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Thompson Hotels Toronto Influencers X Ashley Rumsey and Stanley Sun


The Pair Pushing Design Boundaries

Ashley Rumsey and Stanley Sun first met as design students at Ryerson’s School of Interior Design. After working together as interns at more than a few architecture and interior design firms, they learned they shared a common working style. After graduating and working independently in the industry for a few years, they reconnected and realized they had similar visions for their future. Together they launched Mason Studio, an interior design firm at the junction of art, objects, graphics and technology. Now they are some of the most highly-coveted creatives in the business, consistently making original and breathtaking work. Here the dynamic duo reveal how Toronto inspires their work and what exciting new projects they have coming up in 2016.

Does Mason Studio have a design philosophy?

We base our design solutions on understanding the problems to be solved. This starts with fully immersing ourselves in the needs and requirements of our clients. We research every faucet of their company to determine what they want to say to their guests and customers. The result is a design that speaks to the needs of the client and creates a unique experience for their guests. During our process, we constantly pare back elements from the design to see if the strength of the solution is maintained. Our philosophy is about making gestures that are rooted in intention, rather than frivolous aesthetics.

How does Toronto inform your work? 

Toronto is a hotbed of talent. We constantly draw on the creativity and innovation that is happening in the city by being part of festivals and collaborating with other designers, craftspeople and innovators to support and learn from one another. While we are very much connected to the city and enjoy being part of its evolution, we also appreciate the ability to work in other cities across Canada and internationally. We find working abroad and across different Canadian provinces allow us to better understand our own sense of place here in Toronto.

Can you share a place in the city that inspires you creatively?

We have been working in the west-end area of the Junction for four years and we continue to be inspired by the down-to-earth vibe of the neighborhood. We are lucky to have other creative professionals, craftspeople and makers as neighbors which make it easy to collaborate and bring ideas into reality. It also has a great strip of independent retail shops and wonderful restaurants to grab a bite to eat or meet up with friends for an after-work drink.

Do you have any exciting projects coming up you can share with us? 

In 2016, construction will be completed on a few incredible projects we have been working on this past year. The model suite for a 45-story twin-tower condominium in Shenzhen, China will be opening in early 2016. In Toronto, we recently completed the exhibition design for Andy Warhol: Stars of the Silver Screen at the TIFF Bell Lightbox HSBC Gallery. At the close of this exhibition in the spring, we will be launching an interactive children’s exhibit, digiPlaySpace for the 4th year running. We also have a few wonderful independent retail and restaurant clients in the Toronto that will be opening up new shops in the city this summer.