ARIDO Award Submissions 2021

The refreshed ARIDO Awards Program is now open for submissions. Developed by the Awards Task Force, with input from the 2020 awards survey to the membership, this updated format focuses on engaging ARIDO membership equally while celebrating our diverse community of interior designers in all they do.

Winning projects and the Impact Award will be announced on September 30th, during a virtual gala.

2021 Categories and Occupancy Dates

The projects in the following categories are accepting submissions in 2021. Projects must have been completed between January 1, 2018, and December 31, 2020.

  • WORK
  • CARE
Submission Guide

The Awards Submission Guide addresses many questions you may have about the awards including:

  • Important Dates & Entry Fees
  • Refreshed Awards Program
  • Updated Categories & Categories by Year
  • Awards Gala
  • Judging Process
  • Impact Award
  • Updated Project Submission Form

Important Dates

Early Bird Entry Deadline: Friday, June 4, 2021
Early Bird Entry Fee: $150 + HST (per entry)

Final Entry Deadline: Friday, June 18, 2021
Regular Entry Fee: $250 + HST (per entry)

ARIDO Awards Gala: Thursday, September 30, 2021

Applicants are responsible for ensuring that the data entered within the online form is factual and accurate. All supporting documentation and photos must be uploaded at the time of submission.

GTA Chapter Student Scholarship 2021: YOUR BRAND IDENTITY

The ARIDO GTA Chapter is pleased to offer our Student Scholarship again in 2021.

GTA Chapter Student Scholarship 2021

This year’s scholarship will be awarded to the interior design student with the most unique and creative personal branding package. Students from the GTA Chapter from any ARIDO recognized program are invited to submit an application.

HOW TO SUBMIT: Submissions can include but are not limited to letterhead, resume, business card, brochure, portfolio. Submissions must be in a PDF format and MUST include the student’s ARIDO ID number.

The GTA Board members will review each submission and select the top three.

First Prize: $1,000
Second Prize: $200
Third Prize: $100

Bringing Home to Hotel Design at the Kimpton Saint George Hotel

188 guest rooms, fourteen stories, and one common goal: to integrate elements of Toronto’s culture and personality and provide guests with a distinct sense of place. Our team responded to this vision with a design that communicated a narrative of local pride, diverse heritage, and contemporary culture to create the Kimpton Saint George Hotel.  The boutique hotel brand, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants is renowned for individually designed boutique hotels positioned to reflect the cities they inhabit. Completed in 2018, the Saint George Hotel, Kimpton’s only hotel operating in Canada, is situated in the heart of Toronto’s Annex neighbourhood. 

Interior Designer: Stanley Sun, ARIDO; Ashley Rumsey, ARIDO
Design Firm: Mason Studio
Design Team: Marti Hawkins, Intern, ARIDO

Project Photographer: Naomi Finlay

Its design celebrates Toronto’s layered history and sensibilities. An investigative approach was taken to dissect and analyze the city’s vernacular to better understand key materials,  patterns, and nuances that would resonate as indicators of local culture and significance. The diversity of the city’s heritage and culture with its distinct neighbourhoods is explored through locally designed furniture, original artwork, natural materials, and strong interior architectural forms that pay homage to Toronto’s varied architectural style and eras. The design concept is expressed in every facet of the hotel, beginning at the street level with an exterior black wood awning punctuated with small pin-like lights, spelling “Kimpton” in Braille lettering. This lighting feature is a subtle nod to the iconic marquee signs that once occupied the neighbourhood.

Upon entry, the reception area features a marble desk framed with wooden arches, backdropped by a hand-painted mural of a misty Toronto-inspired scene. Adjacent to reception is a guest lounge, designed to feel like a living room. The space is occupied by a collection of bespoke furniture, artwork, lighting, and objects, many crafted by local makers that continue to tell the story of local culture and design. A 400-square foot lounge situated on the main floor is realized in darker, more saturated tones to convey a feeling of warmth and intimacy. The adjacent 1,100-square-foot meeting space, named the Peregrine Room, is, by contrast, bright and spacious. The change in mood between the lounge and the meeting room reinforces the concept of distinct neighbourhoods within the city. 

