Posted on April 23rd, 2010 by .

On May 1st and 2nd, Montreal designers and architects will open the doors of their studios to give us behind the scene access to the creative process behind their work.

Technology is to Silicon Valley what Entertainment is to Los Angeles and what Creativity is to Montréal.

Forgive my bragging, but Montréal was named a UNESCO City of Design in 2006, and there’s major evidence, all around the urban landscape, to back up the fact that Montréal kicks international butt when it comes to imagining, designing, sketching and creating world-class quality projects.

This bragging (read pride) is what leads me to talk to you about an event called the Montréal Design Open House.  Every year, hundreds of Montréal creators, architects and designers open the doors of their studios, agencies and other creative spaces to the public. For free.

You get to pick their brains, engage in fun activities, discover their professions and witness the diversity and talent Montréal has to offer.  Hey, you can even create relationships that could impact your career!

Because there is so much going on, I thought I would choose a few activities that you might enjoy. (Montréal Design Open House’s website is also a really useful tool. You can create your very own itinerary, see what others are doing, and share it with your friends!)

Saturday May 1, 2010

1) [Fashion Design]: HARRICANA

Harricana is a sustainable fashion brand dedicated to giving gorgeous materials a second life by transforming them into unique pieces of fashion. By recycling old furs, they’ve saved the lives of more than 600,000 animals over the past 15 years.  Now they might recycle old fur, wedding dresses and silk scarves, but you’ll never look like an old rag in Harricana. Rather, it’s some of the finest fashion the city has to offer. From noon to 5pm you’ll be able to visit their workshop and create personalized key chains.

3000 Saint-Antoine W.
Corner Atwater
Lionel Groulx Metro
(514) 287-6517 #201

2) [Architecture]: SID LEE

First things first, I work here. Now that it’s out there, you might think I’m biased, but the fact that Sid Lee is one of the most creative agencies in the world is a known fact. With clients such as Tourism Montreal, Cirque du Soleil, Adidas and MGM Grand, Sid Lee has positioned itself as a world leader in the advertising, communication and marketing world. Sid Lee Architecture is just about to launch a super spa-boat project called Bota Bota, and now’s your chance to come see how it was all created. Plus, our offices are really beautifully designed. Mark my word. Be there.

75 Queen Street
Between Wellington and de la Commune
Square Victoria Metro

3) [Interactive Design]: BLUESPONGE

Bluesponge is an agency that focuses on creating interactive environments, mostly installations and other rad things produced for the internet and mobile world. Why visit them? Because you’ll get to attend a free creation workshop and design your own interactive project.

460 Ste-Catherine West #505
Between Cit Councillors and Saint-Alexandre
McGill Metro
(514) 875-2583 #235


There’s going to be an astonishing exposition taking place at the Canadian Centre of Architecture on Saturday. Kids and adults get to create their own…spatial city, annnnd, see it come to life in an custom-made installation. The exhibition explores the idea of spatial living thanks to fancy futuristic technologies.

Space workshop: 2h30pm – 4h30pm
Guided tour of exhibitions: 11h30am – 2h00pm
1920 Baile Street
Between Fort and Saint-Marc
Guy-Concordia Metro
(514) 939-7026

SUNDAY MAY 2, 2010

1)  [Fashion Design]: VALÉRIE DUMAINE

Valérie Dumaine is an up-and-coming Montreal fashion designer who produces her delightful feminine collections right here in Montreal. On Sunday you’ll get to visit the studio where all her creations are made, on top of getting a sneak peek at her Fall Winter 2010-2011 collection.

5445 De Gaspé Street, #913
Between Maguire and Saint-Viateur
Laurier Metro
(514) 247-6419

2) [Graphic Design]: BAILLAT CARDELL & FILS

This firm of photographers, designers and illustrators is as good as it gets in terms of graphic design. For the Open House they are showcasing an exhibit called “Cercles Vicieux” (that would be “vicious circles” for you English speaking muffins). From what I hear, it’s going to be one sexy exposition…you’ve been warned.

12pm – 5pm
420 Beaubien W #201
Outremont Metro + bus 161
(514) 750-6600

3) [Interactive Design]: MOMENT FACTORY

Moment Factory is one of my favorite Montreal collectives. They’re (literally) putting the name of our city in lights. To give you an idea, here’s one of the projects they’ve spawned at the cultural heart of our city.

6250 Hutchison #200 A
Corner Van Horne
Outremont Metro + 7 minute walk
(514) 843-8433 #101

4) [Architecture]: LES ATELIERS L. MCCOMBER

When I heard this architecture workshop was hosting a treasure hunt as part of the Open House Kids activities, I felt very excited. I might be a grown woman, but my heart is that of a 10 year-old kid. While I get down with the children, more mature people will get to talk to the creators about their various projects in architecture and construction.

12pm – 5pm
5179 Saint-Denis Street
Between Laurier and Boucher
Laurier Metro
(514) 948-5669

That should keep you busy! Again, these are just some ideas and there are so many activities to choose from, including a wide range for the entire family, so make sure you check out the website for more info.

May 1 – 2, 2010
From noon to 5 p.m.
To learn more:

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