Hothouse Design Studio
In 1992, Edmonton designers Tom Sharp, Tim Antoniuk, Christian Smith and Donna Nygren-Jones
founded Hothouse Design Studio, a collective that produces cutting-edge metal furniture and furnishings.
Hothouses principals were newly graduated industrial design students from the University of Alberta, and
were soon joined by graphic designer Dennis Lenarduzzi.
From the beginning, their intention was to design distinctive furniture that was at once
eye-grabbing and useful.
By 1996, the company had gone international, and its goods were available throughout North
America, as well as South America, Europe, the Middle East and Japan.
In the United States especially, the exposure resulted in pieces drawing attention in novel
places. The Brooke Shields TV sitcom Suddenly Susan, used Hothouses Monarch coat rack in one of the shows
sets. A combination spun-wood, hourglass shaped stand with metal spires topped with wooden balls, the stand
was thought by some to resemble a jesters cap.
At its peak, Hothouse Design had a production staff of 40, and 28,000 square foot metal
fabrication and assembly plant. It opened a retail outlet in Edmontons Commerce Place, which was only
moderately successful and closed in 2002. By that year, of the original principals, only Sharp, Lenarduzzi
and Antoniuk remained. The co-operative was dissolved in March 2003.
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