Umbra Studio, located in Toronto's downtown core, is considered the city's lifestyle concept store which caters to collaborative outputs of Umbra's in-house designers — serving as an outlet towards a creative and diverse group of individuals from all over the world.
For instance, this past week, Umbra opened their concept studio to welcome the new "Umbra Shift" collection — where they experiment with various designers around North America, including three from Toronto and one from Vancouver. Umbra Shift is best described as "an extension of Umbra that focuses on contemporary influences in the design community" and experiments with new materials, techniques, and processes; and serves as a platform for discovering ways of re-thinking practical everyday items.
Umbra Shift revisits the past 30 years of Umbra's ever-changing designs and revamped it with a fresh, young roster of established, emerging, and in-house designers who share Umbra's passion to re-think things and design personal objects they themselves would like to gift or use at home.
The result of the Umbra Shift collection expresses diverse points of views through design, yet sits together with a shared belief in ideas that are functional, familiar and forward thinking.
For instance, UK designer, Philippe Malouin designed the most talked about piece from the Umbra Shift collection — the "Hanger Chair". The Hanger Chair mimics one of the ultimate storage systems — the modest hanger. When not in use, it hangs and stows in a compact, orderly fashion and easily unfolds when needed. It's perfect for small spaces and for hosting dinner parties. Genius and practical concept!
Available in: marine, grey, yellow, black and coral.
Two collaborative Toronto designers, Jessica Nakanishi and Jonathan Sabine of MSDS Studio — typically engage in the pursuit of emotive concepts, objects and environments. With that being said, they have created the Pleated Dish, Vase and Planter as part of the Umbra Shift collection. The "Pleated series" was made to accompany plants through its different stages of growth. Each piece caters to quality as it is handmade and sports geometric pleats that flawlessly highlights its content. For an added bonus, it's also low maintenance as each planter includes a self-watering wick.
Two other popular and in-demand pieces from the collection are the Roll Bottle Opener (which sold out in one day), courtesy of Umbra Studio and the Coiled Stool by New York based designer, Harry Allen.
The Roll Bottle Opener is anonymous in function and cast from solid brass; and not only is it stylish and functional — it's also likely to find itself on the vanity sooner than the kitchen drawer.
The Coiled Stool is another favorite as it's unique and inspired by the traditional basket-making techniques of the Philippines. Hand-woven threads cover a rattan core to create a surprisingly comfortable tractor seat. The Coiled Stool is the perfect lifestyle and home decor object as it fits easily into casual and formal environments. Available in aqua, red, and grey.