Continuing our annual celebration of the Canadian creative talent who are pursuing big ideas and making great work, here is our Ones to Watch list for 2013. It is our goal to link the marketplace to great design, and we hope that this will help guide and connect talent to new opportunities. This was a tough list to put together, and was made more complicated than last year as we looked outside of the designer sphere, rounding out our industry snapshot by including curators, writers, educators and more to the list. We feel these people will be the drivers of design in 2013, raising the bar for Canadian culture and projecting our ideas out to the world.

Tobias Wong’s creative life was cut short in mid-2011, but 2012 brought a handful of exhibits and events created to celebrate the ideas of this talented designer/artist. Vancouver hosted his first solo exhibit, a large presentation, and a strong template for Wong’s work to become a creative fountain, inspiring a new generation of paraconceptual designers. Wong is gone, but his work is set to become an ongoing resource for new design thinking to happen in Canada and beyond.

Jerszy Seymour is a designer’s designer, creating an eccentric and edgy body of work that is bringing new forms to life, and redefining the role of design in creating culture. Uninterested in definitions, he crosses boundaries, producing interiors, architecture, fashion, and products with ease and abandon. Seymour is working at the front line of design and will continue to  shift how the world understands and values it.

Geoff McFetridge is on a tear, and like his colleagues Gary Taxali and Marian Bantjes, he is expanding what we think an illustrator is able to participate in. McFetridge is showcasing how design has no boundaries and is only hedged by the imagination. He is constantly finding new ways for illustration to be applied and appreciated, from ceramics to furniture and more. Designers are trained to be in the box, but this is rarely rewarded in real life and McFetridge shows us the way.

Sasa Radulovic and Johanna Hurme of 5468796 architecture are big thinkers who have rocked onto the global architecture scene with their user centric and collaborative approach. The studio is making waves and represented Canada at the Venice Biennale of Architecture. Their Winnipeg-based studio proves that you do not need to be in Toronto to make a global splash – good ideas are currency and can pop up anywhere.

Patty Johnson is one of Canada’s most prolific and sensitive designers, working with top brands and creating some of our favourite pieces. Over the past few years her career has expanded from creating beautiful objects, to creating social improvement in developing countries. Johnson’s work in South America and the Caribbean are resulting in a whole catalogue of objects that are being shown around the world and bringing markets to places that have never been seen. Design as a tool for positive change, revitalizing material cultures and creating commerce; Johnson’s work is all about this.

Samare is Canada’s design past married to the future, reinventing national iconography for the world to appreciate. The studio has revitalized Canadian inspirations like fur traders, flechee, Mounties and babiche and given them a much needed rethink and airing out. The studio is decidedly Canadiana 2.0, a new way for us to see ourselves, translate our cultural signifiers into global products, and understand what makes us unique in the global village.

Troy Seidman is a curator with a super keen sense of taste and style.  His work as a creative entrepreneur is gaining respect and recognition. Seidman’s Caviar 20 collections are upping the cultural understanding and appreciation of design in Canada, and helping to raise the level of conversation by bringing high design to the Canadian market.

Philippe Malouin is an expat working out of London, England, and is bridging a Canadian creative background with European design power. Malouin is a doozer, a designer who plays, makes, prototypes and experiments his way to objects (with or without clients), reminding us all that solid process and global vision are a killer combination that builds success.

Ira Levine has been doing his homework, studying the trends of design and business and understanding how design education is working to create value for the future. Under his leadership, a new design programme is about to appear in Canada. Ryerson’s Creative Industries has all the right pieces to give the Canadian creative industry a foundation to grow beyond design as aesthetics and into a premium space where design shapes how we live.

Lyndon and Jamie Cormack, the savvy owners of The Herschel Supply Co., are set to have another creative year. They have created a contemporary brand with vintage appeal and loads of design thinking which has combined into one of the hottest brands of the last few years. Lesson, reinvent, take risks, have fun, Herschel is doing all this and becoming a super success story in the process.

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