The Interior Design Show (IDS) is back. On January 19-22, the premier annual showcase for the best in Canadian and international design returns to the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. Alongside over 140 exhibitors — showcasing the latest in textiles, furniture, floorings and finishes, as well as art and architecture — the 2023 show includes an expansive four-day program of installations, exhibitions, seminars and talks, organized around the theme of Moving Parts: Design for a Complex World.
As part of IDS 2023, AZURE’s editors are participating in five of this year’s talks, tackling topics ranging ranging from the Canadian lighting industry to the joy of architectural collaboration and the pursuit of equity in the design disciplines. Below, we round up the talks taking place Friday, January 20 as part of AZURE Trade Day.
Natural Material Studio
Bonnie Hvillum wants to reimagine our relationship to and perception of materials. Her Copenhagen-based design, research and consultancy practice, called Natural Material Studio, collaborates with scientists, experts and craftspeople around the world to create bespoke objects and installations and supply designers and brands with natural materials. Its work explores material limitations and opportunities and embraces the principles of renewable circular design. On Friday, January 20 at 12:30 pm, AZURE Editor-in-Chief Elizabeth Pagliacolo will sit down with Hvillum to explore her material-led, interdisciplinary design approach, which is rooted in embracing the properties and qualities of often discarded and under-utilized natural resources.
From the Ground Up: Designing the new Art Gallery of Nova Scotia
The upcoming Art Gallery of Nova Scotia is poised to be a landmark cultural institution — and an architectural icon — for Halifax. The design, which celebrates Mi’kmaq culture, is a collaboration between Toronto firm KPMB, local architect Omar Gandhi and Newfoundland-based Jordan Bennett Studio. On Friday at 4:30 pm, Gandhi, Bennett and KPMB founding partner Shirley Blumberg will take the stage to discuss the collaborative ethos that led to their competition-winning design. Moderated by AZURE Editor-in-Chief Elizabeth Pagliacolo, the talk will investigate how the three designers’ unified approach was informed by their shared values and diverse perspectives.
For Ian Rolston, design offers an opportunity to imagine — and then shape — the world as it should be. For the Decanthropy founder, humanist, equity analyst, leader, speaker and (not least of all) interior designer, “Dismantling Design is not a political statement. It is a moment to consider the interior design industry reaching our fullest potential.” A past president of Interior Designers of Canada (IDC), Rolston also draws on extensive experience as a designer and equity consultant across North America. On Friday at 2:30 pm, Rolston will join AZURE Senior Editor Stefan Novakovic in an unapologetic conversation focusing on the design industry’s responsibility to more create equitable shared spaces for our diverse future.
Spotlight: Next-Gen Canadian Lighting
Canada is becoming a major international hub of lighting design. Need proof? Look no further than the likes of Anony’s Christian Lo, Yabu Pushelberg’s Bahar Ghaemi and Matthew McCormick, founder of the eponymous Vancouver-based studio. This trio of acclaimed lighting designers will join AZURE Senior Editor Eric Mutrie to discuss the creative process and the challenges of designing for custom projects — ranging from restaurant interiors to retail and hospitality spaces. Taking place on Friday at 3:30 pm, the hour-long panel will also tackle the practical side of operating a business, from selecting the right manufacturing partner to harnessing new technology to its full potential.
Best Face Forward
Can designers hit it big on TikTok? Why don’t editors respond to emails? How does photography make or break the way a space is perceived? What about the Metaverse? In an ever-evolving media landscape, the relationship between designers and the public is always being renegotiated. To help designers navigate the waters, four experts from diverse disciplines will each share their insights — and maybe a few trade secrets. Taking place on Friday at 3:30 pm, Best Face Forward brings together Amanda Large of Doublespace Photography, AZURE Senior Editor Stefan Novakovic and TikTok design maven Karen Kang, along with professional Metavarse explorer — and Art Collision founder — Candice Houtekier.