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One of the most influential designers of our time, Karim Rashid unveils retrospective at the Ottawa Art Gallery

October 3, 2018

Press Room

Ottawa – ON – October 3rd 2018 – The Ottawa Art Gallery (OAG) is excited to present Karim Rashid: Cultural Shaping (October 11, 2018 – February 10, 2019), the first large-scale presentation of the iconic designer’s work in Canada to date. The exhibition will feature industrial designs that showcase Rashid’s constantly evolving visual language.

Showcasing unique objects and original artwork, the exhibition includes over 200 award-winning designs by the Carleton University-trained designer.

The exhibition focuses on his design of utilitarian yet beautiful objects. Iconic products are highlighted, including the Garbino waste can and the Oh-chair both produced for Umbra Canada, as well as modular and reconfigurable furniture for BoConcept: the Ottawa Collection. Karim Rashid has designed for Umbra, Sony Ericsson, Hugo Boss, Pepsi, and Eos, among others.

“The new OAG is committed to exploring the wider spectrum of contemporary artistic practices, including breakthroughs in design. Conceived by internationally renowned and locally trained designer Karim Rashid, this exhibition focuses upon the emergence of design as a powerful creative force that has changed our world. — Alexandra Badzak, Director and Chief Executive Officer, Ottawa Art Gallery

“Ottawa holds a huge part of my heart. From ‘78-‘82 I completed my undergraduate studies at Carleton University and here I am – 36 years later having a retrospective at the new beautiful OAG.

It’s going to be amazing to return after having maintained a design practice in New York for 25 years. The memories of my time will never dissipate. I often recall my time at university and how the education I received there equipped me with the skills to venture out into the world and excel in the profession of design.

After all these years design has finally become a public subject, so it is timely that OAG has decided to curate an exhibition where design can blur the distinction between art and everyday life. I’ve been away from Ottawa for 36 years. I have traveled the globe; I practiced in Milan, Toronto, and now, NYC. These experiences are all now culminating in a beautiful retrospective, composed of projects curated from my own practice of 25 years, at the Ottawa Art Gallery. It’s a homecoming for me. A beautiful reminder of where it all started.” — Karim Rashid


The exhibition will be celebrated with an Opening Party on Wednesday October 10th from 6 pm to 10 pm at the Ottawa Art Gallery. The event is free and all are welcome to attend.

The designer will deliver a keynote lecture, Analogue Versus Digital, about the future of design, on Thursday October 11th from 7 pm to 9 pm in OAG’s Alma Duncan Salon. This event is ticketed and seating is limited.

Media Preview – Please RSVP with Véronique Couillard:

WHEN: Wednesday October 10th

WHAT: 4pm-4:30pm
Cultural Shaping Media Preview tour, with Karim Rashid

Karim Rashid takes Media Questions

Where: Ottawa Art Gallery, 10 Daly Avenue

Media is also invited to attend Karim Rashid’s lecture on Thursday October 11th, from 7 pm to 9 pm, in OAG’s Alma Duncan Salon – Please RSVP with Véronique Couillard ( for your seat.

About Karim Rashid
Visionary and prolific, Karim Rashid is one of the most unique voices in design today. With more than 4000 designs in production, nearly 300 awards to his name, and client work in over 40 countries, Karim’s ability to transcend typology continues to make him a force among designers of his generation.

Press Kit


For media enquiries, or attend the media preview and or lecture:
Véronique Couillard
Ottawa Art Gallery
613-233-8699, x244

About the Ottawa Art Gallery (OAG)
OAG is Ottawa’s municipal art gallery and cultural hub. Located in Ottawa’s downtown core, the expanded Gallery is a contemporary luminous cube designed by KPMB Architects and Régis Côté et associés.


OAG is Open from 10 AM to 6 PM Tuesday, Wednesday and Sunday | from 10 AM to 9 PM on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Admission is always FREE. | Register for March Break and PA Day Art Camps!