Monday, September 7, 2009

designed in canada

When we go on furniture buying trips at U.S. international trade shows for Attica, we're asked where we're from by vendors. We tell them where our home is, and then we often hear the response, "Oh, Canadian - you're contemporary."

It wasn't always like this. For decades there was a general lack of identity in Canadian furniture design. I was once told many years ago that the research and development budget for Canadian manufacturers consisted of sending people to Italy to copy their designs. Now, though, through design, Canadian furniture manufacturers have emerged at the forefront, and a once staid international presence has evolved in to something that is exciting and dynamic.

Some would argue that the increase in Canada's cultural diversity, immigrants from Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America, has widened our design vocabulary and contributed to its vibrancy. While nationally we may be considered contemporary, within this culturally complex context there is many individual voices, many personal forms of expression. According to the Design Exchange in Toronto: "Each designer’s work constitutes a type of autobiographical text, where object made – while fitting, of course, into the standard categories that demarcate things – does not necessarily need to conform to any type of prevailing stylistic movement. Rather, the object’s manifest reference may have been drawn from cultural identity, prevailing aesthetic concerns and the ever-present awareness about the social role of design and the designer. In this way, contemporary design culture owes a debt to the legacies of postmodernity, insofar as postmodern culture rejected the idea of a master narrative or single way of doing something and encouraged – indeed demanded – the primacy of the person, particular and idiosyncratic vision. And this freedom can be found across all forms of cultural production. "

As Atlantic Canada's first contemporary home furnishings store, we have always promoted contemporary design. Increasingly, we are proudly promoting Canadian design, and the majority of what we feature is Canadian. It is now a source of pride to have something that is not only manufactured in Canada, but also designed in Canada.

Friday, September 4, 2009

eco conscious upholstery

We all want to feel better about the choices we make. Now more than ever we're very aware that things we buy have global consequences. In a small but real way, we can help by choosing quality products that reduce their impact on the environment.

Here's how the Dublin, Icon, Lennox and Hampton models from Attica do their part:
  • foam seats and padding: the seats and padding are manufactured using natural, seed based oils such as soy bean, and it significantly reduces the dependency on fossil fuels such as petroleum and lessens greenhouse emissions.
  • feather backs and seat cushions: 90% /10% feather and down blend in a 100% non bleached, down proof cotton casing. Seats are feather and down, with a soy foam core.
  • wood frame: the wood harvested for use in this furniture comes from forests managed in accordance with policies & regulations that meet the objectives of the Canadian Forest Strategy. All wood suppliers are FSC certified.
  • glue: all glues and adhesives involved are a Solvent-free, 100% waterborne system and conforms to changing environmental regulations.
  • fabric: Our growing selection of Eco-friendly fabrics includes luxurious natural fibres, recycled cotton, bamboo.
  • packaging: The packaging is largely made up of recyclable materials.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

rug style with a conscience

Some 300,000 children are illegally forced to work in the carpet industries in India, Nepal and Pakistan. Attica is carrying area rugs certified by the RugMark Foundation.

RugMark creates alternative avenues of opportunities for children who would otherwise be locked into lives without hope. Inspectors, teachers, labor right experts, loom owners, exporters, importers, designers and retailers work together to insure that no child works on a RugMark rug.

The most beautiful rugs are made with child-free labour.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

contemporary throws from austria

We're excited to bring back to Halifax a collection of modern blankets, throws and pillows from Austria for both adults and kids. Made from cotton and cotton blends, they come in a wide variety of colours and bold designs that surely will add a contemporary flair to any room.