Group of Eight

Our top eight cover contest finalists epitomize all that’s incredible in design — they’re diverse, passionate, stylish and they consistently strive for perfection in their work. Meet this impressive group.

Our top eight cover contest finalists epitomize all that’s incredible in design — they’re diverse, passionate, stylish and they consistently strive for perfection in their work. Meet this impressive group.

Daniel Mazzone, Artist

ON MY STYLE. Well, my style sort of came from when I was a child. I did artwork with my mom, as she was a stained-glass artist. I created my own style of artwork.

ON GOOD ADVICE. The best advice I would give to anyone in any business is to never look back. And don’t listen to anyone negative.

ON PRIDE IN WORK. I’m proud of all my pieces. They are all a story in my journey; they’re all a piece of my soul.

ON CURRENT PROJECTS. I’m making a 14- foot piece about children being superheroes of the future. Without strong minds our future is doomed. They are our only hope!

Garth Brennan, Eventscape Inc

ON MY BACKGROUND. Years ago, I was fortunate enough to realize that I didn’t really fit into most typical career paths. I was very creative with a strong entrepreneurial background. I grew up as a DJ and I was always impressed with the large-scale installations at con- certs and electronic events. So, I adapted from the music scene into creating temporary installations for special events and trade shows 26 years ago, with the start of Eventscape.

What started off as a small home-based events business has now grown to employ 160 people with design and fabrication facilities in Toronto and New York City. We work at the very highest levels of custom architectural design/build with thousands of installations worldwide and hundreds of awards.

I have surrounded myself with creativity and innovation. I was bored with conventional thinking and traditional methods of design and fabrication. Eventscape has evolved into a “go-to” resource for architects and designers
who want to push the boundaries of design.
We have created an environment that allows designers to build unique, bespoke creations at any scale utilizing virtually any material.

ON GOOD ADVICE. Always make your future brighter than your past; keep evolving and embrace change.

ON PRIDE IN WORK. I’m so proud of the fact that I’m able to go to work each day in an environment that is stimulating, filled with talented designers and craftspeople working with our clients to build truly unique, one-of-a-kind features. I love that we have created this high-end architectural toy factory where talented people collaborate to build extraordinary installations. What we do as a team is far greater than any one of us could ever do individually.

ON CURRENT PROJECTS. We are working on several very exciting projects! Here are just a few of our most recent collaborations: Lincoln Center in New York with Diamond Schmitt Architects; The Pearl Hotel and Spa in Ontario with Studio Munge; and The Hudson in Detroit with SHoP Architects.

Calland Lee and Steen Lin, 2 Pir Design

ON OUR STYLE. With adapting styles from classic traditional to contemporary, practicing refined detailing, symmetry and carefully framed proportions, our work has been seen in more than 35 cities around the world. Our hands-on design experience includes luxury hotel brands, such as Four Seasons, Hilton, Mandarin Oriental, Park Hyatt, Peninsula, Shangri-La, Umari Casa, W, Waldorf Astoria, and other luxury retailers like Lane Crawford, Printemps and Tiffany. We deliver a holistic story for each of our projects from architectural, interior, furniture and lifestyle accessories. Our work has won and been honoured in numerous international awards such as — IIDA Global Excellence Awards, The International Hotel & Property Awards, Interior Design Magazine Best of year (BOY) awards, Hospitality Design Awards, Ahead Awards and Restaurant & Bar Design Awards.

ON GOOD ADVICE. Design the space for yourself. Understand the trend but don’t follow trends, go with your instinct and design the unique space that truly speaks to you. Definitely make sure to include any form of art to bring character to your space.

ON PRIDE IN WORK. While working with numerous hotel brands and developments for clients, we had the opportunity to create our own boutique hotel brand, Umari Casa, believing in the power of nature to transform the soul and regenerate the mind; designed to capture the essence of a home, alongside with the furniture and accessories for the brand, Umari Soul.

ON CURRENT PROJECTS. Currently we have ongoing projects both in Canada and overseas. For something close by in Toronto, we are working on a classic luxury estate home in York Mills with Toronto architect Richard Wengle; for something exotic, we are designing a contemporary waterfront beach house two hours south of São Paulo, Brazil, which we are super excited about!

Mani Jassal, Fashion Designer

ON MY STYLE. The Mani Jassal brand is a luxury evening wear and bridal brand from Toronto that I started in 2014. I design for rebellious women. I allow women to express their strength and choices through design.
The use of unorthodox cuts and design choices sets my brand apart. The brand operates as one that belongs neither in one market or the other, but rather in a self-developed niche for women who wish to dress in comfort and modernity, without abandoning their cultural identities.

ON GOOD ADVICE. Be true to yourself.

ON PRIDE IN WORK. I’m proud of the way I have been able to showcase my culture in my clothing and make it more mainstream.

ON CURRENT PROJECTS. I’m working on a new ready-to-wear collection that launches in October. This is a first for my brand.

