Monday, January 23, 2012

Toronto Comes Alive With Design

 Photo: Sean Martindale Project,  
Come Up To My Room? January 26 to January 29, 2012
Gladstone Hotel 1214 Queen Street West, Toronto
The end of January can be a dim dark cold time of year in the northern hemisphere and we tend to stay indoors unless of course there is a reason not to. In Toronto there is a reason not to. While the International Design Show which first opened its doors in 1999 is now at the centre piece around which the Toronto Design Offsite Festival has been built. TODO festival showcases Canadian design in a variety of forms at numerous venues.

Dawn McNutt, Apple, woven copper and brass wire. Gift of Tibor Gregor. Photo: K. Jennifer Bedford
While the IDS opens on January 26th a few days before the annual exhibition Select Works:Cambridge Galleries Contemporary Canadian Textile-Based Collection opens on January 24 6:30 pm with Remarks: 7 pm at Design at Riverside 7 Melville Street South, Cambridge Ontario and runs until February 19, 2012. While the Cambridge Galleries have run the Biennial Juried exhibition  FIBREWORKS since the late 1980 from which many of these pieces have been acquired.

Sylvia Kind, "9 impossibly small sweaters", 2007, Knit wool, zippers, buttons, Various dimensions.
Purchased by the Cambridge Galleries for their permanent collection during fibreworks 2008, photo by Joe Lewis
Andrew Smith ( Cambridge, On) standing with his piece "Veil: From Following Desire", 1984, paper pulp painting , 259 x 122 cm. added to the collection in 1989 photo Joe Lewis taken at Selections..2010
You can follow the Cambridge Galleries on their facebook page

You can see more photographs taken by me in the following facebook Albums
April 2, 2011 at the Cambridge Galleries Anna Torma & Selections

Fibreworks | FABRICcation | Knit camBRIDGE expect the unexpected

fibreworks 2008

You can read more about the Sections From the Permanent Collection 2010 in my "fibre report" column in A Needle Pulling Thread Fall 2010

Toronto Design Offsite Festival is over 20 exhibitions, showcases, hosted walking tours and Deign Talks happening in Toronto for a list of times and locations visit the official website Events Listings page.The concept of a Hosted Tour has changed this year phone apps and QR -codes will be ever present you can get your free TODO i-phone app now at the apple apps store. You can follow your friends who are in Toronto through their tweets and facebook sharing or you can have the experience live. I will be attending as many of these events as I can (with a slight handicap in that i don't have a cell phone, let alone an i phone , I am very old fashioned) 

Here is a selection of shows i will definitely get to either during the press previews or visits after or before the "Opening" parties which are scattered across, time so there are one or more to attend every night of the festival and Saturday and Sunday afternoon. You can spend your time seeing people and totally miss out on the Design. With some advanced planing you can do both. If you are planning to get to some of the talks get their early so you can get a seat. If you have not attended before you will be amazed by the numbers of people this 'festival" is becoming an international attraction. Last year I was slightly horrified to hear three people from Italy being outraged by the high price of admission to Museums in Toronto having just come from a visit to the ROM. Considering it is € 9.10 to get into the
UffiziI would say that is about even.
fQ Picks 

STITCHES: Suzhou Fast Forward. A  show that features seven pieces of hand-crafted Suzhou embroidery from China and six contemporary works by invited architects, artists, and designers which has been running since October is part of the festival. Both the show and the space where it is located need to be seen and or discovered by a larger audience.

