'Crystal Abyss: Secrets of the Deep' by Emily Switzer

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.

The 2024 Festival features a variety of online projects including exhibitions, talks and more. There’s lots to do from the comfort of home.

[IN]Conclusive: A Speculative Architectural Comic

Exhibition, Jan 19-28

‘[IN]Conclusive: A Speculative Architectural Comic’ by Rita Ruotao Wang delves deep into diverse visions of the future, casting light on uncertainties and prompting the audience to reflect on the ripple effect of today’s decisions in architecture. The story unravels around the enigmatic demise of an architect, with witnessing peers offering their own interpretations and designs for the future.

Architect as Developer: MODERNest’s response to downtown Toronto’s need for mid-market contemporary houses

Event – Talk, Jan 24, 7:30-8:30pm

Architect Kyra Clarkson, co-owner of MODERNest Inc., will talk about the design thinking that guides the Architect-led development company. Their approach provides a turnkey and cost-effective alternative to the prospect of commissioning a custom home, while offering an architect’s skills and judgement to develop projects that are planned thoughtfully and pay attention to detail.

Art Meets Design Competition

Exhibition, Jan 19-28

‘Art Meets Design’, a unique virtual interior design challenge, is brought to you by artterra and Clavis Studio. This event transcends the typical design competition, fostering a visual conversation about the integral role of art in interior design. It invites designers to create spaces that resonate with Canada’s rich tapestry, emphasizing the fusion of design, artistry, culture, and heart.

Being Heard

Exhibition, Jan 19-28
Talk, Jan 21, 9:30-10:00am

‘Being Heard’ is a collaborative initiative by Studio RE+N. This exhibition serves as an experimental exploration of local cultural representation. Employing the methodology of participatory video making, it brings together seven local cultural inheritors from Songyang Old Street in Zhejiang province, China, to create unscripted, documentary-style videos from the perspective of their daily lives.

BIPOC Portfolio Collaboration 2024

Event – Portfolio Review, Jan 25-26

Join Gensler, along with other leading Canadian architects and designers, for a collaborative review of resumes and portfolios to assist BIPOC Students in the design industry with the next steps in their careers. In the 4th annual BIPOC Portfolio Collaboration, students will be granted a half hour review session with two professionals within the fields of Architecture, Interior Design, Landscape Architecture, Architectural Technology, Experiential Design (Signage & Wayfinding and Environmental Graphic Design). This will be an opportunity for students to engage in conversations with members of the design community while refining their interview skills. Strategies and advice will be shared by all participants to gear students towards design excellence and enrichment within their future careers.

Crystal Abyss: Secrets of the Deep 

Exhibition, Jan 19-Feb 1

Set in the eerie, silent world beneath the ocean’s surface, Emily Switzer’s ‘Crystal Abyss: Secrets of the Deep’ takes us on an enchanting journey to meet the many creatures that may or may not live in the deepest, darkest parts of the ocean. This short animated film combines wonder, humor, and a touch of uncanniness while exploring the fascinating realm of deep-sea life.

DesignTO Talks: Dematerialized 

Event – Talk, Jan 24-25, 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. Speakers include Lynne Heller, Austin Houldsworth, Alex Yueyan Li, Neo-Futuristic Walks, Joel Ong, Justin Kyung In Park, Skawennati, and Ruby Thelot, covering such topics as the future of digital artifacts, the ecological impact of computation, spaces for Indigenous self-determination, walking as an immaterial urban practice, material representation in digital environments, and more.

Ideas Forum: Architecture of Imagined Spaces

Event – Talk, Jan 23, 12:00-1:00pm

Organized by DesignTO in partnership with the Toronto Society of Architects, ‘Ideas Forum: Architecture of Imagined Spaces’ features five fast-paced presentations (20 slides shown for 20 seconds each) exploring the intersection of real and virtual built environments. How can we think architecturally in digital realms? What are the consequences of inhabiting virtual worlds? How can technology help expand our (architectural) imagination? What are the implications of the shrinking gap between virtual and non-virtual worlds on labour, safety, and authorship?

Industrial Design in Canada: An economic amble with John Arnott

Event – Talk, Jan 24, 6:00pm – 8:30pm 

In this talk organized by the Industrial Designers Society of America Toronto chapter, speaker John Arnott examines the considerable impacts of the industrial design profession on the Canadian economy and culture as well as future potentials.

This hybrid event begins in-person at 6:00pm with a networking and socializing session, including drinks and light refreshments. The virtual portion begins at 7:00pm.

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.