To do: The Design Exchange

Here’s something for the upcoming rainy weekend in Toronto: check out the new and ongoing exhibits at the city’s  Design Exchange (DX).

Located in the spectacular space formerly the hectic trading floor of the Toronto Stock Exchange, the Design Exchange “is Canada’s only museum dedicated exclusively to the pursuit of design excellence and preservation of design heritage.”

I highly recommend dropping by to see what’s in house and on display at the DX, and if you have no time for a proper tour, the gift shop is a mecca of cool finds, unique books and design gifts. I’ve always found a DX visit inspiring and refreshing and I know if you’re reading this blog, you’ll like your visit.

A few current exhibits you will enjoy at the DX:

Vertical Urban Factory, Sep. 3- Dec. 9. Looking at more than 30 factories to consider their integration within urban settings such as Detroit and New York, with case studies such as the American Apparel factory in L.A. and the VW “Transparent” factory in Dresden, Germany. (paid exhibit)

Considering the Quake: Seismic Design on the Edge, Sep. 13 – Dec. 9. “Design meets practical application. Examples: From ARUP’s Hermès Building featuring the work of Renzo Piano Architects in Tokyo, Japan and their York University Subway Station with Foster and Partners in Toronto, to Daniel Libeskind’s Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco, to Cast Connex’s seismic technology that will be included in New York City’s World Trade Center 3 design.” (included with general admission, about $10)

Permanent/ongoing exhibit –  the Must-See:


This exhibit features iconic pieces from the Design Exchange’s permanent collection, which celebrates Canada’s rich industrial design history from 1945 to the present. 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. DXUNCRATED illustrates political, technological, and social changes that occurred following World War II to present day. Items on display will include the famous Clairtone Project G Stereo (pictured below), Thomas Lamb’s Steamer Chair, and Russel Spanner’s Dining Chair.

The Clairtone Project G stereo produced by Clairtone from 1964-7 is a Canadian design icon

To celebrate all that is design and Canadian ingenuity, this year’s annual fundraising party coincides with the DX’s relaunch on November 16, featuring interactive design installations, fancy food from celebrity chefs, and today’s big names in Canadian design. Find out more here.


20 Below: Art Toronto 2012

This year’s Art Toronto is sure to inspire. Modern and contemporary art will fill the Metro Toronto Convention Centre from October 26-29th and event goers will enjoy thousands of works of art from more than a hundred galleries from 23 countries. This is Canada’s only modern and contemporary international art fair so, go on, buy your tickets (less than $20)!

adult ticket is $18; via Art Toronto

I attended Art Toronto 2011 and wrote about it here and here.

Giveaway: Evoke & Imagine

Artwork these days isn’t just about landscapes and portraits. We are seeing more and more inspirational words and sayings used as artwork in living rooms, offices, and bedrooms around the world.

via Stylizimo

via Made By Girl

via 365 ting jeg liker

Toronto-based Evoke & Imagine offers a good selection of inspiring art prints. They also offer a custom option where you can decide form, colour and quote and they’ll print it for you.


Life Goes On

Love Never Gets Lost

Everything Will be Alright

How Far You’ve Come

custom prints

The kind folks at Evoke & Imagine are offering one lucky reader an 11×14″ print of their choosing (including the custom design option). To enter this giveaway leave a comment telling us what your favourite print is. It’s as easy as that! Winner will be chosen at random. Giveaway ends Friday July 6th 12pm (EST).

Events: Coffee Station at BlogPodium

This past Saturday I attended the second BlogPodium event. It was a huge success and if you followed my Twitter feed at all over the weekend then you might have guessed that I had a great time! Toronto-based Mango Studios took some incredible photos of the event and I’m happy to share this one with you today.

photo by Mango Studios

I just love this photo because of the repetition of the perfectly arranged shiny coffee dispensers and all the white that surrounds the silver. Plus – you all know how much I like coffee (e.g., one, two, three)!

p.s. Shout out to my Mom who is celebrating her birthday today! She loves coffee too! (We’re Italian. We like a lot of lattes!)

Marketplace: Ginger’s

Ginger’s is one of the top places in Toronto to visit if you’re looking for exceptional bathroom fixtures, gorgeous hardware, and beautiful bathroom accessories. My mom and I popped in a couple of weeks ago and we were inspired by all the white and crystal pieces that filled the store.

You can see why I love this place so much, right? White, sparkle, and a little bit of glam – everything a bathroom needs!

Images by Jordana.

Design: Seven Continents

adjustable wall display unit at Seven Continents

A few weeks ago I had the incredible opportunity to have a guided tour of Seven Continents. This Canadian company, established in 1977 and based in Toronto, manufactures mannequins, bustforms, furniture and display fixtures for the likes of Victoria’s Secret and Nordstrom. When Brooklyn from Seven Continents invited me to tour the showroom and factory, I really had no idea what I was getting myself into. Mannequins might be cool, I thought, and I’m usually up for a new learning experience, but mannequins, really?

mannequin forms on display at the Seven Continents showroom

Anyway, I’m thrilled to say that visiting Seven Continents was a very fascinating experience for me!

Mannequins are everywhere in the Seven Continents building – in all sorts of forms and colours and at every stage of production.

Here are the getSMART and PM Sasha mannequins all finished and styled:

getSMART dressed by Cydelic by Choryin

The PM SASHA with Colette Harmon Jewelry

And here are some mannequins at various stages of production:

Here is Athena – in her most original form:

It appeared to me that the mannequins had personalities of their own and it seemed as though Brooklyn talked about them as if they were real people (I’m not going to lie – it did take me a bit of time to get used to seeing Athena and others all dressed and just hanging out around the building.) The dressed-up mannequins, many positioned as if holding intense conversations, didn’t seem to phase anyone in the office but me.

In addition to the various mannequin forms, Seven Continents designs and manufactures an ever-evolving collection of store fixtures and furniture.

The SPUNBOOTY fixtures, made out of bamboo, is a great collection to feature fashion accessories. The Bodality model is used for purses and the Ovality and Wavality duo is designed to display belts (and are not used as lamps, as I mistakenly thought!).

The SPUNBOOTY Collection

The showroom at Seven Continents includes a handful of pop shops where clients can see how the mannequins and store fixtures might be put to use in store. One of my favourite of these pop shops was the one below. The wall of movable wire arms really makes an impressive visual impact.

Pop Shop at Seven Continents

The factory floor at Seven Continents includes a group of dedicated technicians, engineers, painters, and upholsters who work together in an open, bright, and well-organized space. I was drawn to the rows of fabrics!

And there you have it – a very quick behind-the-scenes tour of the Seven Continents showroom and factory.

a collection of fixtures at Seven Continents

Many thanks to Brooklyn B. and the Seven Continents team for arranging my visit and for taking the time to show me around.

Photos by Jordana.

20 Below: Easter at Artistry Cards

One of our favourite eco-friendly Canadian stationery companies, Artistry Cards, has recently released a couple of sweet cards for Easter.

Origami Rabbits Easter Card, $4, Artistry Cards

Easter Egg Card, $4, Artistry Cards

Easter cards, $4 each, Artistry Cards

Good news! Artistry Cards is offering White Cabana readers a 10% discount on purchases made before Easter (April 8th, 2012). Enter ARTIST (all caps) at checkout. Click here to start shopping.