An Interview With Joel Tanner Of SMPL Design Studio

I recently had the opportunity to chat with Joel Tanner, the owner and lead designer at SMPL Design Studio. His design firm is an architectural design services company that specializes in sustainable modern residences across Canada. The company designs and produces extraordinary homes for clients nation wide.

1. Who are you and what does your firm specialize in?

My name is Joel Tanner, owner and lead designer at SMPL Design Studio, a strategically modern architectural design services company based out of Hamilton, Ontario. At SMPL Design Studio, we pride ourselves on the collaborative process we take by which engaging virtually every aspect of a project from start to finish ensures the completion of our designs on time and on budget. We participate in all areas as required to ease the transition from consulting and drawing to planning and building.  We are a small team of creative, energetic and inspired individuals. As a young ambitious firm with a strong passion for modern design, we are devoted to finding fresh and innovative ideas to suit the needs of varying clients, budgets, and locations.

2. What is your background and  what inspired you to get into your field?

I graduated from the three year architectural technology diploma at Algonquin College and spent 5 years working in the trade. I worked with two companies before starting my own design firm, at the ripe age of 24. I’ve also had a passion for architecture and design; with inspiration always being pulled from Frank Lloyd Wright and his work. I’ve always wanted to design homes for a living and am living my dream every day with SMPL.

3. What is one of the projects you’re working on right now in Canada that excites you?

We simply cannot narrow down our excitement to one project as we have so many projects on the go. Currently have 35 projects in the concept and permit stage of design and another 20 projects under construction at any one time. What we can say we’re excited about is that 75% of our work load is focusing on new, and exciting modern residential designs. It’s where our passion lies and we are so happy to be able to be a part of so many neat, exciting and intricate projects for such a small design office of five.

4. What trends or changes do you see coming in your industry which you like or don’t like?

Modern is at the forefront of the industry these days. More and more people are not just comfortable with a modern interior but are now expanding and allowing us to play with some fun boxy geometrics. This allows us to mix up the standard streetscape of traditionally sloped roof dwellings.

5. How do you – or what do you do – to find creative inspiration today?

Discussions with clients and understanding where their passion lies in architecture is the largest trigger for our inspiration. It’s those conversations and discussions of options as a team that get the wheels spinning to create something stunning, exciting and different on each and every single one of our projects.

6. What is your favourite – or most compelling – ‎example of Canadian houseporn?

There are so many amazing architects and designers in canada, both past and present. However, the house that sticks out right now for me is 3691 Point Grey Road designed by Tony Robbins of AA Robbins Architects. We’ve been a part of some fairly contentious modern projects over the years, and I highly respect Tonys approach to this home design and responses to media cruelties as of late.

Joel Tanner and his company are a true example of inspiring Canadian architecture and design. SMPL Design Studio is the reason for homes such as The BC BungalowThe Blackhurst Renovation and BC’s Serene Carnahan. We look forward to publishing more with Joel in the future!

To learn more about Joel and SMPL, visit SMPL Design Studio .

All photos courtesy of SMPL Design Studio.

Take a look at these othe pieces featuring SMPL Design Studios work here:

– The Blackhurst Renovation In Burlington Ontario By SMPL Design Studio

– Modern Dwelling In Burlington, Ontario By SMPL Design Studio

– Go Green = Go Small In The Northwest Territories

Researched and Written by Syrina Gatta, Interior Design student at Sheridan College

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