Niels Bendtsen


 “Quality is a funny concept. We tend to think of it as being associated with handcraft. But quality is also about your attitude toward design. Craftsmanship is just as much about how you run the machines that are now necessary for economic viability.” 

Born in Denmark, Niels Bendtsen and his family immigrated to Canada in 1951. In place of a formal design education, Bendtsen trained as an apprentice for his father, who designed and built Scandinavian furniture. Through working with his father, Bendtsen gained valuable skills and a respect for non-industrial, hand-built traditions, but he was also intrigued by new technologies and ways to satisfy increasing demand. Between 1963 and 1972, Bendtsen had his own retail store where he sold his father’s furniture, as well as imported Scandinavian designs. He designed small items for the store, but it wasn’t until he was in his early thirties that he truly began designing furniture. Dissatisfied with the quality and limited functionality of the furniture he received from his overseas manufacturers, Bendtsen sold his store, moved to Europe and became a full time designer.

In the 1980s, he moved back to Vancouver, bought back his old store and added a manufacturing component. Using the skills he learned working with European factories, Bendtsen successfully found a balance between affordability, aesthetics and quality. Customers responded, and in the mid-1990s Bendtsen began making his designs available through other retailers, such as Design Within Reach. 

An early Bendtsen design, the Ribbon Chair, is included in the permanent collection at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and his work was featured on a Canadian stamp celebrating industrial design. In 2006, Bendtsen was honored with the 2006 British Columbia Creative Achievement Award of Distinction.

Joana Bover


In 1996, Joana Bover founded Bover in Barcelona, Spain. Born from napkin sketches scribbled down at a restaurant, the Bover brand now ships its diverse product profile around the world. Today, a full team of respected designers joins Joana Bover in creating new lighting experiences for people everywhere.

Despite the continuing growth of the Bover brand, Joana Bover has maintained pursuit of her original vision. She believes in timeless design, a balance between quality and price, and in defending the rights of the designers that painstakingly realize Bover products.


Rosie Li

Rosie Li Studio

Rosie Li was born in Zhengzhou, China and emigrated to the United States at the age three. She was encouraged to pursue lifelong interests in drawing and sculpting which eventually led her to attend Rhode Island School of Design. There she developed a sensitivity towards form, space, and rational design, graduating in 2011 with a BFA in Furniture Design. 

Blending graphic elements and geometric forms, Rosie creates lighting and furniture that challenges visual capabilities and perception. She currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. 

Andrea McLean  

Andrea McLean Design Office

Master of Architecture, University of British Columbia, 2008
Bachelor of Interior Design, Kwantlen Polytechnic University, 1994

Andrea believes architecture should be more than just an aesthetic, it should be multi-sensory. Architecture should provide an experience whether it’s a response to scale, time, or function. Andrea is focused on bringing this experience to all her projects, at any scale. 

Originally from Winnipeg, Andrea’s interest in design started when she studied architectural drafting in junior high school. She is preoccupied with details, materials, and thoughtful space planning. 

Andrea’s travels in developing countries provided the foundation for her architectural thesis, Community Architecture: Native Housing in Bella Coola, for which she received the Abraham Rogatnik book prize from UBC’s School of Architecture. This distinction is given to projects that exhibit creative and poetic talent in a design that also enriches the environment and inspires the spiritual lives of the people using that environment.

Andrea has 20 years of architectural and interior design experience. She started her own design practice in 1999, and her work has been published in Western Living, Canadian House & Home, and Montecristo. 

In addition to her design practice, Andrea is also a co-founder of The Aviary, an open studio space in Vancouver dedicated to supporting independent creatives.


Allison Mills

Owner, Inform Interiors - Seattle

Born in Nova Scotia, Allison holds a BA from the University of Victoria for Painting and History in Art. She also studied Art History and Design at Carleton MA. Allison started with Inform Interiors in Vancouver in 1997.  In 2000 she transferred to Inform Seattle to run the Seattle showroom and in 2005 purchased Inform Seattle. Inform Seattle has diversified from strictly retail to an even mix of commercial and residential with a strong push on lighting over the past 6 years where now lighting accounts for nearly a 1/3 of annual sales. 


Ellie Niakan

B. Interior Architecture, LC, CLD

Lead Architectural Lighting Designer

Ellie is an International Certified Lighting Designer with a great passion for transforming spaces with light, providing innovative, customized lighting solutions for challenging projects.

