DESIGNwith photo by Katya Koroscil

DesignTO’s mission is to curate exhibitions, presentations and educational programming to increase the public’s knowledge and appreciation of design and its role in creating a sustainable, just and joyful world.

Justice, which looks at fair and equitable access, inclusion and representation, is a key pillar of our work and that is reflected in our Festival programming. Read on to learn about the events, exhibitions and window installations with a justice lens that are part of the 2024 Festival.

Agency of the Designer in the Age of AI

Exhibition, Jan 22-28, 2024

An exhibition showcasing the intersection of AI and design, featuring a VR representation of a futuristic world, film compilations highlighting AI’s impact on visual media, and research projects by Latent Object Limited.

Art Intelligence: The Near Future of Art in Canada

Exhibition, Dec 17, 2023 – Jan 28, 2024

In the near future, how will technology impact the arts – and artists – in Canada? Experience a collective art show featuring the next wave of artists in Canada, “PAAS” (Partial’s AI-assisted art curator), and a series of arts programming.

Being Heard

Exhibition, Jan 19-28, 2024

‘Being Heard’ by Studio RE+N showcases unscripted videos by local cultural inheritors, revealing the rich heritage and link to daily life of Songyang Old Street, in Zhejiang province, China. The exhibition stimulates dialogue on heritage’s everyday significance and encourages active engagement in cultural practices.

BIPOC Portfolio Collaboration 2024

Event – Portfolio Review, Jan 25-26, 2024

‘BIPOC Portfolio Collaboration’ is an opportunity for Canadian BIPOC students to engage in conversations with professionals within the fields of Architecture, Interior Design, Landscape Architecture, Architectural Technology, Experiential Design (Signage & Wayfinding and Environmental Graphic Design) to discuss portfolios.


Exhibition, Jan 19-28, 2024

‘BLOOD, WATER & BATHURST STREET’ is a participatory, textile-based mapping project by Naomi Daryn Boyd that explores the histories, communities, and journeys that have shaped these lands. Visitors are invited to engage with the tactile map and contribute their own stories of place.

DesignTO Talks: Dematerialized

Event – Talk, Jan 24-25, 2024, 6:00pm-8:00pm

DesignTO’s ninth annual symposium brings together eight multidisciplinary experts to explore the complexities of dematerialization in an increasingly digital world.

DesignTO Youth: touchbase

Exhibition, Jan 19 – Feb 17, 2024

‘DesignTO Youth: touchbase’ is a group exhibition featuring 10 young artists and designers. Inspired by a six-week workshop series, aimed at demystifying the creative process and dissecting artistic practice, these youth have created new work that reflects themes of identity, resilience, and cultural heritage. 

Dying.exhibit 2024 

Exhibition, Jan 19-28, 2024

This year, ‘Dying.exhibit’ will present a series of participatory and interactive that engage the public by inviting interaction and provoking expression to think about their relationship with life and death through art and design.

Embroidery as Contemporary Expression 

Exhibition, Jan 19-28, 2024

‘Embroidery as Contemporary Expression’ features eight embroideries that express the diasporic experience and the challenges of maintaining and adapting one’s cultural heritage in the face of profound life changes.

From Theory to Practice: A Caring Design Lab 

Exhibition, Jan 22-27, 2024

DESIGNwith is opening their doors to share their latest innovative soft goods line in collaboration with the Regent Park Sewing Studio to reveal design for inclusion beyond products — the co-design methodology.

Future Matters

Exhibition, Jan 19-Apr 28, 2024

‘Future Matters’ is a group exhibition featuring the work of eight local and international artists and designers exploring themes related to material expression, innovation, and environmental sustainability.

Golden Beauty Supply

Exhibition, Jan 19-28, 2024

Part artistic intervention, part hair salon, Ehiko Odeh’s installation will be an abstracted version of Golden Beauty Supply, an institution of Black haircare and beauty in Toronto, located at 860 Bathurst Street

Ehiko will speak about ‘Golden Beauty Supply’ as part of the event ‘DesignTO Tours: Space & Sanctuary’ on Sunday, January 28.

Ideas Forum: Architecture of Imagined Spaces

Event – Talk, Jan 23, 2024, 12:00pm-1:00pm

Organized by DesignTO in partnership with the Toronto Society of Architects, ‘Ideas Forum: Architecture of Imagined Spaces’ features five fast-paced presentations exploring the intersection of real and virtual built environments.