Zach Goldstein, Greengold Construction

ON MY BACKGROUND. I was exposed to the world of construction and design at a very young age, thanks to my mother, a high-end custom homebuilder/designer, and my father, a commercial/residential developer. This early exposure had a profound effect and instilled in me a passion for the industry and for all things beautifully built. My passion and extensive experience in the industry allow me to provide both the analytical and creative thinking required to bring my clients’ vision to life. I place a focus on really understanding and getting to know my clients — their tastes, aspirations and vision to ensure that the spaces and homes I create reflect
the personality and aesthetic of the people who dwell within then. I am bullish on details and take great pride in ensuring every last one is taken into consideration during the design and build phase.

ON GOOD ADVICE. Have patience. It takes time and understanding to bring a vision to life. You need to be prepared to pause and think about all of the details and nuances that are going to make it truly special, unique and, most importantly, functional.

ON PRIDE IN WORK. I am most proud of the relationships I have fostered with clients and partners in the industry. Honesty and integrity is paramount to me and my focus has always been on building relationships based on trust and respect. I take great pride in building one of the most sacred spaces for people in their everyday lives.

ON CURRENT PROJECTS. We have some really special projects on the go with some pretty phenomenal clients — they have been in the works for the last few years, and I am excited to reveal them soon and have our clients finally move into their dream homes.

Ali Budd, Ali Budd Interiors

ON MY STYLE. We are a proud team of artists, businesswomen, project managers and interior stylists — united in our passion for bringing our clients’ dream spaces to life. We take a holistic approach to design and pride ourselves on creating unique spaces tailored to our clients’ needs and individual tastes.

We live and breathe our design philosophy of “beautifully functional, functionally beautiful,” which translates in our diverse profile of projects, all of which are always completely personalized, luxurious and liveable.

ON GOOD ADVICE. I’ve learned a lot along the way, but the best piece of design advice I’ve received is: Start with a plan. Starting with a plan ensures that you consider every detail and setting direction from the outset will help keep you organized and effective.

Also, when in doubt, use a fresh coat of white paint.

ON PRIDE IN WORK. I’m proud of everything we’ve accomplished to date, but mostly my team. They are incredibly hard-working and thoughtful about all the little details that go into making a project a success. I’m also proud of the diversity in our portfolio. If you look at our projects, you’ll find everything from classic to modern to eclectic. We do it all.

ON CURRENT PROJECTS. I get excited about every project we get to work on. They’re all so special to me. So much work, love and pride goes into each piece of work we put out and it’s always fun to wit- ness our clients’ reactions after they’ve seen the final transformation. I also love that we get to work with clients located at our home base in Toronto, and in other cities across North America. Each client is so unique; getting to know and work with so many incredible individuals excites me and keeps us inspired.

Peter Triantos, Artist

ON MY STYLE. I’m an international artist. I left my job at 47 years old as a carpenter and homebuilder and I’m now 60. My style is anything that gives me excitement, flow, anything with shape, form, clean lines. Style is whatever you see that moves you. It’s not some- thing you can define; it’s something you feel. It lights up your soul.

ON GOOD ADVICE. I don’t think there’s one specific piece of advice from one person that I can say was the best advice I’ve received. I think a lot of things amalgamated — that’s what makes you who you are, an accumulation of experiences and ideas.

ON PRIDE IN WORK. In my work, I’m proud that art has given me a voice and people listen to me.

ON CURRENT PROJECTS. I just finished launching the Yorkdale location, and it’s already doing fabulous. I’m working on a Yorkville location that’s super exciting. I’m also working on a new studio — I acquired another 7,000 square feet, which brings us up to 20,000 square feet. There are unbelievable projects coming, including a new show in South Korea in October and a solo show in Miami in November and Art Basel Miami, which is in December, and a possible return to Greece for a solo show and discussions with a London gallery are also ongoing. I also want to mention that I’ve teamed up with UTU and created my own coin — it’s called DOXA. Download the app and use my code, DOXA, to receive a free coin.

Lisa Aiken, Terra Firma Design Inc

ON MY STYLE. I do not have one style — it has to be unique to each project and each client for me. I just get a sense of how the design should look the minute I walk in the door. I love florals and like to add them everywhere. I started off with exteriors and quickly moved into interiors. I can’t say I like one more than the other, as they

are both interesting in their own ways. I like eclectic, so there are always surprises throughout. I come from a good work ethic back- ground so hard work comes natural to me and I put it into every project. I have maintained many amazing relationships with clients over the years. That makes me very happy. Being a designer makes me happy and I am so proud to be a part of this industry.

ON GOOD ADVICE. With the help of amazing sales reps and trades, I have learned a lot about our incredible industry and so the learning never stops, the advice never stops.

ON PRIDE IN WORK. I think I am most proud that I have an estab- lished interior and exterior design business, and both are doing very well.

ON CURRENT PROJECTS. I’m working on a very large farmhouse renovation in Mono, Ont. An exterior renovation on all levels, noth- ing is being left as is. There’s also an addition of a large wrap-around porch, outdoor gym, massive pavilion with outdoor fireplace, chef’s kitchen, living room and dining room, a pool and, of course I will update the interior, but the exterior is the biggest change for this farmhouse.