Tuesday, December 15, 2009

baby, it's business time

Our business cards!
Hand-stamped on debossed, unbleached, recycled cardstock.

- Heather

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Edison 2.0

Weeks of searching, finally found a local retailer that sells these wicked Edison Style - Squirrel Caged Filament Light bulbs. The low wattage allows us to see the interesting wiring of the filament inside the elongated glass bulb.

Not sure exactly what we're going to design, but we are inspired by it.

- Jess

Thursday, December 10, 2009

storageunit_01 - prototype

If furniture could walk away in the middle of the night, than this storage unit would most definitely creep away. With legs like that, come 8am, this unit would be in a new place everyday. Creepy and sexy at the same time.

- Heather.

New Veneer Lamps

I just took some pictures of a new lamp that we have been working on. The final form has yet to be determined, but the lighting effect has.

I'm thinking that they will be pendants, but in the meantime we put them on a lamp base to see what would happen.

With the light on, the solid structure almost looks fractured at the joints, and the veneer takes on a nice glow. If anyone is thinking of making one at home, the secret is corn starch.

Limited production run to follow.
Patent pending! ha!


Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Accidental Inspirations

I must have walked by this broken planter on our street a few hundred times before realizing that one of the storage units that we are currently finessing over has an uncanny resemblance to it.

I guess one man's broken lawn decor is another man's design inspiration.

- Heather.

Saturday, December 5, 2009


The National Design Collective went on a mini road trip to Urban Tree Salvage – a place where unwanted trees are re-claimed and re-used and re-appreciated.

Urban Tree Salvage - Interior

Pieces ranging from 4-8ft tall

Price tags on the pieces of wood

As we first walked in, all we saw were 6 – 8 ft tall pieces of wood, with a price tag of ranging from 1000 – 5000 dollars, (just a tad out of our budget). Thankfully, after a closer inspection of the store, we found the miscellaneous corner, which consisted of four bins filled with slabs and off cuts of maple, red wood, oak, willow, varying from 50 cents to 15 dollars!

We found unique and exciting pieces, just waiting for us to build something out of it.

cheap pieces from $0.50 elm to $1.00 maple

Grain and bark showing

- Jess

Thursday, December 3, 2009

S. McLean

silkscreen transparencies

There once was a man named S. McLean,
He of great vinyl fame,
Hits on the girls,
Woos them with pearls,
And doesn't mind riding in the rain.

- NDC + J.Brown.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Chair_01 - Introducing the Webster Chair

The NDC would like to officially introduce our first chair, the aptly named, Webster!

Ch-ch-chair in the grove. More photos to come with the new collective website launch.

- Heather

Saturday, November 14, 2009

From the Archives:

Back when the National Design Collective was but a hot embryonic sack on the verge of bursting with creative juices, we designed this poster for the Ottawa/Montreal based band Henrietta Island who were playing with the Wind Up Radio Sessions, and the Liptonians.

The clean look, subject, and color was chosen to stand out from other band posters that clutter streets and billboards around town.

For commodity printing, grey levels were modified for readability. This version also had the band's myspace url's printed on the bottom like a "for sale" poster.


Sunday, November 8, 2009

The Canadian Birdhouse

This birdhouse was designed for the Bluebird.

The form of the enclosure, modeled after the “stubby” bottle, was chosen both for its national iconography and to represent one of the most effective recycling/reuse programs in the world.

The form incorporates traditional birdhouse features such as the round opening and cylindrical perch. The entrance hole is too small for predators and larger birds to enter. There are three small holes on the floor of the house to allow for airflow and drainage.

The body of the house is slip-cast ceramic, a natural material that is well suited for years of outdoor use and local craft production. The perch is made from locally sourced maple wood and finished with nontoxic orange wax. The house is hung from an aluminium cable that will not corrode in outdoor environments. The ceramic is a benign material that can safely be land-filled, the wood can be composted, and aluminium is one of the world's most recycled materials.

This birdhouse concept was submitted to the Toronto Botanical Gardens "For The Birds" competition last May. A prototype will be completed soon, and hopefully production will be ready for next summer.


Sunday, November 1, 2009


This great flash animation reminded us of the Powers of Ten video by Ray and Charles Eames, so here they both are:

I love good info-graphics!


Happy Halloween

Since Halloween is the custom of commemorating the souls in purgatory, we decided to commemorate the millions of dinosaurs that died 160 million years ago.

"T-rex with clown shoes" - Scott

- Jess

Friday, October 30, 2009

Prelim Pics


Team NDC spent last night doing a photo shoot all over town. Before we get more color correction done (not my forte), here's a sample.

Go team N(Z?)DC!


Sunday, October 18, 2009

Frosh off the Press!

The National Design Collective designed the 2009 Frosh Week Orientation Party post cards for University of Toronto. We finally got copies of it in the mail!

“the Underground” was a Black.Light.White.T-shirt.Glow.In.the.Dark party.

Official mail for The National Design Collective

Front cover of the post card

Back of the post card, containing the orientation event schedule

The party was a huge success and the turn out was amazing.

- Jess

Thursday, October 15, 2009


Photobooth Enlargement from the Robert E. Jackson Collection [via photobooth.net]

Amelie, 2001 [via photobooth.net]

Dawn of the Dead, 1979 [via photobooth.net]

You know how sometimes you come across something so obscure and underground that it kind of makes sense and is justified-ly amazing? Photobooth.net is one of those discoveries.

Conventions and t-shirts? The photobooth following is probably almost as obscure to the NDC as larping is to.......well, most regular folk? Unlike larping, however, we're very glad to have discovered photobooth.net.

***Disclaimer: The NDC is in no way slandering or belittling larping....just sayin'.


Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Celebrating beauty in all its unfinished-ness!
This posting is for those out there who have a pile of half-done/half-started projects (cheers!).

Monday, October 12, 2009

Chair Installation Round-Up

As daily readers of The Canadian Design Resource, a particular posting inspired us to do some contrasting and comparing of our own.

Apparently for reasons unknown to the NDC, artists are fascinated by the stacking, decapitation, and repetition of the everyday mundane chair.

Based upon factors of stackability (level of difficulty), theme (is the artist intent truly represented by the army of chairs?), composition basics, and overall awe-factor, here is an NDC Top-Ten list of Chair Installations:

10. "Copyright Chair Installation" - Superflex, 2006

09."In the Woods" - Karen Ryan, 2009

08."Chairs" - Jin Shi, 2009

"Wooden Chairs Installation" - Michael Hosaluk

"Chair Transformation Number 20B" - Lucas Samaras, 1996

"Myth Monolith (Liberation Movement)" - Marc Andre Robinson, 2007

"Sporadic Happenings - Chair Installation" - T. Janz, B. Kindler, et al.

Vegetal Chair Installation - Vitra, 2009

"Black Hole" - Michel de Broin, 2006

Doris Salcedo, 2003

- Heather


Scott made these kick-ass triangle earrings from the offcuts from his last Ponoko-leather run.