The Joy of Design

My take on the ultimate how-to manual Lately, I’ve found myself busy being a designer. It seems that I should describe this as working, but it actually feels more like playing. That might be more accurate, as there isn’t likely to be any remuneration downstream, but it’s still essentially the same activity that paid my […]

Contracts and Covid-19

Understand obligations during pandemic disruption As Covid-19 continues its rapid spread throughout the globe, it brings with it unprecedented disruption to every aspect of our lives, both personal and business. While our health, undoubtedly, remains our number one priority, Covid- 19 is also bringing about momentous interruption to our businesses. Government restrictions, travel restrictions, cancellations, […]

Cirque twist in atrium townhome

Vertical refresh satisfies pets, people A poorly constructed 1970s townhome in the Westmount area of Montreal, QC, was purchased by a family with one thing in mind — a total gut job. Architectural firm RobitailleCurtis, also of Montreal, was given the mandate to turn the tired atrium house into a modern home. Principal architect Andrew […]

Necessity: Mother of invention

Temp, fast-track installations in the pandemic era First, to my readers, I hope that you, your colleagues and all of your families are keeping well in these uncertain times. As I am writing this, I have started my second month staying and working at home. I could fill these pages with what it has been […]

Show time!

Innovation, competition and personalities on display I have been going to trade shows for a long time. As a product designer, I’m especially interested in products, and trade shows offer the most intense new-product-immersion experience there is. The shows I go to, furniture, interiors, architecture, lighting, equipment, boats, autos and so on, usually have a […]

Blood from a stone

Three ways the law helps with collection The last thing a creditor would want, after spending significant time and money in suing a debtor, is a “paper judgment” worth no more than the paper it is printed on. The term is often used to describe a judgment that cannot be enforced in any practical way. […]

Warm hospitality ambience

Hotel restaurant/bar reno embracing ghosts of Expo ’67 Germain Hotels’ flagship property, Le Germain Hotel, in downtown Montreal, Que., has undergone a major renovation that both sheds and embraces its Expo ’67-era brutalist concrete architecture roots. Occupying the first two floors now is the welcoming ambiance of Le Boulevardier restaurant and Le Flâneur Bar Lounge, […]

Clarifying vinyl options

WPC? SPC? LVT? SVT? VET? VCT? I spoke at a presentation for a large flooring contractor recently about a variety of flooring in the resilient category, especially vinyl and rubber. After the meeting, one of the industry veterans in the group pulled me aside. “Christopher, we have a lot of new people here, and they […]

Office refresh

Private school administration building opens up to the light THE HOME OF THE FEDERATION of Private Educational Institutions (Fédération des établissements d’enseignement privés, or FEEP), in Montreal, Que., has left the 1960s and joined the 21st century. Ill-suited to modern professional requirements, the old design cut staff off from each other with uncomfortable spaces to […]

Liability clauses

Understand risks and benefits Businesses routinely use or, knowingly or unknowingly, sign contracts that contain some form of an exclusion or limitation of liability clause. While such clauses vary considerably in size and scope, for illustrative purposes only, you may have seen a clause similar to this: “In no event will Supplier be liable for […]