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Mason Studio Art Highlight: Maegan Mehler

As one can learn from our Mason Minute series, the team is multifaceted, talented creatives who produce their work with zeal.

Introducing you to the art of Project Designer Maegan Mehler (@maegrose) today. Maegan’s paintings explore affect and emotive space while questioning the possibilities of the face.

Her large-scale painting, Tender Brass, is a standout piece in our meeting room, while Kisser (Too) and Architect (Squiggle Face) grace the walls above our Atrium and are visible from multiple perspectives within 91 Pelham, inspiring curiosity and reflection.

Explore Maegan’s art – left to right:

Tender Brass
45.5” x 47.5” | oil on hand-cut wood and panel | 2017

Architect (Squiggle Face)
9.5” x 8.5” | oil on hand-cut panel | 2015

Kisser (Too)
18.5” x 18” | oil on hand-cut panel | 2016

Maegan comes to the field of interior design as an artist with a wide range of experience in art and hospitality. With a BFA and MFA specializing in painting, sculpture, and installation, she is interested in the affective and emotive space at the intersection of art, design, and architecture.

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Mason Minute with Peng Zheng

For our latest timestamp in the Mason Minute series, we're highlighting Technical Designer, Peng Zheng. Peng, who is currently completing the Architectural Technician program at Algonquin College, interned at Mason Studio over summer 2023, and brought resonant zeal to the drawing board. Peng’s passion for storytelling through design is complemented by his creativity, talent and bright personality.

Peng experiences the world with heart and offers these words of wisdom: “Don't be trapped in inherent thinking. Try to solve problems from multiple perspectives. Constantly explore novel concepts and focus on the feelings of the experiencer.”

My personal floorplan for design is motivated by my interest and curiosity in exploring new things since I was a child. When I grew up, I became deeply interested in the changes of space under different occasions, so I often conceived some interesting designs in my mind. However, I had no concept or confidence about whether this idea could be realized, so I chose to engage in technical drawing design. In this way, I can deeply understand and master the internal composition of the structure and different construction technique, which will better assist me to complete the design inspiration that I pursue in my heart.

I am an passionate about creating storytelling for design concepts, telling stories to make people interested in designing products. At the same time, I am also keen on building models and working on construction drawings, which I think is an important stage to verify design ideas.

A design idea that I want to explore further: I want to discover new and interesting materials, explore more possibilities of construction technology, adhere to sustainable design, strengthen the interaction between design and people, and try to introduce technology into design.

Design has taught me: to not be trapped in inherent thinking and try to solve problems from multiple perspectives. To constantly explore novel concepts and focus on the feelings of the experiencer. (I) experience the world with my heart.

Design cultivates community and creates a sense of belonging through trying. Experimentation is a good way to verify a design idea, and it is possible to get feedback from the community through continuous experimentation, and in the process of experimenting, new and better ideas may inadvertently emerge, thus making people interested in them and creating a sense of belonging.

Outside of the field of design, I also like music and cooking. I like listening to music. Through different music, I can feel different cultural backgrounds and at the same time comfort my soul. In the field of cooking, I really enjoy the process of cooking, which is like design. Allocate the ingredients, follow the steps, keep trying, and finally adjust to the taste I like.

Connect with Peng Zheng on Instagram and stay tuned for more time with the Mason Studio team.

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Mason Studio featured in OnOffice Magazine

“Smells like community spirit.”

We love an iconic song reference – this one comes by way of OnOffice Magazine! Mason Studio is thrilled to be featured in their autumn 2023 issue under a headline that arrives as we celebrate as one year at 91 Pelham this month!

OnOffice’s Mandi Kreighan spoke with Co-Founder and Executive Director, Stanley Sun, about Mason Studio’s integrated workspace and cultural hub, and how the office design has extended beyond the team, into its neighbouring community.

“Mason Studio in Toronto is pioneering a radical approach to interior design driven by community collaboration. With a workspace open to all, its team is dissolving the separation between creative practice and the public.”

Read the full feature here– now in print and online. Many thanks to On Office for highlighting Mason Studio's work and community hub.

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Work From (CPH) The World: Tannaz Torabi

Mason Studio | Work From The World with Tannaz Torabi, Project Designer
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark

“I sense a notable transformation in my thinking patterns as I strive to cultivate a distinct vision and streamline my thoughts, by removing unnecessary items and focusing on the core whys and hows."

