Shipped across the country in Bankers boxes, this annual traveling exhibition presents a dozen distinct national and international showcases each year. Working with local correspondents, each box houses a collection of thoughtfully designed objects, reflecting the particular resources and makers of that area. Over 200 design studios and makers have been a part of ‘Outside the Box’ since its debut in 2015 in Toronto. Through this series, readers will have the chance to learn more about what we will be seeing at the 7th edition of the exhibition.

City: Philadelphia
Curator: Philadelphia Center for Architecture and Design, Elizabeth Paul | Communications Director Erike De Veyra

Is this your first time being involved with the TO DO Festival?

Yes, this is our first time involved with TO DO.

Can you tell us about the work you will be showing at the Festival?

We’ve curated three local designers and one architecture collaborative to showcase transformative materials. These include seal skin stilettos, béton brut concrete, wooden bread boxes and the model for a full scale interactive street game.

Where do you find inspiration for your work?

The materials themselves are an inspiration for the work. These can be interpreted humorously (as in the case of the wooden bread box in the shape of the quonset) or elegantly (like the refined béton brut concrete jewelry).

As a designer, what role do you feel TO DO plays in our art and design industry as a whole?

Design advocacy is one of the most important roles of TO DO. For us, as distant participants, it is important for the dissemination of our work into larger markets.


This seventh edition of ‘Outside the Box’ features responses on the theme “matter.” This theme encompasses material transformation and change, and the essence of material. It looks at how materials are created, reused, or recycled. Correspondents are invited to explore “matter” in any way.

The project was created by the Toronto Design Offsite Festival, and is organized in partnership with WantedDesign.

Participating cities and correspondents:

Asheville – Marilyn Zapf
Boston – Kelly Harris Smith
Fogo Island – Alexandra McIntosh
Montreal – Tara Farsky Milroy
Philadelphia – Philadelphia Center for Architecture and Design
Portland – Studio Gorm
Saint John – Geof Ramsay
San Francisco Bay Area – Melanie Abrantes
Saskatoon – Crystal Bueckert | Storefront
Seattle – Darin Montgomery
Toronto – SOUVENIR | Danielle Suppa
Vancouver – Riley McFerrin