The DesignTO Festival is back January 19–28, 2024! Old Town Toronto’s King East Design District plays host to three exhibitions, and one interactive event for industry insiders. Scroll on to uncover all the details.

Event: Connect & Collaborate: A Design Salon
Date: Jan 27, 2024, 2:00pm – 4:00pm
Host Location: Staples Studio Corktown, 517 Richmond St E, 2nd floor
(Click here to RSVP)

Description from DesignTO website:

In the fast-paced world of design, the key to innovation lies in cross-collaboration and making meaningful connections. Join us at Staples Studio Corktown for ‘Connect & Collaborate’, a salon-style, in-person gathering where the focus is on getting to know others in the Toronto design scene, fostering creativity, and sparking innovation. We want to encourage ourselves think outside our traditional design boxes, bringing together folks from all design disciplines to share and collaborate. You bring your curiosity and open mind, and we will create a safe space for musing and guide the flow of the gathering.”

– Milena and Elizabeth, event hosts

Event Highlights:
Meaningful Connections: Connect with fellow designers, creatives, craftspeople, & curious minds.

Interactive and Engaging: This 2-hour event begins with 30 minutes of facilitated socializing, creating a warm and inviting atmosphere for getting to know one another on a deeper level.

Show Your Work: Immerse yourself in a 60-minute group discussion where select participants will showcase their work, share their goals, and seek constructive feedback, fostering collaboration and co-creation. Please reach out to if you wish to share your work.

Connection and Sharing: The last 30 minutes offer a more relaxed, interactive environment to connect with those you resonate with. Share ideas, engage in meaningful conversations, and explore new possibilities.

“Yes And” Philosophy: We embrace the “Yes And” philosophy, encouraging open-mindedness and a supportive environment for creative exploration.

Come and be a part of this intentional and creative experience. ‘Connect & Collaborate’ is your opportunity to step into a world of inclusive, fun, and collaborative design. Let’s create, share, and innovate together!

Exhibition & Reception: Artifacts
Exhibition Dates: Jan 15–Jan 27, 2024
Reception Date: Jan 23, 2024, 6:00pm – 8:00pm (Click here to RSVP)
Host Location: bulthaup Toronto, 280 King St E

Description from DesignTO website:

‘Artifacts’ brings together eight textile artists from across North America to explore themes of architecture and memory through fibre art. The artworks investigate how spaces can be vessels for collective and individual memory, from abstract edifices to lost buildings, remembered domestic spaces and architectural fragments.

Curated by Adrienna Matzeg and Betty Wood and staged within bulthaup Toronto, each artwork showcases a unique perspective of the built environment and serves as a conversation point on how we interact with our surroundings.

‘Artifacts’ features the work of fibre artists Adrienna Matzeg, Aliyah Salmon, Baylee Schmitt, Betty Wood, Claudia Gutierrez, Elycia SFA, Laura Carwardine and Yaw Tony. Their mediums range from intricate weavings, hand embroidery and silk-screen printing to abstract macrame, soft sculpture, needle punch and ‘yarn paintings’.

Curators/artists: Adrienna Matzeg and Betty Wood; Artists: Aliyah Salmon, Baylee Schmitt, Claudia Gutierrez, Elycia SFA, Laura Carwardine, Yaw Tony

Window Installation: Look
Dates: Jan 19–Jan 28, 2024
Host Location: Aquavato, 28 Sherbourne St

Description from DesignTO website:

In feminist care theory, the first phase of the caring act requires looking, that is, an orienting of your attention. This includes active observation, listening and noticing. Caring, within this context, is an act of connection to one’s surroundings, a cyclical process that multiplies and reflects back on oneself. To look, without judgement or fear, deepens our capacity to attend to the challenging task of continually maintaining and repairing ourselves, our relationships, environments and communities.

Sharl G. Smith is a Waterloo-based sculptor and former architectural professional, working primarily with bead-stitching as a means of exploring her identity, global themes of equity and care-based value systems. Bead-stitching is the act of creating objects by stitching beads together, one or two at a time. Smith sees parallels in the process of beadwork—the combining of discrete units into a whole, using a tension-based network—with diverse biological and sociological systems. Her artistic journey has been concerned with scaling up traditional beadwork techniques into life-sized public art. In recent works, she has incorporated mirror-polished brass and stainless steel spheres as beads and stainless steel aircraft cable as thread. The use of these striking and somewhat intimidating industrial material aims to bring a sense of monumentality and visibility to an art form that remains largely under-appreciated due to its historical association with femininity and ‘women’s work’.

Sharl G. Smith, Sun Drops Studio

Window Installation: Boutet Studio Showcase
Dates: Jan 03–Feb 25, 2024
Host Location: Beauchamp Art Gallery, 167 King St E

Description from DesignTO website:

Francois Boutet, a highly acclaimed, internationally recognized, Quebecois artist will adorn the Beauchamp Art Gallery windows, at 167 King Street East, with a collection of his interactive artworks.

The works of Boutet are classic, pop-art subjects depicted with a forward-thinking approach. With impressive delicacy, he realizes his characters’ design, material choices, and their individual dispositions, into an incredible spatial light, all of which are made completely from scratch.

For over 22 years, Boutet has created and invented animated characters for television and the web, books and magazines, and for large international companies such as Universal Music, Hallmark, Colgate, Scholastic, the Canadian Olympic Committee, the Museum of Civilizations, and more. His characters have become figurines, stuffed animals, and jewelry. His logos have become imagery for companies who entrust him with the challenge to develop their brand identity.

The digital sculptures on display that the Beauchamp Gallery are enhanced with an interactive element through a free app called Artivive. Visitors can download the free app on their smartphone and watch the digital art collection come to life!

Francois Boutet

Learn more about the DesignTO Festival Schedule by clicking here.

Follow us: