Purpose & Play
Jan 16
Feb 05 2023
DesignTO projectexhibition in-person

Showcasing the work of eight Canadian designers and studios, ‘Purpose & Play’ is an exhibition that explores new prototypes for contemporary life focusing on domestic objects that are fun to use and fun to own. The exhibition features new work by Jeremy Labelle, Christopher Li Sheung Ying, Melissa Lui and Kathleen Cayetano, Plural, Ricostudio, V/V, and Etienne Vernier.

In a time when everything is changing, how can we ensure that our environments remain up to date with our needs? What products of spontaneous innovation spurred by the pandemic should become staples in our homes? How can we experience our environments anew after so much time in confinement?

The exhibition invites designers to explore revamping objects that are underdesigned or often overlooked in domestic spaces with consideration given to the whole environments that we live and work in.

Previous editions of ‘Purpose & Play’ were ‘Work/Life’ and ‘Compact Living’. A jury will recognize best-in-show with a Best Product award and a cash prize. Best Product award jurors include adé abegunde (Programs Assistant, DesignTO), Matt Carr (VP of Design, Umbra), Dan Cui (multidisciplinary artist and designer), and Deborah Wang (Artistic Director, DesignTO).

Visitors to the exhibition will be able to cast their vote to award Fan Favourite in-store or online.

‘Purpose & Play’ ​​is organized by DesignTO in partnership with Umbra and funded by the Government of Ontario.

DesignTO 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, and hope to embolden all Canadians to participate in making a future where people and planet are thriving again.


Jeremy Labelle, Christopher Li Sheung Ying, Melissa Lui and Kathleen Cayetano, Plural, Ricostudio, V/V, Etienne Vernier



Who should visitors contact with questions regarding accessibility?
Robyn Wilcox
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 modular side table with a cup on it rendered in a living room space
‘Deux’ by Ricostudio
A green watering can with a spiral surface next to two plants
‘Coil’ by Plural