Everything we saw and loved during day four of Toronto’s action-packed week of design events
All throughout the Toronto Design Offsite Festival, our editors are on the hunt for spectacular products and installations. From January 16 to 22, we’re awarding 100 Designlines Loves tags to the most beautiful, most innovative, and downright coolest stuff we encounter.
Below is the fourth batch of designs that caught our eye. Keep track of everything we tagged in our master list.
Pairings: A Fresh Local Design Feast
On the menu: elegant work by top Toronto talents.
Examining the relationship between objects, art and space, this show serves up complementary items from four of Souvenir’s favourite TO designers. We particularly love the collaborative pieces by Akai Ceramic Studio and Xenia Taler. The collection of superb platters, bowls and vases is joyously expressive; the colours a little retro, the markings a little Calder-esque.
The ceramics are displayed on Coolican & Company’s handsome Rusholme coffee table in white maple. The super sleek lines and joinery remind you of the incredible craftsmanship involved in building each piece. The subtle dowel storage rack is a great detail too, ensuring the space won’t collect dust – or get jammed up with loose change and old receipts.
Free, Souvenir, 1232 College Street
7 Wares & Meaning: Thoughtful Homewares
Exploring the comforting qualities of a thoughtfully composed home
The show is a reflection on mindfulness and the ways in which the objects we surround ourselves with reflect us. We’ve been fans of Lori Harrison’s textile designs for years and what a treat it was to see how far she’s branched out, material and object wise. Tucked away from the bustling streetfront, her display space within Cambie Design is a serene oasis lovingly outfitted with coppery screen-printed linen cushions, trays, planters and candle holders in winterstone and brushed copper, and sinuous copper shelves. Our favourite pieces are the mirror (made of copper and three types of glass) and the hand-carved (in India) area rug, which you see here in the reflection.
Free, Cambie Design, 1048 Queen Street West
Do Design: Keeping West End Business Booming
Emerging and established designers take over 25 storefronts along Dundas West.
This year’s edition of this annual neighbourhood fest spotlights product design – see the reversible candleholders by Cindy Rendely Architexture – as well as socially minded initiatives. Programming includes talks by Luke Anderson, whose StopGap Foundation ramps make entrances fully accessible.
Our favourite displays include Oasis Skateboard Factory’s, which took over Sovereign State HQ at 827 Dundas St W. The organization teaches teens not only how to build skateboards but design original graphics, learn management skills and all manner of business skills including management, marketing and media savvy. Students earn high school credits and receive invaluable mentorship.
Another must-see are the wood chairs occupying pride of place at Dialogue 38’s studio. Made by Emma Chorostecki and Azizing Design‘s Richard Chan, all three celebrate form and demonstrate craftsmanship. Stunners.
Thirdly, take a load off and grab a hot drink at Offsite (867 Dundas St W). It’s here that you’ll find a surprising art exhibit by Ryerson student – and photog – Justine Latour. Her Au Natural: Art to Wear show consists of 3-D “construction, print and transparency, Au Natural looks to exhibit the natural body in a celebratory and beautiful way, and inspire positive outlooks and opinions surrounding the female nude.”
These undulating ceramic Wave dishes by Nate Asis are coated with a food-safe metallic glaze, making them great fruit bowls or candy dishes. Cast from ceramic using a mould that was made from a 3-D printed form, each one resembles a sort of otherworldly coral reef dug up from some distant planet’s ocean floor. Spotted in the window of Hide.
Just as birds are attracted to shiny things, we’re attracted to shiny birds. Hung from the ceiling of Village Pizza, a flock of copper crows by design studio I Love Crow charm overhead. The birds were originally designed with Mason Studio for an installation now displayed in Ottawa’s Andaz Hotel. We love how they employ rigid metal to create a form that freezes the fluid motion of flight.
Free, Various venues along Dundas West (between Bathurst & Grace)
Jan 19-22. Guided walking tour: Sun Jan 22 at 2pm (meet at Caldense Bakery)
Also tagged today:
• The Garden of Earthly Delights, a wild series of large-scale, hand-cut collages by Juan Ortiz-Apuy inspired by Rem Koolhaas’ 2002 essay Junkspace. Each one juxtaposes images of IKEA products and vintage advertising with Scandinavian furniture and iconic design objects.
• Twisted, a spidery new pendant on display in the Sterling Road studio of the Brothers Dressler. Filled with sculptural tree branch chandeliers, the space feels like something out of a storybook.
• The Reflection Room, a hushed little space reflecting on death and grief. Not at all depressing though! A table is equipped with pens and a stack of note cards, inviting visitors to write a reflection and then clip it to one of the streamers of red ribbon suspended from the ceiling. A thoughtful way to start honest conversations about the end of life.
• Abacus by Jeff Goodman Studio, a stunning large-scale abacus with jewel-toned glass beads strung on brass rods and framed in wood. Displayed at The Devil’s Workshop, it’s a nice fit for the jewellery store’s window.