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Lucid Ideas is a group prototype exhibition and competition showcasing the work of designers from Canada and abroad. In partnership between Umbra and DesignTO, this year’s theme explores translucency through concept, material and form.

As a concept, translucency offers ambiguity, a sense of illusion and complexity. As a material, it allows light to pass through, while scattering or reflecting it, to blur or obscure. Through material and form we can use translucent properties to create unique visual outcomes that conceal, diffuse, or reveal. In doing so, twe can engage with dimension and space. From glass and resin to paper and plastic, every material can be manipulated in some way to design what is seen and how it’s perceived. To what extent can the process of obscuring light be transformative? This exhibition highlights various examples of how translucency can be considered in homeware design.

Construction I

Atelier Fomenta
Julia Arvelo, Muriel Bentolila, Florence Barnabé

Construction I is a table lamp handcrafted in Montreal with the collaboration of glass blowers and metal founders. The project emerges from an interest in the daily actions and movements of the crafters, and results in the assembly of a glass blown lampshade, a metallic structure and a casted base.

With a multidisciplinary and multi-scale approach specific to environmental design, Fomenta explores matter through objects, spaces, and installations.

The studio is interested in patina and material memory: what explains the fact that we preserve certain things and how the affect we give to these things can create/form environments of exchange, a history.

The objects that intrigue Fomenta are those that explore different ways of interacting with the body, which lie between the functional and the ironic, between the useful and the sculptural. The studio gives an important place to the methodology of each project, ranging from research and documentation to creation as well as the collaboration with the local craftsmanship. Fomenta investigates the life cycle of the material world and is interested in the origin of materials, as well as the transparency and traceability of its projects.

IRO Table Lamp

Jordi López Aguiló

IRO is an experimental table lamp with a dimmable LED module and a glass spherical reflector. A dichroic film is embedded between the two half spheres, casting different color tones depending on the angle between the film and the lightsource. There are two main spots of light: one projecting a smooth ambient light to the ceiling and a second one that can be oriented freely creating variable chromatic effects and mystical reflections.

Leading KUTARQ studio, architect and designer Jordi López Aguiló designs lighting, objects and furniture with a unique and pragmatic perspective. Each project involves a methodical process that emphasizes both material and research. With the constant challenge of revealing the "soul" behind his objects, he offers their users not just an aesthetic piece but rather a design with personality and a life of its own. After spending time abroad collaborating with prestigious architecture firms in Paris and Copenhagen, he settled down in his home town Valencia where he's been leading his own studio since 2012. His work has been exhibited internationally, including at Milan Design Week, Frankfurt Light & Building, Neocon Chicago, Tokyo Design Week, Stockholm Furniture Fair, Paris Maison & Objet and Seoul Living Design Fair.

Paynes Vase/Organizer

Annaka Hoelk

The Paynes Vase/Organizer takes inspiration from the practical and unassuming material of corrugated plastic, enlarging and translating the basic repetitive form into a refined household object. Made of fogged acrylic, the repeating compartments can be used in an unexpected way to display flowers or as organizational dividers for office goods, tools or makeup brushes. Inspired by Ikebana, the small compartments encourage creative flower arrangements, the perfect shape for a long table centerpiece or perching on a credenza or display shelf. Discreet mounting hardware also provides the option of wall mounting for more adventurous decorators.

Annaka is a recent graduate from Emily Carr University of Art + Design with a BDes in Industrial Design. Her practice includes lighting, furniture, and products and is rooted in simplicity of form, quality of detailing, and a refined approach to color and light. Much of her work is driven by the belief that good design connects us more deeply to our environment, whether built or natural, and strives to enhance this relationship to space.

The Sip Stack

Dom Cheng, Fallon Robar

The Sip Stack is a set of three stackable drinking glasses designed with versatility and playfulness in mind. At first glance, the glasses appear to be classic drinkware, but they hold a secret. When filled with your favorite beverage, their translucent exteriors come to life, revealing secondary interior forms. This transformation not only adds an element of surprise to your drinking experience but also showcases how translucency can be harnessed to unveil hidden surprises within everyday objects. The Sip Stack aims to blur the lines between functionality and artistry, creating a unique and engaging conversation piece for any setting.

NONUMENT is an architecture and design studio founded by Dom Cheng. Our studio is conceived of as a place to work, play, learn and grow without any a priori notions of a destination or particular style. Design, for us, is a collaborative enterprise to create buildings, spaces, objects and everything in between that merge art with use—but never art for art’s sake. Our collective experiences can create new and inventive possibilities.


Hsiao-Chien Hung

As a wall-mounted candle holder, Dowi is thoughtfully designed to address common candle placement concerns. Its ingenious design allows for the detachment of the candle holder from its wall mount, providing a practical solution for optimizing table or desk space. With Dowi, you can elegantly showcase your candles on the wall, eliminating worries about space constraints or accidental spills. This innovative candle holder not only enhances your decor, but also creates additional room for your essential items, all while maintaining a formal and refined aesthetic. Dowi also comes in a table version.

Designer Hsiao-Chien is a product designer from Taiwan, currently based in New York City. With a background in industrial design and a focus on sustainability, she is pursuing a Master's degree at Pratt Institute. Her passion lies in creating products that balance user needs with sustainability. Hsiao-Chien believes that a good design not only serves the functions of its users but also has positive impacts on other stakeholders and the entire environment.

