Call for Submissions: Exhibit at the 13th Annual DesignTO Festival, January 2023

Get involved in the 13th annual DesignTO Festival! Present an independent project, submit to a DesignTO curated exhibition, symposium, or be a Host Venue. Keep reading to learn more about each opportunity.

The DesignTO Festival brings people together to celebrate contemporary design across the city at Canada’s leading and largest annual design festival, January 20-29, 2023.

DesignTO is a non-profit arts organization that curates exhibitions, presentations and educational programming to increase the public’s knowledge and appreciation of design and its role in creating a viable, just and joyful world.

1. 2023 Prototype Exhibition Call for Submissions

Going into its eighth year, ‘Purpose & Play’ is the latest edition of the annual prototype exhibition organized by DesignTO in partnership with Umbra.

In a time when everything is changing, how can we ensure that our environments remain up to date with our needs? What products of spontaneous innovation spurred by the pandemic should become staples in our homes? How can we experience our environments anew after so much time in confinement? How can we create a “new quality of life” through prototypes?

‘Purpose & Play’ invites Canadian designers (living here or abroad) to submit to this open call for submissions.

Friday, August 26, 2022 by 11:59pm EDT.

Click here to learn more and submit

2. 2023 Call for Host Venues

If you have a venue you’d like to have activated with a window installation, event, or exhibition, DesignTO wants to hear from you!

Potential venues include spaces in the City of Toronto such as shops, galleries, studios, cafés, schools, and lobbies.

By applying to this call for host venues, you agree to host a creative project by an artist or designer during Festival Week, January 20-29, 2023. The duration and type of participation is entirely determined by you when you make your application.

Friday, July 8, 2022 by 11:59pm EDT.

Click here to learn more and submit

3. 2023 Group Exhibition Call for Submissions

DesignTO invites artists and designers working in all mediums and formats to submit to the 2023 DesignTO Festival group exhibition ‘One Hot Second’.

‘One Hot Second’ is an exhibition exploring how creatives can make change to decelerate the rate at which the earth is rapidly warming. What can artists and designers do to imagine and act in the face of environmental destruction?

The exhibition will be featured as part of the DesignTO Festival, January 20-29, 2023, and co-presented with Harbourfront Centre, running January 20 – March 19, 2023.

Friday, September 23, 2022 by 11:59pm EDT.

Click here to learn more and submit

4. 2023 Symposium Call for Submissions

DesignTO invites designers and thinkers to submit to speak at the 2023 DesignTO Symposium ‘Trash Talk’, exploring design responses to the problem of waste management. How can we move public awareness beyond the “reduce, reuse, recycle” slogan, first popularized in the 1970s, to a more urgent call to action?

Sub-themes include:
Deconstruction and the recycling of construction materials; Planned obsolescence and repairability; Urban mining; Waste sorting; Designing for product end-of-life; Impact of the pandemic on waste; Waste as metric, including public health; Food waste; Energy recovery; Waste as archive or museum; Impact of global supply chain shortages on waste; Circular and vertically-integrated systems.

Friday, September 23, 2022 by 11:59pm EDT.

Click here to learn more and submit

5. 2023 Call for Independent Projects

Independently-produced projects are integral to the Festival’s structure. DesignTO welcomes all who want to present, discuss, demonstrate, or exhibit design in any field and/or related disciplines.

Exhibitors include artists, designers, design firms, local businesses, academic and cultural institutions, and students. Exhibitors are responsible for arranging their own venue in Toronto, including spaces such as galleries, studios, workshops, cafés, schools, lobbies, and businesses. We also welcome online events and exhibitions.

Friday, October 7, 2022 by 11:59pm EDT.

Click here to learn more and submit


For more information, please contact:

Michael Madjus, Head of Marketing, DesignTO

Image credits:
Slanted/Enchanted, 2022 DesignTO Festival. Photo by Christine Lim.
(murmur), 2022 DesignTO Festival. Photo by Yianni Tong.