TYPOLOGY, a not-for-profit project space devoted to curatorial and artistic collaboration and experimentation, was founded by independent curator and designer Shani K Parsons in 2011, soon after moving to Toronto from New York. With degrees in architecture (Temple U, Philadelphia) and design (RISD, Providence) Parsons has pursued a multidisciplinary practice through independent and institutional work in both large and small commercial and noncommercial museum and gallery contexts such as MoMA, American Museum of Natural History, Museum of Chinese in America, and Mixed Greens, a contemporary art gallery in Chelsea.

In Toronto, she became interested in creating a hybrid model for exhibition-making, one which combines aspects of the many galleries and museums she has worked for or admired. Having played multiple roles within the exhibition-making process—as artist, architect, designer, writer, and curator—she wished to bring together these  skills and experiences to establish an open platform for curators and artists to mount fully realized exhibitions within a critical framework.

From modest beginnings TYPOLOGY has striven to achieve programming excellence and a welcoming space for as many publics as possible. Since opening at Artscape Youngplace in late 2013, it has  provided exhibition and publication opportunities for nearly thirty curators and artists through production of exhibitions and events that have drawn over 6500 visitors, with positive critical attention from Canadian Art, NOW Magazine, and Independent Curators International, New York, among others. Building on this foundation and reputation, TYPOLOGY is poised to respond to the need, voiced to us by local and national curators we’ve worked with, surveyed and spoken to over the past three years, for a truly vital curatorial community—one that provides information, advocacy, opportunities, and resources for practitioners at all stages in their professional development.

Through our relaunch as Critical Distance Centre for Curators (CDCC), we will continue to share ideas and information, explore possibilities, establish key priorities, and develop new programs through an open, inclusive, and collaborative process. Anyone who is interested in participating, building, joining, and supporting a truly dedicated space and centre for the advancement of curatorial practice and inquiry in Toronto, Canada, and beyond is invited to get in touch and get involved.


TYPOLOGY Mission/Vision/Impact
See where we’re coming from

Past Program: TYPOLOGY Exhibitions/Events 2013–2016
A list of all the exhibitions, events, and special programs we produced, along with all the artists, curators, and organizational partners we worked with from November 2013–August 2016

TYPOLOGY on social media 2011–2016
FacebookTumblrPinterest (Twitter and Instagram pages have been transitioned to Critical Distance)

Some background on our motivations for launching a hybrid space in Toronto

TYPOLOGY on typologica: A history of the space in blog form
Project space updates from our time as TYPOLOGY, beginning with our launch post on November 1, 2011

typologica Archive
A handy list of all the posts ever written for the TYPOLOGY blog