David design Launches the Haida Chair at the Stockholm Furniture Fair

Times goes by and it´s now 25 years since David design started. We celebrate with our strongest collection ever, David design Collage Collection 2013. New products from Nendo, Patty Johnson, Andreas Engesvik, Luca Nichetto and Claesson Koivisto Rune together with the classic David design products. Welcome to Stockholm Furniture Fair 2013, February 5-9th, stand A04:21.


The Canadian Embassy in Stockholm is hosting a reception to celebrate the unique collaboration between David design and the Canadian designer Patty Johnson on February 6.

Patty Johnson presents Vodunuvo at the Stockholm Furniture Fair, February 5 to 9, 2013

Vodunuvo is design inspired by the tribulation, struggle and survival of one of the world’s oldest religions and represents an unprecedented collaboration, weaving together elements of craft production, community development and modern design.


The developing world is one of the next design frontiers, producing goods that fuse quality with creativity beyond just low cost. Through the push and pull of cross cultural collaboration a new vernacular emerged – one that respects and elevates local traditions. Vodunuvo is a convergence of design with ethnography, product and artefact. In contrast with our media led view of Haiti, this collection presents something much more dynamic: a living breathing culture with a critical role in the global design marketplace.

As a guest exhibitor, Patty Johnson presents selected work from the collection.

Designing Culture Haiti – Great Minds of Design Trailer

Designer Patty Johnson works all over the world with small enterprises, communities, and indigenous groups on product development projects, which focus on redefining the developing world as a source of inspiration and design.

Design in Haiti from Great Minds of Design on Vimeo.

See more of her work on the series Great Minds of Design. The episode premieres on CBC’s digital channel ‘documentary’ on Monday, May 7th, 2012 at 8:00pm ET / 11:00pm PT.

Episode #103: “Designing Cultures: Haiti”:
Designer Patty Johnson travels to the devastated country of Haiti, where she works with local artisans and craftspeople.

Five TV shows worth watching

Globe and Mail’s Andrew Ryan selects Great Minds of Design Documentary as a must watch.

It’s still not too late to broaden your artistic horizons with this smart new series. Launched two weeks ago, the program profiles designers whose specialty is turning sustainable materials into stunning objets d’art. Tonight’s third episode follows the renowned Canadian designer Patty Johnson on her recent trip to the devastated country of Haiti.

A visit to a temple shows her the historical connection between art and the long-standing practice of voodoo. After several months of living and working among the locals, Johnson develops her own product line inspired by the Haitian culture, which she unveils with grand flourish for the design market back in Canada.

Link to original article:


Patty Johnson on Globalization

Designer Patty Johnson discusses her views on globalization as she travels around Haiti, in this clip from an upcoming episode of the documentary series “Great Minds of Design.”

Patty Johnson on Globalization from Great Minds of Design on Vimeo.

The series premieres on CBC’s digital channel ‘documentary’ on Monday, April 23, 2012 at 8:00pm ET / 11:00pm PT.

Episode #103: “Designing Cultures: Haiti”
Designer Patty Johnson travels to the devastated country of Haiti, where she works with local artisans and craftspeople.

“Haiti is Hiding a Beautiful Secret…”

Listen to an interview with Patty Johnson on The Green Majority, “Haiti is Hiding a Beautiful Secret…” #292.

Podcast Link:


The Green Majority is a weekly environmental news program produced live on CIUT in Toronto, Canada and broadcast on campus and community stations across the country. The show, Canada’s first and only environmental newshour, is produced by a dedicated team of volunteers. Tune into the broadcast or download the podcast for environmental headlines, guest features and analysis of important ecological events in Canada and around the world.

What’s on. CBC delves into design

by Elizabeth Paqliacolo

A new documentary series on design – featuring industrial designers Patty Johnson and Helen Kerr, architect Trevor McIvor and a motley crew of urban-design guerillas – starts tonight on the CBC’s documentary channel.

While the television series, called Great Minds of Design, focuses on sustainable design, it also probes the power of design to affect positive change in a variety of ways. In so doing, it presents a range of topics, from broad trends to specific practitioners. In the first episode, for instance, it looks at how a trio of young artists are reclaiming pieces of the city core with their guerilla-like urban interventions; while in the third episode, it follows Patty Johnson to Haiti, where she and local artisans craft pieces for the Vodunovo collection.

The six 22-minute episodes, which air on Monday evenings for the next six weeks, were created by 291 Film Company, headed by executive producer Ian Toews and producer Mark Bradley. The studio is also behind such documentaries as The Nature of Inspiration andLandscapes as Muse.

Their latest endeavour might bring to mind the BBC’s ambitious Genius of Design, which aired in 2010 and charted design’s evolution from the birth of industrial design, through to the plastics invented in the 50s and 60s and, finally, the “designer decades” of the 80s and 90s and the digital revolution. Yet, besides covering Canadian designers exclusively, the CBC series distinguishes itself by being more hands-on and immersed in the present; it follows designers around as they complete projects, make connections and travel the globe. And it’s undeniably more activist in tone.

For instance, Sarah Hall, a Canadian designer whose solar-powered stained glass is manufactured in Germany, comments, “I couldnʼt have made these solar panels in Canada. We have not engaged yet with renewable energy in a very strong way. [W]eʼre subsidizing oil when we could choose to subsidize renewable energy.”

