canada’s outdoor culture @ dx
The mission of the Design Exchange, Canada’s design centre and museum located in downtown Toronto, is to promote the value of Canadian design, through engaging and enriching programs and exhibits. I recently attended the opening of one such engaging exhibition, Play > Nation, which traces Canada’s affinity for the outdoors from coast to coast, presenting contemporary Canadian outdoor and sporting equipment, contextualized by historical examples of earlier models.
As the second largest country with one of the worldʼs lowest population densities, Canada is known for vast open spaces and varied geography. The importance of the great outdoors is such a significant part of our identity that Canadian iconography – the beaver, the maple leaf, Group of Seven, hiking in the Rockies, playing hockey on frozen ponds – is indelibly linked to the natural environment. Play > Nation explores the ways in which our unique landmass has contributed to a national love of the outdoors and shaped our collective interest in outdoor sport and exploration, incorporating a myriad of design disciplines, including apparel, industrial, graphic, and iconic design. The exhibit chronicles the transition of objects used by First Nations peoples and early Canadian settlers and explorers for survival and transportation to our contemporary use of the same items for sport and hobby.
This exhibit underscores the pride we Canadians can hold for the contribution and impact we have made and continue to make in the design of outdoor and sporting equipment, in use north of the 49th parallel and worldwide.
Until October 10, 2011
DX Exhibition Hall – 234 Bay St, Toronto ON
(Adult $10, Student/Senior $8, DX Member free admission)