The exhibition for the Emerging Designer Competition celebrates the future of Canadian design. Following a Canada-wide call, more than 80 creatives in such disciplines as fashion, product design, architecture, interior design, product design and graphic design submitted outstanding work to an esteemed jury that included Douglas Coupland, Heather Reisman and Marcel Wanders.

This national initiative seeks to provide a platform for up-and-coming Canadian designers representing all design disciplines to receive recognition and exposure, and showcase Canada’s diverse talent. From February 21 to April 1, DX exhibits selected works by the winner, the Caesarstone People's Choice Winner and the winners in each category, that together represent the best in emerging Canadian talent.











Left to right:

Mason Studio (Toronto, ON); Jeremy Couture (Quebec City, QC); Ross Milne (Vancouver, BC); Jennifer Thorogood (Montreal, QC); Emery Norton (Toronto, ON); Lukas Peet (Vancouver, BC); Guillaume Noiseux (Montreal, QC); Roxanne Leger (Montreal, QC); Knauf and Brown (Vancouver, BC); Brandon Bergem (Winnipeg, MB); TREATY (Toronto, ON); The Alleles (Medicine Hat, AB); and Wendy W. Fok (Vancouver BC)

Finalists were selected by the first panel of industry judges, John Tong (+tongtong); Omer Arbel (Bocci/Omer Arbel Office); Philippe Meunier (Sid Lee); Sunny Fong (VAWK); and Patty Johnson (Patty Johnson Design), thus concluding the first phase of the two-stage judging process. Finalists now have two opportunities to win; the final review panel, comprised of design and business heavyweights Marcel Wanders, Heather Reisman, and Douglas Coupland; and the Caesarstone People's Choice Award chosen by YOU!


The Emerging Designer Competition jury is comprised of design and business heavy weights and will be judged in two stages.




Douglas Coupland (Novelist, Visual Artist and Designer)

A Canadian novelist, visual artist and designer, Douglas is unafraid to embrace a range of creative outlets to express his ideas. He has published 13 novels, a collection of short stories, seven nonfiction books, and a number of dramatic works and screenplays for film and television. He has also designed several works of public art throughout Canada. In 1998 he designed a furniture line produced by Pure Design, and in 2010 he collaborated with Roots Canada on a fashion collection consisting of clothing, furniture, art, sculpture, retail spaces, and an installation in the Colette boutique in Paris.



Heather Reisman (Indigo Book + Music)

Heather Reisman is the founder, Chair and CEO of Indigo Books & Music Inc., Canada’s largest book, gift and specialty toy retailer, and co-founder of Kobo, a leading global eReading company.  For much of her life, Heather has had a true passion for the world of design – engaging both professionally and personally with leading interior and graphic designers and architects whenever the opportunity has been present.



Marcel Wanders (Marcel Wanders Studio NL)

Marcel Wanders is a product and interior designer who drew international recognition for his Knotted Chair produced by Droog Design in 1996. His work is ubiquitous; he designs for leading international companies such as Flos, Alessi, Puma, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, MAC Cosmetics, Cappellini, B&B Italia, Moroso and Target. Wanders also designs for architectural projects, such as the Kameha Grand hotel in Bonn, the Mondrian South Beach hotel in Miami, the Villa Moda store in Bahrain and the Andaz Amsterdam. In addition to running his studio, Wanders is co-founder and Artistic Director of the successful design label Moooi (2001).




John Tong (+tongtong)

John has won numerous design awards and earned international recognition. His work has been featured in publications and books and has exhibited at the Venice Biennale, MOMA, CAA in Montreal, Design Exchange and The Interior Design Show. He is on the advisory board for Institute without Boundaries and on the board of directors for The Toronto Theatre Centre. Prior to establishing +tongtong, John was designer and co founding principal of the design firm 3rd Uncle design inc. from 1993 to 2012.



Omer Arbel (Bocci/Omer Arbel Office)

Arbel acts as Creative Director for the Design and Manufacturing company Bocci. Bocci’s focus is to develop open ended manufacturing procedures derived from material properties and fabrication methodology, resulting in different form in each iteration of the procedure.

Both companies have achieved near instant critical and commercial success, and position Arbel as a young voice within the international design community.



Patty Johnson (Patty Johnson Design)

Patty Johnson is a Canadian designer who is interested in the interchange between research, design, commerce and culture. She collaborates with start-ups, manufacturers, governments, and other designers in creating unique design programs and product collections. Although based in Toronto, she has expanded her studio to combine the strengths of complimentary groups to build new linkages, new cultures and new ideas.



Philippe Meunier (Sid Lee)

As co-founder and Creative Chief of Sid Lee, Philippe oversees all the creative output for major international clients including adidas, Cirque du Soleil and Red Bull. His diverse role also involves recruiting fresh talent from schools around the world. These experiences inspired Philippe to set up The Bootcamp—a multidisciplinary, creative experience where recruits spend 10 days immersed in all things creative.



Sunny Fong (VAWK)

In 2004, Fong launched his label VAWK, based on the phonetic spelling of a Sanskrit word meaning ‘of divine creativity,’ with the intent to create a luxury women’s wear line exclusively hand crafted in Canada. His ability to conceptualize ideas, emotions and stories on paper and translate them into a collection was met with praise for its exquisite tailoring, strong silhouettes and the intricacy of detailing throughout the line showcasing in fashion shows. Currently selling in The Room, at The Bay, VAWK continues to impress with its exquisite detail as a hand crafted Canadian luxury brand.


Clarification Regarding the Terms of the Emerging Designer Competition

Design Exchange would like to issue the following clarification regarding the terms and conditions of the Emerging Designer Competition:

Neither Design Exchange nor our funding partner RBC will ever sell an entrant's submitted work for profit without providing notice to the entrant, obtaining permission from the entrant, and, if permitted by the entrant, providing any mutually agreed upon compensation to the entrant.

However, submitted entries may be used in connection with promotional activities, including promotion of the Emerging Designer Competition, or for soliciting and obtaining donations so that Design Exchange may continue to pursue its charitable purposes.

Design Exchange genuinely appreciates any comments and feedback with respect to its programs and activities.

Please contact us with questions or comments at info@dx.org


For more information please contact the competition coordinator at 416.216.2138 or education@dx.org


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