In Flux: Changing / Rearranging

Window Installation, Jan 19-28, 2024

Reflecting on recent challenges faced by Toronto’s Artscape community, this modular ceramic bas-relief by Elena Mahno invites you to consider the balance between development and cultural preservation, between those who remain and those who disappear in a city defined by perpetual change.

Just Can’t Get It Together

Window Installation, Jan 19-28, 2024

‘Just Can’t Get It Together’ is an installation by Brenda Mabel Reid of soft building materials, including OSB, plywood and bricks, alongside real-life construction tools. The work explores playfulness and humour through a silly construction site while considering barriers to housing and self-determined spaces.

Learning from Tianguis: Exploring Hybrid Marketplaces 

Exhibition, Jan 19-28, 2024

How can tradition and innovation co-exist in our ever-changing world? ‘Learning from Tianguis: Exploring Hybrid Marketplaces’ by Chiun Lee Kim envisions hypothetical retail spaces that can combine authenticity and community in Mexican tianguis markets with the convenience and accessibility of digital platforms.


Window Installation, Jan 19-28, 2024

Sharl G. Smith is a Waterloo-based sculptor and former architectural professional, working primarily with bead-stitching as a means of exploring her identity, global themes of equity and care-based value systems.


Exhibition, Jan 19-28, 2024

‘MADE BY HUMANS’ explores the ongoing relationship between technology and human craftsmanship, initiating dialogue around how technological integration might challenge traditional notions of ‘hand-crafted’.

Material Memories: Don Kwan

Exhibition, Jan 13 – Mar 3, 2024 

‘Material Memories’ is a solo exhibition featuring mixed media works by Don Kwan, delving into the Chinese diasporic experience amidst the heightened challenges of loss, isolation, and anti-Asian racism during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Museum of Contemporary Work

Exhibition, Jan 19 – Feb 17, 2024

An exhibition highlighting artifacts from the past, present and future of work. The objects, both real and fictional, tell stories of how our work is changing—and how they are changing us.


Window Installation, Jan 19-28, 2024

‘NEVER ENOUGH, ALWAYS TOO MUCH”‘ symbolizes the struggle to find balance. Trauma-Informed textile artist Olivia Mae Sinclair uses screen-printed images on linen and handwriting to explore the balance between what we give and what we get.

Oasis Skateboard Factory x Queer Skate Jam Pop Up Shop

Event, Jan 25, 2024, 6:00pm-8:00pm

The Oasis Skateboard Factory presents their end of semester student brand showcase and pop-up shop. Shop student designed skateboards, t-shirts, hats stickers as well as a limited edition apparel collaboration with Queer Skate Jam.

Ripple: A Wearable Environment

Exhibition, Jan 19-28, 2024

‘Ripple: A Wearable Environment’ is an experimental large-scale textile installation by Deanna Armenti that explores subspace. Within the kink community, subspace has been explained as a meditative, dream-like state that feels like floating in water which is experienced when engaging in BDSM scenes.

Toilet Stories

Exhibition, Jan 19-28, 2024

‘Toilet Stories’ is an exhibition of designs for public toilets produced by students from TMU School of Interior Design, University of the Arts, London, and RMIT University in Melbourne.

two stars and a smiley

Exhibition, Jan 22-28, 2024

‘two stars and a smiley’ by highlights the flip side of adult mental health turning disorders such as ASD and ADHD into superpowers using vulnerability and self-deprecating humour.

Urban Affairs Forum | Shaping Public Spaces: Community Engagement 

Event – Talk, Jan 23, 2024, 7:00pm-8:30pm

A public forum organized by the Toronto Society of Architects exploring how to make public engagement processes related to the built environment truly meaningful, effective and inclusive.

Urban Canvas: Empowering Youth Through Public Art and Creative Media

Event – Talk, Jan 21, 2024, 3:00pm-4:30pm

“Urban Canvas” is a panel discussion organized by Urban Minds on the transformative power of public art and creative mediums in urban design to engage and empower youth. Featuring diverse experts, this dialogue is an intersection of creativity, urban design, and youth empowerment.

This is just a select few of over 100 free window installations, exhibitions and events at the 2024 DesignTO Festival, January 19-28, 2024. Visit the Festival Schedule to learn more.