DesignTO: Trash Talk Symposium

DesignTO’s eighth annual symposium brings seven multidisciplinary experts together to design responses to the problem of waste and waste management in the context of the global climate crisis. Speakers include Lauren Goodman, Norwin Anne, Noora Khezri (Mad arkitekter), JP King, Mitchell May and Stephanie Mah (Giaimo), and Kirsty Robertson (Centre for Sustainable Curating at Western University), covering inclusive zero-carbon exhibitions, radical reuse of building materials, food and textile waste, discard culture, place-based design, cultural heritage, degrowth and other thought-provoking topics.


The free symposium runs online over two days: Wednesday, January 25 and Thursday, January 26, 2023, from 6-8pm each day.


The trajectory of the climate crisis will be determined by the future of waste management. How we deal with waste touches all levels of society, from an individual’s reusable coffee cup, to regional wastewater treatment, to the international waste trade. As individuals, we make near-constant decisions about waste⁠ – both consciously and subconsciously⁠ – from product purchases, to modes of transit, to waste sorting, to diet practices. To “flatten the curve” on the climate crisis we will need a wide-range of innovative waste management strategies.


As a fundamentally generative practice, design is inextricable from waste. In every discipline, designers aim to innovate and develop new buildings, products, ideas and methods. What is to be done with all of this “stuff”? Increasingly designers are being called on to consider the full lifecycle of a product or engage in waste-led design.


This symposium invites designers and thinkers to explore design responses to the problem of waste management. How do we design for carbon neutrality, or even carbon negativity? How are designers responsible for the environmental impact of their designs? How can we transform our relationship with waste and begin to see it as a valuable resource? Can concepts like “embodied carbon” – which is monitored, studied, and regulated in the building industry – be implemented in other industries? How can we move public awareness beyond the “reduce, reuse, recycle” slogan, first popularized in the 1970s, to a more urgent call to action?


‘Trash Talk’ is organized by DesignTO and supported by Teknion, EQ Bank, and the Brookfield Sustainability Institute, with media partner AZURE Magazine.


DesignTO brings people together to design a better future, one that is more sustainable, just, and joyful. We curate exhibitions, presentations and educational programming to increase the public’s knowledge and appreciation of design, and hope to embolden all Canadians to participate in making a future where people and planet are thriving again.


More Info >

Register Here

When January 25-26, 2023

Where online

Duration 6-8pm each day

Cost Free