And Johnson, who began working with artisans in developing countries after witnessing their exploitation by big manufacturers, explains, “Designers cannot keep pumping out senseless products with tiny iterations that can be sold cheaply. And we canʼt keep outsourcing to the developing world. I mean, we canʼt just use the developing world as one giant branch plant.”

Informed by working in design and manufacturing for decades, the subjects’ unique perspectives will surely make this series a provocative one. But the series’ behind-the-scenes vantage point – witnessing Trevor McIvor of Altius Architecture craft a snow quinzhee; and jetting to New York with Helen Kerr of KerrSmith to meet her partners on a new project – will make it relevant to anyone who wants to know exactly what goes into tranforming an idea into a product on the market.

Great Minds of Design airs on Mondays at 8 p.m. on CBC beginning on April 23. 

Link to original online Azure Magazine article

Patty Johnson Speaks at Creative Mornings

The Canadian industrial designer has set her sights not only on effective design, but also how to use design to transform the developing world into self-sustaining communities.

Her latest collaborate effort is with BrandAid, taking her to Haiti, a country still in rebuilding mode. “Haiti is incredibly artistically rich, but it’s also the beloved media whipping boy,” said Johnson during the second CreativeMornings/Toronto at the Design Exchange on Friday morning. “Through all their hardships, they’ve maintained high artistic quality.”

A design platform for the Haiti effort centres around Voodoo “as a metaphor for Haitian struggle,” she said. “Voodoo artists open the doors of imagination. Voodoo is scary to people, but it’s important to Haiti.”

Working closely with the artisans who build their offerings by hand, Johnson helped develop new products based on Voodoo culture. She then leverages her international contacts accrued throughout the years to bring the products to market; in fact, Johnson will bring a sample from a collection called Vodunuvo to Interior Design Show 2012 from Jan. 26 to 29. Montreal is another Canadian market she will show off the work, she added.

“BRANDAID and other similar international efforts “have been really rewarding and profoundly changed how I think about design and the role of the designer,” she said. “I really encourage all designers to rethink and meet the people who make the products.”

Countdown to the Interior Design Show with Patty Johnson


For the first time in the Interior Design Show’s history its producers are mounting a major exhibit on the main floor called OFFSITE/ONSITE – a series of experiential installations that will occupy 10,000 Sq feet of space of the lobby of the MTCC.

Designers exhibiting in this installation include Brent Comber, Moss & Lam, Kathryn Walter, RAD, Stephen Burks & Kenneth Montague.

However, one stand out in this formidable bunch is Patty Johnson—someone I am always prepared to pay close attention to regardless of the project or design she is working on.

Patty Johnson, recently recognized as one of a mere five-percent of women working in industrial design in Canada, continues to fight the good design fight as a craft-focused designer who works with communities in Africa, Guyana, and other locales to bring craft-focused creations to the North American market.

Johnson will be introducing the “Vodunuvo” line of design, inspired by the tribulation, struggle and survival of one of the world’s oldest religions. Featuring a ‘behind the scenes’ view of the convergence of design with ethnography, product and artifact, the IDS installation is calculated to involve the viewer in the process.

Above Designs from Patty Johnson in collaboration with communities such as  Africa and Guyana (images courtesy of Patty Johnson)Yesterday: Countdown to IDS: Flos | Tomorrow: Countdown to IDS: 18K

Judith Mackin is founder and creative director of punchinside, an interior design firm in Saint John, New Brunswick. You can follow her regularly updated blog on www.judithmackin.ca. Her design and décor studio, TUCK, is slated to open in April 2012. (photo credit: Kelly Lawson)

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New Caribbean Design: Guyana @ IDS11

An edited collection of New Caribbean Design, representing a cross section of the best of Guyana from furniture manufacturers to the beautiful and rare work of Amerindian communities.

January 27th to 30th, 2011
Interior Design Show
Metro Toronto Convention Centre
Booth #1310
255 Front St W. Toronto, Canada

Haida Made @ Harbourfront Centre

September 25th, 2010

Haida Made: New Collaborations in Design documents a unique cross-disciplinary and cross-cultural collaboration between First Nations artists and Canadian product designers. The exhibition is a record of the project’s first year and weaves together elements of contemporary art, craft production, ethnobotany, anthropology, community development and modern design. Speculative work is presented alongside documentation of traditional forms to investigate the role of design and reveal the process of new product development. In contrast with the familiar, historical presentations of First Nations culture – artefacts preserved under glass – Haida Made presents something much more dynamic: a living, breathing culture with a critical role in Canada’s future.


Love, Freedom, Flow: New Caribbean Design

The Love, Freedom, Flow exhibit at the ICFF10 was the international debut of New Caribbean Design.

May 15th to 18th, 2010
International Contemporary Furniture Fair
Booth #1326
Jacob K. Javits Convention Centre
New York City

Patty Johnson at Cheung-ju Design and Craft Biennale, Seoul, South Korea

September 23rd – November 1st, 2009

This exhibition urges us to consider the crafts not in egotistical isolation, but in vital and continuous connection with each other. Inevitably, modernist themes of substance, subject and meta-narratives will be resurrected, but the purpose is to demonstrate the variety of elements that meet in the work: the energy released from each object by another and diffused among the whole; the diverse perspectives of producer and consumer, youth and maturity, the egalitarian and the elite, the classical and the romantic, the developed and the developing world. Pressing matter is a stimulating array of works, materials and initiatives.