Our client, Flourist, works to help ensure farming remains a family business in Canada. An industry dominated by opaque supply chains and mysterious origins, they work to re-connect people with the sources of their food. This notion of transparency carried into the design process. We began by turning to the guiding principles of 18th-Century Shaker communities: simplicity, utility and honesty. An isolated, egalitarian sect, the Shaker communities in North America were largely self-sufficient. Members grew their own food, constructed their own buildings, and manufactured their own tools and furnishings in an attempt to create their own heaven-on-earth.
Building off the Shaker principles and pastiche, the interior of the Mill + Bakery highlights abundance and warmth with a straightforward approach. A palette of malty tones taken from Flourist’s grains and pulses, enveloping the space like a field of wheat. In front, there is large community table with a small sink that is intended to allow for bread-making workshops. The dowelled shelves at the retail space extend in front of the window, allowing the bounty to creep into the public realm, to invite curious onlookers to come inside. Backing the space is the functional flour mill–a clear articulation of the transparency that informs Flourist–uninterested in the delineations between design and function. Our design for the Flourist Mill + Bakery adduces the nourishment of art, presented as a loaf of bread.