Sunday, August 3, 2014

Innovative home accessories at Umbra Shift exhibit

Umbra Shift’s innagural collection of home accessories takes the spotlight at a two-week exhibit to be held at Dimensione, One Parkade, Bonifacio High Street, Bonifacio Global City from July 26 to August 8, 2014.

Umbra Shift is an extension of Umbra, a Toronto-based company offering a wide collection of housewares that are fun, creatively-designed, easy to use, and respond to the way people live. 

Inspired by Umbra’s 30-year tradition of thoughtful design for everyday living, the collection will feature the works of Lukas Peet, Paul Loebach, MSDS, Fugitive Glue, Hlynur Atlason, Philippe Malouin, Harry Allen, Albert Lee, and the Umbra Studio. 

The curated group of established, emerging, and in-house designers were invited to design personal objects they themselves would want to give or use at home. The collection was first presented in May at the 26th International Contemporary Furniture Fair in New York, where it bagged the Editor’s Award for Best Accessories.
Flying  to Manila from Toronto to unveil the 14 piece collection is Umbra Design Director Matt Carr, who leads the company’s global team of over 30 designers. He shares, “The development for Umbra Shift began with the goal of creating a platform for the Umbra Studio to experiment with new ideas and foster exhange with leading members of the design community.”

The result is a very contemporary collection that perfectly embodies Umbra’s design aesthetic. Among the fun and smart home d├ęcor which will be on display are an ergonomic coiled stool with beautiful handwoven tractor seat, a birch plywood hanger that can be unfolded and serve as a chair, and a solid brass roll bottle opener, all of which are sure to catch the eye of people with deep appreciation for design.

“After its successful launch in North America and Europe, Umbra Shift is set for its Asia debut. We are truly excited to bring this collection of thoughtfully designed and well crafted products to an international design stage. Note that a few pieces from the collection were handmade right here in the Philippines,” adds Carr.

Umbra, which means "shade" in Latin, was born when graphic designer Paul Rowan custom-made a window shade for his apartment, and teamed up with his childhood friend Les Mandelbaum. 

Today, the award-winning company employs an international team of in-house designers and global network which make its original designs available in over 120 countries. The full collection can be seen at the Umbra Store in Toronto. 

Matt Carr has been working at Umbra for 9 years while he was still in his second year of post-secondary education, and has been responsible for some of the brand’s most successful products. In 2009, Matt became the company’s first Design Director leading the global team of over 30 designers.

Subtle design detail, style references and the reinvention of traditional objects distinguish Carr’s signature designs. Recent inspirations include mixing cross-cultural orientations, while simultaneously fusing new technology and natural materials in intriguing compositions.

Matt Carr, Umbra Design Director

He is also working with external designers and directing student competitions around North America. “Working with students allows them to better understand the business of design and opens doors for them to get their ideas manufactured. It also gives Umbra a sneak peak at fresh new design talent,” shares Carr. The CONCEAL, WISHBONE, TALK BUBBLE, and FISH CONDO are all great examples of student collaborations.

Some of Carr’s favorite Umbra products include the SNAP FRAME which offers an affordable way to create a dynamic wall installation that can even be personalize with the use of a dry marker; the CLIPPER, a super strong jumbo spring clip hook that has an industrial feel; and the SUDZ soap pump inspired by a classic soap bottle which is a simple ceramic idea that has great play factor with a nostalgic reference -- pure in function and form. 

Matt's design continues to evolve into a more minimal aesthetic with a focus on function, materiality and an element of curiosity.

To learn more about Umbra and its wide range of home accessories designed for modern living, visit and

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