DesignTO X KEDD 2021

The King East Design District, located in Old Town Toronto, will host a collection of DesignTO installations in the windows of select local businesses, January 22–31, 2021.

DesignTO is about creativity, community and experimentation. Keeping health and safety top of mind, this year all installations are viewable from the outdoors at venues across our beloved design district.

Click on the map’s numbered icons to learn more, including instagram handles. Scroll down this page for further info.


Location #1: Relative Space 330 King St E.
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Installation Name: 10490
Artist: Elizabeth Lenny
Instagram Handles: 
@relativespace, @thelizlenny@kingeastdesign, @designtofestival

10490 is a series of seats made as part of an investigation into how objects exist as intricate relations between material, making, and meaning.

The process of making began with harvesting wood from my family’s property in London, ON. I participated in the process of transforming the trees into lumber, understanding the landscapes they came from, the labour of the milling process, and the effect of drying as the wood transforms from a standing tree to boards of lumber. The Ash was felled due to an infestation of Emerald Ash Borer. The Maple, standing dead in the forest for many years, was cleared to make room for the saplings around it. The Walnut was cut down many years ago after it was struck by lightning. For the past year I have made a seat every two to four weeks. These were the ones that made it. 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.

Location #1: Relative Space, 330 King St E
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Installation Name: Remnants
Artist: Victoria Chin & Olga Klowski
Instagram Handles: 
@relativespace@missvictoriachin@olgaklosowski, @kingeastdesign, @designtofestival

This installation by Victoria Chin and Olga Klosowski explores traces of everyday materials and objects that are left behind, and challenges the perceptions that we have around weight, forms and textures.

Victoria Chin and Olga Klosowski are collaborating together for the first time. Victoria is a designer and ceramic artist, while Olga is a multidisciplinary artist working in both two and three dimensional forms. They share mutual interests in forms, space, memory, and they are working together to create a new body of work that explores the traces that are left behind from different materials and objects. The duo is experimenting with various everyday materials to see how our perception of them can be altered through processes, weight, forms, and textures. Their core building materials include clay, plaster, paper, cloth, gesso, and concrete. This installation is an exploration of the dichotomy between lightness and heaviness – characteristics that are inherent in these materials – while challenging existing perceptions that we have around them.

NOW A DIGITAL PRESENTATION: Click here to learn more and find the digital exhibition link when posted.

Former Location #2: Sub-Zero, Wolf and Cove Showroom, 280 King St E.

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Installation Name: Refold
Artist: Studio A12 (Megan Shine Barrientos & Conan Chan)
Instagram Handles: @subzeroandwolf, @studio_after12,  @kingeastdesign, @designtofestival

Refold is the study on crease patterns from the iconic origami crane in finding representable, yet new complex forms. In doing so, we find the architectural potential of origami with high regards to its history and culture.

Origami has persisted throughout history due to its disciplinary use of a singular material and technique. Pieces such as the paper crane are memorable and simple in its appearance, but carry much complexity which resides within the process of its creation. Upon closer examination, we can see that every origami creation unfolded is made up of a combination of simple shapes caused by various folds known as crease patterns. A few folds could completely transform a piece of paper from a two-dimensional silhouette into a free-standing sculpture. The project Refold by Studio A12 is a study on crease patterns from the iconic paper crane in finding representable, yet new complex forms on our own fabricated material. In doing so, we find the architectural potential of origami with high regards to its history and culture.

Location #3: Bulthaup Toronto Inc, 280 King St E., Unit #100
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Installation Name: Rhythm
Artist/Participant: Nicole Beno
Instagram Handles: @bulthaup_toronto, @nicole_beno, @kingeastdesign, @designtofestival

Space, is a position of bodies
Time, is an accident of motion
Motion, is a consequence of all activity”

– Jennifer Vanilla, Space Time Motion, 2019.

‘Rhythm’ is a play between physical, gestural, mark-making to communicate movement. The raw materials are brought into the computer breaking them away from their three-dimensional reality. Once on the computer they are distorted, bent, folded and collaged together. Through the process of mixing mediums each composition is meant to capture a different evocative environment, investigating the interaction between nature and artifice.

Location #4: italDESIGN Showroom, 325 King St E.
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Installation Name: (WA) – Wearable ART, db Yaw Tony
Artist/Participants: Nana Bediako, Emefa Kuadey
Instagram Handles: @italdesign_canada, @nanabediako, @israellaKOBLA@kingeastdesign, @designtofestival

This installation is a continuum representation of aesthete’s items, additions of everyday eclectic pieces stamped with the essence of beauty that would bring art into ordinary people’s homes. This idiosyncratic maximalist aesthetic ranges anywhere from fashion, wallpaper, furniture, porcelain, cushions, and candleholders to blankets, carpet and so much more. The design patterns do not only speak a beautiful language of reinvention and rebirth to a form of decoration that could be printed or deployed on any surface but are also enriched with moral idioms and folklore that arouse the value and worth in each one through our contribution to humanity.

‘(WA) Wearable ART’ (Fashion) is an extension of Yaw Tony’s ‘Life Liveth in Me (LLiM)’ in the world of fashion to create an extremely contemporary, modern, and spirited style. 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, its eccentric idealistic textiles, grandiose print which will be in collaboration with two great clothiers in the city, Nana Bediako (@nanabediako) and Emefa Kuadey (@israellaKOBLA) to construct 6-10 tasteful pieces.

CANCELLED: Please visit the instagram handles below to learn about the artist and host in the meantime.
Location #5: Aquavato, 256 King St E.
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Installation Name: remnants + gestures
Artist/Participant: Amanda Wood
Instagram Handles: @aquavato@kingeastdesign, @designtofestival

How can a physical gesture represent the remnants of an action: the forces of gravity, the gradations of a shadow, a conversation, a touch, movement through digital space? What happens when our regular actions are interrupted by lack of connectivity or even a pandemic?

