Whether investigating materials, processes, functions or forms, I let the work inform me, both as mentor and muse.
SONIA CHOW is an interdisciplinary designer/artist. Her work interrogates communication and codes, identity, tactile objects and the exploration of process and materials.
Sonia was born and raised in Canada. Her education was punctuated with chemical engineering and Russian language studies at University of Toronto before focusing on communication design and textiles at NSCAD (Halifax, Nova Scotia), from which she graduated with a Bachelor of Design in Communication Design. She worked and studied in Japan from 2002 to 2007 and Hong Kong from 2007 to 2018. She returned to Canada in 2018, and to NSCAD in 2019 to pursue her MFA in Studio (candidate 2022). She is a recipient of the SSHRC Joseph-Armand Bombardier CGS Master’s Scholarship.
With over 25 years of design experience, her portfolio spans: communication design, illustration, fashion, textiles, jewellery, lighting, furniture, and interior graphics. Her design work has primarily focused on branding and identity, annual reports, packaging, publication design and event design. Her client list includes: Volkswagen Japan, the British Council Japan, Grand Hyatt Tokyo, Alain Ducasse Benoit Tokyo, Canadian Tire, CAE, CIBC, Nelvana, Steelcase and PMQ.
While in Japan, Sonia was Guest Critic at Musashino Art University’s Department of Scenography, Display and Fashion Design. She also spent 6 weeks in Prague working on streetwear collections for European and North American markets and was a feature writer and weekly style contributor for Nissan Infiniti’s and Microsoft’s year-long design blog “Open for Design” from 2006 to 2007.
In Hong Kong, she was full-time Art Director at Farrells (architect planners) and Philips Design (consumer electronics), as well as Consulting Creative Director of Graphics at HBA / Hirsch Bedner Associates (luxury interiors). She has also served as Guest Critic for the Graduate Urban Design Studio at Chinese University of Hong Kong’s School of Architecture.
From 2012 to 2017, Sonia was the City Organizer of PechaKucha Night Hong Kong, a series of public creative networking events with a signature presentation format of 20 images x 20 seconds, which began in Tokyo as the brainchild of Klein Dytham architecture.
In 2011, Sonia was inducted into the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts. Established in 1880, RCA is the oldest visual arts organisation in Canada and includes more than 30 visual arts disciplines. Sonia joined the Executive Committee and Governing Council as Secretary from 2018 to 2019.
In 2019, Sonia was Director-at-Large for Nocturne: Art at Night, a not-for-profit organization which has been bringing visual art to the streets of Halifax as an annual event since 2008; and in 2021, she joined the Board of Directors of Turret Arts Space, a restoration and reincarnation of the Khyber Building in Halifax into an affordable, inclusive art hub with artist-run centre.
Sonia will teach interdisciplinary design at NSCAD University as sessional faculty in the Winter 2022 semester.
Sonia’s award-winning communication design and furniture has been featured in events, exhibitions and publications in Canada, the US, Japan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, Czech Republic, Greece, Germany, Spain, Switzerland and Sweden. This includes ‘Saddle Rocker’ (a minimalist rocking horse for adults and children) and ‘Uni’ (sculpture / lighting / furniture made with a twist on traditional weaving using industrial materials).
HUSCHANG POURIAN was born and raised in Germany. He has a Bachelor of Design from Hochschule Mannheim (formerly Fachhochschule für Gestaltung), and graduated with a Master of Entrepreneurship, Technology and Innovation from Saint Mary’s University, Sobey School of Business in Halifax, Nova Scotia (Canada). He worked in Japan from 2003 to 2007 and Hong Kong from 2007 to 2018, before moving to Canada in 2018.
Huschang has more than 25 years of international experience (Europe, Asia, North America) in marketing, product development and hospitality design, operating in an entrepreneurial context as well as in multinational corporations. Select clients include: Intercontinental Hotel, Air Canada, British Council, BMW Mini, Hasbro, Nestlé, Nintendo, Philips Design, Siemens, Swatch Germany, and Volkswagen Japan.
His design work has been featured in exhibitions, events and publications in Hong Kong, Singapore, Germany, Czech Republic, Spain, Sweden, Canada and the US. Publications include: Los Logos Compass (Germany), Fashion Source: Cutting Edge Patterns & Textures (Spain), Where You Going? Design Adventures in Southeast Asia (Singapore), and AXIS Magazine (Japan). Exhibitions include shows and events at: Bread & Butter Barcelona (Spain), Sign Gallery, Tokyo (Japan), Nano Gallery, Wiesbaden (Germany), Kino Aero, Prague (Czech Republic). In 2014, Huschang won 3 HKDA Global Design Awards (Product Design) for his bicycle ‘ELEKTROKATZE.’
He is a Certified Instructor of Media Design (German Chamber of Commerce), worked as Visiting Lecturer and Panel Judge for Entrance Exams at the Design Department of the Beijing Normal University in Zhuhai (China) in 2017 and 2018, and teaches interdisciplinary design part-time at the undergrad and Master’s levels at NSCAD University in Halifax. He will teach entrepreneurship as sessional faculty at Mount Saint Vincent University in the Winter 2022 semester.
In his role as full-time Design Director of Graphics at the leading international hospitality design firm HBA / Hirsch Bedner Associates Hong Kong from 2015 to 2018, Huschang developed a passionate interest for the hospitality and experience economy. In early 2020, he founded Cape Breton Schoolhouse – Luxury Learning and Development Inc., and is investigating methods of enhancing travel experiences through learning.
In 2016 and 2018, Sonia and Huschang designed and built art suites for the ephemeral ICEHOTEL Sweden, 200 km north of the Arctic Circle.
Watch a “making of” video:
Cat’s Cradle: La Petite Mort (6 minutes)
and a short documentary on CBC Arts: The Exhibitionists:
The Tao of Cat (4 minutes)