Those are some of many insights Mason Studio Project Designer, Tannaz Torabi, channeled during her first-time visit to Copenhagen, Denmark for Mason Studio’s Work From The World program. The initiative provides Mason Studio team members the opportunity to be sent anywhere they choose in the world to work for a week, returning to bring knowledge and inspiration to all client projects and amongst their colleagues.

Tannaz visited Copenhagen in June 2023, where she participated in 3daysofdesign – a festival that provides a platform for both emerging and established design brands from Denmark and abroad to share their talent. Hundreds of exhibitors welcome guests into their spaces to discover new and beloved collections of furniture, lighting, accessories and materials. Events, panel discussions, dining experiences and other adventures abound.

While sojourning with international designers and Danes alike, Tannaz was inspired by the local industry’s commitment to quality craftsmanship.

“Danish designers are gifted in designing furniture, decorative elements that feels timeless and lighting fixtures (both architectural and decorative),” she says. “Simplicity still feels enough. It is welcoming and draws attention to details. I engaged with spaces, creators and their concepts behind developing their design ideas and their innovative thinking on use of materials, to their inventions around material application.”

Tannaz is always on-the-go. An avid traveler that has moved frequently over the years, this venture taught her to be a bit more cautious around consumption. It reminded her the importance of keeping things simple, to question the source and sustainability of products, and their societal and environmental impact.

Over the course of her total two weeks in CPH, Tannaz grew inspired by the many like-minded peers around her; kind people who are solid listeners that demonstrate an exceptional level of precision in their work. “I learned that Danes are highly collaborative individuals, and they thrive on mutual learning and exchange of ideas across diverse design disciplines.”

Tannaz had more invigorating moments in Denmark – check out key anecdotes below and stay tuned for the next journal entry for Work From The World!

Copenhagen made a mark: to be open-minded, receptive to all diversity, culture, lifestyle, and eager to learn from their experiences.

Why Tannaz selected Copenhagen for this design venture: their less-but-better approach in life and consequently in their lifestyle.
Core research was done through: sites visited, meetings held, people met that had a general idea of all places she would like to see and meet, including individuals from Norm Architects, Note Design, MUUTOand cycling brand, Pas Normal Studios.

Tannaz is curious to learn more about: collaboration between diverse teams, how to support colleagues of diverse background and disciplines.

Innovation was found in: experiencing spaces that are designed to support users’ well-being.
Follow Tannaz Torabi @tannaz.torabi

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Refuge In The Water

Refuge In The Water brings the outdoors in and offers a pause with nature.

World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 25 per cent of the population suffers from psychological and mental distress, and preliminary evidence suggests that aquatic environments and riparian areas (vegetation growing along the edge of water) can benefit psychological and mental wellbeing. A design framework for therapeutic waterscapes was proposed, which highlighted accessibility, versatility, habitats and biodiversity.*

Enter The Gallery at Mason Studio and you will be welcomed by a flooded pond, plants and an earthy pathway. The installation is comprised of a small, accessible material list that could be found at a garden centre: cedar mulch, water, garbage bags, pond liner, tape, plastic basin, moss, rocks, plants from Mason Studio and a balloon dog for playful measure. All will be repurposed for future projects, from landscaping to functional use around the studio.

Refuge In The Water is intended to fluctuate and take shape by all who visit Mason Studio and grace its landscape. Evoking awe and curiosity, let it inspire you to take a moment and embrace your surroundings. Designed and built by the Mason Studio team, the installation is an extension of Refuge In The Sky, a 2022 project comprised of a seven-foot floating island of lush and living greenery within the atrium. It focused on the ways nature encourages mindfulness around interior spaces, and how they make us feel. For its flowing counterpart, the team drew inspiration from research around the natural bodies of water that impacted wellness the most.

From the crunch beneath your feet, the cedar aroma, calming water, flora and fauna – it’s best experienced in-person.

Stop by 91 Pelham for a visit to experience it for yourself! Reach out to for more information.

* (November 2021) International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Waterscapes for Promoting Mental Health in the General Population. Source:

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Mason Minute with Marwa Istanbuli

Marwa Istanbuli is a Montreal-based project designer inspired by textural complexity within spaces and shares her story in this timestamp for Mason Minute. While exploring unconventional ways of layering materiality, to creating meaningful, unique experiences for everyday users while challenging the status quo, she brings her vision, intuition and drive to the world of design.

