Our Pick of the Week: DesignTO Festival

Get ready to immerse yourself in the world of design this week, because DesignTO Festival (formerly known as the Toronto Design Offsite) is back for its ninth year!

DesignTO takes art and design out of the studio and brings it into the urban sphere, transforming Toronto into a hub of creativity for 10 days every January. The festival kicks off Friday, January 16, at 7 p.m. with a launch party at St. Lawrence Hall (157 King St. E.) and continues through January 27 with over 100 free events, exhibitions, and window installations across the city.

Here are a few of the things we’re looking forward to:

Until the Last Breath – Free

Artscape Youngplace, 2nd Floor Hallway Gallery (180 Shaw St.)

Until the Last Breath is a participatory art exhibition that demystifies and reimagines death, dying, and end-of-life care by questioning and deeply exploring current care experiences; asking the question of what is truly important at the end of life?

Creators Connections – Free

Helen + Hildegard (1174 Queen St. W)

Creators Connections showcases the art of quillwork and quill box making, an Anishinabe tradition that has been all over Ojibwe territory for hundreds of years. The artist will be present January 18 from 4 to 7 p.m. to discuss her designs in person and share foods from her Anishinabe tradition.

The Aberrant – Free

Xpace Cultural Centre (2-303 Lansdowne Ave.)

Created by Korean-Canadian artist Cat Lamora, The Aberrant is a three dimensional paper installation that attempts to address the experience of a gyopo—a term for Korean expatriates who have been citizens in their new countries for longer than a decade.

Guided Bus Tours – $30 online, $34 at the door

The Gladstone Hotel (1214 Queen St. W.)

Join Globe and Mail architecture critic Alex Bozikovic, designer Heather Daam-Rossi, arts entertainer Kaleb Robertson, and OCAD U’s dean of design Dori Tunstall on guided bus tours to exhibitions at Harbourfront Centre, Artscape Youngplace and other locations. Each guide will bring their unique insight and expertise to the tours, while selecting special stops along the way.

ILU Motel – Free

Chosen Vintage (1599 Dundas St. W.)

Inspired by the romanticized version of the motel in popular culture, as well as Toronto designer/maker Natalie Sirianni’s childhood growing up in Niagara Falls, ILU Motel revisits furniture and lighting forms through the exaggerated lens of nostalgia.

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