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Jan 04, 2022

Design in Canada

Mooren (Mo) Bofill RGD, and Diti Katona RGD
Intro slide with words Design in Canada

About this video


Time and again, Canada national institutions, both cultural and business, have a habit of looking outside of the country for professional design and branding services. What does this say about Canada design industry and the communities we serve? How important is recognition for the Canadian design industry within the context of globalization, remote work and decolonization? Join us for an open dialogue about the future of our industry and the forces that continue to impact our reputation both at home and around the globe.


- Kemp Attwood, Founding Partner CCO at Area 17
Kemp leads the global design and strategy disciplines at AREA 17, a digital product agency with studios in Paris and New York. He first joined as Design Director in the Paris studio before becoming a partner at the New York studio. Kemp works as executive creative director on client engagements including for Quartz, ESPN, Barnes Foundation and Harvard Art Museums. Previously, he worked as a senior art director at Second Story in Portland, OR, for clients including National Geographic Society, the Smithsonian Institution and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. He began his career as a designer at Blast Radius in Vancouver.

- Diti Katona RGD, Chief Creative Officer at Concrete
Diti Katona is a co-founding partner and Chief Creative Officer of Concrete. She is best known for her elegant and evocative work for the firm clients in beauty, fashion, retail and luxury goods. Having started her career working in Budapest, Diti has always sought inspiration through cultural intelligence. Well-travelled, curious, and restless, Diti has a native sense of the connections between high art, fashion, and popular culture. Chronically dissatisfied, she is constantly pushing Concrete creative teams, turning seemingly contradictory viewpoints into surprising creative solutions. Over the years, Diti creative work has received numerous awards from juries throughout North America, Europe and Asia, including two lifetime achievement awards.

- Blair Thomson, Founder, Archivist Collector at Canada Modern
Blair is the Founder and Creative Director of design practice Believe in, with studios in Canada and the UK. During his 25 years in business, his adaptability, versatility and desire for creative excellence has allowed him to work with clients both large and small across diverse industries and scales. Born in Canada, Blair moved to the UK as a teenager where he went on to train and cut his teeth in the design industry. In 2015, he returned to Canada, establishing the Canada Modern archive, a physical collection and study of Canadian graphic design from 1960 to 1985. Through this important endeavour, Blair champions, educates and inspires with this remarkable body of work, created at a pivotal time in Canadian design history. He guest lectures at the School of Visual Arts, New York on Canadian Design and the International Typographic Style. Blair is also the co-author of the book Graphic Stamps by Unit Editions in London, England.

- Mo Bofill RGD, Partner Creative Director at Design at 123W
Mo has recently joined 123w as their newest Partner, Creative Director, Design and to help establish the Toronto office. Joining 123w, she will continue to help build agency Thought-leadership through the lens of Design. Design has always been a part of the DNA of One Twenty Three West since day one. And Mo shares the same foundational beliefs; that Design isn't a department, it a way of thinking. It how we approach solving our client problems and helping them grow. Design has an integral role not only in building our business but also our client business. Design is the tangible expression of what a brand is, and it plays a significant role in transforming brands into something people want to be a part of. Mo is formerly the Executive Director of Design at john st., where she spent the last five years building the design offering from the ground up. At john st., Mo has built a growing design business with an award-winning portfolio and leading a diverse team of multidisciplinary design thinkers. Born and raised in the Philippines, and growing up in Toronto, she brings diverse point of view that mixes her passion for design, creativity and business strategy to Canadian design.