Toronto-based architecture firm, RAW Design is known for bringing together the city’s design and art communities to discuss overarching themes in urbanism and architecture. From hosting a human-powered rooftop party exploring the integral role that people play in transforming cities, to creating a 30,000 square foot canvas showcasing the intersection of art and architecture, the creative minds at RAW never disappoint.


Now in its ninth installment, last night’s “RAW Shift” focused on the fluid nature of built spaces and how they change over time through design. The event was held inside a former computer store on Queen Street East. It served as an appropriate venue by offering a playful nod to the theme of the shifting uses of built spaces.

“As a firm, we’ve worked on numerous adaptive reuse projects over the years,” said Roland Rom Colthoff, Founder of RAW Design. “Courtrooms become office spaces, factories become studios, churches become new homes. These conversions serve as a signpost for us. Our lens cannot only focus on the current function of a building but must also anticipate the potential for it to shift its purpose over time.”


Inside, the vacant space was transformed into an interactive architectural installation staged to evolve throughout the night. A tube forest consisting of different sized Sonos tubes served as multifunctional and movable resting tables or chairs, while a maze of opaque panels suspended on tracks provided an ever-shifting backdrop as guests walked through.

“We were happy to see the crowd use RAW Shift elements as they pleased, customizing their experience and space as friends and colleagues came and went,” said Marnie Mosher, Architect at RAW Design. “We wanted to encourage their input to create larger and then more intimate spaces, reconfigure seating and change ambient lighting.”


Guests were wowed by Sublime Catering’s head chef Michael Tong, who served up cuisine that shifted into entirely new culinary experiences highlighting beef, beet and mung bean as elemental ingredients. Desserts were just as impressive with unexpected flavours and pairings by Death in Venice Gelato Co. which included mustard, boozy pear and walnut.

In case you missed the event, check out more photos below!






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