Issue No. 2 TASTE

Feels Like Home

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In our offices, dozens of different countries are represented. After 30 years in 
the business, we’ve seen how cultural diversity has created many modified perspectives on life, taste, and design. It creates a special dynamic and gives you more information and experiences to feed from. I find in America we define people far too simply, and they are much more complex than that. Differences should 
be celebrated and not lost.
Glenn Pushelberg

It is not well known, but the largest immigration wave in the history of the United States 
occurred between 1965 and 2001. This, of course, is just an entry point to the much larger story 
of global migrations that defined the 20th Century. By the millennium, the tributaries feeding
this flow of peoples across international boundaries had become truly global—both in origin 
and its destination.

As in any story, this is multifaceted, there exist numerous frameworks seemingly well-suited 
to offer analysis, critique, and explanation. These are then distilled into a shorthand which is easily transmitted across media platforms and traded between cultural commentators.

“Third culture kid,” first appeared in the research of John and Ruth Useem in the 1950s, to describe “children who accompany their parents to another society.” In the intervening 70 years—especially in metropolitan areas—this term has taken on a far less academic meaning.

Today, it includes the rich texture of our lives and the stories of friends, family, and colleagues. 
For this photo story, we wanted to shine a light on some of these individuals within our tribe, 
and see the world through their eyes.

1 Where were you born?
2 Where are you from?
3 How do you define home?
4 What elements of your global upbringing
are visible in your home?
5 Where to next?

(Dorothy Kochanski)

Manchester, UK
Toronto; it’s easier than trying to explain why 
I don’t live in the UK or how I got to be in Toronto given that my parents are from Poland and I’ve lived in Toronto for 30+ years.

The place where your heart is happiest.

Not very much.

Hadn’t really thought about it; perhaps to the West Coast (Vancouver) to visit with friends.

(Shida Salehi)

Tehran, Iran
Toronto, Ontario
Where my family is.

“Everything is political,” someone important once said. Everything we touch, the spaces 
we dwell in, all come from a political place. Being born in Iran in an upper middle class family and having the opportunity to move to Canada during the regime change, my family had no choice but to adapt to the norms of Western culture. My appreciation for the past and global outlook has shaped my contemporary view of design today. My interests lay in international style in architecture and a minimal aesthetic. I also don’t like to keep “things” around unless they hold some sort of emotional value, like a photo. I’m not ready to buy big ticket items or tchotchkes because the fear of packing and moving too many “things” again is too overwhelming. Travel light and travel often.
Maybe back to Europe, maybe Hawaii…maybe back to Toronto.

(Mehmet Emir Dogan)

Newport, Rhode Island
Although I was born in the US, I was brought 
up in Istanbul, Turkey. I generally say I am Turkish and that I have lived in the US since high school.
For me, home has always been where my 
family is.

I went to international school and from traveling and visiting many diverse friends I always brought back souvenirs, usually artwork, most of which 
are all over my home. For example, when I was 9 
I had started a Hard Rock pin collection, and I have a canvas on my corridor wall with all these pins from all over the world, all designed to celebrate
a specific city or cultural festivity.

I am pushing South America. I have never been!

(Julian Paulo Rodrigues)

Toronto, Ontario
People ask me all the time where I’m from. 
I guess I don’t sound or look Canadian, 
soI always say I’m from Toronto. Then I explain to them how my parents are from Portugal and Brazil. I’ve traveled to Portugal so much growing up that I call it my second home.
Home is a feeling. It’s not a building or place. 
It is a part of you.

I feel like I have a greater appreciation for 
color and texture then most people. I would love to paint my house yellow or blue like 
they do in Portugal with the clay shingle roofs. 
I appreciate when materials like concrete 
are used for walls or floors like you see in Brazil. I also have a slightly more eclectic pottery collection, all handmade, and a lot 
of wool blankets.

I want to keep traveling and experiencing 
other cultures. There is so much you can 
learn from how other people do things.

(Amy Chen)

Newmarket, Canada
Canadian, but when people have a confused look, I’ll mention that my parents are from Hong Kong.

Wherever my family and close friends are.

I’ve moved quite a lot over the years, so I try 
to keep my home pretty minimal. However, I do love collecting meaningful objects. There’s a set of chopsticks I’ve had since childhood with my Chinese name engraved on it, I’ve carried this everywhere with me from place-to-place.

I look forward to doing more travelling with my other half. I have a bucket list that I’m looking to fulfill, which includes getting my moto license soon. Yay, baby!

(Joyce Mou)

Hong Kong
Hong Kong, it’s a tiny compact island. 
Have you been?
Home is where familiarity, connection, and natural instinct happens. I get a weird time shift whenever I visit Hong Kong, like I never left the city, even after years. Wait, it could be jet lag. Haha! Also, a place I buy flowers for.