My personal floorplan for design was framed by my curiosity to understand the various environments around me and the emotions they evoked in people. I grew a deeper fascination with the thinking behind these curated spaces and a love for the storytelling crafted within. It was almost like building your childhood fantasy doll house, but in real life and with a purpose to make better. Therefore, interior design became the foundation in my pursuit to create such unique realms for people to experience.

I am passionate about the collaborative nature of the field and the impact it has over the quality of our work and the betterment of the community at large. In working directly with the local tradespeople, craft folk, and artists, I’m able to create unique singular interiors interwoven into the local context, whilst giving back to the community.

A design idea that I want to explore further is textural complexity within a space. I’m continually exploring unconventional ways of layering materiality to challenge the expected narrative in each space and craft compelling tensions and movements within.

Design has taught me that there are no wrong ideas, just unrefined ones. With more experience and trial and error, I’ve started to instinctively understand from the outset how the space is going to look once it’s completed and make design decisions accordingly. The design process, therefore, is one of editing, refining, and bringing the clients and collaborators along the way to achieve the final result.

I use design to create purposeful and unique experiences for everyday users while challenging the status quo. Design is a way for me to lay out my perspectives and life learning into something more tangible and impactful to the surrounding community. As such, design becomes a form of self expression.

Design cultivates community and creates a sense of belonging through recognition. It’s very important for designers to recognize the value of the project’s local culture, history, and social psychology and aim to integrate it into the design, from the broadest stroke to the most granular detail. Only then, do we create environments that help cultivate lifelong connections with the community and future collaborators.

Outside the lines of design, my interests have led me to MENA, an artist talk collective that celebrates and showcases the immense creative talent from the Middle East and North Africa region. Through this initiative, I have had the privilege of connecting with a diverse array of artists and creatives, highlighting the rich cultural heritage of the region and paving the way for future collaborations and a growing lobal artistic community.

On the side, I enjoy travelling in search of inspiration, new connections, great food, and thrifting opportunities (editor's note: hence Marwa's cool sense of style!).

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Mason Studio featured in Office Snapshots

Mason Studio is a place to learn, connect and reflect. Summertime is always ideal for immersing yourself in the pages of a good book – whether revisiting a childhood classic or unravelling design methodology, our book exchange is a place for discovery and discourse. It’s an integral part of cultivating a culture of experimentation, and a gathering space to work during our weekly collaboration days. ⁠

Here's our three easy steps:

  1. Start at the book exchange and select a good read.⁠
  2. Grab a seat at the study garden to enjoy the good read.⁠
  3. Meet with your team in the workshop to discuss the good read. ⁠

    Some of the many examples of how Mason Studio is a space for ideation, making, designing and building - on projects, and amongst each other. ⁠

    Want to get involved? Feel free to drop off a book that resonates with you! We’re always open to expanding our library and sharing with the community. ⁠

Office Snapshots recently shared more about Mason Studio with their readers – read the feature at our bio link to learn more about the integrated office space at 91 Pelham and send us a direct message if you’d like to stop by for a visit! ⁠

Read more at:

Photos by Scott Norsworthy

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IDC Summer Mixer 2023

Mason Studio is connecting with Interior Designers of Canada and DesignTO at their highly anticipated summer mixer event next Wednesday, July 12 at the Toronto Euro Tile & Stone showroom.

A time to celebrate and connect the worlds of interior design and art, mix and mingle with creatives from both communities.

Don't miss an in-depth conversation with Mason Studio Co-Founder and Executive Director, Ashley Rumsey, and Design Director, Marti Gallucci, who will discuss art, design, and collaboration in practice alongside IDC CEO, Trevor Kruse.

RSVP to secure your spot and learn more:

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Mason Minute with Paul Lee

Welcome to the Mason Minute - a series celebrating the talented team at Mason Studio. A journal entry and get-to-know moment for the awesome people that contribute to Mason Studio, the design community and beyond. We'll delve into the passion for their practice, creative endeavours, the purpose for what they do, and the core of who they are.

We inaugurate the special series with Mason Studio Project Designer, Paul Lee.

