12th Annual DesignTO Festival

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Get involved in the 12th annual DesignTO Festival! Present an independent project, submit to a DesignTO curated exhibition, symposium, or residency, 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 from January 21 to 30, 2021.

The DesignTO Festival is Canada’s leading (and largest) annual design festival that celebrates design as a multidisciplinary form of creative thinking and making, with over 100 exhibitions and events forming Toronto’s design week each January. Since 2011, we have welcomed over 600,000 visitors, worked with over 5,000 artists and designers, and reached over 475 million users through print and digital media.

'Work/Life' prototype exhibition at the 2019 DesignTO Festival
‘Work/Life’ prototype exhibition at the 2019 DesignTO Festival | Photograph © Michael R. Madjus

2022 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.

Deadline

Friday, October 8, 2021, by 11:59 p.m. EDT. – Click here to learn more and submit 


'Mjölk 10 Year Anniversary' at the 2020 DesignTO Festival
‘Mjölk 10 Year Anniversary’ at the 2020 DesignTO Festival | Photograph © Breanne Jeethan

2022 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 21-30, 2022. The duration and type of participation are entirely determined by you when you make your application. 

Deadline

Friday, July 9, 2021, by 11:59 p.m. EDT. – Click here to learn more and submit


'Love and Discipline: Remediated' by Claire Wu
‘Love and Discipline: Remediated’ by Claire Wu, part of ‘OFF COURSE’ at the 2020 DesignTO Festival | Photograph © Daniel Barbosa

2022 Group Exhibition Call for Submissions

DesignTO invites artists and designers working in all mediums and formats to submit to the 2022 DesignTO Festival group exhibition ‘Shared Terrain’.

This exhibition seeks to explore collaboration between Canadian and Nordic artists and designers. It is structured around exchange and conversation between creative thinkers from distant locations.

‘Shared Terrain’ is a group exhibition that will be presented as part of Nordic Bridges, a year-long initiative led by Toronto’s Harbourfront Centre fostering cultural exchange between the Nordic Region and Canada.

Deadline

Wednesday, September 1, 2021, by 11:59 p.m. EDT. – Click here to learn more and submit 


2022 Symposium Call for Submissions

DesignTO invites designers and thinkers to submit to speak at the 2022 DesignTO Symposium ‘No Such Thing as Normal’. This symposium invites speakers to explore how we can dismantle the long-accepted idea of “normal,” in order to design for diversity. Talks may be about current research or case studies, new products or technologies, spaces or experiences, speculative design or strategies, or new processes or policies.

Sub-themes include:

Design with, not for; Designing for health; Data bias; Gender data bias; Inclusive fashion; Human-centred design; Decolonizing design education; Designing for neurodiversity; Participatory design; Pandemic design; Post-pandemic design; and Systems design.

Deadline

Friday, September 24, 2021, by 11:59 p.m. EDT. – Click here to learn more and submit


'Dream State' by Alby Kenny at the 2021 DesignTO Festival
‘Dream State’ by Alby Kenny at the 2021 DesignTO Festival | Photograph © Christine Lim

2022 Prototype Exhibition Call for Submissions

‘Purpose & Play’ is a new edition of the 7th annual prototype exhibition organized by DesignTO in partnership with Umbra.

In a time when everything can feel the same, how can we inject color and fun into our lives? Where can we find moments of joy and spontaneity? How can we shake up the environments we’ve been confined to for months? In contrast to restrictions, essentials, and necessity, how can we create opportunities for frivolity and play? 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.

Deadline

Friday, September 24, 2021, by 11:59 p.m. EDT. – Click here to learn more and submit 


2022 Residency Call for Submissions

FLDWRK x DesignTO presents ‘6ft (a)part’, a residency inviting designers to propose ideas that can meaningfully impact their communities, through investigation, speculation, and production. These ideas can be small or large, intimate or urban, digital or analog. 

As communities begin to optimistically strategize what post-pandemic life could be after more than a year of living 6 feet apart, we ask designers to reconsider, reframe and remake what’s around us to have a positive and long-lasting impact on society. ‘6ft (a)part’ calls for a new spatial contract that will reshape our everyday life.

Deadline

Friday, September 24, 2021, by 11:59 p.m. EDT. – Click here to learn more and submit 

About DesignTO
DesignTO is a non-profit cultural organization bringing communities together to celebrate design, by taking art and design out of the studio and into the urban realm.

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