Exhibition Curation: 2013

Graphic Design: Noam Design Inc.

Sponsors: Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects, Mill Street Brewery, TAG Vodka

Shiny, pretty things was an open ended starting point for an exhibition. While it could be interpreted as a superficial topic, there is some substance in the way people respond to shiny objects. The human brain reacts positively to shiny stimulus: people become psychologically happy. Some scientists link this back to early humans ability to find water.

There were a few rules introduced, since constraints generally help focus the design process: at least 50% of the object must be shiny; and no glitter, sequins or bedazzling were to be employed (unless used to create a work which would only appear as a photograph or video).

There was little consensus on what constitutes ‘pretty’ and in fact, a number of pieces explored this slippery term. Certain examples transform the viewer and scene in their reflective surfaces. Others are jewel-like accoutrements for the home, which play with the notion that gloss adds significance.  Ultimately, these works celebrate shininess and reveal very distinct visions of prettiness, far exceeding the shallow phrase they began with.

Shiny Pretty Things was recipient of 4 Toronto Design Offsite Festival Awards.


Alissa Coe

Bahar Ghaemi

Bettie Cott

Crawford Noble

Derek McLeod

Dieter Janssen

Dylan McKinnon

EEAA Design

Jeremy Hatch

Jessica Nakanishi

Jordan Murphy

Joy Charbonneau

Kirsten White

Rob Southcott

The Practice of Everyday Design


Tomas Rojcik

Zoë Mowat.

Shiny Pretty Things