My personal floorplan for design: has been built off my love of art. I have been a passionate arts student since my teens, I grew up filling up and stacking hardcover sketchbooks, creating digital designs, and building maquettes and models with my hands. Through finding a love for built spaces, interior design was the natural next step in my floorplan.

I am passionate about: 3D modelling as a design tool. I believe that using 3D models can not only make understanding the design of a space more accessible, but also gives opportunity to every person to better communicate big ideas.

A design idea that I want to explore further is: new ways to integrate lighting design into the forefront of some upcoming projects. I’m continuously learning and looking to understand new innovations created by lighting designers and how to best integrate them into our spaces.

Design has taught me that: there is value in iteration, and the path taken in the process to create “finished” works and spaces holds value not only for design thinking but also for the DNA of a project, and solidifying the purpose for the design decisions we do make.

I use design: as a tool to create environments and experiences that are simple and purposeful. I believe strong design can better connect all users of a built space, all while creating beautiful experiences.

Design cultivates community and creates a sense of belonging through: listening. I believe listening to your community and reflecting their needs or wants through design really fosters a lasting sense of belonging in a community. It is through this foundation of listening that we can better understand and build for the community we serve, as well as employ opportunities for collaboration as we embark on the journey of the design!

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Weaving Collaboration: a community rug

“One can tell by looking at the rug that there are a million different stories written all over it, it’s noisy, and that’s what makes it brilliant," says Mason Studio Project Designer, Nautica Holdip.

We are reflecting on Mason Studio’s amazing team and their contributions. This rug, woven by our own Project Designer, Nautica Holdip, began as a project during our 2033: An Optimistic Future exhibition as part of DesignTO 2023.

The result is a vibrant, community-made rug that is a grounding welcome to Mason Studio’s atrium. It evokes awe and wonder, is built with connection and exploration and inspires us to stay uplifted and curious as we embark on the work we are so passionate about. A daily reminder that carries us through and supports every step of the journey.

“It was such a heart warming and gratifying experience working on this rug. Something I loved about this process was the community had shaped how the rug was going to come together. Normally, when tufting, one projects their design onto the canvas and draws over the projection - almost as if they were colouring in a colouring book – but with yarn,” Nautica says of the process.

“This time around it was entirely left to the community’s imagination. The 75% of the rug that I completed outside of the DesignTO exhibition was shaped from the stories others told with their path of yarn. To see it come together as though it was this canvas of abstract art, knowing that there was energy put in by over 100 people is a beautiful thing and truly priceless.”

Check out more images of the final product here.

More on Nautica’s experience working on the community rug during DesignTO exhibition, 2033: An Optimistic Future
It was such a heart warming and gratifying experience working on this rug. Tufting is something that is quite inaccessible, so giving the opportunity to the community to experiment and experience the world of tufting was amazing to see. Something I loved about this process was the community had shaped how the rug was going to come together. Normally when tufting one projects their design onto the canvas and draws over the projection, almost as if they were colouring in a colouring book – just with yarn. This time around it was entirely left to the community’s imagination. The 75% of the rug that I completed outside of the DesignTO exhibition was shaped from the stories others told with their path of yarn. To see it come together as though it was this canvas of abstract art, knowing that there was energy put in by over 100 people is a beautiful thing and truly priceless. You couldn’t purchase something like this anywhere.

What inspired the design and elements of the rug creation?
The inspiration behind the design was drawn from expression. The intention by providing many colours of yarn with different ply thicknesses was to allow the user to have a choice. For example: ‘If I’m feeling happy I’ll pick up a bold bright colour,’ or ‘if my favourite colour is banana yellow, maybe I will use that.’ it was really to give everyone a choice on how they wanted to express themselves through this experimentation process. One can tell by looking at the rug that there are a million different stories written all over it, it’s noisy, and that’s what makes it brilliant.

What did you learn from the process?
Mason Studio an advocate for having the community apart of everything they do. I thought it was only fitting to propose something that would be new for everyone where we could all collaborate and bond over making something that can serve a purpose in many ways. It was less about making the rug appealing and more about the greater message. I learned how important it is to give equal opportunity to everyone, and lots of freedom. Things like this can open people’s eyes and change perspectives. Who knows, maybe one person who contributed is now taking up rug making as a hobby or career. I really hope those who participated are proud of what they contributed to.

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