De­sign at the Peak

West­ern Liv­ing shines a light on the mak­ers of Al­berta at our IDS Van­cou­ver show­case, Al­berta RE­de­FINED.

Western Living - - CONTENTS - BY ANICKA QUIN Visit WL’s Al­berta RE­de­FINED at IDS Van­cou­ver from Septem­ber 20 to 23, van­cou­­te­ri­orde­sign­

We’re shin­ing a light on the mak­ers of Al­berta as part of our IDS Van­cou­ver show­case.

When we de­cided we wanted to spot­light Al­berta mak­ers for our show­case at In­te­rior De­sign Show Van­cou­ver this year, I knew de­signer Kevin Mitchell would be the per­fect fit to cu­rate and cre­ate the space for us. You’ll likely rec­og­nize his colour­ful and of­ten play­ful de­signs from past West­ern Liv­ing issues ( he once pa­pered an en­tire en­suite, ceil­ings and all, in sil­ver leaf)—and his pro­file in 2015 as our Robert Led­ing­ham Memo­rial Award win­ner for an emerg­ing in­te­rior de­signer. He loves de­sign that tells a good story, and he’s some­one that pays at­ten­tion to the bur­geon­ing maker scenes in Cal­gary and Ed­mon­ton that are grab­bing at­ten­tion on the in­ter­na­tional stage, too. And, no sur­prise, he’s come up with both a clever and el­e­gant de­sign for the show­case. “I was try­ing to be dis­tinctly Al­ber­tan without putting a flag on it,” says Mitchell, who runs Mitchell De­sign House. “I wanted to show the world what we have to of­fer. Al­berta’s known for white cow­boy hats and oil—no one thinks there’s any­thing de­sign­erly in the Prairies. But these peo­ple are putting Al­berta on the map.” Ini­tially, Mitchell scrib­bled out ideas on a piece of paper and drew the shape of the prov­ince as

door in the wall, but he thought the amount of walls might block the views to the work inside. When he held the paper off the ta­ble, a eureka mo­ment hit him: why not hor­i­zon­tal in­stead? It was a sub­tle homage to the prov­ince and al­lowed for more vis­i­bil­ity to what was inside.

Es­sen­tially, guests in the show­case will be walk­ing into a piece of Al­berta—the space it­self de­signed as the shape of the prov­ince, right down to the faceted wall that rep­re­sents its moun­tain­ous bor­der with B.C. ( We’re also work­ing with Ni­cholas Hill of Ritchie Cus­tom Homes to build the space—bring­ing this vi­sion to per­fect fruition).

Within that ter­ri­tory, the eight de­sign­ers’ work will be treated with gallery-like re­spect, show­cased on plinths through­out the room. “It’s a lit­tle more so­phis­ti­cated than the typ­i­cal hay bales and fences,” he laughs.

De­signer Kevin Mitchell of Mitchell De­sign House

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