Celebrating the thriving Canadian design industry, the seventh edition of The Toronto Design Offsite Festival (TO DO) is taking place this week (January 16-22, 2017). Creative Director Deborah Wang tells Archello how this event came about, where it’s headed and gives us insight into some of the highlights.
Archello: Could you briefly describe the Toronto Design Offsite Festival and its goals/objectives as a platform?
DW: The Toronto Design Offsite Festival (TO DO) is Canada’s largest cultural celebration of design with over 100 exhibitions and events forming Toronto’s design week, January 16-22, 2017.
Our mission is to advance design and culture in Canada. For us, building a strong and vibrant design culture involves design and designers from outside Canada too. We also want to bridge the gap between design and community, i.e. connecting designers with the public, and vice versa. Our platform provides opportunities for designers to exhibit and talk about their work and research, for people to meet each other and build new relationships, and a welcoming space to test out new ideas, and get involved.
Archello: Are there any designs or designers that stand out to you this year?
DW: With hundreds of designs and designers, this is a difficult question to answer! One of our signature exhibitions ‘Compact Living’ stands out in that it showcases 11 new prototypes forcontemporary compact living, which is an important topic right now.
We are also excited to have Jamer Hunt, from the Parsons School of Design, give the keynote talk at our symposium on design and the pursuit of well-being. He is joined by 11 other speakers addressing well-being from social, medical, design and innovation perspectives.
In terms of getting a taste of design from many cities, our ‘Outside the Box’ exhibition is always a treat. This year we have boxes from 11 cities across Canada and the U.S., representing local design from Vancouver, Los Angeles, New York, and Montreal, to name a few.
Archello: In what direction would you like to see TODO move in the future?
DW: TO DO has grown bigger than we ever could have imagined when we start the festival 7 years ago. It’s become an important platform for showcasing and talking about design. Additionally, through our own curated exhibitions and events, we’ve have provided exhibition and speaking opportunities to many artists, designers and researchers. We want to continue this programming, and build new programs with like-minded partners. Our annual Festival Week will continue to be a key part of what we do, but you may see us popping us in other places too.
You can gain a comprehensive oversight with detailed information about all of the events on this week in Toronto here.
Founded in 1951, this fair is a showcase of the latest innovations in interior design and lighting for both homes and public spaces. Held concurrently with Stockholm Design Week and the Stockholm Design Talks series, the fair not only showcases today’s top names and designers from Scandinavia and around the world, but also offers an opportunity to explore the works of smaller brands and emerging designers you wouldn’t get the chance to discover at other large shows. Explore below a preview of what the upcoming edition of the Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair 2017 holds in store.
This year’s event will feature more than 700 direct exhibitors, 1,200 brands and 70,000 square meters of exhibition area, making it the world’s largest venue of Scandinavian design and the most prominent entry platform for the Nordic market. You can see the updated exhibitor list here. Alongside this, the Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair also offers a unique programme of exhibitions and seminars. This includes most notably the celebration of a Guest of Honour, the Trend Exhibition, both the Greenhouse and ESTABLISHED Exhibitions, as well as this year’s Design Bar, which is evocatively named ‘On Everybody’s Lips.’
Guest of Honour 2017 - Each year, the Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair invites a highly acclaimed international designer or design studio to create a lounge in Stockholmsmässan’s entrance hall. This year, the assignment has been awarded to Spanish designer Jaime Hayón, who have received international acclaim for their playful and colourful furniture, design and architecture.
Trend Exhibition 2017 – This is an exhibition we are particularly looking forward to with the intriguing theme of ‘Contrasts’. This year’s edition was created by stylist Lotta Agaton and the exhibition offers contrasts in materials and furniture as well as other surprising combinations. ‘Contrasts! That was the first thing to pop into my mind when I received the assignment. Contrasts in materials – shiny vs. matte, expensive vs. inexpensive – and even contrasts in furniture. I want to offer unexpected combinations. I will also work on creating a ‘room’ atmosphere, a cozy feeling, in the exhibition’s spaces. It should almost feel like you are visiting someone’s home even though it is a public space,’ says Lotta Agaton.
Greenhouse – An inspiring opportunity to gain insight into today’s emerging design talent, Greenhouse offers a platform for new and unknown designers from all over the world. In 2016, Greenhouse welcomed an impressive 32 independent designers and 31 design schools. This year promises even more emerging talent with an exhibition conceived by Stockholm-based Form Us With Love.
ESTABLISHED -Alongside Greenhouse, comes the second edition of ESTABLISHED, a specific area for designers and design studios with a proven track record. The unique aim here is to promote diversity in the industry and encourage designers’ own small-scale production lines.
Design Bar “On Everybody’s Lips” - Need to relax and indulge? A cross between an exhibition and a world-class restaurant, the assignment to create the Design Bar at the Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair this year has been awarded Note Design Studio, in cooperation with Isabella Morrone, Head Chef at ‘Mother’ in Stockholm. The studio explains that their goal is to create a space that feels warm, visual and attractive to everyone by creating what they describe as a temperate zone at the fair. The colour scheme will range from light pink to deep burgundy and the concept will be open to different design elements and offer varying spatiality.
The name of this Design Bar is Sulla bocca di tutti – meaning ‘on everyone’s lips.’ We understand this will be reflected not only in the warm design, but also in Chef Morrone’s menu, which will feature unexpected combinations from both Italian and Swedish kitchens. And of course taking place concurrently with the fair are Stockholm Design Talks 2017 and Stockholm Design Week.
Stockholm Design Talks 2017 - For the fourth consecutive year, Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair is arranging Stockholm Design Talks, the fair’s own forum for knowledge and discussions within the area of design, which will highlight hot topics and projects that are happening now.
Stockholm Design Week 2017 - Launched in 2002, Stockholm Design Week is a landmark event for the Scandinavian design industry but also for all lovers of design. The event draws a global elite in design and architecture to see the latest in furniture and lighting. The Week features numerous showroom, open houses cocktail and dinner parties, as well as ‘after fair’ meetings and top talent coming out of design schools. It is also a great opportunity to take in the city of Stockholm itself, with the official guide of Stockholm Design Week, suggesting the bests shopping, restaurants and bars. In short, a great opportunity to emerge yourself in the world of Scandinavian design and the local culture of this dynamic Nordic metropolis. You can check out the calendar of events during Stockholm Design Week from February 6-12 at www.stockholmdesignweek.com.