Client: Luminato Festival

Scale:  XL

Budget: Withheld

Type: Civic

Location: Toronto, Canada


PARTISANS designed a virtual gallery for Trove: A View of Toronto in 50 of its Treasures, a visual arts exhibition by Scott McFarland and curated by Luminato Festival Artistic Director Jorn Weisbrodt for Luminato 2016. Trove is a photographic collection of iconic objects and artworks from both private and public collections across Toronto. Featuring 50 photographs of 50 unique pieces, Trove makes the latter readily accessible to the public for the first time. 
The shipping containers PARTISANS used to build out the space within the Hearn Generating Station for Luminato 2016 are the phenotypic antecedents to the pods the team designed to house Trove, the world’s largest virtual art gallery. A repository of special local art pieces, ideas, and objects, Trove is where you travel back to the future. It is comprised of apertures—openings in the time-­space continuum that act like a recursive series of lenses to offer simulated glimpses of actual treasures. Trove is like looking in a rear view mirror, only the reflection reveals objects rarely before seen and stories yet untold. It is also an architectural metaphor for the city PARTISANS wants to bring into sharper focus.

With the help of Norm Li, PARTISANS has developed an augmented reality app called “TheHearnAR” that Luminato guests can use to visualize the Trove design inside the Hearn. This app gives the public a small taste of the future of architecture—the marriage of virtual and actual worlds to experience an as­-of-­yet universe. 
In the spirit of Cedric Price’s Fun Palace scheme, PARTISANS was inspired by the prospect of making the Hearn accessible to the public and offering architectural, cultural, and digital interventions that draw people together to imagine the future of Toronto.