Ontario Satellite Reef is part of the worldwide Crochet Coral Reef project by Christine and Margaret Wertheim and the Institute For Figuring.

A global art project that combines community activism, environmental awareness, math, science—and now fashion.

In collaboration with the Science Centre Ontario Satellite Reef, Fashion Art Toronto and designer Ali Haider collaborate to bring the coral reef into the realm of fashion, clothing, and fabric innovation. Inspired by the principles behind how corals are shaped, the way they move underwater and how they are forged, and using coral crochet by Christine Pigeon and community volunteers, designer Ali Haider creates an experimental sculptural collection of garments. The collection of garments will be filmed at the Ontario Science Centre as part of the Fashion Art Toronto Virtual Fashion Week.

Crochet has an amazing ability to model the mathematically unique forms of reefs while bringing crafting communities and science education together. That’s what inspired science writer Margaret Wertheim and artist Christine Wertheim, twin sisters from Australia, to create the Crochet Coral Reef project.

Since the sisters started the project in 2005, more than 10,000 people from around the world have come together to crochet 40-plus community-made satellite reefs. Meanwhile, the Wertheims’ Crochet Coral Reef travelling exhibition has delighted audiences from the Venice Biennale to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C.

The Ontario Science Centre is honoured to become the home of the Ontario Satellite Reef—building both a virtual reef as part of an online community and a physical art installation that will simulate a coral reef on the floor of the Centre. The Crochet Coral Reef travelling exhibition is scheduled to come to the Ontario Science Centre in late 2020.

Learn more about the project


About the Artists

Margaret Wertheim

Margaret Wertheim is an internationally recognized writer, artist and curator. Focusing on the interconnected relationships between science, art, culture, crafting and community activism, her honours include the Scientia Medal for Science Communication (Australia), and the American Association of Physics Teachers prestigious Klopsteg Award for “conveying the excitement of physics.” Ms. Wertheim is the author of six books, including a trilogy about the cultural history of physics, and has written for publications ranging from the New York Times to New Scientist. Before moving to the USA in 1991, she conceived, wrote and co-directed Catalyst, a six-part television science series aimed at teenage girls. With her sister Christine, Ms. Wertheim is the co-creator of the Crochet Coral Reef and co-director of the project’s host organization, the Institute For Figuring, in Los Angeles.

Christine Wertheim

Christine Wertheim is a poet, performer, artist, critic, curator and collaborator. She has a PhD in literature and semiotics and is a faculty member at the California Institute of the Arts in the Department of Critical Studies, where she teaches courses on art+feminism, pataphysics, nonsense and rubbish. She has authored and edited eight books including three poetic suites and three literary anthologies. She is a former director of the CalArts MFA Writing Program and has written for many magazines, including X-TRA and Jacket. With her sister Margaret, she is co-creator of the Crochet Coral Reef, and is co-director of the Institute For Figuring.


About the Designer

Ali Haider is an upcoming artist in the fashion world. An OCAD University graduate, Ali is a graphic turned fashion designer, presenting his sixth collection. It is common for those who know Ali to state that his sense of style manages to grab everyone’s attention. This comes as no surprise that what he creates and what he puts on every morning is a medium for communication and expression of his individuality. The combination of his individuality and expressive nature of fashion allows Ali to dazzle everyone around him. Ali has showcased his collection internationally at New York Fashion Week and Paris Fashion Week. Quickly gaining media attention, Ali’s designs have also been featured on the pages of VOGUE, L’OFFICIEL and many more. With his unique take, Ali has been involved in creating clothing pieces that reflect his fun and wild personality.



Cultural / Location Partners

Runway Partners

Film / Video Partners
David Cash


Hair Direction

Makeup Direction

Media Partners

Event Partners
David Cash