MOV - Why I Design by Cheryl Cheng

written by: Lucy Lau

“The idea here is to celebrate and present local designers’ work, through not in the context of a trade-show environment, which is what designers often get asked to do,” Lauren Marsden, a Vancouver-based video and performance artist who serves as Why I Design’s project lead, explains to the Straight at he Museum of Vancouver. ‘It’s more of an exhibition. It’s a chance for designers to talk about their process, to show a concept rather than showing a product they’re trying to sell.”

Two of those designers are Cheryl Cheng and Mario Sabljak of concealed studio, a Vancouver-based firm that produces architectural and Mother Nature - influenced wall panels and lighting. At Why I Design, the duo will present a series of four three-dimensional standing lights crafted using paper offcuts from a local mill. The backlit objects are constructed without glue or adhesive, and are placed atop blocks of reclaimed cedar at different angles so that the layered, multi-sided lanterns appear different depending on what direction you’re looking at them from.

“A lot of time, people don’t realize they’re actually the same shape.” Cheng shares during an interview with the Straight. “it’s nice that we’re able to use materials that normally, would be thrown out,” adds Sabljak.

Hot New Next Competition - 2018 by Cheryl Cheng

Gray Magazine - Issue No. 41


wriiten by: Stacy Kendall

CONCEALED STUDIO HAD THE JUDGES OF VANCOUVER’S ROUND OF HOT NEW NEXT SEEING THE LIGHT - specifically one light fixture, its custom-design 5.3 Architectural Panel. It won both the judges’ and audience’s pick that evening, and it proves that upcycled materials and refined design are an uber-successful match.

In cloudlike geometric forms, the piece produces both soft light and shadow with its folded paper peaks and valleys, all encased in a wood frame. Each light is handmade by the studio cofounders, Cheryl Cheng and Mario Sabljak, who came up with the design after a custom project left them with a mound of scrap paper ten months ago. Sabljak has been making handmade pieces in residential and commercial environments for 15 years, while Cheng, with a background in interior design and art, has been captivated by paper folding since her youth. “i am fascinated by how someone can take a square piece of paper and make a rose, for example,” she said. “The form’s strength is not glue; it’s how the paper fits together, and the layers, that gives it strength.”

Indeed, the judges focused on the artful paper layers, and praised the firm’s use of castoff materials. “The full upcycling of materials is so important,” said judge Bonne Zabolotney, vice president, academic and provost, of Emily Carr University of Art + Design. “You can see the human element in the layer upon layer of paper. It’s delicate and beautiful - something you can spend time with.” Sabljak and Cheng plan to design a ceiling fixture next, along with a battery-powered light. “We feel like we came to this event already winners, because we got feedback from the judges. If people get inspired through sharing design, that’s a win-win for everyone,” notes Sabljak