The Globe and Mail (Prairie Edition) - - DESIGN -

The Toronto De­sign Off­site Fes­ti­val, with over 80 events and ex­hi­bi­tions fea­tur­ing works by Cana­dian and in­ter­na­tional tal­ent, is a sight to be­hold. From Jan. 16 to 22, the city trans­forms into a ma­jor

cre­ative hub, high­light­ing the best in con­tem­po­rary de­sign cov­er­ing a va­ri­ety of dis­ci­plines, from jew­ellery and ce­ram­ics to tex­tiles and fur­ni­ture. Anya Ge­orgi­je­vic picks five must-see ex­hi­bi­tions that con­sider

de­sign from dis­tinct points of views, be it his­tory, in­ti­macy, com­mu­nity, mindfulness or ma­te­ri­al­ism


In That is Best Which Works Best, re­tailer Mjölk shines a light on the un­der­rated Shaker style. Due to its aus­tere sim­plic­ity, Shaker fur­ni­ture is of­ten mis­taken for early mod­ernism, al­though it was de­vel­oped half

a cen­tury be­fore ar­chi­tect Louis Sul­li­van de­clared “form fol­lows func­tion.” By com­bin­ing mu­seum-qual­ity ob­jects from the col­lec­tion of Han­cock Shaker Vil­lage in Mas­sachusetts with the works by con­tem­po­rary de­sign­ers Thom Fougere and Hall­geir Hom­stvedt, and mu­si­cian Ja­son Col­lett, the ex­hi­bi­tion fa­cil­i­tates a con­ver­sa­tion be­tween an­tique and

mod­ern pieces.

Mjölk, 2959 Dun­das St. W. Open­ing re­cep­tion: Jan. 18, 7-10 p.m.


Toronto-based prod­uct and jew­ellery de­signer Jade Dum­rath ex­plores the dy­namic na­ture of small ob­jects for the home. Just in time for the height of the Hygge trend, Adørn:

Ob­jects for Bet­ter Liv­ing fuses tra­di­tional and con­tem­po­rary craft and

de­sign pro­cesses to cre­ate pieces in­spired by Dum­rath’s Dan­ish fam­ily gath­er­ings and cer­e­mo­nial ob­jects. The de­signer high­lights our in­ti­mate

re­la­tion­ship with home­wares by adding ki­netic el­e­ments to her work, and the au­di­ence is en­cour­aged to in­ter­act with the ob­jects, ex­pe­ri­enc­ing the beauty of move­ment on a

small scale. Lat­i­tude 44 Gallery, 2900 Dun­das St. W.,

Open­ing re­cep­tion: Jan. 21, 3-7 p.m.


The third in­stal­ment of the an­nual trav­el­ling ex­hi­bi­tion Out­side the Box fea­tures the work of over 70 artists and de­sign­ers cu­rated by lo­cal cor­re­spon­dents from cities across North Amer­ica (Asheville, Detroit, Ed­mon­ton, Hal­i­fax, Los Angeles, Medicine Hat, Mon­treal, New York, San Fran­cisco, Toronto and Van­cou­ver). For the ex­hibit, de­sign­ers were asked to re­spond to the theme of dis­cov­ery by cre­at­ing a col­lec­tion of ob­jects that can fit in­side a Bankers box – each box rep­re­sent­ing a par­tic­i­pat­ing city. The works be­ing shown stem from mul­ti­ple dis­ci­plines in­clud­ing

fur­ni­ture and fash­ion. Glad­stone Ho­tel Art Hut, 1181 Queen St. W.

Open­ing re­cep­tion: Jan. 21, 5-8 p.m.


The new Craft On­tario Gallery space makes its de­but with Liv­ing Well, a group ex­hi­bi­tion show­cas­ing the

work of de­sign­ers ex­plor­ing the ca­pac­ity of de­sign to help us feel or live bet­ter, and the ways in which it can trans­form us (or how we use de­sign to trans­form our­selves). For ex­am­ple, Vic­to­ria Mil­ley and Feli­cia Semi­awan’s food cart re­in­forces our re­la­tion­ship with food as well with the waste we pro­duce in the process, while Louie Ge­orge Michael’s dual chair in­ves­ti­gates the con­nec­tions be­tween peo­ple, play­ing on the scales be­tween fur­ni­ture and

ar­chi­tec­ture. Craft On­tario Gallery, 1106 Queen St. W.

Open­ing re­cep­tion: Jan. 22, 3-6 p.m.


Us­ing Rem Kool­haas’s con­cept of Junkspace, in which the ar­chi­tect likens the phe­nom­e­non of junk food to the built en­vi­ron­ment, artist Juan Or­tiz-Apuy ex­plores the idea of “to­tal de­sign” in an ex­hi­bi­tion ti­tled The

Gar­den of Earthly De­lights. The Mon­treal-based artist’s large-scale col­lages fea­ture an ar­ray of im­agery, from pop cul­ture icons such as Mickey Mouse to pic­tures clipped from store cat­a­logues. In­spired by Early Nether­lan­dish paint­ing, Oritz-Apuy ref­er­ences the fan­tas­ti­cal work of Hierony­mus

Bosch (hence the ti­tle), swap­ping re­li­gious im­agery with ex­am­ples of

con­tem­po­rary con­sumerism.

Gallery 44, 401 Richmond St. W., Suite 120. Open­ing re­cep­tion: Jan. 13, 6-8 p.m.

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