Usually when people think about design, they think about something like this.

ERENE STERGIOPOULOS/THE VARSITY

Or sometimes they think about über-hip Scandinavian-looking people who pout and scowl because they’re clearly better humans.

ERENE STERGIOPOULOS/THE VARSITY

And perhaps, at a more intuitive level, they think about objects with clean lines and a brushed metal finish: things that look expensive and beautiful and that would make up the pages of Wallpaper magazine.

ERENE STERGIOPOULOS/THE VARSITY

But the thing is, there’s a lot more to design than that. Anything that has ever been made by a person has been, in some sense, designed. Design is about creating something (let’s say a chair, a website, or a space shuttle) to suit a particular purpose and satisfy a specific set of aesthetic principles.

ERENE STERGIOPOULOS/THE VARSITY

That’s what this installment of The Varsity’s All-Arts magazine is about. We’ve talked to some of this city’s biggest names in design — starchitect Bruce Kuwabara (of TIFF Bell Lightbox fame), pastry chef Nadège Nourian, and spectacle designer Shilo Rapp of Rapp Optical — to get a sense of Toronto’s design scene. The lucky Brigit Katz sat down with the gloriously-bearded Stan Bevington of Coach House Books to talk about his 40-year career designing some of Canada’s best books.


But design also crops up in places you wouldn’t expect. In “Beauty in the mundane,” Murad Hemmadi takes a look at the history of everyday objects that aren’t just functional but also secretly kind of pretty. Ex-barista Dan Seljak writes about latte art, while Lily Tarba tags along on a city graffiti expedition.


The point is, design is for everyone. It’s how we make the world more functional — and when we get it right, it’s how we make the world more beautiful.

Sincerely,

Erene Stergiopoulos
Magazine Editor (2011–2012)

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