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TO DO Festival runs this week, featuring work from over 400 designers and artists


January 16, 2017
by Canadian Architect

Photo credit: Saghi Malekanian

Photo credit: Saghi Malekanian

The Toronto Design Offsite Festival (TO DO) has released its 2017 Festival Schedule, which includes over 100 events, installations, and curated exhibitions. For one week annually, TO DO showcases talent throughout the city from January 16-22, 2017, featuring self-produced work from over 400 independent, local, national, and international designers and artists.

The lineup presents international figures such as Alessandro Guerriero (Italy), Sheila Hicks (USA), and Binome (France), as well as Canadian brands like Mjölk, The Brothers Dressler, and Aubry / Levesque.

“Our 2017 programme celebrates design across the board, with emphasis on work created in Toronto,” says Deborah Wang, Creative Director at the Toronto Design Offsite Festival. “Bold and innovative work by emerging and established creatives will fill storefronts, studios, galleries, and public spaces in Toronto. The city-wide and eye-level aspects of our festival makes design accessible and engaging.”

TO DO also offers attendees the opportunity to experience design with all of their senses through innovative programming like a Blindfolded Walking Tour, The Sniff Bar, Rorschach, I feel heard: Design for better listening, and My Meal is an Imposter!

In addition to the open projects, TO DO’s signature projects include the annual travelling exhibition ‘Outside the Box’, TO DO Talks Symposium: Design and the pursuit of well-being, Compact Living, Living Well, Resurfacing Taddle Creek, TO DO Tours: Regent Park, and TO DO Talks: Alessandro Guerriero, Winter 4D.

“TO DO’s 2017 Festival Schedule captures the voice of creatives in our city, our country, and abroad, and presents them on a public stage for Canada’s largest celebration of design,” says Jeremy Vandermeij, Executive Director at the Toronto Design Offsite Festival. “Our Festival continues to grow each year, providing a platform for artists and designers to showcase their work, and advance design in Canada.”

The Festival kicks off with the lively TO DO Festival Party. Taking place at Church of the Holy Trinity, the event features an installation by Design Fabrication Zone, Ryerson University’s interdisciplinary incubator for design and fabrication, and an outdoor installation by North Design Office in the adjacent park.

See the full 2017 Festival Schedule here.

TO DO PROJECTS:

TO DO Projects are signature events and exhibitions curated annually by the Toronto Design Offsite Festival.

COMPACT LIVING

Working in partnership with Umbra, ‘Compact Living’ is an exhibition that explores fresh and original houseware prototypes for contemporary compact living, and showcases the work of 11 Canadian designers: Aubry / Levesque, Chifen Cheng, Alissa Coe, Libs Elliott, Felt Studio, Simone Ferkul, Harbour, Hinterland Design, Char Kennedy, Linus Kung, and Rainville-Sangaré.

FESTIVAL HUB

Start your Toronto design week explorations at the TO DO Festival Hub, a central location for Festival information located in the heart of Queen West. Chat with TO DO representatives, pick up a 2017 Festival Guide, plan your route, or meet designers and design-enthusiasts while keeping warm in the Keilhauer Lounge outfitted with Canadian-made furniture, including the fun and flexible Doko collection.

LIVING WELL

This exhibition explores the tangible and intangible ways in which design improves our daily lives, featuring the work of Amanda Rataj, Cole Swanson, Jake Whillans, Louie George Michael (Gaëlle Le Couster), Kux Global (Mauricio Navarro), AFJD (Amber Frid-Jimenez & Joseph Dahmen), Tania Love, Victoria Milley & Felicia Semiawan, Myung-Sun Kim, and Oscar Kwong.

OUTSIDE THE BOX

‘Outside the Box’ builds a map of design in North America. This third annual travelling exhibition features the work of over 70 designers from 12 cities across Canada and the U.S. Curated by local correspondents, each Bankers box houses a collection of thoughtfully designed objects, reflecting the particular resources and makers of that area. ‘Outside the Box’ is organized in partnership with WantedDesign.

