Un-Common Spaces


Interior Design Show Toronto

Project Vision

Un-Common Spaces are five public rest areas conceived for the 2018 Interior Design Show in Toronto. Five cross-disciplinary creative teams approached the public spaces as art installations while thoughtfully embracing the tiny budget.

Vantashack was designed to empower introverts with the ultimate sensory respite. Near a communal table was an all-black shipping container with an interior inspired by Vantablack, the darkest man-made substance on earth whose complete absence of color has been described to be as powerful as switching off gravity. No instructions were given to attendees. In the end, half the people didn’t get it and half never wanted to leave. 

The Crate Canteen team created the most no-frills public space possible without a single bell or whistle, using free milk crates. Its goal was to spark the notion that expensive and new aren’t necessarily what’s needed to push the world forward.

Babble (a place to converse) Yum (a place to eat and drink) featured an affordable seating solution that was fun and different – hot pink yoga balls. Each ball was partially filled with water to prevent them scattering at the slightest touch, giving their movement a random feel that added to the story of play. And because they were not stationary, the space changed with each new person or group who occupied it.

Forest of Humanity took its inspiration from the communication network that exists in the forest between trees. Bleachers mirrored a network of roots beneath our bodies that connect us. The spacing of the steps suggested the social webs interaction creates. The simplicity of the modular bleacher concept subtly yet successfully communicated that being human is the ultimate community.

Inspired by the honeybee and hive, Hive Talk was a unique, multi-sensory experience that uses unconventional materials to immerse the user in its concept. Unsettling soundscapes were designed to guide users into specific areas and to avoid other spaces; another example of collective control.

Project Details
Design Team

Jonathan Nodrick (creative direction); Mariana Grezova (art direction); Khalil Jamal (industrial design); Stephen DeMuth, Ana Diosdado (design); Brian Dunn, Brandon Gellar (installation); Lorraine Tao (copy writing)

Project Area

3,500 sq ft

Project Budget



FormNation, BYAMT, Arts & Labour, Hive Talk, YVR Collective, Forest of Humanity


Perfect Distortion