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DesignTO 2019

Twenty times larger than its inaugural year, the DesignTO Festival is a place where creatives can explore and experiment, pushing the boundaries of what art and design can be. Addressing social and political topics, DesignTO is about furniture and home accessories, but also so much more. With over 100 free events, the 2019 Festival created a space where art and design are inclusive and accessible.

DesignTO, Chair Detection Interface by Radical Norms - Artificial Intelligence Chair Prediction - 78% Chair. Photo via Radical Norms
Chair Detection Interface by Radical Norms – Artificial Intelligence Chair Prediction – 78% Chair. Photo via Radical Norms

“Yes we have exhibitions and installations in white cube gallery spaces, but we also occupy the spaces not typically associated with art and design. Spaces like shop and restaurant windows, or condominium and office lobbies,” Michael Madjus, Marketing Director, DesignTO.

DesignTO, AESTUS by Oliver David Krieg - AESTUS family of vases. Photo by Kristína Balušíková.
AESTUS by Oliver David Krieg – AESTUS family of vases. Photo by Kristína Balušíková.

In addition to the DesignTO Projects, this year’s Festival saw over 100 independent projects including Luvere Studio’s ‘Light Cage Duo’ at Bulthaup, a series based on the subject of death with exhibitions like ‘Constellations: Exploring the family experience of death & Dying’ and ‘Ghost Stories’, objects inspired by the human body in the exhibition ‘Elbow Room’, the intricacies of queer online intimacy at ‘All Bound Up’, as well as the often rare dialogue between Black and Indigenous makers in ‘One Who Protects a Sibling’. No topic is too small or taboo.

DesignTO, All Bound Up by Sam Loewen - More Pics?, 2018. 7in x 9in, Screen print on cloth with bound bedsheet rope. Photo by Julia Martin.
All Bound Up by Sam Loewen – More Pics?, 2018. 7in x 9in, Screen print on cloth with bound bedsheet rope. Photo by Julia Martin.

With over 100 independent projects taking place at the 2019 Festival, DesignTO brought more self-produced projects than ever before. In collaboration with a number of partners, the DesignTO Festival will see the return of staples such as the fourth annual DesignTO Symposium: Unlocking the Future of Work, the Festival thematic exhibition, Surface Tension, and the prototype exhibition Work/Life produced in collaboration with Canadian product design company Umbra.

Timelines by Lois Schklar - Timeline 4 detail ( elastic cord, objects). Photo by Peter Lergis.
Timelines by Lois Schklar – Timeline 4 detail ( elastic cord, objects). Photo by Peter Lergis.

This year, new programming included DesignTO’s first graphic design exhibition Design Unseen, the DesignTO Guided Bus Tours led by local design and art experts, a number of DesignTO Talks with designers including Tiffany Pratt, and internationally renowned London-based design duo Studio Swine.

DesignTO, Game Set & Match by Louie George Michael. Photo by Laurence Poirier.
Game Set & Match by Louie George Michael. Photo by Laurence Poirier.

The DesignTO Festival transforms Toronto into a hub for creativity, taking art and design out of the studio and into the urban sphere, bringing people together to celebrate contemporary culture. DesignTO provides opportunities for emerging talent and engages the community with exceptional and accessible public programming. Until next year!

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