Ann Bada-Crema participated as a panelist at RSID Careers Night at the Ryerson School of Interior Design

Ann Bada-Crema sits on discussion panel for RSID Careers Night.

RSID Careers Night

I (Ann Bada-Crema) was asked to participate in RSID Careers Night on January 26, 2016 at the Ryerson School of Interior Design. The third floor studio of the Ryerson Interior Design building was divided into different discussion panels according to design specialties. These included: 3D built environments, set design, mixed environments, product design/artistry, architectural perspectives, adaptive reuse, and cinematic set design.

I was honored to sit on a panel alongside 3 other dynamic and respected members of the design community in the “mixed environments” sector to share our design history, experiences, and accomplishments. After, students were given the opportunity to ask questions to the members of the panel. There were many fantastic questions which inspired a great discussion about interior design and our greater impact.

It was a wonderful and nostalgic time as my graduating year was the first year to experience the studio building of 302 Church Street. As a past graduate from the program it was fascinating to see how the interior design community continues to grow and challenge the norm in allowing design to guide our thinking outside the box to impact positive change in our environments.

Thank you to RSID, Lois Weinthal, and Joan Shaw for hosting a very successful and informative evening for the students. I look forward to participating in future RSID events and would like to wish the students the best of luck in their future endeavors.

We live to experience!

Ann

 

Launch by Design Inc. puts a sunny spin on 1st annual “Gingerbread Build Better” challenge

Launch by Design Inc. participates in inaugural “Gingerbread Build Better” challenge hosted by Dreschel Business Interiors and Dirtt in support of Toronto’s Nazareth House.

Alo-ho-ho_with text_web BLOG

This December, Launch by Design Inc. was invited to participate in the “Gingerbread Build Better” event hosted by Drechsel Business Interiors and DIRTT at the downtown Toronto Green Learning Centre.

Participants were asked to express the spirit of the season by bringing charitable donations in support of Nazareth House, the local home for women and small children at risk or in recovery. The team of Launch by Design Inc. contributed cozy essentials including hand-knit scarves, non-perishables and toiletries.

The venue at the Green Learning Centre was set-up as a wintery wonderland, with treats laid out on the various systems furniture and Christmas movies featured on the built-in TVS. The aroma of the delicious fresh baked Mad Batter gingerbread wafted through the space, the foretelling ingredient and sole material of construction of the “Gingerbread Build Better” challenge.

Each team from 12 different firms throughout the GTA were given a station set up with a selection of edible décor ranging from licorice, sprinkles and gingerbread gummy men. We were given an hour and a half and an assortment of geometric fresh gingerbread pieces as tools to do what we all love most… create! We could barter and trade for special goodies or extra icing, but were not allowed to use anything not provided by the event.

Off the bat, the Launch by Design team was inspired to look south of the Canadian border and bring a little sunshine into the challenge by creating a tropical holiday destination complete with licorice surfboards, candy cane stilt huts, a gingerbread-walk, and even a shark attack! Can you tell we are a firm that designs unique environments for kids and families to play and interact together? We were so happy to take a fun twist (and gain a few laughs) on the challenge in a room full of so many beautiful and creative gingerbread creations!

Thank you again to our fantastic rep Lisa at Dreschel for inviting us to participate in this fun and festive event in the interesting DIRTT office showcase space. Lots of fun and laughs were had by all!

Alo-ho-ho to you all, and wishing you a deliciously wonderful holiday – see you in 2016!

As I always say, “we live to create!”

Ann

2015 Parapan Am Games inspire reflection on accessible design.

Toronto deserves a medal for its ongoing commitment to accessible design.

Parapan Am Games

Recently Toronto was named the world’s most liveable city by Metropolis Magazine. Though the article didn’t mention it, one of the reasons I believe that Toronto is deserving of this title is its ongoing commitment to transforming itself into an accessible city for all.

Ensuring that public transit, attractions, sports facilities, restaurants and buildings are just as accessible for someone riding on two wheels as it is for someone walking on two legs, is no longer an afterthought. For the majority of architects and designers, accessibility for all is a concept that is an integral part of the planning and development stage of every project. In other words, accessibility is by design.

Para-athletes from all over the world got to experience this for themselves while visiting the city as participants in the Toronto-hosted 2015 Parapan Am Games. An article in the Toronto Star probed this storyline further, asking para-athletes how the city compared with the barriers they face back home. From widened doorways to the tiny bumps ahead of a blended curb, the athletes credited building designs and social attitudes as two factors that helped them overcome barriers while traversing the Toronto area.

Two examples of the concept of greater accessibility inspiring design are the Toronto CN Tower and a new app called Access Now.

