TO DO Design Off Site Toronto

5 exhibits to check out at TO DO 2012

With the 2012 International Design Festival now underway, venues all over Toronto are in full swing with design exhibitions, artist talks, installations and more. We've already highlighted some of the not-to-be missed events at this year's festival, but leading into the biggest design weekend of the year, it makes sense to have a look at what's on offer from TO DO (Toronto Design Offsite), which started showcasing offsite exhibitions from on January 23rd and continues through this weekend (and in some cases beyond). Along with design products, there are also interactive workshops, artist talks, parties, and other events that resist conventional labels. Here are five exhibits/events worth checking out.

Public Displays of Affection for 40 Oaks
The Toronto-based design organization Public Displays of Affection has engaged designers and the community at large to create furniture for the new 40 Oaks Community Centre, which is part of the Regent Park revitalization project. PDA brought together over 35 designers and students along with area residents to brainstorm and conceptualize ideas and bring to life products that are fashioned out of 80-90% reused materials. This project was also integrated into courses at Sheridan College and Institute without Boundaries at George Brown College. At the end of the exhibit, all the furniture will be permanently set up in the actual units and community centre. Join the opening reception at the community centre 40 Oak Street, Friday January 27, from 6-10pm and for a PDA artist talk Sunday January 29, 1-2:30pm.

Ideacious CO_LAB Session - TO DO Edition
Josh BrassĂŠ, founder of Ideacious, is bringing his unique online store to a pop up shop in the Financial District. Along with products that have already been made, Ideacious features those that exist at the conceptual stage, which buyers can bring into reality via purchase. For TO DO, Ideacious has created an interactive collaboration. All attendees will voice their ideas, opinions and feedback on the "Wall O'Posts," which will be used to launch a product on the Ideacious website. Interactive fun! Drinks, music and games will be on hand as well as other products for sale on the Ideacious website. Ideacious studio, 176 John Street, Suite 408. Saturday January 28th from 7pm-11pm.

Not Forkchops
Also taking the interactive approach is Not Forkchops. Hosted by 'imm living', the exhibit will present a number of different designers, each with a coloured sticky note assigned to them, and their product. When visitors enter the exhibit, they can vote for which designer they like the most, placing the designers assigned sticky note onto a blank wall. The designer who has the most votes at the end of the exhibit will get to team up and work with imm living on the creation of a new product. The Department, 1389 Dundas Street West. 10-8pm Wednesday, 10-6pm Thursday-Friday, 10-8pm Saturday, and 11-6pm Sunday. The opening reception is Saturday January, 28th from 4-8pm

Losing Parkdale
Still very much a hot topic, the rise of condo developments around West Queen West and now Parkdale inspires this look at a local community of wood-workers who are slowly being displaced as development moves westward along Queen. Featuring the work of Dennis Lin, among others, this should be of interest to those who like both small and large-scale woodworking. Runs until Sunday, February 26th.
Ontario Crafts Council Gallery at 990 Queen Street West. 11am-5pm Tuesday - Friday, 11am - 6pm Saturdays, and 12 - 5pm Sundays.

LOVE Design Party
Once you've hit all the exhibits about town, you can stalk your favourite designers at the 9th annual edition of this party at the Gladstone, which is also hosting Come Up to My Room. No cover, lots of design talk, and DJs Denise Benson and Joe Blow will take care of the beats. 'Nuff said.

For more information about TO DO, check out the exhibition calendar.

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