RetroWorks Night On the Town with the Design Exchange

Last month, RetroWorks took in the Fourth Annual Design Exchange Design Auction.

The night is a celebration of design and is a fundraiser for design education programs for underserved communities. The event was expertly championed, organized, curated and executed by the team at the Design Exchange and hosted by a committee of design virtuosos including Isabella Romano, Erika Floysvik and Shai Deluca-Tamasi!

We had the chance to hear from three kids who have benefited from these programs in the past and we were absolutely struck by how impressive they were and how much their composure and contributions were well beyond their years!  

The vast range of remarkable designs curated for the auction delighted the senses and inspired our awe. If only we had the budget to take it all home. 

There was so much going on that we only had a chance to take a few pictures.  But here are some photos of the evening and a small selection of the many designs that struck us.  All photos are our own.


The event was held at the iconic old Toronto Stock Exchange building. Known for its Art-Deco design throughout, featured above are the famous industry murals by Charles Comfort.



 A small corner of the exquisite "The Transits of Twilight", 48"x60"--Oil on Canvas

Donor and Artist: Daniel Brambilla  

This was one of our favourite items from the silent auction.  Apologies to the artist for our clumsy photo which simply doesn't do this painting justice.  The reason for the photo fail was that we were trying to take a picture of the painting and the artist's name when the artist popped in from behind us and engaged us in a lively conversation.  Daniel Brambilla was one of the most fascinating people we met that evening.  You should check out his website for more information about him yourself, but take it from us, his interests and accomplishments are vast and impressive.  He is a highly talented artist and so very much more.  We love meeting designers that draw their inspiration from very full lives and experiences and Daniel Brambilla is no exception to this!

Basket Chair and Pouf

Donor / Urban Mode

Designer & Manufacturer / SoftLine

This set really jumped out at us.  The rich colour, modern design and comfy effect literally lured us in from across a huge room. You can check out the websites above for more product information.  After seeing these for ourselves, we'll definitely be checking out Urban Mode when we next need to find some seating with high function and high impact!


The Flora Evening Dress

Donor / Designer & Manufacturer / Narces

This dress was a show stopper.  Or at least a Liz-stopper.  This gold-coated lace and black mesh gown with its sheer skirt had Liz walking circles all night back to it, pulled in as if by a tractor beam.  Stay tuned to see if Liz finds a way to wear this magnificent gown at next year's event!


Pom Pom House Twin Bed, including mattress, cover, sheets, rug, cushions, stool, drop lamp and blackboard.  

Donor, Designer and Manufacturer: Kids at Home

We were very impressed with this inventive space for kids designed by the team at Kids at Home.  We may be biased, but we also particularly liked the nod to industrial-style design while at the same time evoking a very inviting and comfortable space for children.   


Hand-painted Brenda Swing Shirt

Donor, Designer and Manufacturer: Lennard Taylor Design Studio

This designer/artist caught our attention because it was interactive!  The creative process in action!  Who doesn't love that?  Lennard is very talented, his designs are sophisticated, stylish and suited for all.  Liz already has her eye on one of his collar wrap jackets for the fall!  


Smoke chairs 

Donor / Christopher J. Wein

Designer / Maarten Bass   

Manufacturer / Moooi 

These chairs were one of the feature items of the live auction and they were absolutely spectacular!  Originally designed for Baa’s 2002 project at Design Academy Eindhoven, these chairs feature burnt wood frames finished with epoxy resin and upholstered in leather.  These chairs were SEXY!  Electric, hot, and pure rock and roll.  Full and unapologetic fandom applause for this incredibly inventive design.  We like and we want.  One day when the budget allows! 

6063 Stool,  Made from pure aluminium alloy
Donor & Designer:  MSDS Studio 
Manufacturer:  Good Thing


Press Mirror
Donor & Manufacturer:  Umbra
Press Mirror Designer:  Philippe Malouin


Stainless Steel Bowl
Donor: Alessi
Designer: Francesca Amfitheatrof


50 cm Wall Mirror
Donor:  Average
Manufacturer: Moebe


Manhattan Hotel Industrial Bar Cart
Donor and Manufacturer: RetroWorks
Designer: Jamie Filman


Yes, that is RetroWorks' Bar Cart featured in the silent auction at the event as well. We donated our serving cart to benefit the event and it was surrounded and graced by creations from all of the masterful designers we've listed above. We were truly very proud and honoured to be in such company.  It was a sensational event that supported a fantastic cause.  If you are a fan of design, we truly recommend you take in the Design Exchange Design Auction any year you get the chance.  With pieces from Chanel to local artisans, you never know what kind of wonders you'll encounter.   


The RetroWorks crew, Liz & Jamie, at the event, excited to do it all up again next year!  We hope we'll see you there!


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