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Toronto architects create pavilions for 2016 Monogram Dinner by Design


February 24, 2016
by Elsa Lam

The second annual Monogram® Dinner by Design presented by Caesarstone served up a unique design and décor exhibit in support of two worthy causes: AIDS hospice Casey House and the Design Exchange.

Taking place from January 19-24, the event provided an opportunity for designers to curate a three-dimensional dining exhibit to showcase their style, taste and personality—an unusual and exciting task for architects. These pavilions were installed at the Design Exchange, where invited guests attended an intimate, seated dinner within each creation, after which the event was opened for public viewing. 

“Design Exchange believes that the most groundbreaking innovation comes through a multidisciplinary approach, and that long gone are the days of working in silos”, explains Shauna Levy, President and CEO. “With each project we do, we endeavour to assemble the best and brightest creatives in the city- which means a mix of disciplines, experience and aesthetic. For Monogram Dinner by Design presented by Caesarstone, we were thrilled to be working with firms like Moriyama & Teshima and architectsAlliance as it provided us with an opportunity to feature firms of international acclaim alongside emerging contemporaries.”

Here’s a selection of the architect-designed installations:

Monogram Dinner by Design. Toronto, ON, Canada. Jan 20, 2016. (Image: Ryan Emberley)

Monogram Dinner by Design. Toronto, ON, Canada. Jan 20, 2016. (Image: Ryan Emberley)

architectsAlliance

Our concept embodies the conviction that design can express a profound sense of connection, through the language of form, structure, light and colour (or its absence). Eating together is an intimate act. When we gather around the dining table, we are family. We celebrate connections – enduring or fleeting – at the same time sensing those who are not at the table with us. Our pavilion is an idealized sheltering space with an enveloping embrace at its heart.

The Monday before our installation, we heard the news that David Bowie had died. Bowie was iconic and iconoclastic, elegant and transgressive, a master thief and utterly original. His work spanned art, fashion and design, gender identity and sexual orientation; he embodied so much of what our creative community reveres. We decided that the heart of our space would honour this remarkable artist. A clear, globular vessel spills forth a rainbow of Bowie song lyrics, folded into a familiar ribbon-form—our tribute to the Starman.

Monogram Dinner by Design. Toronto, ON, Canada. Jan 20, 2016. (Image: Ryan Emberley)

Monogram Dinner by Design. Toronto, ON, Canada. Jan 20, 2016. (Image: Ryan Emberley)

Moriyama + Teshima

The installation is inspired by the stories of remarkable dining experiences that were transformed when the weather turned. Two different memories where the weather drew strangers closer, released inhibitions, highlighted the land and transformed the meal into an extraordinary theatre. The concept is that of a dream-like shelter, evoking the spirit of a simple outdoor room formed by the atmosphere and the environment. At its centre is an invitation to dine, an idealized picnic table in the soft grass, decorated only with glowing paper bags, a reference to sharing a bag lunch in the park at a communal table. As the diners make their way through the sheet of rain, they find that the form of the space is more organic and the room is basked in a warm sheltering light that appears to part the rain. The light shifts slowly throughout the meal arcing though warm pale yellows to the rich amber hues of a sunset.

Monogram Dinner by Design. Toronto, ON, Canada. Jan 20, 2016. (Image: Ryan Emberley)

Monogram Dinner by Design. Toronto, ON, Canada. Jan 20, 2016. (Image: Ryan Emberley)

Gensler

Dynamic, infinite, minimal: Gensler’s design concept is based on creating a unique, dynamic dining experience for the future, where space is made of energy and light.

Monogram Dinner by Design. Toronto, ON, Canada. Jan 20, 2016. (Image: Ryan Emberley)

Monogram Dinner by Design. Toronto, ON, Canada. Jan 20, 2016. (Image: Ryan Emberley)

Bortolotto

Density, Vertigo, Periphery: Dining on the Periphery places the pristine and articulated practice of dining amidst the ever rising construction site of the city’s skyline.

Monogram Dinner by Design. Toronto, ON, Canada. Jan 20, 2016. (Image: Ryan Emberley)

Monogram Dinner by Design. Toronto, ON, Canada. Jan 20, 2016. (Image: Ryan Emberley)

Design Agency

Experiential, Whimsical, and Contemplative: Mirrored reflections allow diners to experience many other angles of each other, while the historical and futuristic design elements reinforce the experiential sense of reflection, encouraging diners to contemplate both past, present and future.