October 2016

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8 | OCTOBER 2016 IN8 Design Inc. IN8 Design Inc. inspires through creative passion and colour by NATALIE BRUCKNER-MENCHELLI O rder. Beauty. Detailing. These three concepts lie at the very heart of Ontario- based IN8 Design. When Michel Arcand and his business partner Don Parker founded the interior design company back in 2010 their philosophy was sim- ple; to share their wealth of experience and take clients on an innovative, cre- ative and playful journey that would result in designs that inspire. Their passion for the business is unmistakable. Chatting with Arcand and Parker, it is impossible not to get wrapped up in their love of contemporary design and their enthusiasm for tackling a project head on. It could be said that fate had a hand in bringing together this incredible duo who are both Ryerson University graduates but actually met back in 1998 when work- ing for Rice Brydone Limited (RBL). Three years later, in 2001, Arcand decided to jump ship and became a project manager for the facilities department for a client of RBL where they continued working together. Skip forward a few years to 2007 and Arcand realized he missed design and decided to join Parker at Cannon Design. "We always joke because in 2009 Don was forced to lay me off due to a company restructuring . . . he hates it when I remind him of that," laughs Arcand. But this turn of events is what eventually led to the creation on IN8 Design. "I knew I was done with the red tape at larger corporations so I incorporated by myself as Arcand Design Inc. but quickly realized that I didn't want to, or knew how to operate a business as a sole practitioner. So I took Don out for lunch in May 2010 to discuss the possibility of forming a partnership and three months later we changed the corporation's name to IN8 Design Inc.," says Arcand. The new name speaks to their experience and the fact that they are both well seasoned in the business. Working from the third floor of Arcand's house in downtown Toronto, the duo quickly picked up clients due to their reputation for delivering projects on time, on budget, and with a unique flair. After hiring their first star designer in 2012, IN8 Design moved to a bright post, beam and brick loft in Toronto where you can now find the team of five. Despite being exceptionally organized and process driven, there is a certain relaxed vibe that is evidenced throughout the firm, and one that shines through in the staff IN8 hires and the projects they work on. "Unlike most design companies, we don't do timesheets. We did that with larger firms and at the end of the day we want to do good work and have fun. Timesheets are a guilt trip and there are so many ways to fudge the numbers. Sometimes, it can take us a lot of time. We focus, perhaps to our detriment, on the details, and will pull things apart until it is right," explains Parker. Design Engineering

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