The Chair­men of COFO

Designlines - - Stuff -

Meet lo­cal de­sign stu­dio COFO. Helmed by Des­mond Chan (left) and Randy Sim­men (right), COFO (short for “Co­founders”) in­tro­duces Cana­dian-made home fur­nish­ings by emerg­ing de­sign­ers to the mar­ket. The goal is to cham­pion home­grown ta­lent and in­no­va­tion, and to in­tro­duce ex­cep­tional pieces – not mass-pro­duced or ex­pend­able ones – to the com­pet­i­tive world of re­tail.

This is how it works: first, young de­sign­ers an­swer COFO’S an­nual call for sub­mis­sions by send­ing in their plans for orig­i­nal home fur­nish­ings. COFO eval­u­ates these, picks its favourites and col­lab­o­ra­tively fine-tunes the de­signs through a se­ries of re­vi­sions and pro­to­types. The fi­nal it­er­a­tions are fab­ri­cated from pre­mium ma­te­ri­als in a man­u­fac­tur­ing fa­cil­ity just out­side the city. The prod­ucts are then sold on­line through COFO’S shop with a per­cent­age of the prof­its turned over to the de­signer.

COFO launched last year with one prod­uct in­tro­duc­tion (the Roque chair), and re­cently upped the ante by pro­duc­ing an­other six.

Check out the full col­lec­tion on­line or, even bet­ter, come see some of the pieces in per­son at De­sign­lines’ In­te­rior De­sign Show booth (from Jan­uary 17 to 20 at the Metro Toronto Con­ven­tion Cen­tre). And for those of you keen on col­lab­o­ra­tion and itch­ing to see your fur­ni­ture draw­ings come to life, en­ter COFO’S 2019 de­sign chal­lenge by Fe­bru­ary 28 on­line at co­fode­sign.com. BY TORY HEALY 

From left: 49 North lounge chair and ot­toman by Kenny Nguyen and Ian Buck­ley, Gar­cia coat rack by Mary Anne Gar­cia, Cinch stool by Lu­cas Stanois, and Roque chair by Tr­ish Roque.

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