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2022 ROM, Canadian Modern Exhibition
Call for Designers



Congratulations to the eight emerging designers from OCAD U who will be featured in the new Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) exhibition, Canadian Modern! 

Anthia Barboutsis is an art jeweller from Toronto. Her work is rooted in traditional craft and draws inspiration from her Greek and Indian heritage. Barboutsis blends ideas from disciplines including history, philosophy, and contemporary art and design.

Instagram: @jewellerybyanthia

From textiles to product design,Elfy Castro integrates traditional and modern techniques with sustainablemedia. Their work immerses viewers in diverse worlds where past and future findcommon ground through identity and story.  


Khalalelo Sithole is a passionate fashion and textiledesigner. She is influenced by modern trends and sociocultural themes. Her workfeatures dynamic color compositions, symbolic patterns, and storytelling.

Instagram: @khalalelodesign

Rachel Leungexplores the function andsymbolism of colour in her work. Sheuses hidden motifs in thedetails of her designs to draw viewers in and spark their curiosity.

Instagram: @rachel.leungg

Stephanie Singh is a Toronto-basedinterdisciplinary textile designer. Her work explores memory, preservation,love, care, loss, healing, and plant consciousness. Singh focuses on materialsconnected to her Caribbean culture, storytelling, and botanicals. 

Instagram: @stephanieangela_

Dan Cui is a Chinese-Canadian artist and designer working in furniture, conceptual art, and sculpture. His current focus is sustainability as he explores the relationship between design and the environment.

Instagram: @dancuidesign

Harcharan Jagdev is a multi-disciplinary designer who builds living spaces and creates audiovisual and interactive experiences. The core foundation of his work is idealization.

Instagram: @herchran

Pei Hsuan (Peter) Huang is a Taiwan-born industrial designer based in Toronto. Currently he is investigating the impact of digital and physical design on the human experience to further understand the world we live in.

Instagram: @peterhuangggg


OCAD University’s RBC Centre for Emerging Artists & Designers (CEAD) and ROM (Royal Ontario Museum) have partnered to co-create the Canadian Modern exhibition Career Launcher. The opportunity will select six (6) emerging designers, representing different practices, and a diverse range of voices and approaches for ROM’s fall 2022 exhibition, Canadian Modern.

Canadian Modern explores the legacy of Canadian creativity and ingenuity and its impact on our everyday lives. Through over 100 objects designed and crafted in Canada from the mid-twentieth century to the present, this ROM original exhibition reveals that design is everywhere—whether we know it or not. Delving into the inspiration behind Canada’s innovative contributions to modern design and craft, Canadian Modern features work from more than 70 designers and 40 manufacturers, celebrating makers from across the decades.  A detailed exhibition summary can be found here.

The CEAD and ROM are inviting emerging designers to submit existing works of furniture, jewelry, fashion, glassware, ceramics, textiles, industrial design, product design, and graphic design for an opportunity to be displayed in the exhibition. Designers are asked to respond to the prompt “My work responds to Canadian Modern because / by / to....”. 

In order to uplift the voices, experiences and ideas of individuals and communities who have not historically been recognized at the forefront of the design industry, this opportunity will prioritize designers who self-identify as belonging to equity-seeking communities including racialized and Indigenous persons, persons with disabilities, and persons of all sexual orientations and gender identities/expressions. Submissions will be reviewed by a committee consisting of representatives from OCAD U’s Faculty of Design and ROM's curatorial team. 


  • Contact info (Name, phone, and email)
  • Current creative CV
  • Website and/or social media handle
  • Artist statement/bio (70 words max)
  • A written response to the prompt “My work responds to Canadian Modern because/by/to...” (100 words max). Selected designers will be able to revisit their statement before the final exhibition.
  • 5 - 10 images of one to two works to be considered, and a corresponding image list including: artist(s) name, title, year, medium, and dimensions.
  • Works must be smaller than 18” x 18”x 18” in order to fit within ROM’s display cases. Digital work must include dimensions and details of how work will be printed (eg: presentation board). Models (such as prototypes, 3D printed models) are welcomed.


The OCAD U RBC CEAD is committed to promoting substantive equality for equity-seeking groups that are under-represented in the creative sector. We encourage applications from first-time applicants to the program and graduates of equity-seeking communities including racialized and Indigenous persons, persons with disabilities, and persons of all sexual orientations and gender identities / expressions. Applicants are welcome to advise the CEAD of any accommodations needed to ensure you have access to a fair and equitable process. 

Applicants who need assistance with their submissions are invited to connect with the RBC CEAD for Advising supportClick here to learn more about how to book an advising appointment.


Applicants who have concerns about meeting a Career Launcher application deadline are invited to connect with the CEAD in order to discuss possible alternatives. We encourage all who might require assistance with the application process to reach out to determine available support. Outreach of this nature should be undertaken at least one week prior to the published application deadline.


Royal Ontario Museum

100 Queens Park
Toronto, ON
M5S 2C6


  • Current OCAD U students and recent graduates (2020, 2021, 2022) from any program.
  • Priority will be given to applicants who have not previously received a Career Launcher opportunity.


Friday, September 30, 2022
at 8:00 AM ET


Each artist will be paid an exhibition fee according to CARFAC standards, in addition to a fee for writing their final creative prompt and materials list.


Each of the selected six (6) emerging artists/designers will:

  • Respond to the creative prompt “My work responds to Canadian Modern because/by/to...” via a written statement to be shown alongside their work
  • Work closely with ROM and the CEAD to ensure their work is delivered in person to the Museum by the first week of November, 2022 (exact dateTBD). Selected artists will be responsible for transporting their works to and from ROM. Works cannot be shipped to or from the Museum.
  • Provide a detailed materials list of the selected work, including any adhesives and glues used
  • Provide a headshot photograph


Apply via Typeform here

Image Credit: Steamer Chair, 1978, Thomas Lamb (1938-1997), designer, DuBarry, manufacturer. Steam bent maple plywood. Image ©ROM 

Canadian Modern is organized and produced by ROM (Royal Ontario Museum), Toronto, Canada.

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