Since the CN Tower first opened ‘EdgeWalk’, they’ve been working on enhancing the accessibility of this unique experience. As the official attraction for the Toronto 2015 Parapan Am Games, it was only fitting that they would launch the ‘wheelchair EdgeWalk experience’ on the opening day of the Games. Using a uniquely-designed, one-piece wheelchair with its own attachment to the EdgeWalk’s overhead rail and trolley system and a walksuit adapted for ease of dressing, para-visitors to the CN Tower can now live life on the edge too.

Whether a resident or a visitor, people with disabilities want to be able to go out and enjoy Toronto just like everyone else. It was this notion that inspired Ryerson University master’s student Maayan Ziv to create the Access Now app. The app allows users to submit their reviews or rate venues in Toronto on how accessible they are. Within a week of being launched during the ParaPan Am Games, more than 600 restaurants, cafes and bars in Toronto had been reviewed and/or rated on how accessible they were.

As architects and designers we want people to appreciate our work for both its aesthetic and functional value. By incorporating accessibility into our designs from the start, we will ensure that it’s possible for everyone to do just that.

Ann

Ann Bada-Crema Nominated as Outstanding Leader at 2015 WIN Awards

One of 24 Canadian women recognized for their contribution to the infrastructure industry.

WIN 2015 Event team LBDLetter to Ms  Ann Bada-Crema

On April 16, 2015, the Women’s Infrastructure Network hosted an inaugural awards evening in celebration of outstanding and emerging female leaders in the Infrastructure field. Launch by Design Inc.’s founder and CEO, Ann Bada-Crema was one of 24 incredible and trailblazing women from across Canada who were nominated for the Outstanding Leader Award.

Following the nomination, Ann was sent a letter of sincere congratulations from The Honourable Dr. K. Kellie Leitch, the Minister of Labour, Minister of Status of Women, and Member of Parliament for Simcoe-Grey. In her letter, Leitch stated, “Your work is an inspiration to Canadians and this award is an honour that is well-deserved”.

The event was a night of celebration and acknowledgment of the success and important work women in the infrastructure industry are doing to shape our cities and provide unique solutions to benefit the public. More photos of the event, winnders and a copy of the program can be found here.

Ann Bada-Crema understands the importance design plays in today’s society and strives to be a trendsetter within the industry. With great determination, passion and imagination, Ann has built her company, cultivating a reputation for excellence and creativity along the way with both Fortune 500 executives and local independent clients. Many of the projects her company is awarded are the direct result of word-of-mouth promotion; countless testimonials from clients in the retail, hospitality, marine and healthcare industries echo the reasons why.

Ann’s enthusiastic and creative approach to all projects enables Launch by Design Inc. to offer innovative, awe-inspiring and refreshing designs to clients and end-users alike. Her unique and powerful vision and constant drive to improve the lives of others has allowed her to design countless spaces that are both functional and magnificent. Without a doubt Ann’s creative abilities, track record for delivering ground-breaking solutions and her personal strength and persistence as an executive businesswoman are the reasons why she was nominated for this year’s Outstanding Leader Award by the Women’s Infrastructure Network. Congratulations Ann. All of us on your Launch by Design Inc. team are proud and honoured to work alongside you.

Congratulations Ann!

Launch by Design Inc. participates in unique “Paper Lantern Challenge”

Part of LightArt’s 2015 “Ignite/Create” tour across the US and Canada.

light pendants & groupshot stitched

LightArt is a very cool lighting fabrication and design studio based in Seattle’s Georgetown neighborhood. Every fixture they make is hand-built and made to order by their team of local artisans. The lights they create range from simple wall sconces to 35’-foot custom chandeliers.

Recently the LightArt crew were in Toronto as part of their 14-city North American “Ignite/Create tour, which featured a series of events designed to spark creativity. The LightArt team came to town in a van fully-outfitted with a heat forming oven, tools, 3Form material samples and a laser cutter. While in Toronto, LightArt held a “Paper Lantern Challenge”. The Launch by Design Inc. crew was thrilled to be invited to participate.

What exactly was the “Paper Lantern Challenge”? In a nutshell we had to create a pendant fixture in 30 minutes or less using only one large sheet of paper, a pendant light bulb and cord, and ordinary office supplies.

The creativity and diversity of the Launch by Design Inc. team members was apparent soon after the challenge began. The resulting paper lights showed the originality and imaginativeness of each individual as no matter what their studio role each creation had its own unique personality, shape, size and details. The top three winners received prizes including jewellery created from scrap 3Form material from the dconstruct – eco resin Canadian jewellery line which gives back to contributing artisans in various developing countries.

