This design event has transformed from a one-night gala to a collaborative design festival.
September 1, 2017
Photography by Cooper & O'Hara
The Edmonton Galleria is located in the middle of the downtown bustle, right by Rogers Place. For about four months this year, the vacant space will be filled with creative energy as Vignettes takes over. Vignettes, a design event conceived by MoJo Design Inc., debuted in 2013. Every year, there’s been a different focus — in the early years, it showcased individual pieces by local woodworkers and design students. Then, it expanded to a competition with teams of interior designers, woodworkers, artists and contractors crafting in eight by eight foot spaces. This year, for Vignettes 5, they’ve gone bigger than ever, partially thanks to the flexibility the new venue provides.
“I call it a Harry Potter maze of different floors and stairwells,” says Leigh Wright, the producer and director with Vignettes. “It takes you 15 minutes to walk the whole space without stopping.”
The design competition component of the event is back, with many of last year’s participants returning to flex their creative muscles. “One [space] will walk you through time of design, where it was, where they thought it was going to be, and their perception of what design will be in 100 years,” says Wright. “The Jetsons meets Minority Report was what they were saying.’’
And, while many teams have tackled the eight by eight spaces, some are taking advantage of the new venue and selecting even larger spaces to fill.
Says Wright: “Some of the spaces are just to look at, but a lot of them are getting people to engage in their space, they’re interactive.”
For Wright, Vignettes is all about sparking conversations about design and bringing people together. “The best part of my job is getting to build a community and see it engage,” says Wright. In addition to the design components, this year’s Vignettes will focus on walkability and community engagement. “Our activation is to connect all the events by walking the city — put footprints on the ground to take you to everything going on during Design Week.”
The gallery viewing of the teams’ spaces will be open to the public from September 25 to October 15.
This article appears in the September 2017 issue of Avenue Edmonton. Subscribe here.