Best Bets for Toronto Design Offsite

Best Bets for Toronto Design Offsite

As Toronto gets ready for next week’s Interior Design Show, show goers and locals will also hit the streets to check out the ever-expanding off-site design scene, where dozens of exhibits, press previews and cocktail parties showing off wildly ingenious products and innovations take over the city. Here are six must-see standout events.

1 Come Up To My Room

Local design cognoscenti know: Thou dost not miss CUTMR. Every year, the overhaul of the Gladstone Hotel’s second floor bursts with the quirkiest and most unimaginable installations by artists and designers thinking way, way, way outside of the box. Walk into any of the 11 transformed rooms and be instantly transported to another realm. Case in point, while the Fugitive Glue team creates an environment entirely out of upcycled objects, architect Wendy Fok erects a funky fractal 3D tapestry next door.

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2 Radiant Dark

MADE’s Shaun Moore and Julie Nicholson are the driving force behind this astounding show of home furnishings and accessories by a top-notch group of Canadian designers. While RD was replaced with Made at Home in 2011, it’s back this year for its fourth run, and with a killer theme: The Devil is the Details. The duo transform an abandoned convenient store on Dundas Street West into a hot spot where works by 20 designers, including Evan BareJeremy Hatch and Anneke can Bommel, will be on display.

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3 Capacity

Textile designer Bev Hisey‘s small studio space is home to the second edition of this exhibit displaying works only by Canadian femmes that range from ceramics and textiles to furniture and illustrations. Hisey’s own rainbow-coloured rugs are on view alongside Heidi Earnshaw‘s wooden home furnishings and Erin McCutcheon‘s textile creations.

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4 Stephen Burks: Man Made

Organized by Wedge Curatorial Projects, this exhibit sets up shop in Toronto’s Design Exchange after a successful three-month run at the Studio Museum in Harlem in Spring 2011. Stephen Burks and his studio, Readymade Projects, work with craftspeople from developing countries to turn raw and recycled materials into beautiful, functional objects for such brands as Cappellini and Moroso. For Man Made, Burks’s most recent works will be on display and the show is complemented by a lecture, workshop, and film screening.

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5 Associates: New Design Collections

From the brains behind 2010’s Heavy Metals and last year’s Tools comes this show of original works by 15 designers including local darlings Chromoly, Rob Southcott, Joy Charbonneau and Zoe Mowat. Each were charged with producing two or more very different objects and manufacturing a dialogue between the pieces through a single common characterstic.

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6 Do Design

Bundle up and hit the pavement in Toronto’s west end. A strip of Dundas Street morphs into a stage for contemporary design with clothing boutiques, cafes, and even a lumber yard hosting home furnishing protoypes and one-offs that seamlessly blend in with window displays and exisiting decor. Amy Markanda sets up her concrete coffee table inside Heartbreaker Salon, Michal Bartosik installs his light rods inside clothing boutique R.A.D. and Periphere‘s Corian chair sits inside jewellery boutique Hide.

Check out Designlines magazine for a downloadable and printable map highlighting some of the other events happening during next week’s design extravaganza.

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