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Our Team = Your Team


We strive for beautiful, functional, and deceivingly simple solutions. We're inspired by narratives and curiosity - and we produce everything responsibly with a focus on local resources. 

With over a decade of combined experiences, let the NDC join your team on your next project. From product design, furniture, lighting, retail, and exhibit design, since 2009 we've worked with young and established companies to develop new and dynamic experiences. 

Let's see if we can make something beautiful together. 

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Our Team = Your Team


We strive for beautiful, functional, and deceivingly simple solutions. We're inspired by narratives and curiosity - and we produce everything responsibly with a focus on local resources. 

With over a decade of combined experiences, let the NDC join your team on your next project. From product design, furniture, lighting, retail, and exhibit design, since 2009 we've worked with young and established companies to develop new and dynamic experiences. 

Let's see if we can make something beautiful together. 

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Top Shelf 20


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Top Shelf 20


Recognizing the most innovative bartenders in canada


Working with the Hive Inc. in Toronto we produced a limited series of custom cocktail muddlers for Jack Daniels. Made entirely out of used whiskey barrel wood, these were given to the top 20 bartenders in Canada as part of a marketing initiative.

We started by experimenting with different ways of using the wood. Our
goal was to preserve the character of the worn outer surfaces of the barrels, and the flavour of the charred inner surfaces.

The final design used two slats of the wood, laminated together. This was turned on the lathe, off-axis. By doing this, the outer surface of the barrel was preserved on the upper handle of the muddler, and the charred inner surface was preserved on the bottom of the muddler. The colour of the charred surface is also highlighted down the entire length of the piece.

The steel straps of the barrels were used to create serial number tags for each muddler. The number was etched directly into the oxidization on each tag.

The muddlers were then packaged in a custom canvas bag that is silkscreened with a description of the campaign.

Details: whiskey barrel oak wood and steel, hemp cord, cotton canvas.


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the Book Pedlar


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the Book Pedlar


BRINGING GREAT BOOKS TO THE STREETS OF TORONTO


Working with former bookstore owner of Clerkenwell Tales, based in London, England, we developed a mobile bookstore on a bicycle that would allow for great books to infiltrate the streets. 

We started our project with a Classic No. 33 Pashley cargo bicycle and a compressed one-month timeline from design and build. Our objectives were simple: to design something friendly and appealing that would attract people, allow customers to browse and explore content, as well as facilitate the selection and purchase portion of the retail cycle.

The completed design features:

  • An adaptable book shelf system that allows for displaying books with various dimensions and in different orientations (spine out, face out)
  •  Modular shelves that disassemble for easy storage or can be added or removed for an increase or decrease in book inventory.
  • A storage drawer to hold extra inventory or can also be used as a retail bin.
  • Removable and repositionable retail pegs to hang shopping bags or to display books. 
  • Detachable waterproofed canvas covers to protect books from Toronto's sporadic summer rain. 
  • Custom steel bookends that also serve as a stand for featuring books.
  • A matching chalkboard sign that can be stored on the bicycle during transportation and used on location to help attract customers.

theNDC also worked on the branding and identity for the Book Pedlar, creating a custom logo. We wanted to create a brand that was friendly and appealing, with a sense of retro. The logo features a modern take on hand painted typography, skewed dynamically to suit the mobile nature of the bookstore.  

Soft-launched in the fall, look for the Book Pedlar around the streets of Toronto in spring/summer 2015!

Details: plywood, steel, leather, canvas


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City Hive


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City Hive


The City Hive is a rooftop beehive that is designed to promote urban beekeeping and raise awareness of the plight of honeybees.


Colony Collapse Disorder has affected honeybees around the world, decreasing local bee populations by roughly 35%. We depend on honeybees for the pollination of 30% of our crops, making this a very human issue.

The design of the City Hive is inspired by the water towers that used to sit on rooftops around the city. Rooftops are an ideal location for honeybee colonies, bringing them out of direct contact with humans, while keeping them close to urban ground level and rooftop gardens. The unique form and location of the towers also cast an evocative silhouette, adding to our cityscape.

