Toying With Utopia


Jan 17 – Feb 12 2020

A Window Installation by Raymond Girard at 313 Design Market

Architects have toyed with building the perfect city “from scratch” for centuries. Brasilia, New Delhi, Chandigarh – and many others – were designed with optimism and built on the belief that architecture could reshape humanity from the ground up.

Yet most of these cities have failed to deliver on that promise. Why?

With his new sculpture in the window at 313 Design Market, ‘Toying With Utopia’, sculptor Raymond Girard cheekily suggests that what these cities lack is a sense of play. His alternative model for the model city of the future is a fanciful, colourful and even mobile framework for creativity, personal growth and the true evolution of community.

‘Toying With Utopia’ is a site-specific arrangement of 50,000+ LegoTM bricks into a Habitat67-like fantasy city with 1000 terraced pavilions, an illuminated mega-tower and kinetic buildings on rails literally moving through the landscape. It is an optimistic assembly of shapes and forms that speaks to the inherent creativity and ever-evolving nature of cities, skylines and the communities they enable.

‘Toying With Utopia’ literally plays on Charles and Ray Eames’ truism that “toys are the prelude to serious ideas”. The structures are visible from passing streetcars and across Roncesvalles, reinforcing 313 Design Market’s goal of becoming the community hub and gathering spot for design lovers, young and old.

'Toying With Utopia' is part of the 2020 DesignTO Festival which runs from Jan 17 - 26, 2020.  Check out the DesignTO website to find out about festival events, installations and more:



Meet the Maker

Come by 313 Design Market on Saturday, January 25th, 2020 from 1-5pm to meet the artist behind 'Toying With Utopia', Raymond Girard. We also have a collection of Raymond's art on display in our temporary festival gallery space.