IDS Toronto Design Festival

Toronto International Design Festival 2012

The 2012 Toronto International Design Festival gets underway in earnest tomorrow, and there are plenty of exhibits and activities for both the tradeshow-averse and their more tolerant counterparts. The festival seduces some of the best designers and craftspeople from around the world, while also highlighting Toronto's stars in the realm of interior design. There's the Interior Design Show, of course, which is the weekend's main event, but also a variety of other exhibitions and events highlighting local artists, designers, and craftspeople and their work. Here are some events to check out this week.

IDS Opening Night Party
The only way to properly lubricate for a week of design and inspiration is to sample sliders and other mini finger foods, of course. The night will feature live performances by Rob James (remember McMaster & James?), Conteur Dance Co. and dancers from Stomp and So You Think You Can Dance, with DJ Karim Rashid spinning from 9pm to 11pm. The evening will also play host to the IDS Cherish Auction where guests can bid on one of Magis Julian chairs that have each been "re-imagined" by a different designer. Tickets for the party and preview are $55 online, $60 at the door. Thursday January 26 7pm - 11pm, Metro Toronto Convention Centre, 255 Front St West. Afterparty starts at 10:30pm, The Thomson Hotel Lobby Bar, 550 Wellington.

Interior Design Show (IDS 12)
This year's event features many favourite returning exhibits, as well as a few new programs being tested out this year. Among some of the featured exhibits are the "What's Your Design Dilemma?" booth where attendees can get free 15-minute consultations with an ARIDO Registered Interior Designer (though I think such "free" consultations will be a theme at most booths). There's also the "DesignGenNext" exhibition returning this year, featuring the work by design students at OCAD, Humber, Ryerson, and other schools, as well as the "Art of Travel" display highlighting the best in travel design. Tickets are $19 online, $22 at the door. Trade Day Friday January 27, General Admission Saturday January 28 10am - 7pm, Sunday January 29 10am to 6pm. Metro Toronto Convention Centre, 255 Front St West.

Come Up To My Room 2012
This is the event where the Gladstone invites you up to its rooms, without even taking you to dinner first. An annual favourite, Come Up To My Room is now in its ninth year with 11 exhibition rooms on the hotel's second floor, as well as 14 public space installations. Artists and designers are given free reign to create site-specific exhibits, which are then opened to the public to discover and explore. The event is $10 for general admission, which runs January 27 (12pm to 8pm), January 28 (12pm to 10pm) and January 29 (12pm to 5pm). Thursday January 26 to Sunday January 29, Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen St West.

MOTO at Domison
This event seeks to bridge the gap between Toronto and Montreal, at least when it comes to furniture and design (yes, the hockey rivalry may thrive, alas). My and Thien of Domison have curated a collection of new and iconic works from Toronto and Montreal designers, and have staged them in their showroom for a free four-day exhibition. MOTO is open January 26 (10am to 8pm), January 27 (10am to 8pm), January 28 (11am to 8pm) and January 29 (12pm to 6:30pm). Thursday January 26 to Sunday January 29, Domison, 35 Jarvis St.

The Devil is the Details
Part of MADE's Radiant Dark series, The Devil is the Details is where Julie Nicholson and Shaun Moore of MADE introduce new Canadian designs and detail the challenges of creating unique pieces. With an emphasis on materials and construction, their exhibition runs 12pm to 6pm and admission is free. Thursday January 26 to Sunday January 29, 859 Dundas St West.

Associates: New Design Collections
With the creators of Heavy Metal and Tools at the helm, Associates: New Design Collections is an exhibition highlighting creations of unique objects by 15 designers. Prominent designers including Jimenez Lai, Zoe Mowat, Noam Lamdan, and Rob Southcott, are asked to create two or more unique objects that are somehow correlated. Explore the relationship of objects, and all of that. The exhibition is free and held January 26 (1pm to 7pm), January 27 (1pm to 10pm), January 28 (1pm to 7pm) and January 29 (1pm to 6pm). Thursday January 26 to Sunday January 29, Cooper Cole Gallery, 1161 Dundas St West.

Photo by Dennis Marciniak

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