Realizing that successful design is ideally more than a visual connection to the object of one's desire, the Interior Design Show (, held this year from February 12 to 15 at the National Trade Centre in Toronto, included two Canadian-based designers whose aesthetic dogma results in modern functional art.

Montreal-based Brave Design, and Ridgely Studios of Toronto, were among an exclusively Canadian contingent of leading independent designers of limited production lighting, glass, furniture, ceramics, and textiles, featured in a section of the show aptly named Studio North.

Founded in 2002, by designers Andrea and Robert White, Brave Design ( features a full line of floor, pendant and table lamps. Citing organic influences, Brave Design creates lighting fixtures that resemble glowing origami. Their work engages users, and allows them to interact with the fixtures. Made of a semi-rigid, diffuse, polycarbonate material, the light shades can be reconfigured based on individual needs and the environment. Brave's sculptural shapes celebrate the interaction between line, form, material and user.

Blurring the line between art and function, Ridgely Studio Works, (, a design and manufacturing studio started by Zac Ridgely, features lighting products that diffuse light via sculptural forms. Two notable lighting elements from Ridgely's collection are the Crush Wall Sconce and Stone-3, which are constructed of crushed tempered glass and natural river stones, respectively, and are contained in welded stainless-steel-mesh sculptural vessels. To inform his design process, Ridgely uses a wide variety of materials and methods that respond to the environment and user needs. EFFIE BOURAS

Effie Bouras is an intern architect and freelance writer working in Toronto.