Appreciation of timeless and modern design. I have two roommates, both Italian. So many of the objects in my house are inspired by our collective multiculturalism. It’s interesting to see how both our Canadian upbringing and our own backgrounds have formed us. The food we eat and share: our pantries, utensils, and cookware play different roles. One thing I find very universal is the love for nature: gardens, parks, and the beach. Home, doesn’t necessarily mean the house I live in, the room I wake in, or the table where I eat. Home is the expansive environment and people I can connect with. I am very attracted to large bodies of water... And anywhere I go, if I am by water, it triggers specific reminders of home. The harbour in Hong Kong; Lake Ontario; the time I was in Cinque Terre, Italy when I was with my “Italy family.” Sometimes, I even feel attached to specific moments. They are not always warm and fuzzy either haha!
Continue to chase the possibility of what home is to me. Specifics for this year: Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, and some backcountry parts of Canada.

(Dorien Peeters)

Zoersel, Belgium
Antwerp, Belgium
Home would be the house in France where 
my parents live and where I lived as a teenager.

Since I have always moved around a lot, 
I tend not to invest too much in furniture 
and decoration.
One day, probably back to Europe.

(Jorge Abundis)

Guadalajara, Mexico
I always answer Mexican. I figured if they 
are asking, American is not sufficient, although I’m not [I am?] an American citizen. 
So it’s complicated. Life is a hyphen of sorts.

A place to drink, smoke, and cook with someone you love, but it also needs to be 
a quiet place for me to read, work, and 
clear my mind.

I tend to like the rougher things in life, 
things with grime and a little earth. I also love color of all sorts. I grew up in a rural town where there was color everywhere you turned. 
The light was bright and there was an awkwardness and warmth to the aesthetics 
of everything. An earthy clay coffee cup on
top of a bold-colored, worn-out, rusted tin table sums it up.

I would like to return to Guadalajara again 
to work. I would love to paint in a large format again and be inspired by the city. There is 
a dark romance to it and the food is amazing!

(Laura Abanil)

Toronto, Ontario
I say I’m from Toronto, but my mom is from Scotland, dad from the Philippines. (I’ve been to Scotland five times and the Philippines 
three times, including going to school there 
for 1.5 years.)

Home is where the heart is. Doesn’t matter where I am.
All three cultures (Canadian, Filipino, and Scottish) are visible in my upbringing. Have 
a strong connection to the Filipino community (and love the food—I know how to cook it as well!). I visit Scotland every two years.

Wherever the wind takes me. Love living 
in Toronto. I feel safe and at home here. Will travel to as many places as I can. (Would love 
to go to Germany, as that is part of my heritage as well.) Pursuing getting my UK passport; might take advantage of working in Europe 
one day.

(Samer Basel Shaath)

Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Palestinian, Jordanian
Where I grew up and where my family lives, even though I haven’t lived there in over 
a decade.
Mostly small items with sentimental value
like my jewelry and small collectables.
Toronto is it for me.



88 Prince Street 2nd Floor, New York NY


55 Booth Avenue, Toronto ON M4M 2M3



88 Prince Street 2nd Floor, New York NY

General Inquiries
Lindsey Rand - Ext. 420

Business Development
Kaitlyn Thornton - Ext. 407

Resource Librarian/Supplier Contact
Peter Sriployrung - Ext. 496

Human Resources
Dorothy Kochanski - Ext. 248

Media Relations
Sonia Germain - Ext. 320


55 Booth Avenue, Toronto ON M4M 2M3

General Inquiries
Kendra Faykes - Ext. 221

Business Development
Kaitlyn Thornton - Ext. 407

Resource Librarian/Supplier Contact
Mariko Sormon - Ext. 264

Human Resources
Dorothy Kochanski - Ext. 248

Media Relations
Sonia Germain - Ext. 320


Jul 20, 2017

Yabu Pushelberg values diversity and inclusion in its team members and embraces diversity as a core value. All qualified candidates applying for career opportunities will receive consideration for employment regardless of race, colour, ancestry, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, age, marital status or disability. These differences bring richness to our team members, clients, profession and communities.

If you require reasonable accommodation for any part of the recruitment process, please email: or contact us directly.

Thank you for your interest in Yabu Pushelberg.

Jul 20, 2017

Since the beginning, we have operated with a simple set of values: design with meaning and purpose, believe anything is possible and surround ourselves with curious, intelligent people.

Please visit LinkedIn to learn more about current opportunities.

Jul 3, 2017

Yabu Pushelberg is committed to providing accessibility and employment for persons with disabilities in a manner that respects dignity, independence, integration and equal opportunity. Yabu Pushelberg recognizes the diverse needs of all our clients, team members, suppliers, vendors, visitors, job applicants and other stakeholders who visit our office(s) or access our information.

Your feedback is important to us. If you would like to comment about any of our accessibility policies or practices or have questions or concerns about accessibility, you can submit your feedback in the following ways:
• In person or via mail to our office
• By telephone/YYT or in person at our office
• Email:

Click here for a list of addresses and contact details.

For Ontario Residents
Yabu Pushelberg has established an accessibility plan, policies and processes that comply with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005. The following documents have been enhanced to provide greater accessibility for users of adaptive technologies:
• Accessibility Plan
• Accessibility Policy
• YP Accessibility Plan for Customer Service in Ontario

Should you require an alternate method of submitting your customer feedback or would like to request the documents listed above in an alternate format, please contact:
Yabu Pushelberg
Human Resources
55 Booth Avenue
Toronto, ON M4M 2M3