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.