Toronto Offsite Design Festival

January 16-January 22

The Dylan Ellis Gallery is very excited to be hosting an installation for the Toronto Offsite Design Festival. On January 19th from 6-9pm, we will be combining the opening reception of Human Memory/The Soul of the Earth, a two person photography show, and the Offsite installation presented by SUMO Projects and artist Michele Guevara.

“Going into its 7th year, TO DO transforms Toronto into a hub for creativity, taking design and art out of the studio and into the urban sphere, bringing people together to celebrate contemporary culture. We provide opportunities for emerging talent, and engage the community with exceptional and accessible public programming.

In January 2016, TO DO had direct participation from 400+ designers and artists, 99,000+ visitors, 58+ million press impressions, and 66+ million brand impressions.”


SUMO Project is taking its Latin-American background to task by integrating the traditions of weaving and basketry into the design of Leonia Luminaire and Thesis Bench.

Textile art has been part of indigenous practices since precolonial times, assuming an important role in the development of human civilization and culture. Beyond its practical uses, textile art has also incorporated rich designs and colours into its more than 10,000-year evolution. Most of these designs, as many other ornamental practices, were used to embellish the skin, tell stories or represent tribal traditions. The use of vivid colours, for example, has remained as an expression of happiness and of the positive outlook that characterizes Latin-American culture.


A desire to experiment humanizing modern designs with traditional techniques and resources has inspired SUMO Project to create a hybrid that incorporates new materials and technologies with traditional textile art processes. It is a reaction from more than one hundred years of Ornament and Crime where “the evolution of culture marched with the elimination of ornament from useful objects,” and from SUMO Project’s very own experience of inadvertently removing ornament from our designs. This is an opportunity to celebrate cultural background and reconnect with the essential aspects of being human.

For this endeavour SUMO Project invites fellow Latin-American designer and artist Michele Guevara, to collaborate and partake in this creative process of humanization by hybridization.

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