Amanda Wood uses hand weaving to explore connectivity, physical gestures, digital space and self-organizing systems. Woven cloth is made up of a complex network of connections animated in the physical process of overlaying threads. Cloth is everywhere and it can be central to comfort, intimate relationships and collective memory. The nature of its ubiquity becomes a temporal space of transformation and gesture.

‘Disrupted’ is a physical gesture that explores the concept of broken networks. A woven rhythm was developed based on an algorithm that generated random integers. Despite the holes and seemingly random placement, a pattern emerges and the structure holds together.

‘Robustness to Uncertainty’ is a handwoven multi-layer structure inspired by self-organizing systems found in nature. Swarms and murmurations are physical gestures that allow animals to complete tasks they could not do alone. They are scalable, self-organizing, and responsive, like a multi-core processor or a music score.

Amanda Wood is a Canadian artist living and working on the traditional, ancestral and unceded territory of the Coast Salish peoples, otherwise known as Vancouver.

Location #6: EQ3 King Street, 222 King St.
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Installation Name: Installations by Anony & Rainville-Sangaré Design Studios
Artist/Participant: Anony, Rainville Sangaré
Instagram Handles: @EQ3@anonystudio@rainvillesangare, @kingeastdesign, @designtofestival

EQ3 invites you to join us at our King East showroom in store or virtually, to experience new installations designed and produced by Anony and Rainville Sangaré. Each installation will showcase the two design firms collaborations with EQ3, including new lighting and home furnishing collections.

Based out of Toronto, Anony is an interdisciplinary lighting and product design studio focused on thoughtful material choice, quality, and longevity. Created in collaboration with EQ3, Anony’s lighting installation will feature the Glub lamp and the Fount table and floor lamp.

Rainville Sangaré is an architecture and industrial design firm out of Montreal, QC, delivering made measure concepts at all scales. Rainville Sangaré designs aim to combine aesthetic thinking and sustainable responsibility. Their installation will feature their new collection with EQ3, the Biau stools.

Location #7: Pivot Design Studio, 187 King St E., 4th Floor
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Installation Name: I AM HERE
Artist/Participant: Ian Chalmers, Justin Hawley, Andy Huckle
Instagram Handles: @pivoting, @arc_trn@kingeastdesign, @designtofestival

‘I AM HERE’ is an abstract display of two 3D-printed LED lighting panels constantly running low-fidelity video graphics placed in the north- and west-facing corner windows of the Pivot Design studio located on the corner of King Street East and George streets. Breathe in — I am here, breathe out ­— I am now. Left lung, right lung. Each panel represents the body and our breathing cycle of 12-20 breaths every 60 seconds. ‘I AM HERE’ depicts meditation, pure and serene, symbolizing the vitality of breathing and its profound importance in guiding each of us to find our own sense of balance, harmony and centre. We live in complex and uncertain times in the midst of an evolving global pandemic, growing climate change, changing social justice and heightened personal stress and anxiety. We are becoming more disconnected in a connected world. Meditation is our proven path to sustained mental health, positive emotions and low-stress levels and all-around general wellness. ‘I AM HERE’ is here at King East and George as your destination for some moments of calm in our vibrant city.

CANCELLED: Please visit the instagram handles below to learn about the artist and host in the meantime.
Location #8: ergoCentric showroom, 37 King St E.
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Installation Name: Divisorio – a capsule collection of work furniture to rethink proximity
Artist/Participant: Studio Wé
Instagram Handles: @ergocentric, @studio_we@kingeastdesign, @designtofestival

In their first speculative furniture collection, Studio Wé displays prototypes for new workspace dividers and desk units for the home and office. Changes in these environments require a radical rethinking of physical proximity and separation of workplace functions.

Like a renaissance of the cubicle, dividers have become a popular intervention strategy for workplaces looking to partially and safely reopen. Similarly, desks are transforming into mobile elements to be hidden when occupancy changes and to be used for collaborative activities.

Currently, distance is given more importance than the social aspect of work.

The exhibited pieces — an adaptable divider, and a transformable standing desk — aim to offer safety despite social proximity, ease of movement and maintenance, flexibility and adaptability to changing spaces and pre-existing architectural elements.

The collection interrogates what we gain and lose working ‘in separation’ from home or from a shared space.

“We want to experiment how dividers feel, and how reversely they can be an interface for human contact, bring people closer and generate more interactions leveraging new senses and gestures, instead of decreasing the experience of togetherness.”

– Studio Wé

The exhibition displays the prototypes, together with other curated elements to describe a future workspace. The visitors are invited to test the collection into this multi-sensorial experience.

CANCELLED: Please visit the instagram handles below to learn about the artist and host in the meantime.
Location #9: Noda Designs Inc, 11 King St E.
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Installation Name: Made from the World
Artist/Participant: Nora Voon, Ceren Kaptan, Julia Milborne
Instagram Handles: @nodadesigns@kingeastdesign, @designtofestival

At Noda our favourite word is PLAY. Play makes the mundane better and the ordinary interesting. Really shouldn’t all of life’s most treasured goodies be more about ironic fun? At Noda, play is our pleasure, design is our passion, the world is our inspiration. We create and curate interiors, objects and art that are uninhibited, mischievous and beautiful.

Part of Noda’s ethos is that we do not follow trends and we don’t colour inside our boxes. Our window display will start from the exterior of the building drawing the public into our winter wonderland with an injection of bright colours to brighten up our dull and harsh January winter and the snow will give it a dramatic effect. Each window will have a colourful theme featuring the products we are selling as well as some of the bespoke display units that we’ve designed for the showroom. The idea is to create a multi layered stimulating and sensory experience.