toronto design offsite

10 can't miss events at Toronto Design Offsite 2017

The Toronto Design Offsite Festival officially invades Toronto from January 16 to 22. The participating installations, exhibits and parties will have you thinking differently about the physical world you exist in everyday.

Here are my top picks for events, shows, projects and parties you can't miss at this year's (mostly free) festival.

TO DO Festival Party (Jan. 16)

Celebrate the start of Toronto design week at the opening party with designers, architects, artists, crafts people, DJs Sigourney Beaver and DJ Joe Blow. Hang out inside the Church of the Holy Trinity with drinks, installations and a sneak peek at the Resurfacing Taddle Creek project everyone is talking about.

Outside the box (Jan. 16-22)

Check out the third annual travelling exhibition that features work from over 70 designers from 12 cities across Canada and the United States. This year's theme is discovery and you'll find a collection of thoughtfully designed objects that will inspire new ideas about our continent.

Design and the Pursuit of Well-being (Jan. 21)

It was such a big hit last year, so they're bringing it back. The second annual symposium is January 21 and it brings 12 multi-disciplinary experts into one room to talk design and the pursuit of well-being.

Compact Living (Jan. 16-22)

This event is happening in partnership with the Umbra concept store and it showcases "fresh, and original houseware prototypes for contemporary compact living." You'll find new work by 11 Canadian artists and designers and with the average condo sizes shrinking, it's a great place for ideas.

Living Well Forum (Jan. 22)

What does it mean to "live well?" This forum breaks that question down into 20 slides shown for 20 seconds each, with artists and designers trying to answer the question. Their insight might help you come to your own conclusions, or confuse you even more.

That is Best which Works Best

One of the best parts about TO DO is getting to explore the cool design stores in the city, who also happen to be hosting festival events. This one is happening at Mjolk and combines the work of Canadian designer Thom Fougere, Norwegian designer Hallgeir Homstvedt, and musician Jason Collett. It's all about looking to the future by diving into design's past.

Ojibway Quillwork (Jan. 16-22)

Head to this exhibit by G’zaagin Art Gallery in the Junction, a gallery that "resourcefully uses all of its materials, and finds creative ways for people to experience natural products. The quillwork featured in this exhibition has been harvested, cleaned, dried, and stored for the following years projects."

Come Up To My Room (Jan. 19-22)

This is the festival's wildest exhibit (and party on January 21) and really messes with reality, letting you walk into worlds you didn't even know you could dream of.

Bright (Jan. 19-22)

Check out this art show at MADE by Vancouver artists Annie Tung and Brad Turner. Carved stone, mouth-blown glass, mirror silver, spun copper, colourful cords, and acrylic are only some of the materials used to create this otherworldly exhibition.

On the Table (Jan. 16-22)

This is a "politically engaged artist project that incites critical and constructive dialogue surrounding gender-based violence and sexual harassment in public space." The works, which are printed on coasters, will appear in bars around the city (Cold Tea, Get Well and Wenona Lodge among them) by artists Jesse Harris, Aisha Sasha John, Hazel Meyer, and Lido Pimienta.

Lead photo by

Jesse Milns at CUTMR

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