A shape-shifting computer store

Raw Design has done it again. The firm took over a vacant space and blanketed it in art, but this time the installation moved.


We’ve heard of flash mobs. But flash architecture installations? Now that’s a first.

For one night only, Raw Design gutted a vacant computer store on Queen St. in Toronto and injected life back into it a series of modular cardboard installations for its regularly-hosted event Raw Shift. The idea? To create a “thematic exploration of the fluid nature of built spaces and how a building’s use evolves over time.” And how did they do this? By having the space evolve and change during the course of the night, right in front of people’s eyes, that’s how.

According to the design firm, the “origami-inspired backdrop… shifted to support the ever-altering aesthetic, sound, lighting, food and mixology. Nothing was static.”

“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.”

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