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Jul 9 2021 Calls / Competitions /

2022 DesignTO | Call for Submissions

Submission deadlines vary: July 9 - October 8, 2021

DesignTO Website | How to Participate

Get involved in the 12th annual DesignTO Festival! Present an independent project, submit to one of the Festival’s curated exhibitions, symposium or residency, or be a Host Venue. Keep reading to learn more about each opportunity.

The DesignTO Festival is Canada’s leading (and largest) annual design festival that celebrates design as a multidisciplinary form of creative thinking and making, with over 100 exhibitions and events forming Toronto’s design week each January. Since 2011, we have welcomed over 600,000 visitors, worked with over 5,000 artists and designers and reached over 475 million users through print and digital media. 

2022 DesignTO Festival Calls: 


  1. 2022 Call for Independent Projects 

Independently-produced projects are integral to the Festival’s structure. DesignTO welcomes all who want to present, discuss, demonstrate, or exhibit design in any field and/or related disciplines. 

Exhibitors include artists, designers, design firms, local businesses, academic and cultural institutions, and students. Exhibitors are responsible for arranging their own venue in Toronto, including spaces such as galleries, studios, workshops, cafés, schools, lobbies, and businesses. We also welcome online events and exhibitions. 

Application Deadline 

Friday, October 8, 2021 by 11:59pm EDT. 


Solo designer or ad hoc collective: $225 + HST 

Small businesses (including shops, artist-run centres, and private galleries): $275 + HST Large businesses and institutions: $350 + HST 

Apply by Tuesday, August 31, 2021 to receive $25 off your registration fee. 




  1. 2022 Call for Host Venues 

If you have a venue you’d like to have activated with a window installation, event, or exhibition, DesignTO wants to hear from you! 

Potential venues include spaces in the City of Toronto such as shops, galleries, studios, cafés, schools, and lobbies. 

By applying to this call for host venues, you agree to host a creative project by an artist or designer during Festival Week, January 21-30, 2022. The duration and type of participation is entirely determined by you when you make your application.


All applications are due Friday, July 9, 2021 by 11:59pm EDT. 

Fees (to be paid by host venue) 

Small businesses (including independent shops, artist-run centres, and private galleries): $250 + HST Large businesses and institutions: $325 + HST 




  1. 2022 Group Exhibition Call for Submissions 

DesignTO invites artists and designers working in all mediums and formats to submit to the 2022 DesignTO Festival group exhibition, ‘Shared Terrain’. 

This exhibition seeks to explore collaboration between Canadian and Nordic artists and designers. It is structured around an exchange and conversation between creative thinkers from distant locations. 

‘Shared Terrain’ is a group exhibition that will be presented as part of Nordic Bridges, a year-long initiative led by Toronto’s Harbourfront Centre fostering cultural exchange between the Nordic Region and Canada. 


All submissions are due Wednesday September 1, 2021 by 11:59pm EDT. 



  1. 2022 Symposium Call for Submissions 

DesignTO invites designers and thinkers to submit to speak at the 2022 DesignTO Symposium ‘No Such Thing as Normal’ January 25 & 26, 2022. This symposium invites speakers to explore how we can dismantle the long-accepted idea of “normal,” in order to design for diversity. Talks may be about current research or case studies, new products or technologies, spaces or experiences, speculative design or strategies, or new processes or policies. 

Sub-themes include: 

Design with, not for; Designing for health; Data bias; Gender data bias; Inclusive fashion; Human-centred design; Decolonizing design education; Designing for neurodiversity; Participatory design; Pandemic design; Post-pandemic design; and Systems design. 


All submissions are due Friday, September 24, 2021 by 11:59pm EDT. 




  1. 2022 Prototype Exhibition Call for Submissions 

‘Purpose & Play’ is a new edition of the 7th annual prototype exhibition organized by DesignTO in partnership with Umbra. 

In a time when everything can feel the same, how can we inject colour and fun into our lives? Where can we find moments of joy and spontaneity? How can we shake up the environments we’ve been confined to for months? In contrast to restrictions, essentials, and necessity, how can we create opportunities for frivolity and play? How can we create a “new quality of life” through prototypes? 

‘Purpose & Play’ invites Canadian designers (living here or abroad) to submit to this open call for submissions. 


All submissions are due Friday, September 24, 2021 by 11:59pm EDT. 




  1. 2022 Residency Call for Submissions 

FLDWRK x DesignTO presents ‘6ft (a)part’, a residency inviting designers to propose ideas that can meaningfully impact their communities, through investigation, speculation and production. These ideas can be small or large, intimate or urban, digital or analog. 

As communities begin to optimistically strategize what post-pandemic life could be after more than a year of living 6 feet apart, we ask designers to reconsider, reframe and remake what’s around us to have a positive and long-lasting impact on society. ‘6ft (a)part’ calls for a new spatial contract that will reshape our everyday life. 


All applications are due Friday, September 24, 2021 by 11:59pm EDT. 



Image credits: 

Monica Virtue, Collaborative Mapping Thesis Project, 2016. Georgina Voss, courtesy of Georgina Voss 

Monica Virtue, courtesy of Monica Virtue