Material Culture for the Information Age Exhibition – Toronto, Ontario

material culturemothebrand and harbourfrontmotherbrandJohn Ryandouglas couplandpaletteCynthia Hathawayounochris clarkeGranted Clothingtodd falkowsky

Emblems and icons, of colours, patterns, smells and more, are the building blocks, the raw components of a community and compose our cultural identity. We have collectively created and assembled this library of identity, and is something we implicitly agree to share. Over time, it is this library that becomes the history, meaning and expression of our cultural experience.

In this information age, everything is competing for our attention. In this global age, identity is blurring and brands – in place of locations – are gaining in currency. To keep our material culture from disappearing, it must be exercised and never become narrow or stagnant. As creatives, the more we use our shared identity in our work, the more flexible and robust our culture becomes and our symbols become inspirational fountains.

This exhibit presents a “designer toolbox” where working strategies are explained to encourage creatives to tap and express local culture in their work. The works of John Ryan, Douglas Coupland, Palette Industries, Cynthia Hathaway, Ouno, Chris Clarke, Granted Clothing, and Todd Falkowsky are presented to illustrate the tools needed to take material culture into the information age.

Special thanks to Melanie Egan, Geoffrey Lilge, and Granted Clothing.

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