Outside the Box

I am excited to share that I am the Boston curator and correspondent for ‘Outside the Box’ 2018, which opens today in Toronto during the Toronto Design Offsite Festival and then travels to WantedDesign in New York in May.

‘Outside the Box’ builds a map of design in North America.

Shipped across the country in Bankers boxes, this annual traveling exhibition presents a dozen distinct national and international showcases each year. Working with local correspondents, each box houses a collection of thoughtfully designed objects, reflecting the particular resources and makers of that area.

This seventh edition of ‘Outside the Box’ features responses on the theme “matter.” This theme encompasses material transformation and change, and the essence of material. It looks at how materials are created, reused, or recycled.

The Boston box highlights products made by hand in natural materials, ranging from screen-printed and dip-dyed textiles to hand-carved ceramic bowls and layered glass trays. Each designer has a keen eye for graphic patterning and understanding of functionality of product.

Debra Folz’s Gem collection is inspired by the reflections of light and transparencies found in gemstones. These glass trays translate facets through layers of color and varying opacity. Each tray colorway conveys the throw of light over a stone’s surface by varying its color saturation.



Refreshingly modern, organic and finely crafted, the pierced bubble shapes of the lacey vases by Lawrence McRae are an interpretation of natural, oceanic forms as they deteriorate over time. The innovative carving technique for each vessel involves many steps, often taking several days to complete.

PilgrimWaters work closely with artisans and makers in India and Nepal to create the highest quality textiles. Made from hand woven and silk screened cashmere, the Hooli throw is a tonal acknowledgement to the color festival the designers experienced in India. Often featuring large-scale graphics and layered designs, each throw is unique.

Handcrafted by The Everyday Co. and then hand dip-dyed by designer Shanleigh Heelan of August & Osceola, these unique white linen dinner napkins have been transformed into a beautiful, limited-edition tabletop collection. Each dinner napkin is unique and one-of-a-kind.

The exhibition runs from January 13 to 28 at Toronto’s Harbourfront Centre. More information can be found here.

Photos: Lindsay Hite, Somerby Jones