Ian Vandenberg: In the Spotlight

Posted by Drake General Store, May 27, 2015
Ian Vandenberg

Image courtesy of ianvandenberg.com.

Ian Vandenberg Design is a Toronto-based studio that creates unique products, custom furniture and environments using a range of mediums from ceramics to steel. Using creativity and innovative approaches, Ian develops smart designs that are beautifully simple.

Ian has over 12 years of design experience having worked at leading companies designing furniture and custom interiors including Nienkamper, the Walters Group and currently with Eventscape.

While working at Nienkamper in 2005, Ian received an award of excellence in design and later worked with Klaus Nienkamper to develop the Arbor table. The company’s focus on quality design and fabrication remain core fundamentals in Ian’s studio.

Ian’s focus remains in product design and custom furniture, and encourages a collaborative process with user, client and builder to achieve the best results.

Tell us a bit about you and your history with design.

Since a young age I always enjoyed drawing, and while at OCAD I learned I could combine this with my interest for building things in the Industrial Design program. While studying product design, I observed how objects can function, inspire, and fulfill. This is where I decided that I wanted to design something fun and thoughtful for others to enjoy. My favourite design projects have been the Arbor Table and the Streetcar butter dish because I feel they are the most unique and leave a lasting impression on people I interact with. What I enjoy most is seeing someone’s face light up when they see one of my designs. These products also have a strong connection to the place I grew up in and call home – Toronto.

Why only this one item?

I currently have a few cufflink and necklace designs selling through Etsy. The pieces are small tape cassettes and video game controllers that are highly detailed in stainless steel, and 3D printed using computer software.
I was intrigued by the streetcar given it’s iconic status in Toronto. I wanted to try a design using ceramic because it’s such a beautiful material. This is my first ceramic piece, and I am currently working on coat hooks designs for next year using a stainless steel sand casting.

What are your favourite spots in Toronto?

High Park, and the Lakeshore trail paths for biking are great. I live near the Rail Path near the Junction and take my daughter along the path often to check out the new graffiti murals going up. Bellwoods Brewery and Sukho Thai for drinks food and friends.

Ian Vandenberg

Image courtesy of ianvandenberg.com.

What are your plans for the future of Ian Vandenberg?

My plans are to continue designing unique products that are playful, functional and create enjoyment. Toronto is a great city to live in and full of inspiration. I imagine my designs will continue to speak to the place and community I live in. As well, I’ll continue to commission pieces that bring my clients' vision into a lasting beautiful reality.

What city other than Toronto do you admire and why?

The Hague and Amsterdam in The Netherlands are great cities to visit. I visited family there and was inspired by how progressive the design culture is. The biking, canal systems, architecture were all well designed. Barcelona is another fantastic city with a great waterfront. It’s a city of neighbourhoods, like Toronto and you can explore for hours.
The elevated bike paths in Copenhagen are a very smart and fun idea, and I think every major city should have something like this.

Shop the Streetcar Butter Dish here.

Posted in: Drake General Store