Design: when is it art, and vice versa? Find out at the second annual #StufDsgnrsMake silent auction on until June 10 at the Gladstone Hotel.

The auction is in support of The Toronto Design Offsite Festival (TO DO), an annual city-wide platform for the exhibition and engagement of independent design in Toronto. It showcases unexpected prototypes, immersive installations, and unique programming. The next TO DO runs January 19–25, 2015.

In addition to the silent auction, the Gladstone Hotel will host an exhibition curated by the ALSO Collective. Most of the collective’s pieces will also be up for auction.

“The Toronto Design Offsite Festival celebrates Canadian talent and sheds light on the growing design scene within Toronto, as well as Canada,” says Michael R. Madjus, communications coordinator for TO DO. “There is so much talent in this country that goes beyond what people know. The items chosen to be part of this year’s auction were pieces from designers, cultural centres, retailers and individuals.

“The design and art scenes in Toronto do not often overlap, and are usually pretty separate,” Madjus says. “Both of these communities are pretty tightly knit, and many [creators] are only known within their respective sectors. One of the great things about this auction/exhibition is that we, along with ALSO Collective, are trying to bridge the gap between art and design because there are so many parallels between the two worlds.”

The entries for the ALSO Collective exhibition were decided by the collective. “Many of the pieces chosen were those that reflected the art world but also had a place in the world of design,” Madjus says.

He emphasizes the variety of works and contributors to the auction, mentioning the Eye Popping Skull salt and pepper shakers donated by local ceramicist Grace Eun Mi Lee in the same breath as bigger, more well-known pieces such as the Eames Hang-It-All wall hook, donated by Design Within Reach. “Younger designers will do things that aren’t as common, seeing things with new eyes you could say, but that doesn’t discount the established designers from also doing ‘risky’ work.”

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TO DO is steered by a six-member executive team as well as a board. Madjus describes them all as designers or design lovers and supporters. “With a team…plugged into the design scene, there were quite a few individuals who wanted to donate pieces to help see TO DO grow,” he says.

Support for TO DO comes from several other areas, too. “The first #StufDsgnrsMake was two years ago,” Madjus says. “Last year we launched an Indiegogo campaign where we raised over $5,000 with the help of our Indiegogo backers.”

The Gladstone Hotel, site of the auction, has been an integral part of the process. TO DO is an offshoot of Come Up To My Room, the hotel’s annual exhibition of installation art, and the TO DO offices are housed at the hotel.

“The Gladstone Hotel is one of our great sponsors,” Madjus says. “As one of the city’s main cultural hubs and long-standing iconic Toronto landmark, the Gladstone has always been a supporter of art and design.”

See the entries for the silent auction, pre-pay the door fee or pre-bid online for select items.


Silent Auction ($5 door fee): Tuesday, June 10, 2014 | 6–10 p.m. | bidding ends at 9 p.m.

Exhibition (free): June 6–10, 2014 | 12–5 p.m. daily

Location: 2nd Floor Gallery, Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen Street West, Toronto

Details: music, cash bar