DesignTO Festival 2020


DesignTO is about creativity, community, and experimentation.

Celebrate art and design at over 100 free events and exhibitions at the DesignTO Festival January 17-26, 2020. Going into its 10th year, DesignTO has brought to Toronto immersive installations, fantastic exhibitions, and engaging talks, taking art and design out of the studio and into the city. You’ll want to make sure everything makes it into your calendar.

For more information, and the full Festival Schedule, visit

Festival Highlights:

DesignTO Launch Party
Friday, January 17 | 7pm-midnight
$20 online, $23 at the door (cash only)

Kick off the 10th DesignTO Festival at our official Launch Party! Mix and mingle at the event that brings Toronto’s creative community together. As a fundraiser for the non-profit Festival, all proceeds will go to help achieve our mission to advance design in Canada. Experience a site-specific installation conceptualized by Mexico-based multidisciplinary design studio Anagrama and a lighting installation by Salex. Supported by Salex, Cosentino and the King East Design District, with installation supported by 3M Canada and beverages by Ace Hill.

DesignTO Talks: They Feed Off Buildings
Friday, January 24 | 6:30-8pm
$21, $17 Student/Senior

Founders of the Berlin-based design and architecture collective They Feed Off Buildings speak about using architectural debris to pay homage to demolished buildings and their histories. Maryam Siddiqi, Lifestyle Editor of The Globe and Mail, will interview them following their talk. Co-presented with the Goethe-Institut & the Consulate General of Germany in Toronto and Harbourfront Centre. Supported by Bulthaup Toronto.

January 14-19
Reception: Tuesday, January 14, 2020 | 6-10pm

‘Address’ is a design show curated and produced by designers for designers. Founded in Vancouver in 2014 by gender-queer furniture maker Kate Duncan after facing discrimination at traditional trade shows; ‘Address’ is anything but a trade show. It’s an inclusive stage for fashion-forward design and the myriad of folx behind it.

Come Up To My Room
January 16-19
$10, Family of 4 (max 2 adults; children ages 12 and under) $25, Students $5 on Friday (with ID)

‘Come Up To My Room’ (CUTMR) is an annual 4-day alternative design exhibition created and produced by the Gladstone Hotel. Art and design intersect, with the historic hotel becoming a platform for site-specific installations.

DesignTO Symposium: A Future without Work
Saturday, January 25 | 1-5pm
$45 online, $51 at the door (cash only)

DesignTO’s fifth annual symposium brings nine multidisciplinary experts into one room for an inspiring discussion on a Future without Work, covering topics such as the Indigenous workforce, meaning of work, space of work, labour markets, economic systems, and other thought provoking topics. Hear from Jonas Altman, Antonio Cesare Iadarola, Komal Faiz, Carol Anne Hilton, Keith Jones, Symon Oliver, Heather Russek, Jessica Thornton, and Lexi Tsien. Supported by George Brown College School of Design and Gensler, with media partner Azure.

DesignTO Youth: The Skatrix
Tuesday, January 21 | 4-5:30pm

Collaborating with students from Oasis Skateboard Factory (OSF), ‘The Skatrix’ is public screening of animated shorts that marks the first edition of DesignTO Youth, a new program that provides youth with access to creative disciplines and professionals. Supported by the City of Toronto, Economic Development & Culture.


DesignTO Tours: Giannone Petricone Associates, Ideas for the Intensification of the Suburban Mall
Saturday, January 18 | 1-5pm
$30 online, $34 at the door (cash only)

Beginning at the Don Mills Centre, Giannone Petricone Associates (GPA) has been working to define a new model for suburban intensification. GPA’s talk and tour will be followed by a panel discussion with Leo deSorcy, Michael Piper, and Leslie Woo on questions of ex-urban models, opportunities, and the shifting parameters for retail-driven, mixed-use development.

Mjölk 10 Year Anniversary
January 17-25
Reception: January 17, 2020 | 7-9pm

Join Mjölk in celebrating their 10 year anniversary, with new product designs launching by Japanese designer Oji Masanori, Norwegian design firm Anderssen & Voll, and Canadian designer Thom Fougere. Over the years Mjölk have collaborated with these and more international designers such as Claesson Koivisto Rune and Luca Nichetto, to produce an in-house line that is made locally in and around Toronto.

January 12-February 1

‘Dying.exhibits’ is an installation that invites participants to think about their relationship with life and death through engaging art and design works and participatory experiences. Featuring artists and designers Mia Cinelli, Brileigh Hardcastle, Lynda Haywood-Munn, Laura Kay Keeling, Elinor Keshet, Clara Laratta, Elyse Krista Mische, Kristi Poole-Adler, Kathy Porter, David Salazar, Robert Santaguida, and Max Suillerot.

Off Course
January 18-26
Reception: Jan 23, 2020 | 7-11pm

Students from the Industrial Design and Graphic Design programs at OCAD University feature their self-authored work in progress through print, interaction design, prototypes, and full scale models. The projects raise questions and respond to global issues through visual, physical, and interactive outcomes.

Design for Health, Wellness, Aging and Inclusion
January 17-26
Reception: January 20, 2020 | 5-7pm

In this exhibition OCAD U Industrial Design students use investigative, people-first, ground-up approaches to better design our world, and to recognize and facilitate our personal, physical and mental diversity.


For more information, please contact:

Michael Madjus, Head of Marketing

For media inquiries, please contact:

Karli Kachur, Account Manager
Brill Communications

Image credits:
They Feed Off Buildings, ‘Urban Terrazzo’ | Photo by Michael Havas, courtesy of the designer
Sage Szkabarnicki-Stuart, ‘Urban Bath’ | Photo courtesy of the artist