permanent collection

Design Exchange's permanent collection celebrates Canada's rich industrial design history from 1945 to the present, and has recently expanded to include international design objects of beauty, innovation and historical relevance.

Spanning over five decades, the Design Exchange's permanent collection covers more than six hundred industrial design objects and archival materials including furniture, housewares, textiles, electronics, and lighting. Here is a small sampling of the collection.

Due to space limitations, the museum's Permanent Collection is not on display in its entirety. Please visit DXUncrated: Classic Plastics which presents a selection of items from the Permanent Collection, now on view in the main lobby. 

We encourage you to sign up for our weekly enewsletter to receive updates on the collection and other museum happenings.



1. Cord Chair

Jacques Guillon, 1950

The chair frame is comprised of three intersecting laminated wood boomerang-shaped pieces. The seat and back are made of taut nylon cord, which was readily available
following WW2.


2. MS-SC Stacking Chair

Keith Muller and Michael Stewart, 1968

Inspired by the provincial government’s recommendation that Ontario schools should use Canadian made furniture, this chair provided an alternative to colleges that were previously furnished with non-Canadian made designs.



3. Ruspan Originals Dining Chair

Russell Spanner, 1950–59

The interlocking finger joint visible in the seat frame corners reflects one type of corner joint used on the battery box, the company’s first product manufactured from the 1920s until after World War 2.



4. The Lishman Rocker

William Lishman, 1976

The maverick sculptor and environmentalist Bill Lishman dabbled in furniture design in the ‘70s, successfully reinterpreting the classic Thonet bentwood rocking chair in metal.



5. G2 Stereo

Al Faux, 1966

The G2 is the “Ferrari” of the Project G Series. Its globe speakers rotate 360 degrees and can be removed from the cabinet’s cantilevered arms and plugged into independent
circular bases.



6. Lummus Casserole Dish

Thomas Lamb, 1979

When the pre-eminent furniture designer Thomas Lamb explored the field of tableware, he chose the highly acclaimed studio potter Ruth Gowdy McKinley to make the prototypes. The stepped designs with simple wooden handles came with interchangeable tops and could be inverted into serving dishes.



7. Table Lamp #900

Lotte Bostlund, 1964

Gunnar Bostlund, an electrical engineer, and his wife Lotte, a designer who graduated from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen, founded the company in 1954. They ran the company with their six children from their farm in Oak Ridges.


8. Glass Dish

Staff Designer, 1958
Altaglass Manufacturers of Handmade Glass, Medicine Hat

Altaglass represented Alberta’s lively commercial art glass and ceramic traditions of the post-war era, which were destroyed in the last recession.


9. The Russell Belt Knife

Deane Russell, 1956

The Russell Belt Knife won the 1958 NIDC Design Award. It was exhibited in the Canadian Pavilion at the World’s Fair in Brussels in 1958.


10. Electric Kettle (Cat. No. 43A)

Fred Moffatt, 1940

An engineer for Canadian Motor Lamp in Windsor (a subsidiary of Canadian General Electric) realized the pressed-stamp metal shell would make an ideal container for the electric heating element. It is regarded as a major icon within the Canadian industrial
design profession.


DX Headquarters is
located at 234 Bay Street, Toronto

Call 416.363.6121


Subscribe to INDX, our weekly newsletter!

Design Exchange acknowledges the support of: