Explosion of ideas keeps Straight Line Designs on the move

Posted by Rumin Mann
November 26th, 2010

STRAIGHT AHEAD: It’s been a year since Premier Gordon Campbell handed Judson Beaumont a juried B.C. Creative Achievement Award. To get to the ceremony from his downtown-Vancouver office, Campbell passed double doors seemingly flanked by river rocks. In fact, they’re chunks of pine-beetle-killed lumber, shaped and polished at Beaumont’s Straight Line Designs firm. That installation appears on the www.straightlinesdesign.comwebsite, along with many whimsical but superbly crafted furniture pieces and objects that warranted Beaumont’s award.

The eight-employee firm could easily surpass million-dollar-range years by exploiting domestic and international opportunities. “But if you do take the large jobs, you can’t do the small ones,” Beaumont said. He learned that when an installation for Princeton University’s children’s library “plugged the shop for months.” Still, his eight employees recently finished a play centre for Michigan’s Grand Rapids Hospital, are completing a three-year project for Staten Island Children’s Hospital, and are busy making crayon-like furnishings for the Crayola Corp. facilities in Toronto and New York. Beaumont will soon take Bahamas voyages on the Disney Wonder and Disney Magic cruise ships. Not holidaying, though. He’ll work nights installing additions to children’s playrooms he provided earlier based solely on sketches.

“Can you build that?” he said a Disney official asked, regarding the pencilled ideas. “Sure I can,” Beaumont said he replied. “Three months later, it was done.”

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