Putting Design in Its Place marks the beginning of a dialogue that aims to anchor – “to place” – the work of designers, architects and developers to place and home – to the towns, the sites, and the dwellings that have shaped people in communities; to the chain of wisdom that has emerged out of each singular place.


How can the hundreds of thousands of decisions we make as an industry honour and fortify the sanctity and specificity of place? This is one of the explorations of these Design Dialogues. In a world that is increasingly globalized, industrialized, urbanized, virtualized and commoditized, it is challenging to hold onto a strong sense of place. In a time when preserving a sense of place is more important than ever, our industry is faced with the responsibility to consider the implications of our work for the cultural, social, and economic well-being of the communities in which we work.


These dialogues will explore the work of designers and seek to properly place it “in the whole” of human life. Our goal is to progress our understanding of the our roles in shaping places and spaces while at the same time, allowing them to shape themselves.


Bringing together leading designers, design-enthusiasts, architects and developers from around the world, Putting Design in Its Place will be hosted by Fogo Island Inn founder Zita Cobb, and feature three half days of dialogues led by top designers Barbara Barry (U.S.A), Ilse Crawford (U.K) and Bruce Mau (Canada). Following the dialogues, attendees can take part in local experiences led by makers, artists and architects who have all been involved with the Fogo Island Inn project.

Barbara Barry (U.S.A)


Award-winning designer Barbara Barry is internationally known for her streamlined interiors and elegant home furnishings. Her look speaks to quiet luxury, comfort and ease – supporting her design philosophy that living simply and with quality is the highest form of luxury.

Her celebrated vision of beauty finds expression through partnerships with internationally renowned companies, including Baker Furniture, Hickory Business Furniture, Henredon, Kallista Plumbing, Kravet Fabrics, Visual Comfort Lighting, Wedgwood, Global Views and others, as well as her own line of signature bedding.


Barry’s collections are sold in fine stores and design centers throughout the world with Barbara Barry galleries in Bangkok, Moscow, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur.


At her Los Angeles based studio, Barry oversees a talented and committed staff who help bring her vision of gracious living to life. Barry’s first book, Around Beauty (Rizzoli New York), debuted October 2012.

IIse Crawford (U.K.)


Ilse Crawford is a designer, academic and creative director with a simple mission to put human needs and desires at the centre of all that she does.

As founder of Studioilse, together with her multi-disciplinary, London-based team, she brings her philosophy to life. This means creating environments where humans feel comfortable; public spaces that make people feel at home and homes that are habitable and make sense for the people who live in them. It means designing furniture and products that support and enhance human behaviour and actions in everyday life. It means restoring the human balance in brands and businesses that have lost their way. As founder of the department of Man and Wellbeing at the Design Academy Eindhoven, her mission extends to nurturing a new generation of students to always question why and how their work improves the reality of life.

Bruce Mau


World-leading visionary, innovator, designer and author, Bruce Mau is the co-founder of the Massive Change Network, LLC and Bruce Mau Live, LLC.
His 25 years of experience in design innovation has included collaborations with many of the world’s leading institutions, corporations, heads of state, entrepreneurs and artists.


For Bruce Mau, Design is leadership that provides the power to imagine the vision of a future and the method to systematically achieve that vision. While most designers use design to produce things, Mau uses design as a method to produce the future and develop purposeful projects to create positive change in business, education, health, leadership and security.

Bruce Mau has used his design methodology to lead innovation projects with Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, MTV, Herman Miller, MoMA, Seattle Public Library, Panama Museum of Biodiversity, New Meadowlands Stadium, Walt Disney Concert Hall, Arizona State University; the countries of Saudi Arabia, Guatemala, United Kingdom, Denmark; and world leaders like Frank Gehry, Claes Oldenberg, Larry Gagosian and Rem Koolhaas, among others.


Motivated by the certainty that the future demands a new breed of designer, Mau founded the Institute without Boundaries — an innovative, studio--based postgraduate program in collaboration with George Brown College, Toronto. Mau and his students created the groundbreaking exhibition and best-selling book, Massive Change (Phaidon)— a project that declared, “Massive Change is not about the world of design; it’s about the design of the world.”


Mau has authored and designed several award-winning books, including LifeStyle (Phaidon), S,M,L,XL (The Monacelli Press) in collaboration with Rem Koolhaas, and the iconic and celebrated ZONE BOOKS series. Translated into several languages, Mau’s Incomplete Manifesto for Growth has been an inspiration with his aphoristic articulation of his personal philosophy and design strategies for unleashing creativity.