She believes that successful lighting design creates lasting and memorable experiences for the users, enhances or reshapes the spaces and protects the environment. Her ability to combine creativity, imagination, art and science enables her to achieve these unique goals. 

Ellie has worked as a professional lead architectural lighting designer in Germany, England and Canada. She has been involved in the lighting design of various project types such as hospitality, cultural, performing arts, galleries, educational, commercial, facades and exterior public spaces in Canada, China, Germany, Luxembourg and England. Her work has been recognized internationally with numerous lighting design awards.

With lighting design as the main focus of her education, she graduated from the University of Applied Science in Germany with a degree in Interior Architecture. Ellie has been a speaker at various lighting design panels, and teaches lighting design to Interior Design students in Vancouver.


Phillip K. Smith, III


A native of the Southern California desert, Phillip K. Smith III received his Bachelor of Fine Arts and Bachelor of Architecture degrees at the Rhode Island School of Design.

Building upon the foundation of work established by artists such as Turrell, Irwin, Brancusi, and Nolan among others, Smith creates two and three dimensional works that draw upon the concepts of light, space, color, and form within the context of an ever-changing environment.  He constantly investigates the influence of light and shadow, both natural and artificial, as it travels from within or moves across the surface of his seemingly simple, yet complex forms.   The results are intensely physical works that are equally ephemeral and meditative, directly affecting the viewer’s sense of perception, breath, and pace of experience. It is here that Smith challenges us to slow down and to align ourselves with the work in order to clearly see and hear the beauty revealed before us.

Featured in the 2008 annual review in Art in America, Smith’s work has been included in on-line and print publications both nationally and internationally.  His work, “Inhale/Exhale,” graces the cover and interior of Chris Van Ueffelen’s book, “500 x Art In Public”.  His internationally renowned 2013 installation, Lucid Stead, is included in Henry M. Sayre’s “A World of Art”, the go-to textbook for college level art history courses.  

The Los Angeles Times named Smith as one of the three "Faces to Watch in Art in 2014” and in this same year Smith launched Reflection Field, a colossal light installation exhibited on the grounds of the Coachella Music and Arts Festival.  The monolithic sized “five volumes of light” which comprised Reflection Field earned Smith a Los Angeles Times full-page article focused exclusively on his studio practice.

Smith’s Artist-in-Residence invitations include the Palm Springs Art Museum in 2010 and, most recently, Dartmouth College in 2015, whose lineage includes some of the most innovative artists of the last century, including Robert Rauschenberg, Frank Stella and Donald Judd.  Group and solo exhibitions include, Light & Shadow Works featured at the Jaffe-Friede Gallery, Dartmouth College and Royale Projects Contemporary Art, Los Angeles and Smooth Operations: Substance and Surface in Southern California Art at the Museum of Art and History in Lancaster CA where he was positioned alongside well-known artists Peter Alexander, Larry Bell, DeWain Valentine, and Craig Kauffman.

Smith has, for the second time, been invited to exhibit at the Coachella Music and Arts Festival in April of 2016 where he will unveil “Portals,” an 85’ diameter pavilion for light.  Later this year, he will mount a solo exhibition at the Laguna Art Museum and, in conjunction with the exhibition, will create a large scale temporary installation on the shoreline of Laguna’s Main Beach.

From his studio in Palm Desert, California, he is currently working on large scale installations for the cities of West Hollywood, CA, Bellevue, WA, Scottsdale, AZ, and the middle of the California Mojave Desert.

Jakub Zak

Patricia Urquiola Studio

Jakub Zak (Gdansk, 1980), grew up on the West Coast of Canada. He studied art and design at both Emily Carr Institute in Vancouver and at KHB in Berlin.

Following his studies he moved to Milan, Italy, working first for Mario and Claudio Bellini, before collaborating with the studio of Patricia Urquiola from 2008 to 2013. In 2011 he co-founded Oueffice, a collaborative research laboratory that he shares with Nicolas Bellavance-Lecompte. Their work focuses on developing innovative objects of limited edition, and has been exhibited internationally with various galleries including Phillips de Pury in London, R20th in New York and Carwan in Beirut.

In addition, Jakub pursues design research under his eponymous practice, expanding on his multifaceted background to explore new design-related opportunities.