Future Matters
Jan 19
May 20 2024
DesignTO projectexhibition in-person

‘Future Matters’ is open:

Wednesday: 12-6pm
Thursday: 12-6pm
Friday: 12-8pm
Saturday: 12-8pm
Sunday: 12-6pm
Monday: closed
Tuesday: closed

‘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.

Featuring Yassine Ben Abdallah, Nada Al-Obaidi, Safaa Alnabelseya, Sonny Assu, Morgan Possberg Denne, Julia Rose Sutherland, Cole Swanson, and Elaine Whittaker, this multidisciplinary exhibition includes a broad range of works in sculpture, video, installation, photography, and textiles to explore the intersection of traditional and futuristic materials and practices. 

Materials carry complex narratives and histories are embedded within them. The exhibition addresses interconnected themes such as colonialism, sustainability, cultural significance and site specificity of materials, interplay between technology and hand-based techniques, revitalization of traditional cultural practices, and more. 


The opening reception for ‘Future Matters’ coincides with the DesignTO Launch Party on Friday, January 19, 2024, from 7-11pm. Tickets are required to enter the building during this time.


‘Future Matters’ is curated by DesignTO, co-presented with Harbourfront Centre, and supported by the Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund, Government of Ontario and Yabu Pushelberg, with media partner AZURE Magazine.

DesignTO is a non-profit arts organization that brings people together to design a better future, one that is more sustainable, just, and joyful. We curate exhibitions, presentations and educational programming to increase the public’s knowledge and appreciation of design.


Yassine Ben Abdallah, Nada Al-Obaidi, Safaa Alnabelseya, Sonny Assu, Morgan Possberg Denne, Julia Rose Sutherland, Cole Swanson, Elaine Whittaker



Who should visitors contact with questions regarding accessibility?
Robyn Wilcox
For projects with printed information, will it be available in large-format and/or Braille?
Large-format text will be available.
Is this venue accessible by wheelchair or similar mobility devices? This includes access to washrooms and all aspects of programming/events.
Are designated parking spots for persons with disabilities close to the entrance of the building?
Can people get to the venue using accessible transit?
A person stirring auburn powder in a bowl, creating a pigment
Cole Swanson. ‘Geothite’, 2023. Video still. Image courtesy of the artist.
A man holding a sugar sculpture in the shape of a machete
Yassine Ben Abdallah. ‘The Bittersweet Memory of the Plantation’, 2022. Photo by Florian Lafosse.
A woman holding a large fish skin light pendant hanging from a ceiling
Morgan Possberg Denne. ‘Old friend’, 2023. Oil tanned atlantic salmon skins, found lamp. Photo by Greg Ellison.
A book dipped in slip clay
Julia Rose Sutherland. ‘Wisgipg (Fire Ash)’, 2021. Photograph. Image courtesy of the artist.
Digital collage of stone architectural elements.
Nada Al-Obaidi. ‘MATERIAL PORTRAITS’, 2023. Digital collage of hand drawing, ink on paper, watercolor, photographs, 3D scans, digital visualization. Image courtesy of the artist.
Monolithic wood sculpture with copper leaf.
Sonny Assu. ‘Ancestral Paradox’, 2019. Maplewood with copper leaf. Image courtesy of Equinox Gallery.