The 12th annual Interior Design Show opened with a bang last night and the City of Toronto was ahead of the curve co-sponsoring a fascinating day-long series of talks called Conversations in Design, featuring a top-drawer list of speakers including renowned New York designer Amy Lau, above left, and 1stdibs.com founder Michael Bruno, right, as well as architect/designer Piero Lissoni, Design Within Reach CEO John Edelman, Readymade’s Stephen Burks and other trailblazers and trendspotters. It was an inspiring warm-up to the main IDS event with Trade Day, today (Jan. 27), followed by public access on Saturday and Sunday.
IDS is Canada’s largest contemporary design fair and the show features everything from local and international retailers and manufacturers to emerging Canadian designers looking for a foothold in the marketplace. This year’s show is exceptional with loads of jaw-dropping exhibits and exciting new product offerings. Highly recommended.
It’s design week in Toronto: in galleries along Queen Street West and Dundas West designers are furiously installing a range of shows focused on myriad themes and objects, all of them part of what’s officially called the Toronto Design Offsite Festival or TODO for short (Jan. 23 – 29). Popular annual events include Capacity (featuring female designers), Canadian design retailer MADE’s Radiant Dark and the Gladstone Hotel’s always surprising Come Up To My Room, where design teams transform vacant guest rooms and hallways with always beguiling results. Do Design spreads out across the Dundas West neighbourhood Jan. 26 – 29.
With the obvious exception of Capacity, independent local designer Rob Southcott, left, is or has been a part of virtually all of those events. He’s also shown work in the Prototype and Studio North exhibits at the Interior Design Show, Canada’s biggest design event, now in it’s 12th year (Jan. 26 – 29). IDS has put Toronto on the design map and while the event pales compared to world-beating festivals in Milan, New York, Kortrijk or Cologne, Toronto is definitely making a mark, thanks in part to the explosion of coverage on design blogs and other media that permit the design world to check in with us whether they make it into town or not. READ MORE
Toronto’s Downtown Yonge BIA presented Ryerson Retail Management students with a real life design challenge when they offered teams of would-be merchandisers a store window and a budget of just $100 to creatively capture the theme of peace on earth. The results are on display now in various windows up and down Yonge Street with a winner to be determined by online voting. Scroll through the Window Wonderland web page and toss a laurel at your favourite design.
Now in its 13th year, the annual CANstruction exhibition is currently on show until Friday (November 11) in the lobbies of the various TD Centre buildings along King Street West (west of Bay). CANstruction is one of the city’s most inventive charity drives in which design teams build monolithic and whimsical structures out of canned goods, all in a single night. The entries are then judged in a range of categories from jurors’ favorite (Angry Birds DefEAT Hunger, above, by Dialog) to structural ingenuity and best use of labels. At week’s end the structures are disassembled and all the cans are donated to Daily Bread Food Bank. A few of my favorite entries are included below . . . READ MORE
Toronto designer Rob Southcott, left, is in New York City this weekend taking part in Model Citizens, a group show running at the Chelsea Art Museum as an adjunct to the International Contemporary Furniture Fair. The show is to ICFF what Come Up To My Room and Radiant Dark are to Toronto’s IDS, arty offshoots where design talent is permitted to freestyle without too much regard for consumer considerations.
In fact, the Gladstone Hotel’s Come Up To My Room (CUTMR) helped put Southcott on the design map; his first contribution to the annual exhibition was his 2008 piece, United We Stand (affectionately known as the antler chair, click “more” to view). The bench garnered Southcott international attention and set him on his way.
The photo above was taken earlier this year at the 2011 edition of CUTMR where Southcott was showing Correlation and Jet Set (pictured), versions of which will be featured in NYC. But Correlation, which began life as a mammoth wall relief, has morphed into the Correlation Chandelier . . . READ MORE