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Design Exchange launches 10-day biennial festival addressing global challenges


TORONTO —
EDIT will take over five floors of East Harbour. The sixth floor, pictured above, will house Jamie Oliver Foundation's installation. Photo: Great Gulf

EDIT will take over five floors of East Harbour. The sixth floor, pictured above, will house Jamie Oliver Foundation’s installation. Photo: Great Gulf

The Design Exchange (DX) has announced the launch of EDIT: Expo for Design, Innovation & Technology – an unprecedented 10-day biennial festival, in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

From September 28 to October 8, 2017, design visionaries from across the globe will gather in Toronto’s East Harbour (formerly Unilever Soap Factory) to manifest 150,000-square-feet and five separate floors into a 360-degree immersive and playful experience. Thought-provoking installations, programming, speakers and pavilions will explore how the powerful intersection of design, innovation and technology can provide solutions to the world’s greatest challenges and help shape the future for all people.

EDIT’s overarching theme “Prosperity For All” is inspired by the United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) Global Goals for Sustainable Development, and will be brought to life through an installation by globally renowned designer Bruce Mau, co-founder of the Massive Change Network and Bruce Mau Design. Mau’s exhibit on the main floor will feature black-and-white images of global conflicts. Pollution, genocide, and terrorism – as captured by award-winning Magnum photojournalist Paolo Pellegrin (Italy) – will be contrasted with universal design projects seeking to offer solutions to these challenges.

City of Toronto Mayor John Tory joined the speaker line up at the official EDIT press conference. Photo: Canadian Press

City of Toronto Mayor John Tory joined the speaker line up at the official EDIT press conference. Photo: Canadian Press

Mau will be joined by cultural thinkers Carlo Ratti (Italy), Jamie Oliver Foundation (United Kingdom), Julielynn Wong (Canada) and Kentaro Toyama (Japanese-American), who will each develop an installation reflecting the Global Goals, divided into the four pillars of EDIT: Shelter/Cities, Nourish, Care and Educate. The multi-sensory exhibits will act as an “edit” of real-world problems and display how design thinking coupled with innovative technology can help elicit change. Among the roster of anticipated highlights are technological innovations such as Modular Farms and Waterfarmers Aquaponics, Jordan Reeves’ playful “Project Unicorn” – a prosthetic arm that shoots glitter – and Olafur Eliasson’s Little Sun, solar-powered LED lamps that invite visitors to make light graffiti. Each theme will comprise an entire floor of the East Harbour site to create a fully interactive and immersive oasis with eye-opening activities for all ages.

Supported by the Government of Ontario and its Ontario150 Program with a funding commitment of $1.75 million, EDIT will accentuate and propel the province’s seat at the global design table, while simultaneously highlighting the potential the industry has to solve issues on a universal scale. The event will coincide with Canada’s and Ontario’s 150th anniversary, while simultaneously marking the 50th anniversary of Expo 67 and the 30th anniversary of DX to situate the country as a hotbed for innovation.

“Events like EDIT provide an opportunity for creative people to come together and find innovative ways to solve the challenges our city faces,”said Mayor John Tory. “We need to address these challenges of affordable housing, protecting our environment, and building a smart city through technology so Toronto can continue to be one of the most livable and competitive cities in the world. Working together, we can improve how this city functions for the benefit of all who live, work and invest here.”