During Toronto's Design Week, Umbra hosted a small exhibition called Compact Living, a curated selection of products made with small spaces in mind. This focus is especially relevant here in Toronto where housing prices are ever increasing, while the liveable footprint of homes are in a precipitous decline.
Before heading downstairs, I made a quick stroll through Umbra’s Shift collection of products.
Packaging is on point.
All of the products in the Compact Living display were lined up against the wall.
The first design that caught my eye was this felt magazine rack. It doesn’t do a particularly good job holding magazines without having them flop around, but it’s a creative use of felt and easy to assemble on your own as well.
I liked this Unicorn lamp a lot. Though I’m not sure why the designer Linus Kung went with the name Unicorn when it was said to be inspired by an umbrella handle. It’s easy to stand upright, hang off of door knobs and towel rods, and a strong magnet is included in the base to stick it wherever you please.
This wall mirror and tray combo (a mirror tray?) combines many interesting concepts, but I don’t think it succeeds in achieving its functional purpose. Called Topside, the mirror tray takes many cues from nautical influences in its design. The large diameter metal tube is a nod to the railings you find on the deck of a ship, and in my mind, also recall the watertight ship doors with the wheel in their center. As a mirror, it expands the feeling of space making it most effective in cramped quarters.
However, I can’t imagine what I’d want to put on its mirrored surface without being worried about scratching it.
These units are supposed to help split up spaces and possibly provide more privacy. Again, not quite sure how effective the privacy thing would be unless it’s packed to the brim, but they sure nail the aesthetic.
This row of dowels is a creative way to create a more solid surface to place your belongings on. They don't fully block out a defined layer, and maintain the light airiness that these pieces give off. I love how they slot in just perfectly to fill in the gaps. Makes me wonder how far in advance this idea was included during the design of these shelves.
Umbra has a nice selection of clocks.
I was briefly fascinated with these magnetic key ring holders.
Finally called it a day with some delicious burgers at Burger's Priest.