We hit a lot of parties so to decree that DX Intersection, held last Friday at The Design Exchange, is our favourite of 2012 is a mighty statement. So, what makes a great party? A mixture of high and low fashion, secret spaces, provocative decor, experimental food, DIY craft stations and, in this case, a giant elephant in the room.
Over one thousand design aficionados and enthusiasts gathered at the old stock exchange to celebrate Canadian design. Some arrived in torn jeans while others in silk gowns. FLARE Magazine had a booth where you could design your very own fascinator, equipped with bird and feather, or you could choose to fold a paper hat. Switching hats is always a sign of a great party and one is never too old to pretend they’re on a pirate ship. Arghhh!
On the lower level, guests could bid on thought-provoking design, be it dresses, dining room tables or an enormous inflatable blue elephant. The main floor, that used to see many stocks bought and sold daily, was decorated with hundreds of papers stamped with BUY and SELL that hung from the soaring high art deco ceilings like drying laundry. It was stunning and created a kind of waterfall of printed font. Down below, guests swarmed the bar and Scratch Bastid had everyone, stiff shirts and all, getting down on the dance floor.
We curved around and explored staircases that led us to installations by Douglas Coupland next to booths of vegan soup. Knocking back some sweet potatoe puree, we read ominous statements by Coupland like, “You are the last generation that will die.”
At one point, we received a cryptic invitation to a secret dinner party and rode the elevator to dark hallway. Design firms Castor and tongtong were hosting private dining experiences on the hour with Chef Matty Matheson from Parts & Labour. It felt like a trap door to a secret world be it Twelve Dancing Princesses or Being John Malkovich. Upon arrival, we were encouraged to guzzle back vodka before indulging in broccoli water, steak tartar and a ball of cookie dough.
The AUKTION presented by IKEA featured 20 never before seen items created by interdisciplinary designers including The Design Agency, Zeidler Architects, Suzanne Dimma + Mark Challen, Mason, Philip Sparks, Thrush Holmes, Bruce Mau Design and more. Never was there a moment where we were short on colourful conversation.
At the end of the evening, guests departed with a hefty swag bag and were greeted with The Food Dudes food truck. But of course, nothing was status quo, so instead of a late night snack, guests grabbed complimentary breakfast before hailing a cab on Bay Street.
It was a fantastic evening full of suprises and proceeds raised will go towards supporting youth education and programming. Good vibes all ’round.
~ Jen McNeely
Photos by Becca Lemire (Click to Enlarge)