Design takes Toronto: Celebrations across the city salute the best of Canadian and international design (Jan. 13 Monogram x Partisans, Jan. 16 Interior Design Show Opening night party, Jan. 17 Caesarstone dinner, Jan. 17 DesignTO launch party, Jan. 18 Come up to my Room)
Each year with Toronto Design Week comes a burst of gatherings that celebrate the best of contemporary design and the creators at the industry’s core.
The first of this year’s festivities took place in the new design studio on Dupont Street of architecture firm Partisans on Jan. 13. The party was given to mark the firm’s new rather sleek collaboration with Monogram appliances (which launched at the Interior Design Show). Partisans head Alexander Josephson, top mixologist Robin Goodfellow, interior designer Suzanne Dimma and her husband Arriz Hassam, of design firm Arriz+co, were among those out.
A few nights later on Jan. 16, the Interior Design Show held its perennially packed opening night party, which saw a few hundred check out booths from both big brands (such as Volvo and Miele) and independent creators (including 3-D designer Cody James Norman and lighting designer Zac Ridgely) at the weekend-long show. Industrial designer Yves Behar, this year’s international guest of honour, Urban Blueprint founder and principal Natasha Penzo-McIntosh, artist Gary Taxali and Mexican architect Frida Escobedo were just a few of those who attended.
Each year, quartz surface-maker Caesarstone presents an elaborate booth at IDS to show off its product, and this year may have been the best yet. Tapping New York designer and potter Jonathan Adler to inject a bit of his trademark wit and whimsy into the offering, the result was a great space populated with spirited pieces including plush cloud-shaped settees, backlit evil eyes and whimsical ionic plinths. On Jan. 17 a swish dinner high above the city inside the CN Tower was held to toast the successful partnership.
That same night, a little further east, Berkeley Church was brimming with design enthusiasts out to launch DesignTO’s 2020 edition. The eve also served as a celebration of the week-long citywide festival’s 10-year anniversary (the work of nearly 4,000 artists has been featured since its launch). DesignTO co-founder and executive director Jeremy Vandermeij, potter Marsha Robb, architect Camille Mitchell, OCAD University dean of the faculty of design Dori Tunstall and DesignTO artistic director Deborah Wang were among those holding court in the space.
Finally, the next night, Jan. 18, the Gladstone Hotel unveiled the 2020 edition of Come Up to my Room. The not to be missed four-day alternative art and design exhibition features the work of up-and-coming design talents, who are invited to take spaces in the historic hotel and create out-of the box site specific installations. Among the creators included, and in attendance at the opening: Maxwell Lander, Noni Kaur and Morris Wazney.