Up to Top

Zita Cobb


Zita Cobb is the founder and Innkeeper of the Fogo Island Inn, and CEO of the Shorefast Foundation, a registered Canadian charity. Growing up on Fogo Island, a remote fishing community off the northeast coast of Newfoundland, Zita developed a deep belief in the inherent value of place and a profound respect for the human ways of knowing that emerge from respectful relationships with nature, culture, and community. At age 16, she left to study business at Carleton University in Ottawa and became a senior finance professional in the high-technology industry. Most notably, Zita worked at JDS Fitel (subsequently JDS Uniphase) in Ottawa from 1981 to 2001, where she helped build one of the most successful high-tech innovators in history.


In 2001, Zita retired from her business career and began to devote her full-time focus and energies to

contributing to long-term cultural, social, and economic resiliency for Fogo Island. Along with her brothers Anthony and Alan Cobb, she founded the Shorefast Foundation, a social enterprise that uses business-minded means to achieve social ends. Rather than relying on traditional charity in the form of monetary handouts, the Foundation’s goal was to leverage an initial investment to create culturally rich, community-owned economic assets. Shorefast’s most significant project to date is the award-winning Fogo Island Inn, a luxury, 29-suite property designed by Newfoundland-born architect Todd Saunders. The Inn has generated significant, long-term employment opportunities on Fogo Island and operates as a social business, meaning all surpluses are reinvested in the local community.


As an 8th generation Fogo Islander, Zita grew up immersed in the profound hospitality that Fogo Islanders and Newfoundlanders are known for. Like other Fogo Islanders, she understands that hospitality is rooted in the love of a stranger, and has put this belief into practice as founding Innkeeper of the Fogo Island Inn. The Inn has quickly garnered an international reputation for exceptional, embodied, place-specific hospitality and bold, thoughtful, humanistic contemporary design. The Inn is loved by its many return guests as an orienting refuge of nature and humanity at one of the four corners of the earth.

Putting Design in Its Place is happening
May 6–10, 2016 at Fogo Island Inn in Joe Batt’s Arm, Newfoundland.


The dialogues are poised to be North America’s premier design gathering, bringing together  industry  leaders for five days of constructive interactions focused on design practices. The conversations will examine the linkages between design development, procurement practices, consumer trends and project execution in the context of understanding and fostering community well-being.


The fee to attend Putting Design in its Place is $10,000 CDN ($7,200 USD). This includes access to all keynote presentations, afternoon local experiences, single occupancy accommodation with full board at the Fogo Island Inn (alcohol excluded) and airport transfers from Gander International Airport.


Space is extremely limited. Guest suites are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. Submit the form below to obtain additional information and to complete your reservation with a member of our team.


First and Last Name

Up to Top

If you require assistance or are having trouble registering call us at +1 647 296 5680.

Submitting Form...

The server encountered an error.

Thank you.
We will be in touch shortly.

Telephone Number

Email Address

Preferred Method of Communication

Will you need assistance with travel arrangements?


Fogo Island is a remote, accessible island located

off the Northeast Coast of Newfoundland, Canada – just over halfway between the equator and the North Pole. It is the largest of an archipelago of islands at the very eastern edge of the North American continent; Far, far away yet close enough for short getaways.


To plan your visit on your own, simply find your way to the island of Newfoundland by regular commercial air links. Airport transfers to the Fogo Island ferry dock will be arranged on your behalf. After a short scenic ferry ride over to the island, you are here. We would welcome the opportunity to advise you on travel arrangements.





Travel by Air


The closest commercial airports to Fogo Island are Gander (YQX), St. John’s (YYT) and Deer Lake (YDF), all located on the island of Newfoundland. These airports are served by scheduled airlines and charter services, and can be reached via national and international connections.


From Toronto


Year round: To Halifax and Gander or to St John’s and Gander (WestJet, Porter & Air Canada) to Halifax or St. John’s; Air Canada only into Gander.


Seasonal: To Gander (Air Canada and Sunwing).


From Montreal & Ottawa


Year round: To Halifax & Gander or to St John’s and Gander (WestJet, Porter & Air Canada) to Halifax or St. John’s; Air Canada only into Gander.


From New York


Year Round: To St. John’s (United) + Overnight then to Gander on Air Canada. To Halifax via Boston then to Gander (Air Canada).


Seasonal: to Halifax (United) then to Gander (Air Canada).


From Boston


Year Round: To Halifax then to Gander (both Air Canada).





Travel by Ferry


Your airport transfer will include a forty-five minute ferry ride from Farewell to Fogo Island. The passenger and vehicle ferry, operated by the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, serves the island several times each day. Our staff will ensure that all logistics are taken care of.

Up to Top

Fogo Island Inn

PO Box 82

Building 100, HWY 334

Joe Batt’s Arm, NL

A0G 2X0



+1 647 296 5680