The guestrooms, suites, and generous presidential suite are a continuation of the nostalgic nod to the layered heritage of the neighbourhood. The rooms were designed with a residential approach including a collection of art, custom-designed furniture and lighting, seemingly collected over time. Every element in the suites is carefully designed to provide guests with an experience parallel to a well-appointed apartment in the neighbourhood, offering guests a warm alternative to more traditional hotel accommodations.

This project was also awarded an ARIDO Award of Excellence in 2019.

ARIDO PD Cycle Ending: What you need to know

ARIDO Professional Development Cycle Ending June 30, 2021

A reminder to all Registered, Educator, and Intern Members that the Professional Development Cycle is ending June 30, 2021. In order to support members with compliance, ARIDO has compiled the following information on the PD program.

Required Hours/Credits

Members are required to complete 12 credits in total, of which, at least 4 credits must be Health and Safety and up to 8 credits may be General Education to comply with regulations mandated by ARIDO. (If you joined ARIDO partway through the cycle, the requirements are pro-rated based on your membership effective date.)

Professional development program graphic

How to Report

IMPORTANT: You have the option to report your credits to the ARIDO Dashboard OR to the IDCEC system, reporting to BOTH is not required. Your options are:

  • ARIDO PD Dashboard – we recommend reporting your credits to the ARIDO PD Dashboard in the Membership Gateway. The PD Dashboard tracks what you have reported and indicates which credits are outstanding. It was created to provide a straightforward to report PD credits. Reporting is simple and should only take a few minutes. If you are audited at the end of the cycle, ARIDO has access to view your reported credits and can help if required.


IDCEC system – to report to the IDCEC, you must be a member of IDC. ARIDO has not had access to the IDCEC reporting system to view/edit reported credits since 2018. ARIDO does not require you to be an IDC member, if you choose to report to the IDCEC and you are audited, you will be required to send ARIDO a copy of your transcripts AND a copy of all your certificates/attachments.

Types of PD

Please consult the ARIDO PD Guide for the acceptance criteria for each category. Keep in mind 1 hour = 1 credit and activities such as mentorship, research, writing, and volunteering are all eligible. Structured learning is just one type of activity that is possible to complete.

  • Structured Learning
  • Instruction/Teaching
  • Research
  • Writing
  • Presenting
  • Volunteering
  • Mentorship as a Mentor or Mentee

Need Additional Credits?

Professional, business, technological, management, and other personal development courses that directly relate to your genre of interior design practice are accepted regardless of accreditation or providers. Follow the acceptance criteria on page 2 of the PD guide. Do not follow the criteria from the course/seminar providers.

What no longer qualifies? Association membership, attending trade-shows, self-guided tours. ARIDO no longer requires IDCEC approved courses.

ARIDO has several resources for members to complete CEUs. Make sure to check they meet the acceptance criteria on page 2 of the ARIDO PD Guide.

Compliance Audit

In June, ARIDO will audit a random percentage of members at the end of the 2019-2021 PD cycle. We will notify selected members. We can review the credits and attachments of members who have reported their Professional Development to the ARIDO PD Dashboard.

If you have reported your credits to IDCEC, you will need to provide the transcript AND copies of certificates or proof. The certificates are required as proof of completion/attendance. Audited members who are not in compliance may be subjected to termination of their membership due to non-compliance.

If you have any questions about the PD program, please contact


As part of their work, the Provincial Advocacy Committee is presenting a panel discussion at ARCHITECT@WORK’s Digital Summit this April. ARCHITECT@WORK is a premier event that brings together architects and building professionals each year to discuss and discover the latest innovations in materials, products and processes.

This year, the program has moved into the virtual realm. A@W CANADA Digital Summit will run for two days, April 28 and 29, 2021, and feature the brightest minds to discuss the most burning issues of the day in a post-pandemic society. The whole event is free to attend, and has a number of panels and talks that might interest members.