"WORKshop is an experimental design centre located on the concourse level of 80 Bloor Street West in Yorkville, Toronto's luxury shopping district. The centre was launched in February 2010 to further the visionary design work of Hong Kong-based Kin Yeung whose approach establishes reciprocity between design traditions and excellence spawned in China over many centuries and today's contemporary urban life styles in both the East and the West"

1066 Dundas Street West Opening Reception: Saturday, January 28, 3-8 PM

Another exhibition I am looking forward to seeing is “CAPACITY” is an annual exhibit of new work by female, Canadian designers, curated by Katherine Morley, Erin McCutcheon and Ange-line Tetrault. It will be presented in January 2012 at Bev Hisey Studio (1066 Dundas Street West, at Shaw). The exhibition will feature a wide range of media (ceramic, textile, furniture, product design, illustration and more) that will examine and express the word “capacity” as it relates to the role of women in the field of design. Last years show at Bookhou * 798 Dundas Street West was an interesting mix of concept pieces like: Michelle Invankovic's "Maker Sofa", 12 fitness Balls held together by fabric exoskeleton Velvet, with Brass rivets and PCV which I was given the opportunity to try out/ sit on, was a mix of awkward but possibly comfortable fun. It was kind of silly yet smart design in its attempt to re-purpose those quickly out of style over produce exercise balls.

Michelle Invankovic Maker Sofa, 12 fitness Balls held together by fabric exoskeleton Velvet, Brass and PCV in Capacity at Bookhou * 798 Dundas Street West Jan. 26 until Feb. 6, 2011, photo by Joe Lewis
Bev Hisey " plaster and lath" carpet at R.A.D. * 899 Dundas Street west part of Do Design : Thursday, January 27 to Sunday, January 30, 2011, along Dundas Street West between Bathurst and Grace Street
When is Come Up To My Room. January 26 to January 29, 2012

2010 CUTMR Room 211 Lisa Keophila / Jon Margong/ Fiona Lim Tung and Kristen Lim Tung have suspended a canopy of cut paper object over a mattress and pillow on which you are welcome to lie and imagine.
Untitled wire work by Scot Eunson in the Art Bar at the Gladstone Hotel 1214 Queen Street West, part of Come Up to My Room. January 27- 30 2011

While Come Up to My Room started as an alternative almost parody of the Interior Design show it quickly became something better then that. While it is still a mixed bag of concepts and products it has become a laboratory and I am looking froward to see what the [R]ed[U]x Lab: Ryerson University Architectural Science Design Lab will install.  Each year since 2009, Come Up To My Room curators have worked with professor Elizabeth English and visited to the University of Waterloo School of Architecture to select three to five chairs from their Chair Project.

Foot stool with hand printed upholstery by 
Designer/ printer Emanuelle Dion 

This reminds me of one of my pet peeves about design education in Canada, while some schools have both textile and furniture design course I have yet to see a prototype of an upholsterer piece of furniture  come from one of those schools. Emanuelle Dion who studied at surface design at the  Cegep du Vieux Montreal: Centre Design & Impressions Textile Montreal has presented her company Foutu Tissu and its printed textile furniture at the One Of A Kind Show in Toronto.

This very tailored version of a wing back chair is from 608 Design by Evan Bart. the "Annex" is made of plywood, soy based foam, wool, walnut, 27" w X 32" D X 44" High. it was shown in Radiant Dark 2010- Assets & Values, photo: Joe Lewis

Radient Dark: the Devil is in the Details  859 Dundas St. West (4 doors east of MADE) Opening Reception | Saturday, January 28, 3 – 7 PM

" For better or worse, details affect every moment of the design process from idea to creation, to using and appreciating an object. Julie Nicholson and Shaun Moore of MADE continue to introduce new Canadian designs through their evolving Radiant Dark series with the 2012 theme — the Devil is the Details."
A selection of furnishings from Made At Home January 27 to February 12th 2011

Do Design 
Opening Reception | Saturday, January 28, 3 – 8 PM
Guided Tour | Sunday, January 29, 2 – 3 PM (meeting point TBA)
Exhibition Hours | Varies according to venue
Do Design highlights design culture in a vibrant neighborhood during Toronto design week. Bringing together contemporary design works from over 30 individuals working across many disciplines, the free, four day event is presented by the Trinity Bellwoods Business Area and reaches along Dundas Street West from Bathurst to Grace Streets.

What is the role of community-engaged art and design in sustainable urban development?