This project was developed with our friend Sherry, a local beekeeper (formerly with the Toronto District Beekeeping Association). The hive functionality is based on the traditional Langstroth design which is currently the standard style of hive for 75% of beekeepers around the world. This helps facilitate adoption by using common parts, mechanisms, and actions for hive maintenance. 

The outside of the hive is clad in cedar that is steam bent to sit flush on the round inner profile, and left raw to encourage natural weathering. The honeycomb pattern graphically represents the function of the tower, and insulates the hive. The cedar also acts as passive shading for the main hive body by reflecting sunlight in the summer, and letting light in through the cracks when the sun is low in the winter. This warming and cooling of the hive is an action that the bees will spend large amounts of energy on if required. Assistance in this task encourages health and honey production.

Details: white cedar, cedar, maple plywood, stainless steel

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My Favourite Thing Video Booth


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My Favourite Thing Video Booth


What is your favourite thing? Step into our video booth – designed by the young and talented National Design Collective – and tell us about your most adored accessory, gadget or furnishing. Whether it’s a vintage lamp, an appliance that makes carbonated drinks or a mobile phone, share your story and join the conversation on local and international design in Toronto.

- the DX


the My Favourite Thing video booth debuted at the 2014 Interior Design Show.  Built in under three weeks, this project was supported by the Design Exchange (DX), Association of Chartered Industrial Designers of Ontario (ACIDO), and the City of Toronto.

The booth was designed after one of our favourite things: a canoe.  We wanted to create a structure that was inviting and attractive to engage participants.  The main support frame is constructed out of bent maple and CNC-cut baltic birch plywood.  Designed for quick assembly and dissassembly, the structure can be assembled by two people in about 30 minutes using just a hex-key and screwdriver.    

To help control ambient noise during filming, the frame was wrapped in thick industrial felt.  The felt also helped create a intimate space within the booth, which helped encourage people to be comfortable and open up to the camera.  The upper section was wrapped in vellum to help break up the visual weight of the booth, and to pay an hommage to sketching - an invaluable tool for industrial designers.  For signage we used a combination of laser-cut felt and silk-screened graphics on veneer.

The My Favourite Thing booth is set to make more appearances around Toronto this coming spring/summer.

Identity by Coolaide Design Office, videography by Reynard Li.  Special thanks to Klaus for lending us a pair of the very appropriately named Last Minute Stools by Viccarbe.

Details: Maple wood, 100% wool felt, vellum


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Maple Leaf Forever Headphones


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Maple Leaf Forever Headphones


The Maple Leaf Forever Headphones  commemorates the musical history behind the legendary tree that stood for over a hundred and fifty years.  The portable and ubiquitous nature of the headphones allow for the once historical landmark to become mobile and be brought to a greater audience.


We were asked by LEAF to take part in a project to re-purpose wood from the Maple Leaf Forever tree that came down in a storm in late July, 2013. We were given a few branches and asked to make something that commemorates the tree that served as inspiration for our once unofficial national anthem. 

For the headphones we wanted the piece to come from a single piece of wood, so we picked the thickest branch. The diameter was just large enough for the speaker housings, and the rest of the branch had one straight dimension that yielded enough veneer for the head band.

The exhibition, part of the Toronto Design Offsite Festival includes pieces by the Brothers DresslerPaus + Grun, and Dystil. The exhibition ran from January 18th to 26, 2014 at Agora Cafe at 3015 Dundas Street West.

Details: maple wood, 100% wool felt, cotton thread, electronics.


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Delta Table


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Delta Table


The Delta Table is inspired by where the Fraser River meets the Pacific Ocean, as seen when flying into the Vancouver airport.


As the river slows at the entrance to the ocean it splits into many smaller channels which create a series of long, narrow islands. The splitting and reforming of these river channels inspired the legs of the Delta Table.

The table features a glass top and four bent wood legs. Each leg is made from three separate profiles of steam-bent ash which is then laminated for increased strength.

Details: glass, ash, steel hardware.