TORONTO DESIGN OFFSITE: Vivien Leung’s energy infuses the Toronto design community

Another year of Pecha Kucha and TO DO with Vivien Leung.

My first memory of Vivien Leung was of this beautifully dressed woman pitching Pecha Kucha at a Design with Dialogue meetup co-hosted with TO DO. After that we kept randomly intersecting each other at street corners as we were running off to some event because we are both the kind of people who believe that community building is vital and participating online is not the same as showing up in person.

You can sense that Vivien is the type of individual to insert herself gracefully into any context, quickly identify a need and then without missing a beat start to nurture growth. She has played an important part in the emergence of a strong design community in Toronto.

Left to right: Vivien Leung, Libs Elliott, and Jay Wall.

Vivien’s work with Pecha Kucha has made the Toronto chapter the go-to event for the creative class who want to network while being inspired. Tickets always go quickly and today’s TO DO Pecha Kucha is a SOLD OUT event.

Libs Elliott, pictured above beside Vivien, is a past Pecha Kucha presenter and you can get an idea of how Pecha Kucha’s 20 (images) x 20 (seconds each) presentation style works by listening to her talk about the inspiration and process behind her unique quilts. You can also view more Toronto PK presentations on the website.

For the shoot, I asked each person to bring with them something that they felt represented Toronto design. Vivien choose to showcase a 3D printed earrings and necklace set by Hot Pop Factory Toronto’s “3D printing creatives” who specialize in “creative applications of digital fabrication.”

“Vivien stands out as one of our most valuable community-builders in Toronto. She tirelessly coordinates events and connects people across disciplines. The result is a mesh of relationships that activate Toronto’s design community.” ~ Jay Wall

Find out more about Vivien on www.vivienleung.co and follow her on Twitter.

Keep up-to-date on the latest Pecha Kucha news via Facebook and Twitter.

For all of the Toronto Design Offsite programming information click here

#TODO15

Above images by Leah Snyder for Mixed Bag Mag.

SCARY STUFF: Food Scarcity & Considering New Forms of Protein This Halloween at “Beer & Bugs”

Halloween in The City & what to do in Toronto on October 31st

This isn’t your typical Halloween Bash but then again Mirella Amato, founder of Beerology™, doesn’t throw a typical event.

I discovered Mirella at Pecha Kucha Toronto at the Gladstone Hotel speaking about an event she was hosting called “Hopera.” What is a Hopera you ask? Well, it is Mirella’s mashup of her two professional loves – Hops & Opera. For last year’s event “each beer was paired with an operatic aria, duet or ensemble.” Mirella says she wanted to “create the ultimate evening, by combining two fantastic things, and to open doors: introduce opera lovers to craft beer and introduce craft beer fans to opera.”

It was to share two of my passions and inspire people to look at both opera and beer in a new way. Before each pairing, Melanie[the Opera Singer] provided a description of the piece and I then guided the audience through a brief tasting of the beer, explaining why I had chosen this particular beer for the pairing.”  Read more about the event…

But Mirella’s upcoming event for the night of Halloween 2013 may just take the cake (or worm) as the most unique  Beerology™ event as well as the most intriguing (and possibly the creepiest) mashup –  Beers & Bugs.

Hallowe’en is around the corner. Why not celebrate by sinking our teeth into some creepy-crawlies?

For this eventCookie Martinez and guests will be preparing five different cricket canapés and sweets, each of which will be expertly paired with a craft beer as chosen by Canada’s only Master Cicerone, Mirella Amato.”

At a time when food scarcity and sustainable options for protein need to be explored Beer & Bugs is a fun way to introduce our culture to considering insects as a food option.

Why eat crickets?

  • They are sustainably produced, using less water, less land, producing fewer C02 emissions with a high feed to protein produced ratio
  • They are nutritious. High in protein, Omega 3 fats and iron
  • They are versatile to cook with
  • They are found everywhere on the planet, meaning that they do not pose an ecological disaster. They are also capable of being raised in home units

Why drink beer?

Can you think of a reason not to?

BEER & BUGS EVENT DETAILS:

The Victory Café
581 Markham St, Toronto, M6G 2L7
Thursday, October 31, 2013 from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Tickets are $25 advance | $40 Cash at the Door
Click here to register for the BEER & BUG Event & purchase advance tickets.

Beerology™ is partnering with Aruna Antonella Handa of Alimentary Initiatives (co-host of the Future Food Salon) for this event.

FYI – DON’T FORGET TO DRESS UP!
Toronto Urban Adventures will be running a costume competition at the event. Prizes will be awarded in three categories (see site for details) and the winners will receive tickets to the fantastic Beer Makes History Better Tour.”

Find out more about Mirella & Beerology on her website, Facebook and twitter @beerologyboffin.

DESIGN MATTERS: Toronto Design Offsite Festival 2014

FINAL COUNTDOWN! For just $10 you can help support this amazing independent design festival!

Designers are the magic makers, the interfacers.
Designers allow the stuff of dreams to come to life.

Designers have the capability to make our day with well played functionality.

And that is why design matters! Because we live in a world where we engage with design round the clock.

