Apart from this week’s main attraction – the Interior Design Show – there are dozens of parties, exhibits and product launches promoting local contemporary design to check out around town. Here are our picks.
1 Capacity group show (featuring Laura Langford’s Invite lounge chair)
While the number of women in industrial design sits steady at five per cent, more than a dozen talented women are participating in this show alone, wherein they will pay homage to other female designers they admire. The roster – which includes ceramicist (and Capacity co-founder) Erin McCutcheon, furniture maker Laura Langford and textile designer Avril Loreti – will create pieces that riff on works by such trailblazers as Hella Jongerius, Patricia Urquiola and Grete Jalk. Reception: January 26, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., Gladstone Hotel Art Bar, 1214 Queen St W.
2 Come Up To My Room‘s conceptual interiors (including this one by Quadrangle Architects)
Celebrating its 10-year anniversary, “the alternative design show,” as it was dubbed by founding curators and multimedia artists Christina Zeidler and Pamela Matharu in 2003, continues to put imaginative interior ideas on display. Over 30 emerging and established local designers, architects and artists – such as Quadrangle Architects, artist Bruno Billio and the Brothers Dressler – will colonize the hotel’s staircase, second-floor rooms, hallways and facade with their conceptual designs. Reception: January 26, 7 p.m. to 11 p.m., Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen St W.
3 Jonathan Adler’s collection for The Rug Company at Avenue Road
Officially launching at the Avenue Road showroom, the Rug Company’s latest line is bursting with stripes, triangles and geometric shapes designed by Jonathan Adler. The nine new floor coverings in hand-knotted Tibetan wool go hand-in-hand with Adler’s cheerful aesthetic of psychedelic graphics and bold hues, which adorn everything from his decorative throw pillows and tableware to a collection of colourful sinks he recently created for Kohler. Reception: January 22, 5 p.m. (RSVP required), Avenue Road, 415 Eastern Ave.
4 Manufacturers + Designers Connect‘s product launch (including Maiwenn Castellan’s brass watering can)
In an effort to boost the market for local design, M+DC matches up Toronto manufacturers and designers to streamline the entire production process. This exhibit presents the results of collaborations among four manufacturers and four designers, including Derek McLeod and Maiwenn Castellan. The latter will show off an elegant and sculptural brass watering can made by Oliver-Woods Metal Spinning. Reception: January 25, 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., Milk Glass Co., 1247 Dundas St W.
5 Shiny Pretty Things group show (shown: Dieter Janssen’s Dark Matter mobile)
Local design darling Joy Charbonneau (the creative force behind Tools and Associates, two impressive group shows of the past two years) has brought together what’s sure to be a crowd-pleasing line-up of 18 talents, including Jeremy Hatch, Rob Southcott and Bettie Cott. The participants will re-imagine household items – an otherworldly Dark Matter mobile by Dieter Janssen and subversive barware collection by Kirsten White, for example – made with elements that glimmer. Reception: January 25, 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., Cooper Cole Gallery, 1161 Dundas St W.
6 Claesson Koivisto Rune’s tea set for Mjölk
Renowned Swedish architecture and design trio CKR has designed a ceremony tea set – impeccably crafted by Toronto artisans – exclusively for Mjölk, a local shop that carries rarified Scandinavian and Japanese design. The set includes ceramic milk and sugar containers; a porcelain pitcher topped with a wooden lid that doubles as a tray for sugar cubes or butter; and a wooden cutting board featuring a copper finish on the reverse side. Reception: January 23, 7 p.m., Mjölk, 2959 Dundas St W.
7 Well Done, an ode to Canadian craft (featuring Samare’s Babiche tray)
Well worth the trek to Toronto’s Harbourfront Centre, this exhibition highlights seven Canadian design studios that incorporate traditional craft into their design process. Among the works on display is Samare’s steel-and-brass Babiche tray featuring a woven rawhide base; Jonathan Sabine’s handmade pendant fixtures in sand cast aluminum; and Arounna Khounnoraj’s linen-and-cotton wall hanging depicting an organically formed landscape. Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay W.
8 Eliile presents Fontana Arte (on display: Shigeru Ban’s Yumi floor lamp)
One of the many showrooms opening its doors for design parties, Eliile celebrates its official launch as the exclusive Toronto retailer for Italian lighting brand Fontana Arte. Co-founded by legendary architect-designer Gio Ponti in the 1930s, the Milan manufacturer has collaborated with Gae Aulenti, Steven Holl, David Chipperfield and many other luminaries. Expected to be on display are recent products, including Yumi, a razor-thin arching floor lamp by Shigeru Ban; and Wig, Chris Hardy’s faux hair-inspired pendant. January 25, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. (RSVP required), Eliile, 74 Stafford St.
9 Do Design‘s Dundas St. West exhibits (including Dayna Gedney and Neil Botelho’s Rise Set mirror, shown at Archive wine bar)
Do Design is an offsite circuit unto itself. For the annual event, many boutiques, cafes, salons and other businesses situated along a strip of Dundas Street West will display design protoypes and one-offs. Light artist Orest Tataryn will install Colour Field, a neon sculpture inside Italian restaurant Campagnolo, Kristen and Fiona Lim Tung will set up their tiny, embellished ceramic houses inside Barberella Salon, and Dayna Gedney and Neil Botelho will place their Rise Set horizon-like mirror at the wine bar Archive.
10 Not Forkchops group show (including Lana Filippone’s TeeRex corn holders)
Following a successful 2012 launch, this exhibition returns for a second edition with eight local designers including Lana Filippone, Alexx Boisjoli and Zoë Mowat, who compete to have their new industrial designs manufactured by Imm Living. Over five days, attendees can vote for their favourite product by placing a Post-it Note next to that piece. The one with the most yellow stickies at the end of the show goes into production, courtesy of Imm. Reception: January 25, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., Loop Gallery, 1273 Dundas St W.
Check out Toronto Design Offsite Festival for highlights of some of the other events happening during this week’s design extravaganza. Visit Designlines for a downloadable and printable map of the events listed here.