TO DO Festival to transform Toronto’s downtown core into design hub

In Series Exhibition. Photo credit: Saghi Malekanian
In Series Exhibition. Photo credit: Saghi Malekanian

The Toronto Design Offsite Festival (TO DO) returns for its seventh annual Festival in January 2017, bringing design talent to the city’s forefront. From January 16-22, 2017, Toronto’s downtown core will be transformed into a design hub with immersive installations, curated exhibitions, and events, bringing people together to celebrate contemporary culture.

In January 2016, TO DO had direct participation from over 400 designers and artists, more than 99,000 visitors, 58 million press impressions, and 66 million brand impressions. Festival programming for 2017 will feature an array of self-produced work by over 400 independent, local and international designers and artists, including TO DO’s signature curated projects.

“As a theme for this year, we are focusing on design for well-being,” said Deborah Wang, Creative Director at the Toronto Design Offsite Festival. “This is being explored at our half day Symposium in large-scale projects and research, at our thematic exhibition through art and design objects, and by festival exhibitors such as the Toronto Society of Architect’s Urban Affairs Forum on the Architecture of Inclusivity.”

In Series Exhibition. Photo credit: Saghi Malekanian
In Series Exhibition. Photo credit: Saghi Malekanian


Living Well
‘Living Well’ is an exhibition that explores the tangible and intangible ways in which design improves our daily lives. What is the capacity of design to help us feel or live better? How does it help us achieve higher states of personal health, resource efficiency, conviviality, collaboration, mindfulness, or even happiness? For this year’s exhibition, TO DO is seeking works that explore the ways in which design transforms us, or how we use design to transform ourselves for the better.

TO DO Talks Symposium
Design shapes experiences and interactions, and therefore, the world around us. In a culture of rapid change, the fields of science, health, technology, social policy, innovation, and research are converging to respond to the urgency of making the world a better place. TO DO sees design playing a major role in bridging between these fields, as well as making a space for conversations to happen, solutions to be designed, and positive change to flourish. For this year’s Symposium, TO DO is looking for presentations that contribute to a better understanding of how well-being is understood and created through design, innovation, and change.

Outside the Box
‘Outside the Box’ builds a map of design in North America. Working with WantedDesign NYC, this project begins with selecting correspondents—leading curators and designers in each participating city—to create a collection of thoughtfully designed objects that will fit into a standard Bankers box. These boxes are then shipped to Toronto for exhibition, showcasing contemporary design from an array of cities across Canada and the U.S. More than 50 designers from across North America will participate in Outside the Box. Each box includes original works from local designers, reflecting the particular resources and makers of each area. After January, this exhibition is shipped to New York to be part of the annual design celebration NYCxDESIGN.

Registration for independently produced events including events, talks, storefront window installations, tours and exhibitions, remains open to the public until Monday, October 3.