Supporting a community that nurtures designers so they can give birth to great design just makes sense.

This festival is near and dear to my heart because as a designer it brings together some of the best independent talent we have in Toronto and each year I walk away inspired. Plus this warm bunch of creative geniuses do a fine job of thawing out Toronto in the coldest month of the year.

ONLY A FEW HOURS LEFT! Check out Toronto Design Offsite’s Indiegogo Campaign to see how you can help for as little as $10 and upwards for some great perks.

Limited Edition Silk Screen Tote by Studio Jay Wall – Get this Perk by Donating $50

 

 

 

Salvaged Wood Candle Holder by Ian Devenney – Get this Perk by Donating $75

 






From top to bottom, left to right. 1. Work by at TODO ’13 Launch Party. 2. Plate for Imm-Living Not Forkchops Show, Photo by Krystle Merrow
www.krystlemerrow.com @ Studio Huddle 3. Cob Holders by Lana Filippone for Imm Living’s Not Forkchops show 4. Bruno Billio’s install for Come Up to Room Event at The Gladstone 5. Zahra Ebrahim of archiTEXT at the TODO ’13 Launch Party 6. Michael Revil Madjus of Imm Living & Gelareh Saadatpajouh, R & D Director of TODO 7. Vivien Leung, Organizer for Pecha Kucha Toronto 8. Ashley Rumsey and Stanley Sun of Mason Studio at TODO ’13 Launch Party. Unless otherwise noted all images by Leah Snyder for Mixed Bag Mag.

Festival Talks: Zahra Ebrahim from Toronto Design Offsite Festival on Vimeo.

Festival Talks: Vivien Leung from Toronto Design Offsite Festival on Vimeo.

PECHA KUCHA TORONTO: Celebrating World Creativity & Innovation Week

Colourful Poster for Pecha Kucha Night at the Gladstone HotelAfterModern.Lab’s newest poster design for Toronto’s April 2013 Pecha Kucha Night.

Getting to the point (in 6 mins & 40 secs) about Creativity, Design & Inspiration.  

For anyone who has yet to discover the phenomenon that is Pecha Kucha if you are in Toronto next Tuesday why not head to the Gladstone Hotel to find out what it is all about!

Pecha Kucha – named after the colloquial Japanese phrase for chit chat – began around 10 years ago in Tokyo and has since rippled around the world offering tidbits of inspiration to global audiences. Based on a simple format each presenter has 20 slides and 20 seconds per slide to talk about their passion, their obsession, their raison d’être!

Woman smiling with beer in her handMirella Amato of Beerology™. Image from www.beerology.ca.

One such passionate Pecha Kucha talk that got my attention was Mirella Amato’s talk on her business Beerology™. A former opera singer, Mirella spoke on how she blended together her two great passions – Opera and Beer – with a great mashup event called HOPERA.

Mirella Amato speaking at Pecha Kucha September 2013 at the Gladstone Hotel

Mirella has recently become the first Master Cicerone in Canada – the beer equivalent of a Sommelier – and gives guided beer-tasting sessions and workshops.

“My goal with Beerology™ is not to make beer recommendations based on my taste, but rather to share the tools necessary for each participant to zero in on their own personal favourites. I aim to get people excited about beer and point them in the right direction so that they can confidently continue exploring on their own. I also like to provide the context for each beer, including historical tidbits as well as anecdotes on brands, breweries and styles.” (read more on www.beerology.ca

Mirella’s Pecha Kucha presentation changed the way I thought about beer and definitely piqued my interest as well as my appetite. Follow Mirella on twitter @beerologyboffin & Beerology’s Facebook Page.

Group of people sitting on a stage in front of screen that says Yay Beer Break
Some of the Pecha Kucha presenters from the September 2013 event at the Gladstone Hotel. Photo by Leah Snyder for Mixed Bag Mag.

As a designer I have also enjoyed listening to other kindred spirits speak regarding their own design process. This was the original reason that Pecha Kucha was created, to give designers a unique forum to exchange ideas. If one looks at how rapidly Pecha Kucha has caught on it suggests it was the perfect creative dose that designers needed.

April’s Pecha Kucha Night is in collaboration with World Creativity & Innovation Week. This initiative started on this end of the globe in Toronto with much of the same impetus as Pecha Kucha with the shared idea of bringing creative minds together.

“WCIW was started just over a decade ago by creativity professional Marci Segal in Toronto, who sought to answer the questions “How do we get everyone to realize they have the ability and can use creativity to shape a better future?”

Since then, around the world, many have celebrated WCIW in their own unique ways. In the Netherlands, “creativity walks” with civil servants promote out-of-the-box thinking in public policy-making. In Argentina, schools get creative with collaborative art projects, while an international creativity conference takes place in Italy. In England, a group of friends experiments with creative cooking and in Ontario, schoolchildren take part in creative science exploration activities.” (read more on www.wciw.org)

Logo for World Creativity and Innovation Week

Follow World Creativity & Innovation Week on twitter @WCIW and Facebook.

RSVP here to Tuesday, April 16’s Pecha Kucha.