6th Design Montral Open House next month

Élaine Ayotte, Ville de Montréal Executive Committee member responsible for Culture, Heritage and Design, recently unveiled the program of the 6th Design Montréal Open House, an activity for the general public initiated following the founding of the Bureau du design and Montréal’s appointment as a UNESCO City of Design. She was accompanied for the occasion by the event’s spokespersons, actress Anne-Marie Cadieux and landscape architect Claude Cormier. This year, the event is back in full force, with close to 110 design addresses set to open their doors to the public on May 4 and 5, from noon to 5:00pm.

Nearly half of the design professionals taking part this year are first-timers, broadening the spectrum of new talents and emerging practices to be discovered. “This will be a perfect opportunity to come and see where designers get their ideas, and understand how they find concrete expressions in our everyday lives,” Ayotte said. “If Montréal is a proud member of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network, it is because we have made a firm commitment to making good design the cornerstone of our urban planning actions, all across our territory.”

For his part, Québec’s Minister of Culture and Communications, Maka Kotto, said: “This event helps raise awareness of the talented individuals who help enrich Montréalers’ quality of life and raise the profile of our city around the world. The quality and diversity of Montréal’s creative genius are one reason why the city earned its status as North America’s only UNESCO City of Design.”

The 6th Design Montréal Open House will feature exclusive looks at venues for which construction or interior design has recently been completed, such as the newly opened Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium and Du Boisé Library. These will be rare opportunities to meet the designers on site and listen as they give guided tours, providing a better understanding and appreciation of the buildings’ distinctive architecture and discussing their work with the public.

The designers involved in this year’s event have also imagined a number of playful, interactive activities to capture the interest of younger visitors, including block construction, model-making, origami, drawing workshops, animation and small-scale video production, introductions to architecture, craft activities such as fabric-making and silkscreen printing, planning a neighbourhood or city, and more.

A special itinerary will pay tribute to the late Luc Laporte, underlining this architect’s remarkable contributions to life in the city. The public is invited to rediscover 11 sites, including L’Express, Leméac, the Holder and the Society for Arts & Technology (SAT), as part of this retrospective of Laporte’s work. In addition, a free walking tour in the area around Saint-Louis Square will be offered in collaboration with Heritage Montréal. Space is limited, so reservations are a must; call 514.286.2662.

Design and architecture buffs are invited to enter the On the Trail of Design contest, taking the form of a scavenger hunt, with clues in the form of sketches to be posted on April 9, 19 and 26 on www.facebook.com/designmontreal. In the weeks leading up to the event and on both days of the Open House, two series of art objects by Montréal designers, drawn from the CODE Souvenir Montréal catalogue, will be awarded to lucky entrants. The total prize value is $1,000.

The Design Montréal Open House program guide is available at www.DesignMontrealOpenHouse.com, which includes an interactive map that visitors can use to create their own itineraries according to their tastes and interests as well as their modes of transportation. Print versions of the program are available at La Vitrine, and will also be inserted with the Saturday, April 27, 2013 editions of several Montréal daily newspapers.

All of the Montréal designers who have participated in the Design Montréal Open House since 2007 are automatically included in the Directory of Montréal designers, available online at www.mtlunescodesigners.com. This tool allows users to quickly locate design professionals, searching by discipline, borough or keyword.

The Design Montréal Open House is an initiative of the Ville de Montréal’s Bureau du design, produced with the support of various professional groups and in partnership with the Ministère de la Culture et des Communications, pursuant to the Agreement on the Cultural Development of Montréal.

The Ville de Montréal is proud to partner with the STM and 24 Heures as well as the following collaborators in publicizing the 6th Design Montréal Open House: the Borough of Ville-Marie, Index-Design, Kollectif, La Vitrine, Le Devoir, Newad, Publicité Sauvage, The Gazette and Urbania.

The Bureau du design was created in January 2006 by the Ville de Montréal. Its mission is to implement the municipal action plan aimed at improving design throughout the city and positioning Montréal as a UNESCO City of Design. Montréal is a member of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network, as a City of Design. The Network, which comprises 34 cities in 18 countries (11 of which are recognized as Cities of Design), enables creative practitioners in member cities to share experiences, best practices and knowledge on an international scale.

For more information, please visit https://www.facebook.com/designmontreal, https://twitter.com/designmontreal, and http://instagram.com/designmtl.