The Design Exchange was swarmed last night by stylish ballet and design lovers who came together to celebrate the opening of 60 Years of Designing the Ballet. Curated by Caroline O’Brien (resident designer and wardrobe supervisor of Canada’s National Ballet School from 1989 – 2007) the show provides the opportunity to see, touch and even try on treasures from the National Ballet’s vaults.
Upstairs, the exhibition hall features costumes, sketches, photographs and stage maquettes while downstairs the former Stock Exchange trading floor has been given over to the Tutu Project, a collection of 60 wildly inventive tutus made from flowers, celluloid film, pointe shoes, even balsa wood.
The show is part of a year-long celebration recognizing the 60th anniversary of the founding of the National Ballet of Canada.
Ryerson’s innovative Digital Media Zone was the first stop on today’s tour of Toronto arts and media hubs by Canada’s Governor General David Johnston, centre. The GG and his wife, Mrs. Sharon Johnston, were treated to demonstrations of DMZ mobile and web applications, as well as the cutting-edge bionics apparatus above. Following Ryerson, their Excellencies visited community arts hubs SKETCH, Spongelab Interactive and Workman Arts.
“This is a very interesting time,” stated the Governor General. “It took the printing press over three centuries to reach the majority of the population; the internet has taken less than a decade to reach the world’s population. What you’re doing here at the Digital Media Zone is the next generation of the use of computers.”
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.