This is a view from my balcony and one of the reasons I left a warehouse studio in the Queen and Spadina in 1989. The street running towards downtown is Oak Street, over the past eight years many of the four story public housing complexes in the Regents Park have been torn down and are being replaced with condo towers. While this redevelopment of what was Toronto's first Public Housing project in 1958 has displaced or rather redistributed a population that while living below or on the edge of the poverty are far from the drug addled violent exclusivity non white population the media has often portrayed as. I my experience violence and drug abuse happen everywhere regardless of ethnic origins or income level. As some of displaced and other selected low income people are being rehoused in the neighborhood at 40 Oak Street a design project with hints of William Morris has been organized the results of which will be exhibited during TODO. 

 "In the City"one shot comic published in City Magazine Volume 11, no 1, Summer/fall 1989

Morris once said “Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful” Public Displays of Affection for 40 Oaks is an exhibition of over 100 pieces of sustainable, designer one-of-a-kind furniture, lighting and installations donated to a community in need, created by local designers and local community members. The custom designed furnishings were created by local design gurus such as Brothers Dressler, Studio Junction, Rob Southcott, Parimal Gosai, MADE, Kathryn Walter and over 28 more professional designers and students.

Opening Reception: Friday, January 27, 2012 | 6-10pm
PDA for 40 Oaks Talks: Sunday January 29, 2012 | 1pm-2:30pm
Panelists: Ken Greenberg, Zahra Ebrahim, Janna Levitt and Remo Agostino Moderator: David Dick-Agnew
Exhibition Hours: Saturday, January 28 and Sunday, January 29, 2012 | Daily 1-6pm

you can find out more about this project at the Public Displays of Affection website

International Design Show 2012

DesignGenNext showcases the cutting-edge work of the industrial design and craft students from Canada’s top schools.IDS 11 participating institutions included: Ryerson University, Humber College, George Brown College (Institute Without Boundaries), Ontario College of Art and Design (OCAD), and Sheridan College.

At IDS 12, visit DesignGenNext in their new home in Offsite/Onsite on main level of the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

 "XY "by Haniyeh Khosravi Fard is made of simple metal shelving parts and two colours of cord. part of the OCAD University IDS 2011 display

Sheridan students, Simone Rauscher's "Mouse Meat" this badly tilted piece had a certain charm.
Tea dyed unbleached cotton embroidered with polyester thread

"IDS 12 marks the 10th anniversary of Studio North. Exclusive to IDS, this show within a show was introduced to support Canada’s vibrant and independent design scene featuring ateliers and designer-makers from coast to coast. The showcase now features 60 Canadian and International designers exhibiting one-off and custom collections of furniture, lighting, glass, ceramics, textiles, and surface design in a gallery-like installation. Studio North has evolved into one of the most anticipated annual exhibit a of design CanCon for design industry, media and a discerning design audience" 
from show website

Also celebrating its 10th anniversary, the Prototype exhibit features works not currently in production by independent designers, who address the theme of innovative consumer products intended for mass production.

IDS 20011, New Carribean Design: Guyana wai wai baskets which is another of enterprising designer Patty Johnson international collaborations. the most recent was working with west coast and northern interior aboriginal artisans which was presented last fall at the Queen Quay Gallery at Harbourfront. This one is with Liana Cain and Shu Shu Kaywe –the oldest master weaver in the Guyanese community

You can find out more about the Interior Design Show at their website.

This is from "The Chair Source"  the model is the "Black Nior Chair" it was a prop/ accessory in the Eurolite booth #1010 IDS 2011

Blog postings

What the Well Dressed Chair is Wearing This Year: IDS 2011 kicks off
"Stag" (Wall Hanging) by Grant Heaps, 2,200 1"square pieces of cloth, opening night February 4 2009, Made presents Radiant Dark 09 Elegant Corruptions

You can see images from past shows in my face book Albums

Toronto International Design Festival, 2011

Interior Design week in Toronto 2009

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