DesignTO is Canada’s largest design festival and has been celebrating all-things-design for 13 years. The festival has announced its program and festival details for those who plan to attend.
DesignTO Festival will take place from January 20 to 29, 2023 in venues across Toronto, Canada. The 10-day festival will present over 100 exhibitions and events featuring ambitious design ideas that respond to social justice and equity, climate crisis and waste, and city building.
January is a busy time for the architecture and design community in Toronto. Despite the cold, thousands turn out to attend a wide range of parties, talks, and exhibitions taking place in hundreds of venues across the city between January 20th and 29th, 2023, during the DesignTO Festival. Why? It’s design week in Toronto, and there is inspiration, information, and fun to be had by everyone.
From debate-igniting speaking engagements to delightful window-installations, from dining events to craft exhibitions, DesignTO engages local and international visitors with countless examples of personal expression and big picture problem-solving.
Peruse the schedule, sign up for a media badge, and plan to see it all.
There’s also a ton of fun to be had. Below DesignTO has cherry-picked eight hot ticket speaking events and parties that you will not want to miss. RSVP now and come meet this year’s headlining thinkers and makers.
BAIDA x Frontier Design – Building Up Black Futures
6pm to 8pm, Thursday, January 26th
Centre for Social Innovation – Annex, 720 Bathurst Street
The Black Architects and Interior Designers Association (BAIDA) is a non-profit organization that aims to support diversity, equity, and inclusion in the profession of architecture and interior design. Working with Frontier, a creative exploration company, BAIDA has reimagined its future. This panel, featuring the founders of BAIDA and Frontier, will discuss the past five years of the organization and what the future holds. RSVP here.
Dundas Square Barbers by NIVEK REMAS Launch Party
6pm to 10pm, Wednesday, January 25th
Dundas Square Barbers, 19 Dundas Square
Celebrate the 2023 DesignTO Festival with interior design duo Kevin Chan and Samer Shaath of NIVEK REMAS at their award-winning project, Dundas Square Barbers. Completed in 2021, the modest in size, yet impressive in style barbershop is the only independent business located on Dundas Square with completely original design and service. RSVP for an evening of food, beverages, music, and haircuts here.
How Do You Design a Feeling?
7pm to 9pm, Tuesday, January 24th
Ace Hotel Toronto, 51 Camden Street
This intimate panel discussion explores the invisible and necessary design component we cannot see, but can certainly feel: emotion. Led by Sarah Di Domenico, co-founder of creative brand agency Wedge, and featuring Brigitte Shim, principal of Shim-Sutcliffe Architects, this conversation unpacks the senses, personal choices, and other considerations required to spark emotion. RSVP here.
King East Design District (KEDD) Party
6pm to 9pm, Friday, January 27th
Various venues along King Street East
Join DesignTO for a celebration of design and community along Toronto’s original design mile, King East. Structured as a roaming neighbourhood party anchored by four Party Hubs, the KEDD Party brings together hundreds of designers and design-lovers. Featured designers, installations, food, drink, and entertainment will be had at each Party Hub. RSVP here.
Mason Studio x Goodee: In Conversation
6pm to 8pm, Tuesday, January 24th
Mason Studio, 91 Pelham Avenue
Join Goodee and Mason Studio’s Ashley Rumsey and Stanley Sun in an idea-igniting conversation on creating a model for tomorrow that is inclusive of humanity and our planet. In an inspiring space, the two design studios will explore how design can be used as a tool for circularity, social equality, and corporate responsibility and opportunity. RSVP here.
ROM After Dark: DesignTO
7:30pm to 11:30pm, Friday, January 20th
Royal Ontario Museum, 100 Queen’s Park
Join DesignTO and the wider art, architecture, and design community at the Festival’s kick-off event. The party, hosted by the ROM in their Daniel Libeskind–designed building, promises an immersive experience with curated music, visual arts, pop-up performances, and distinctive food and drink. Well-suited for adults looking for a fun, art-driven night out amongst dinosaurs, artefacts, and the museum’s latest design exhibition, Canadian Modern. Sign up tickets here.
STACKABL x The Lobby by Heaps Estrin
5:30pm to 8pm, Friday January 20th
The Lobby by Heaps Estrin, 1120 Yonge Street
STACKABL is an innovative tech system for designing custom lighting and furniture without the waste. It is the brainchild of multidisciplinary design studio, STACKLAB, and its gallery partner, Maison Gerard. STACKABL presents six in-house-configured pendants and will host a conversation about the circular economy and the future of collectible design. RSVP here.
United by Design, Detroit x Toronto: A tale of two design cities
5pm to 8pm, Wednesday, January 25th
Cambria Gallery, 91 Parliament Street, Toronto
Design Core Detroit and Cambria will facilitate a lively conversation highlighting designers who are actively practicing internationally from Detroit and Toronto, two UNESCO-designated cities. This event will touch on what the designation means for the sustainable aspects of sourcing regional talent, materials, and products, and the shared experiences these two creative capitals have. RSVP here.
Most DesignTO festival events and exhibitions are free, but some require an RSVP or purchased tickets. All window installations are viewable 24/7 from the outdoors. COVID precautions vary per event.
Read more about DesignTO and see the full Festival Schedule at DesignTO.
Top image courtesy of DesignTO.
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