In the history of the world, nothing has done more to evoke strong emotions or challenge our perceptions of life than art. A world without art is one that we frankly don’t want to live in. So with that, we were excited to learn that the good people at DesignTO were going ahead with the DesignTO festival, though making it both distanced and digital to ensure safety during the pandemic. The festival will have 40 virtual projects available online including exhibits, talks, and more. Additionally, the Festival will have window installations around the city, viewable safely from the outdoors.
We are positively thrilled that Old Town Toronto’s own King Street Design District will be hosting a number of installations for the festival, running from January 22nd to the 31st!
Each exhibited piece almost feels like a collaboration with their hosting business, having been paired well with the philosophy and creativity of each one. Read below to learn about just a few of our favourite artistic matchings with OTT businesses.
Relative Space – 330 King St. East, relativespace.com
The talented staff of Relative Space are industry leaders in flooring and for good reason. You may have seen their floors in hotels, office towers, retail stores and restaurants all over the world and their high demand is entirely due to their passion for enhancing the intrinsic appeal of wood. That one common material can be altered in nearly every way possible, from colour to grain flow, and to shape in order to create something of unique beauty adaptable to any room.
So it is with this ethos in mind where Relative Space is the perfect host for these two exhibitions.
Artist: Elizabeth Lenny (@thelizlenny)
10490 is a series of seats made as part of an investigation into how objects exist as intricate relations between material, making, and meaning. Each piece seems to represent three wholly different stories, the environment and origin of the harvested tree wood, the artist’s journey in learning how to transform the material, and its new function in the world, eventually combining all three stories and provoking us to reflect on the process of wood’s transformation.
As the artist herself says: “The series of seats reflect a learning process, an embodied knowledge that develops when engaging with material. Each object speaks of the time and place in which it was made and embodies the vitality of the trees that made them.”
In a first time collaboration between the two artists, Remnants is an exploration of the manipulation of everyday materials while focusing on the dichotomy between lightness and heaviness and our perceptions around those things. Both artists make use of their preferred forms, Victoria in design and ceramics and Olga in two and three-dimensional art, to explore their shared interest in form and space.
ItalDesign Showroom – 325 King St. East, italdesign.ca
As one of the leading luxury interior design firms and go-to destinations for fine Italian furnishings, ItalDesign is in the business of bringing art into people’s homes through design. With meticulous skill and high-quality materials, they are able to incorporate individual furnishings that are essentially pieces of art into the larger canvas of the room itself.
The following installation aligns well with this design philosophy, making use of “additions of everyday eclectic pieces stamped with the essence of beauty that would bring art into ordinary people’s homes.”
Installation: (WA) – Wearable Art, DB Yaw Tony
An extension of Yaw Tony’s “Life Liveth in Me” in which the statement that the seemingly chaotic range of colours in nature can come together to form beauty is blended with the skills and keen eyes of tailor and fashion instructor Nana Bediako and founder of Israella KOBLA Emefa Kuady. The pieces focus on the use of floral designs and their integration into beautiful, contemporary clothes that are art pieces in and of themselves.
“This installation will focus on the application of the floral and other motif patterned designs embodying the brand philosophy that, “whoever hideth your beauty hideth the wind.” It is the epilogue and the axiom beauty buried in our inner desire, attitude, characters, spirit being…This installation is founded on the philosophy that beauty must be expressed, shared commonly.”
EQ3 King Street – 222 King St. East, eq3.com
EQ3 has long been of the mind that furnishings should create a conversation. The ultimate culmination of art and function, EQ3 pride themselves on the beauty of their designs while not sacrificing their practical use and function.
The following installations need no preamble to explain the conceptual connection between the art and its showcasing business, as EQ3 was actively in collaboration with the two design firms creating them.
Installation: Installations by Anony and Rainville Sangaré Design Studios
Based out of Toronto, Anony is an interdisciplinary lighting and product design studio focused on thoughtful material choice, quality, and longevity. They have created three lamps that stand as contemporary pieces on their own. The Fount Table Lamp brings to mind a reconstructed candle holder, glowing with warm light. The Found Floor Lamp stands tall with a light art deco influence. The Glub Lamp, meanwhile, is much more contemporary as a water-resistant, frosted silicone lamp that looks like it could be a table centrepiece.
Rainville Sangaré is an architecture and industrial design firm out of Montreal, QC, delivering made measure concepts at all scales and aiming to combine aesthetic thinking and sustainable responsibility. The Biau stools are an avant-garde challenge of what we know as a stool, tearing down our conceptions of what they should be while surprising us with its comfort and practical use.
Learn about more installations along King Street East and access a map for a self-guided tour by visiting https://