Hairy Lamp

Mark malecki

The Hairy Lamp (2023) is the latest edition piece in a series of metal objects that adorn Malecki’s “hairy” design language created by welding thousands of individual pieces to a skeleton sub frame. The result is an organic texture that is also translucent in dispersing an internal light source.

Mark Malecki is a New York City based contemporary artist and designer whose work primarily focuses on exploring the potential of metal, glass, and other industrial materials as his creative mediums.

His work is characterized by a unique blend of industrial design and artistic expression using various trade techniques to create sculptural, functional objects, and installations.

Malecki's creative process involves a deep understanding of the material he works with, as well as an intuitive approach to form and composition. He explores many ways in which parent materials can be manipulated to produce organic, contemporary forms and textures.

Through his designs, Malecki seeks to challenge conventional notions of beauty and functionality, and to create pieces that are both visually stunning and thought-provoking.


Stephanie Angela Studios
Stephanie Singh

Island is a coffee table that references the island of Jamaica's topography. The table captures the vibrant essence of the island’s culture with plant and botanical waste materials that reflect the designer’s Caribbean childhood. The organic shape of the tabletop and legs mimic the undulating hills and valleys, serving as a cultural mosaic that mirrors Jamaica's lush landscapes. This coffee table isn't just a piece of furniture, it's a sensory experience and personal celebration of Jamaican heritage.

Stephanie Singh is a Toronto-based interdisciplinary textile designer. Currently in her final year of graduate studies at OCAD University in the Master’s of Interdisciplinary Arts, Media, and Design, her work focuses on sustainable one-use plant materials and transforming them into timeless forms.

Drawing inspiration from the beauty and diversity of Caribbean culture and the natural world, her current work pays homage to Jamaican culture and material experience through her childhood, reminding her of the place she calls home. The connections with preserved botanicals, spices, and fruit connect to her relationship with the natural world, exploring memory, love, care, healing and plant consciousness. Through her intricate and visually striking pieces, Stephanie invites viewers on a journey of discovery and delight, where storytelling experiences are captured.


Studio Kenyon Yeh
Kenyon Yeh

Introducing Messhu, a versatile container set featuring two nesting bowls. Constructed from lightweight pressed steel mesh material, Messhu is not only durable but also visually see-through. It is a simple yet inviting accessory that serves as an efficient solution for keeping small items organized stylishly.

Kenyon Yeh currently lives and works in Taiwan, where he produces work for international brands. His design studio focuses on furniture, lighting, product and interior design projects.

His inspirations come from minimizing the outlines of mundane objects and exploring the possibilities of traditional and modern manufacturing techniques. The application of these principles makes his work unique and amiable at the same time.


Lara Knutson Studio
Lara Knutson with Darryl Do, ML Kirchner, Eric Beama and Ravi Varma

Born from Lara Knutson’s graduate thesis at Pratt Institute, Zinnia is a table lamp created with her patented 3-D Light technology, making 3-D bubbles of otherworldly light, where light itself looks like it can be touched. The warmth of the light in contrast to the reflector looks like a floating cloud, evoking awe and wonder. This fixture can be used on a table or bedside.

Lara Knutson is an Artist, Industrial Designer and Architect who lives and works in New York City. She received a master’s degree in Industrial Design and a bachelor’s degree in Architecture from Pratt Institute and believes her work is informed by the interplay of light, space, materials and structure that unite these two disciplines.

Lara’s Soft Glass series is in the permanent collections of the Corning Museum of Glass and the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

Since 2020, Lara has been an Artist Fellow and active member of the National Arts Club.

She is also a Part-Time Faculty member at Parsons School of Design.


Michaela MacLeod & Nicholas Croft

Drawing inspiration from Brutalist architecture, BLOCK 01 juxtaposes its monolithic form and rigid geometry with the ethereal qualities of lightness and transparency inherent in clear acrylic, to create a versatile piece of furniture that can be used as a stool, side table, or object d’art for any home. Its multi-functionality ensures that it can adapt to various roles, from providing extra seating to serving as a convenient surface for everyday items. The piece explores the concept of transparency through its material meaning and viewer expectation. The cylindrical legs are arranged in a quincunx pattern, structurally offering the optimal balanced weight distribution and representing harmony. The work creates a sense of mass through the repetition of clear elements, a layered transparency creating a paradoxical visual experience that challenges the viewer’s perception of solidity and fragility.

Founded by Michaela MacLeod and Nicholas Croft, Polymetis is an art and architecture studio based in Toronto. Polymetis borrows its moniker from a 1755 book; the name roughly translates to “many trades”. This nomenclature is emblematic of their approach, which they conscientiously incorporate into each project. As partners in both life and work, they come together to develop site-specific art, often at the scale of architecture.

Working at the intersection between these traditional disciplines, each project is approached with an awareness of the influences that create our surrounding environment and how those forces may be constructed or controlled to reveal a familiar territory or space from an unusual perspective. The studio's projects focus on experimental production which is core to the work’s ethos.

This year two of their sculptural public artworks that have been featured in DesignLines, Canadian Architect, and Interior Design Magazine.

For the Fan Favourite product design

View the exhibition live in-person at the Umbra Concept Store.

Jan 19 – Feb 16, 2024

165 John Street, Toronto

Design TO is a non-profit arts organization that curates exhibitions, presentations, and educational programming to increase the public’s knowledge and appreciation of design and it’s role in creating a sustainable, just, and joyful world.

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