresh ideas and creative minds, Umbra brought its innovative designs to a variety of rooms in people’s homes throughout the world.
Umbra remains able to pursue its mission of constantly and consistently creating exciting and affordable products by staying privately owned and operated. This has allowed them to adapt with the changing channels and environmental concerns that their customers value, while remaining true to their founding principles.