Early this May, a collection of local luminaries including Minister of Tourism, Culture, and Sport Eleanor McMahon, Toronto Mayor John Tory, and Design Exchange president Shauna Levy gathered at a seemingly unlikely spot: Toronto’s former Unilever soap factory near the Don River. Their purpose in that surprisingly fresh-smelling industrial building was to introduce the media to Design Exchange’s new project in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme: Expo for Design, Innovation, and Technology (EDIT). The expo is a 10-day biennial design event scheduled to debut in the former Unilever building September 28, 2017, timed in honour of the 150th anniversary of Confederation.
Inspired by the United Nations Development Programme’s Sustainable Development Goals, EDIT’s overarching theme is “Prosperity For All”, a concept to be anchored by a main floor exhibit by Massive Change Network co-founder and designer Bruce Mau featuring enormous black-and-white images of global conflicts as captured by award-winning Magnum photojournalist Paolo Pellegrin. The remaining four floors of the 150,000-square-foot building will reflect one of EDIT’s four foundational pillars each. Italian architect and engineer Carlo Ratti will oversee the Shelter/Cities floor, while the Jamie Oliver Foundation runs food-centric Nourish, Canadian physician and innovator Julielynn Wong is the mind behind Care, and Educate goes to Japanese-American computer scientist Kentaro Toyama. The exhibits are multi-sensory, and aim to show ways innovative thought can help “edit” problems from life. Expect demonstrations of modular farms and aquaponics, samples of cricket Bolognese sauce, and chances to make light graffiti with Olafur Eliasson-designed, sunflower-shaped Little Sun solar-powered LED lamps. In addition to five floors of installations, EDIT will give guests opportunities to attend bonus events, such as a VIP dinner hosted by chef Jamie Kennedy, or a designated Youth Day programmed to galvanize the next generation of Canadian innovators.
EDIT demonstrates Toronto’s dedication to staking its place at the global design table. “We assembled some of the brightest and most creative thinkers and doers of our time to help demonstrate the true transformative power of design,” said Levy. “While the aesthetics of design can be powerful in and of itself, design is so much more than that… And the UNDP’s goals for sustainable development show that if we work together on a global scale we can solve anything.”
EDIT will take place from September 28 to October 8, 2017 at 21 Don Roadway, Toronto, ON.
Never miss a story. Sign up for NUVO’s weekly newsletter.