Architect at work Digital Summit April 28 and 29

Ok Boomer: Addressing the Oncoming Aging-in-Place Demand

Wednesday, April 28, 2021 at 2 PM EST

Take the biggest aging demographic to date, mix it with a long term care crisis brought to a head due to COVID, combine it with changing needs for older adults and we have a booming demand for Aging-in-Place design in our homes that we all need to sit up and pay attention to. Learn more about this demand from a panel of experts in the field and how interior design and architecture are in the best position to start (and continue) this revolution in residential design.

Presented by Melissa Tossell, ARIDO this panel will bring together experts currently working in the field and address how Canada and the provinces should be preparing to meet this future challenge. This panel is worth 1 General Education Structured Learning Credit.

ARIDO Mentorship Program- Now Recruiting!

Connect with a Registered Interior Designer and create your personalized mentorship plan using our user friendly, interactive online platform and receive mentorship in the 2021 program which runs June 1st to October 31st.

Get the mentorship you need to help you succeed with:

  • General career development and professional practice support
  • NCIDQ exam support
  • Work Experience Sponsor
  • Setting up a practice
  • Sector Specific knowledge

Please complete the form at the link below by May 7th, 2021 so we may find you the best Mentor match.

Spots are limited, please complete the form promptly to secure a spot for the 2021 program.

Maintaining the design integrity of a Canadian institution

The Bank of Canada wanted to create seamless, collaborative and flexible spaces for their 1,400 employees at their existing head office, originally designed in 1970 by renowned architect Arthur Erickson.

Interior Designer: Janine Grossman, ARIDO

Design Team: Joanne D’Silva, ARIDO

Design Firm: Perkins + Will

Photographer: Double Space Photography­­

The vision was to transform the building into a series of agile and contemporary work spaces that supported organizational efficiencies and provided technology-enabled spaces. To meet this vision, the project team created a design that was based on the guiding principles of openness, transparency and workplace effectiveness and embedded flexibility and resiliency into their design interventions.

The design team maintained the integrity of the original 1970’s design by finding opportunities in the 835,000 square foot space to re-frame the original elements of the building within a modern context.

The central atrium was transformed into vibrant amenity and workspace that included collaborative lounges, food and beverage services, and multi-purpose conference facilities. By allowing people to work in the atrium, organizational silos and spatial hierarchies were broken in favour of a more integrated workplace which transformed the Bank’s culture.

Within the twin glass towers, the design team developed a modular office design, sympathetic to the existing concrete pillars, a character-defining element of the 1970’s towers. The design team worked closely with key internal and external stakeholders to ensure that the character-defining elements of the original project were preserved and enhanced. The result was a bright and interconnected workplace that enhanced the culture of an iconic Canadian institution.

Independent expression and creative freedom in retail

For outerwear brand Moose Knuckles, a desire to engage with customers beyond wholesale led to their transition into proprietary retail shops. Their first store, in Toronto’s Yorkdale Shopping Centre, had to personify the idiosyncratic brand for customers in unapologetic pursuit of independent expression and creative freedom.

Interior Designer: Diego Burdi, ARIDO

Design Team: Tom Yip, ARIDO

Design Firm: Burdifilek

Project Photographer: Ben Rahn

The Canadian retailer enlisted Burdifilek to capture the brand’s attitude in visceral moments of expression. Eschewing traditional design cues in retail for a modern rebellion in this showroom-meets-experience concept, that has now become extremely popular. Daring to be open and unexpected, the anti-brand space redefines opulence from the entrance, where the view into the store is purposefully obstructed by a steel form disguising the cashpoint and change room. Constraining views into the shop drives curiosity and sets the tone for the rest of the customer experience.

Limited edition products are displayed as a silhouette against a glowing backdrop along one side of the shop while the opposite wall is wrapped in cold-rolled steel for the depth of its industrial properties.

Coats hang from a central rack, wrapped in fur and hung by leather straps from the ceiling. The shadowed contents of an exposed stockroom quietly add intrigue throughout the rest of the store. The strong juxtaposition of the manufactured garments versus organic polish accentuates the beauty of Moose Knuckles’ products.