On the LightArt website, they state, “OUR MISSION… Inside each of us is the urge to create. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you’ve done. Skill takes time, but imagination rules. Make whatever appeals to you. Nothing is more powerful than the act of creation. The time to start is now.” The LightArt philosophy really resonates with all of us at Launch by Design Inc. as we believe that the creation of every space, graphic and element should be done so with the intention of inspiring a positive impact on the user, guest or owner.

Thank you to Lois Williams and Ryan Smith at LightArt for including us in such a fun event and for igniting our creativity during a memorable afternoon! Check out more about the tour and challenge at http://ignite-create.com/

As I always say, “we live to create!”

Ann

Cutting-edge, $2 Million Coral Kidz Club opens in Cancun

Launch by Design Inc. creates dynamic space specifically for Generation Z’s unique needs

CCKC - Reception View 1

At the recent New York City launch of the $2 million Coral Kidz Club, Alberto Gurrola, the Managing Director of Grand Fiesta Americana Coral Beach Cancun Resort and Spa said he wanted to create the best possible kids club, one that would break the mold in terms of innovation and technology. Alberto then went on to say, “That’s why I wanted to work with Launch by Design Inc. as they have created some of the world’s most impressive children’s programs.”

First of all, all of us at the Launch by Design Inc. want to say thank you to Alberto for those very kind words and most importantly for giving us the opportunity to work on such a wonderful and exciting project.

Alberto and his team at Grand Fiesta Americano wanted to turn up the dial on make-believe taking the playground concept to another level. Let’s just say the Launch by Design Inc. crew was very happy to oblige.

Creating connection through technology and human interaction

The new Coral Kidz Club is designed for children aged 3 to 15, or ‘Generation Z’. Since Gen Zs only know a world with instant internet access, unique technology was integrated into the club’s physical structure to encourage ‘edutainment’ play. But even though Gen Zs are the most technologically-proficient generation ever, research has shown that they still desire and prefer personal interaction. As a result, we designed the new Coral Kidz Club to cater to both Gen Z’s thirst for innovative, state-of-the-art play and their want for social collaboration and conversation with their peers and parents.

A new environment around every corner

Everything about the club was strategically planned to provide infinite opportunities to explore. It’s a 360-degree experience created to satisfy the active nature of Gen Zs and reward their curiosity. Some of the highlights of the Coral Kidz Club design include an area for the children aged 3 to 5 that’s devoted to imagination and learning. Here toddlers can choose from three pathways: city, park or jungle. The cityscape is especially exciting as it includes Mexican-style homes and a fire station with a fire hose that can be used to put out a virtual fire. Next door is the Jungle room, a quiet zone deep in the forest where kids can curl up in a nook with a book.

For tweens and teens they can enjoy the latest interactive video games in a futuristic setting. The area includes a 30 sq. ft. wall of LED touch screens. This ‘Living Wall’ emits edutainment i.e.  fun facts and interesting information on the Mayan culture and Mexico location in the form of  three unique, engaging games; Mayan Glyph Match-up, Mayan Calendar Wheel and Mayan Numeral Guessing Game. Every time guests play these games, they can earn reward points which can be redeemed for cool prizes.

The Coral Kidz Club was an awesome project to be a part of. We look forward to working with Grand Fiesta Americana again in the future.

Ann

To preview more photos, click here!

LBD Inc. Client Nominated for Design Award

Touch of Gold Fine Jewellery named a finalist for the 2015 In-Store Experience & Design Award by the Retail Council of Canada.

Touch of Gold

Every year the Retail Council of Canada recognizes the best of the best in the retail industry at their Excellence in Retailing Awards gala. This year, our client Touch of Gold Fine Jewellery of Halifax, Nova Scotia was named a finalist for the In-Store Experience & Design Award. What made this really exceptional was the fact that they were one of the few independents to be nominated in the category which was dominated by large, national retail chains.

The nomination was in recognition of Touch of Gold Fine Jewellery’s re-designed store environment which was created by Launch by Design Inc. and built by our colleagues and good friends at rcs Construction Canada and Mill-Right Woodworking Inc. of Halifax.

The In-Store Experience & Design Award is no vanity prize. To be nominated your design has to demonstrate an innovative, original and visually enticing in-store experience plus have an impact on the success of the retailer too. That’s the part that really spoke to us at Launch by Design Inc. where our retail store design philosophy is that the design has to move product as much as it moves emotions.

The awards gala in Toronto was a wonderful night out with lots of great work showcased. Even though Touch of Gold Fine Jewellery didn’t bring home the gold, we still tip our hats to the category co-winners FGL Sports Limited who won for their Sport Chek store in the West Edmonton Mall and Sephora who won for their Robson Avenue location in Vancouver.

Ann