Studio Peal

zara huntley and lauren thu
Advisors: Nu Goteh, Room for Magic; Cas Holman, Rigamajig; Gillian Russell; Amanda Huynh; Pratt Institute; Thomas Thwaites, JAMES AUGER

Peal is a design studio created to address the lack of platforms for critically minded design work in Vancouver, BC. We see opportunities for inquiry in everyday routines and discarded endeavours, and use design to address issues in new ways. By embracing humility in our work, we allow ourselves to be vulnerable to new perspectives and dialogues regarding resiliency, empathy, accessibility and agency. Our projects are not meant for consumer consumption, instead, they are tools and devices for social conversation and change. They are meant to be lived with, taken along as talismans towards our unknown fate. 

Our first project as Peal explores and addresses issues surrounding materiality and place. We are currently in a conceptual phase, experimenting with local material collection and processing techniques to find new ways of talking about the land around us and the context in which we operate on it. Through storytelling and engagement with non-experts, we speculate that interactions with materialities can help connect these concepts and support the passing of tacit knowledge. 

See Studio Peal Presentation (October 2020)

Zara Huntley is an interdisciplinary industrial designer. Born and raised in Halifax, Nova Scotia, she spent a decade living and working across British Columbia before settling in Vancouver to focus on design. Zara is currently finishing the last year of her Bachelor of Industrial Design degree at Emily Carr University of Art and Design. For Zara, design is more than projects and outcomes – design must also focus on the context a project resides in. Because she wants to challenge oppressive structures and systems, her projects take form through non-tangible and critical design issues. Zara’s work bears strong political references and uses visual vocabulary to address social and political issues. Her work seeks to disrupt the preconceived, systemic notions which underlie our everyday lives. 

Lauren Thu is a designer [generally and specifically] residing in Vancouver, Canada. She is finishing her Bachelor of Design at Emily Carr University of Art + Design, with a focus in industrial design and a minor in curatorial practice. Her interests in critical and speculative design suit her penchant for reading, writing, and her past experience in communicating through visual and material means (photography and sculpture). She is currently the founder and president of the Design Reading Group (DRG) at ECUAD, which meets during the school year to discuss design issues through weekly readings. Most recently, her writing was chosen by Onomatopee Project’s Criticall! exhibition, currently showing in Eindhoven, NL. Her essay will be published alongside 15 other writers, including an introduction by renowned critic, Alice Rawsthorn.

Studio Peal is a Satellite x DESIS project, a five-month residency in partnership with the Shumka Centre for student-led project teams to develop major sustainability and social innovation projects. Residents have access to studio space, mentorship, peer support and funding toward the goal of initiating events, programs, or community partnerships; developing products or services; or starting studios, collectives, agencies or non-profits.