OPEN Sept 17


What do Jacques Guillion’s Cord Chair, Clairtone’s G2 Stereo, and Jan Kuypers’ Helsinki Desk have in common? They are all objects designed in Canada and made using manufacturing processes learned from the wartime aircraft industry. Opening September 17, DX Uncrated: Icons In Wood, highlights the post-WWII shift in Canadian furniture production from artisan-style shops employing cabinetmakers to furniture cut, formed, and assembled on production lines by factory workers.

Until the mid-twentieth century, the industry was characterized by the ownership of small plants by local families, often for generations. Many of these artisan-style shops employed cabinetmakers in the guild tradition, with a single worker cutting, planing, and finishing the lumber for each object by hand.  During WWII, a number of Canadian furniture makers, such as Electrohome of Kitchener, Ontario, lent their skills to the aircraft industry through the fabrication of components for warplanes.

Following WWII, fast-growing families created a huge demand for new furniture. Meeting the need at prices consumers could afford required ingenuity, and a radical shift began. Several aircraft manufacturers, including Canadian Wooden Aircraft and Aero Marine Industries, switched to furniture production, recognizing that plywood processes could be perfect for this modern consumer. Furniture was now cut, formed, and assembled on production lines by factory workers, rather than handcrafted by cabinetmakers. Production managers, marketing staff and industrial designers became key forces driving the industry and Canada’s adventurous talents used moulded plywood to unite modernist concerns with efficient production and original design. 

Curated by Sara Nickleson, Curator and Director of Collections

Design Exchange Permanent Collection celebrates Canada's rich industrial design history from 1945 to the present, and will be expanding this fall to welcome new accessions. Spanning more than five decades, the collection includes more than 600 industrial design objects and archival materials including furniture, housewares, textiles, electronics, and lighting.

234 Bay Street, Toronto

Tues-Fri: 9AM–5PM
Sat & Sun: 12-4:30PM 



jul 8 – OCT 12
smarter. faster. tougher.
Presented and commissioned by panamania, presented by cibc



Hit the road – or take a trail – this summer to experience some of the most revolutionary fitness fashion and performance gear that’s helping competitive athletes and active lifestyle enthusiasts’ get healthy, train and win big!

Sport is ubiquitous. It touches almost every aspect of our lives from health, fashion and culture to technology, design and architecture. With a history that spans little more than a century, sportswear has evolved rapidly due to an interwoven association with technology. Opening on July 8 and on until October 12 in The Distillery District, Smarter. Faster. Tougher. Presented and Commissioned by Panamania, Presented by CIBC dives into the evolution of sportswear and uncovers how technology, fashion, nature, and culture have contributed to the rapid innovative growth of athletic clothing, equipment, and wearables.

Curated by Marie O’Mahony, a professor of Digital Futures at OCAD University this exhilarating exhibit examines cutting edge advancements in sportswear and its wider cultural, social, and aesthetic significance. Divided into four sections – ethnography, nature, fashion, and performance – find dozens of looks and gear from UmbroRip CurlBioracer, Mountain HardwearValiantDescentePuma x Cedella MarleyFred PerrySpeedoTommy Hilfiger, Canada Goose x eepmon, Blue Glue, Loudmouth GolfMarloes ten BhömerStella McCartney x Adidas, and more. See innovations such as a 3D printed bikini, shark-resistant wetsuits, cardigans that incorporate bulletproof material, and shirts with heart rate monitoring systems.

Plus, a fifth interactive zone provides an opportunity for visitors to explore some of the most exciting new materials and technologies that have been developed for use in sports. And, a special app designed by Digital Futures at OCADU can be used throughout the exhibition via a smartphone or tablet to access more information, images and videos. 

39 Parliament Street, The Distillery District

Mon: Closed
Tues: 11AM–6PM
Wed-Thu: 11AM–8PM
Fri-Sun: Noon–6PM