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A True Nordic experience

November 7th, 2016  |  Tejashri Kapure


q30 was privileged to design the display graphics for an exhibit at the Gardiner Museum in Toronto. True Nordic explores more than seven decades of Scandinavian aesthetic influence on Canadian design. The exhibit examines how modern Scandinavian design was introduced to Canada and how its visual principles and material forms were adopted and adapted by Canadian artisans and designers. True Nordic presents a comprehensive survey of Canadian furniture, ceramics, textiles, metalwork, and glassware.

q30 worked in tandem with exhibit designer Andrew Jones. The exhibition is organized around a large U-shaped plinth, which floats in the centre of the gallery. The plinth provides one continuous display surface for furniture, and directs visitors in a clockwise, chronological path through the gallery. As visitors move through the show, they encounter three sections of the exhibition. Each of these is illuminated with a variety of didactic displays and artifacts – from jewellery, to furniture, to large-scaled textiles. The exhibition journey leads to a large inner alcove, which houses the final, contemporary design section. Spaces between the serpentine walls allow older and contemporary works to be seen together, reinforcing the exhibitions stylistic themes and their connections across time.

Through the use of forest imagery in both still photography and video, q30 was able to evoke the common landscapes of Scandanavia and Canada. The exhibit is rich in information and the goal is to help the viewer prioritize the didactic text through font size and style. The graphics complement the exhibit, allowing the physical forms of the artifacts to be the true jewels of the show.

True Nordic
How Scandinavia Influenced Design in Canada
October 13, 2016–January 8, 2017
Produced by the Gardiner Museum
Curated by Rachel Gotlieb and Michael Prokopow
Exhibition design by Andrew Jones Design
Exhibition graphics by q30 design


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