February 11th, 2009 | Darrell Corriveau
Held at the Gladstone Hotel from February 5 to 8, Come Up to My Room is an exhibition showcasing compelling alternative design from Canada and around the world. Many of the rooms, usually reserved for paying customers, are converted to design and art installations.
Standouts included a room designed and constructed by Studio Junction Inc. that featured a drop ceiling and a room-length, floor-to-ceiling bench all constructed with narrow slats of wood in varying hues. Strategically placed backlighting gave the room a warm glow that evoked a calming Nordic sauna.
The Inside Out House was a project by Laura McKibbon and Jasna Sokolovic. A bathroom transformed into a postmodern fairytale with trees, grass and moss overflowing the sink, toilet and bathtub, amongst which sat a variety of red ceramic birds. Glittering plastic stars dangling from the ceiling added to the surreal effect.
Perhaps my favorite (pictured above) was a simple concept by duo Matt Carr – who is Director of Design at Umbra – and Joyce Lo that used common rope lights from Home Depot to spell “cant get enough” on the walls. Attached to strings dangling from the ceiling were a series of small metal-rimmed ‘peepholes’ that when spied through, rendered the points of light as small glowing hearts – cleverly completing the phrase.