RESURFACING TADDLE CREEK

‘Resurfacing Taddle Creek’ — by Toronto-based landscape architecture firm North Design Office —  is the first outdoor installation commissioned by the Toronto Design Offsite Festival. The exhibition resurfaces the rich history of Toronto’s Taddle Creek by animating a portion of its path that lies underneath Trinity Square Park.

TO DO TALKS: ALESSANDRO GUERRIERO

Join Milan-based architect, designer, and artist Alessandro Guerriero for an informal tour and discussion of the TO DO 2017 exhibition ‘Workwear’. Presented by the Harbourfront Centre, ‘Workwear’ is a playful and cutting-edge exploration of uniforms and daily workwear, featuring the work of over 40 Italian architects, designers, and artists.

TO DO TALKS SYMPOSIUM

TO DO’s second annual symposium brings 11 multidisciplinary experts into one room to discuss design and the pursuit of well-being. The half-day event features keynote speaker Jamer Hunt, three thematic sessions, and an opportunity for fulsome discussion among those in attendance at OCAD University.

TO DO TOURS: REGENT PARK, A RENEWED COMMUNITY

New to this year’s Festival, ‘TO DO Tours’ is a signature event series of designer-led tours that offer access to some of the most interesting architectural projects that make Toronto a great place to live, work, and play. This tour focuses on public facilities that create community health through the arts and recreation, while also offering an exploration of the new Regent Park.

WINTER 4D

‘Winter 4D’ is a digital artwork presentation featuring ‘White Out’ — a short film by Joe Pascale — on the Cieslok Media billboard at Yonge-Dundas Square.

SELECTED OPEN PROJECTS:

BLINDFOLDED WALKING TOUR

A well-designed place doesn’t just look good; it feels good, sounds good, and smells good. Jonathan Silver hosts a ‘Blindfolded Walking Tour’ to understand the importance of multi-sensory design and to learn how to experience the city through your non-visual senses.

BRIGHT

Vancouver-based Annie Tung and Brad Turner play with light and challenge form while embracing materials and techniques. Carved stone, mouth-blown glass, mirror silver, spun copper, colourful cords, and acrylic are just some of their chosen media. Each object shines with the introduction of light.

DESIGNING FOR INCLUSIVITY

Presented by the Toronto Society of Architects, ‘Designing for Inclusivity’ explores how designers and policymakers shaping our city interpret the phrase “inclusive design” in their works.

MODELS & DRAWINGS

Models and drawings exhibits built and speculative work by Polymétis, an architecture and landscape design studio based in Toronto. Exhibited work highlights an interest in experimental material applications, phenomenology, and the fusion of manual and digital means of representation.

ON THE TABLE

A politically-engaged artist project that incites dialogue around issues relating to gender-based violence and harassment in public spaces. Curated by Aisle 4, with original works by Toronto artists available as beverage coasters throughout participating bars and restaurants.

POSTER DESIGN WORKSHOP

Introducing participants to the expanded field of visual communication and the broad definition of the discipline. This workshop by communication design studio aftermodern.lab is an exploration in research, concept development, illustration, photography, and typography.

THAT IS BEST WHICH WORKS BEST

The exhibition hosted by Mjölk combines the work of Canadian designer Thom Fougere, Norwegian designer Hallgeir Homstvedt, and musician Jason Collett, along with museum-quality Shaker objects, to play off of each other and facilitate a conversation between antique and modern pieces.

THE GARDEN OF EARTHLY DELIGHTS

Taking its conceptual starting point from Rem Koolhaas’ ‘Junkspace’, which advances the concept of junk food to our built environment, ‘The Garden of Earthly Delights’ investigates the world of “total design” to reflect on contemporary image practices involving advertising, design, and commodity fetishism.

WORK

Welcome to the Brothers Dressler studio for insight into their work and their small-scale manufacturing in Toronto. The Brothers Dressler’s work creates a waste stream that is collected and redirected toward new works. These pieces include cut-ups line, as well as large scale projects where these off-cuts are adapted into the design.