This unique space exists to unify their customer base, where the open concept store becomes a place for conversation and community, for bonds to form and accidental synergies arise.

Call for Panellists- The Power of Colour: Being Black in Design

This spring, ARIDO will host the first of a series of exploratory town hall conversations led by our diverse members to share their experiences working in the interior design field.

Our first conversation is to explore and understand the Black experience in Design, and access to career opportunities in the field. We invite our members from the Black communities to participate and share their experiences and insights as panellists.

Hosted by Chandran Fernando of Matrix360, this virtual conversation is a first step in identifying and acknowledging systemic barriers that exist, to identify tangible solutions, and begin a sustainable journey to address and eradicate these barriers.

Members at all levels of their careers are invited to put their name forward.

Please submit your name to the Diversity and Inclusion Committee via the link below.

A data-driven approach provides a fresh path for this design studio

Developed for an interdisciplinary design studio that leads the industry in sustainability and healthy environments, this project was conceived as a transformation not only of a workplace, but of a design environment and culture.

Interior Designer: Janine Grossmann, ARIDO

Design Firm: Perkins and Will

Design Team: Martha Del Junco, ARIDO; Joanne D’Silva, ARIDO; Preethi Sreedhara, Intern, ARIDO; Tsvetelina Rabashki, ARIDO; Diana Smiciklas, ARIDO

Project Photographer: Scott Norsworthy

The client’s move from a previous midtown location was driven by three goals: to improve access and opportunities for active transport for employees, prospective employees, and clients; to strengthen the studio’s connection to the design culture of the city; and to ‘walk the talk’ within a physical environment that embodied sustainable, forward-thinking design excellence.

While occupying a generous footprint, the firm’s existing studio was compromised in form and function. One-size-fits-all workstations didn’t support the full range of behaviours required for an interdisciplinary and creative team, a lack of break-out and meeting spaces limited collaboration, and the character of the space didn’t reflect the brand and culture of the growing firm.

A data-driven approach allowed us to re-imagine the vision, program, and design of the studio while also increasing efficiency. A comprehensive usage analysis of the existing studio showed that less than 60% of workstations were occupied at peak times, more than 80% of meetings involved four people or fewer, and the most common size of meeting was two people. This data, in conjunction with visioning sessions, staff interviews, pilot programs, and prototyping, allowed our design team to guide the client to a radical new program that reduced floor area by almost 25% while dramatically expanding the range of spaces and program offerings.

A small black and white dog sits on a maple leather bench seat inset into the wall. The wall behind the seat has a window into an architectural model shop.

The design leverages the raw qualities of the base building to create an inspiring new environment. The existing space was stripped back to celebrate its robust concrete structure and distinctive waffle slab ceilings, connecting the studio to the city’s modern architectural heritage. Within this shell, a finely-crafted millwork chassis defines three flexible spaces, organizes cellular programming, and provides a refined contrast to the underlying architecture. Integrating glazing, display, storage and pin-up space, the chassis acts as both spatial threshold and showcase for the firm’s process and work.

The open studio is a “ME” space of 54 free-address workstations supported by focus rooms and collaborative space. The Salon is a reconfigurable “WE” space for charrettes, design reviews, and events. The Lounge is the office’s “US” space: a welcoming entry and the social heart of the office. Overall, while the studio’s footprint decreased, the number of seats increased by almost 50% – providing a greater range of supportive environments that allow staff to choose where, when, and how they work.

A timeless and natural material palette reflects the client’s commitment to sustainability and material health: every material used was screened for ingredients with known health impacts, and the project is certified LEED® v4 Gold and Fitwel 2 Star rated. Lush plants and abundant daylight bring nature into a dense downtown location.

The resulting studio is a living laboratory that fuels design innovation and excellence while prioritizing wellness, inclusivity, and sustainability – meeting the client’s programmatic needs while embodying their most important ideas and values.

This project was awarded an ARIDO Award of Merit in 2019.