How Bright is Our Future? - CODAworx

How Bright is Our Future?

Submitted by Design Workshop Architects

Client: Toronto Interior Design Show

Location: Toronto, ON, Canada

Completion date: 2018

Project Team

Industry Resource

Interior Design Show


Industry Resource

Terry Olynyk

PCL Agile

Industry Resource

Max Von Barnholt

VBK Lighting Design Consultants

Industry Resource

Brody Weld

Littlle Vision/Aercoustics


Michael Donaldson

Design Workshop Architects (DWA)


How Bright is Our Future? was a feature installation for the 2018 Toronto Interior Design Show; one of four feature installations to support the future-forward theme of their 20th anniversary show.

The design of the 1,000sqft space was deliberately otherworldly yet familiar; it is a hybrid of the past, present and future. Made from fundamental materials: wood, cloth, rope, steel and paper; it is natural and technological, static but connected.


Visitors entered a dark space and encountered five blade-shaped structures. Printed on each of these ‘blades’ are ten statements, each from a category of technology that will be critical in the future of our society. The statements are different on each blade but the categories are the same: Nanotechnology, Genetic Engineering, Artificial Intelligence, Augmented Reality, Connectivity, Drones, Automation, Mass Customization etc. Visitors were invited to react with a touch to the triangular buttons: Does the statement inspire fear or does it inspire hope?
A large screen behind the blades reacted to each choice; a response of fear projected a potentially negative outcome of the statement; a response of hope projected a potentially positive outcome of the statement.
The projected response existed for only a fraction of a second – as soon as someone else made a choice – but the light level of the blade brightened or dimmed depending on the individual contributor. In addition, the collective mood of participants was measure throughout the four-day installation on a spectrum of hope to fear – how bright is our future, or how bright do we think it is?


How Bright is Our Future? was conceived by Michael Donaldson, Principal Architect of Design Workshop Architects (DWA), and the project was designed, fabricated and constructed by his dedicated team of Architects. With the generous support of IDS and Informa, as well as PCL Agile, Entuitive Engineers, VBK Lighting Design Consultants, Aerocustics, The Japanese Paper Place, Enrich-it Woodworking, Milliken, the King East Design District and Reprodux.

Toronto based Design Workshop Architects is a full-service architectural and interiors consulting firm in all sectors, including commercial, residential and civic projects of all scales.

Additional Information

The goal of the exhibit was to remind people that technology is as good or bad as we decide or allow it to be, and that the real tools for change are the questions that we ask ourselves.