Exhibitions | DesignTO | Soft Shield: Allegorical Spaces by Svima

Jan 15th - Feb 6th 2022

OUTDOOR VIEWING: starts on Saturday, Jan 15th 2022, at 5:30pm
starts on Thursday, Jan 20th, at 5:30pm until Feb 6th 2022 (EXTENDED BY POPULAR DEMAND!)

Soft Shield: Allegorical Spaces

An exhibition by SVIMA: Anamarija Korolj and Leon Lai

As part of the DesignTO Festival: https://designto.org/event/soft-shield/

Like cells encased in their membranes, communicating mysteriously with one another and the body as a whole, humans are beginning to interface with our spaces more intimately. Our spaces are becoming responsive to us, and in many ways, are beginning to know us. In Soft Shield, Svima explores the responsive, pliable, flexible, biophilic, and biomorphic. Large-scale digital visualizations, a sculptural installation, and hand drawings examine how spaces relate to wellbeing, physical and mental health, storytelling, and the natural environment. Conceived as a series of allusive narratives where each space tells a story, the works investigate notions of self and perception, using vivid environments as allegories for various facets of contemporary existence.



Svima (svee · ma) is an architecture and art studio that creates transformational and futuristic spaces and artworks.

Anamarija Korolj strives to create evocative and expressive forms, working in the fields of architecture, industrial design, furniture, and art. She believes in high-quality housing for everyone. She designed a work-live housing proposal that was chosen to exhibit with Team Canada at the 2014 Venice Biennale in Architecture (curated by Rem Koolhaas) as part of Arctic Adaptations with Lateral Office.

Recurring aesthetic motifs in Anamarija’s work include expressive forms, curvature, digital expression, critique of technology, ethereal colours, surrealism, and the sublime. Anamarija teaches at the University of Toronto and Ryerson University, and holds a Master of Architecture (M.Arch) with honours.

Leon Lai’s work questions the notions of the self and the city, and their impact on the natural environment. He has an interest in industrial forms and urban infrastructural systems. Driven by a belief that art and design are important platforms for social engagement and the improvement of collective well-being, Leon strives to create precise and enduring designs.

Leon has taught at the University of Waterloo and the University of Toronto. He is a registered architect and manages the Design Review Panel at Waterfront Toronto. As the recipient of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada Graduate Medal, Leon earned his Master of Architecture at the University of Toronto.

Anamarija and Leon founded SVIMA (svee · ma) in 2015, an award-winning architecture and art studio that creates transformational spaces and artworks. Svima’s approach draws strongly from nature and technology in the pursuit of a liminal sublime.

About DesignTO

DesignTO is a non-profit arts organization that produces Canada’s largest annual celebration of design.