From galleries to studio to shops, Toronto Design Office Festival (or TO DO) is being celebrated throughout the city of Toronto this weekend.
The Festival kicked-off earlier this week on January 18th and will continue until Sunday, January 24th. A number of must-see events include the work of Japanese contemporary design Oji Masanori, one of Japan’s most internationally recognized designers, as well as a glimpse of future Toronto talent to come with Sheridan’s graduate Exhibition from their Craft and Design Furniture Program.
There are also numerous interactive events taking place including the TO DO Talks Symposium this Saturday, January 23 (2:00-6:00 PM ) entitled: Do Good, Do Design, Do Things That Matter. Here, multidisciplinary experts discuss how to get people thinking about how the world is made around them, where design not only ‘fits in,’ but also makes a difference.
And of course, where there is design and collaboration, there’s lots of fun. Some highlight from TO DO events this week below .
In the past 10 years, the average Toronto condominium size has shrunk by over 100 square feet, a phenomena seen around the world as more than half the world’s population is now living in urban centres where real estate is expensive and space limited.
As the average urban dweller’s home becomes smaller and smaller, design needs to be smarter. In partnership with Umbra, the Umbra + TO DO Compact Living Product exhibition explores original house ware prototypes for contemporary compact living.
This exciting and dynamic exhibition features the work of a dozen contemporary Canadian designers who are striving to make compact living exceptional. The exhibit is on through January 24th, 2016 at the Umbra Store, 165 John Street, Toronto. You can find the full details here.
Designers featured in this exhibition include include Castor, Chifen Cheng, Liz Eeuwes, Fugitive Glue, Char Kennedy, Mercury Bureau, Oscar Kwong, Geof Ramsay, Six Point Un, Ange-line Tetrault, and TOMA. Some highlights below:
The ‘11th Line’ title comes from name of the rural road where artist Lyn Carter lives and works. This exhibition explores one of the most fundamental elements – the stripe – and its graphic relationship to landscape, evoking horizon lines, road grids and furrowed fields. Integrating historical artifacts from the Textile Museum of Canada’s international collection that highlight the complex spatial organization of lines, bands and stripes, the artist’s highly crafted sewn sculptures, drawings on paper, video and digitally printed fabric are poetic translations of the rhythms and patterns of personal space and vernacular architectures that are part of daily experience.
Location: Textile Museum of Canada, 55 Centre Avenue
Time: Daily from 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM
See website for admission fees.
More information here.
A screening of the sweeping visual narrative ‘Strange & Familiar: Architecture on Fogo Island’ will take place Tuesday, January 19, 2016 (6:30-8:30 PM) at Bloor Hot Docs Cinema as part of the Toronto Design Offsite Festival (January 18-24, 2016). This hour-long documentary captures the spirit of living and designing on the edge through the story of a striking architecture project on Fogo Island, Newfoundland.
Though sparsely populated, the rugged coast of Fogo Island, Newfoundland is home to a world-class architectural project comprising four bold artist’s studios and the 26-room Fogo Island Inn. Designed by Norway-based Canadian architect Todd Saunders, this architectural project not only resonates with Fogo Island locals and visitors alike, but has also attracted worldwide interest and acclaim from architecture fans and critics.
The hour-long documentary unfolds over the construction of the Fogo Island Inn, capturing both the beautiful landscape and exceptional architecture. Both architect Todd Saunders and Zita Cobb of project initiator the Shorefast Foundation on Fogo Island, Newfoundland are featured.
Producer/director Katherine Knight and producer David Craig will be in attendance for a Q&A session following the screening.
Toronto Design Offsite Festival, or TO DO as it is nicknamed, is an annual city-wide Fesitval for design in Toronto. As a Festival, design comes out of the studio and into the city, transforming the Toronto’s downtown into a hub for all things design. There are over 80 events and exhibitions across the city, so TO DO feels like it is everywhere! Plus, almost all these events and exhibitions are free to the public.
Below are some event highlights as well as an interview with TO DO Creative Director Deborah Wang, who tells us more about this inspiring event:
Archello: What are some of this year’s emerging trends or themes? Which projects stand out to you?
Deborah Wang: A lot of this year’s projects and works are unexpected and bold. We’ve observed a lot of pattern and colour, as well a focus on plant-matter. There are also works that address the state of living in an urban centre. Although we have a lot of space compared to major Asian cities, we are starting to live in more compact spaces, where furniture and objects that are multi-functional are increasingly valued. Another continued trend is the focus on what’s made (or can be made) in Toronto with our natural resources and capabilities.
Archello: What is unique about TO DO as an event?
DW: What’s unique about us is that we are created and run by designers; we are city-wide; and we are community-based. What you can experience at TO DO is diverse. From different kinds of objects and installations, from new designers to establishes one, from Toronto-based to Canada-wide and beyond, we aspire to offer a broad range of programming and engage a wide audience of designers and design-lovers.
Archello: What is unique about Canadian design and in your opinion resonates on a more global level?
DW: This is difficult to define. Canadian design is inspired by our landscape and history, but also informed by Canada’s diversity – especially in Toronto! Canadian design is also a bit modest. Maybe this comes from how we are known globally as a polite country. This doesn’t necessary mean there is a certain Canadian style, although there are definitely works that cohere as something similar to Scandinavian design. Perhaps this is more of a Canadian outlook or sensibility that is less overt aesthetically.
Archello: Which themes/trends from this year’s event do you anticipate seeing more of in the coming year?
DW: The trend towards “the local” we think will be more and more prevalent and important, as will our focus on how to live with less.
To explore more about this inspiring event and explored a detailed program, visit TO DO’s website. We’ve highlighted some of the events below.