With more than 200 exhibitors, a slew of high-wattage guests and installations, and more cutting-edge furnishings, home objects, and prototypes than we can count, IDS Vancouver—taking place until Sunday (September 23) at the Vancouver Convention Centre’s West building and various Vancouver venues—is the place to get up to speed on the West Coast’s ever-evolving design landscape.
In addition to the Mix, which will see two local designers team up with a pair of L.A. makers to present a number of exhibitions and talks (see story on page 12), here are six can’t-miss features at this year’s edition of the largest design show this side of the 49th parallel.
Get to know some of the design world’s most ingenious figures at the Caesarstone Stage, which will play host to nine industry leaders discussing everything from trends and creative processes to the challenges and opportunities facing women in the male-dominated field of architecture. A series of trade talks will welcome names like Michael Ford, a Detroit-born designer who is renowned for his research illuminating the links between hip-hop and urban architecture, while interior designers Brian Gluckstein and Aly Velji will also make appearances. Canadian-raised design legend Karim Rashid, who has produced goods for brands like Alessi, Umbra, and Christofle, wraps up the schedule with a conversation presented by BoConcept.
The all-purpose kitchen island gets a futuristic makeover in this collaboration between New York City–based firm Snarkitecture and quartz-surface manufacturer Caesarstone. Cut in the shape of an enormous disc—with a shallow, receding centre that acts as a drain—the structure celebrates the kitchen island as a social and gathering space, while exploring H2O in its various states, both at home and in nature. Two spherical blocks of ice reference water’s presence in glaciers, for example, while two free-flowing taps emit the element in its liquid form.
Canadian by Nature
IDS Vancouver is greeting guests with an entrance exhibition that celebrates the Great White North in all its imaginative, multifaceted glory. Assembled with visual direction by Glasfurd & Walker—the local practice responsible for the branding of restaurants like Botanist and St. Lawrence—the showcase spotlights Canadian-designed and -built objects that, together, paint a promising picture of our nation’s contemporary-design scene. Expect pieces like a living plant-and-light installation by Toronto’s Luvere Studio and sustainable recycled-paper tables from the Montreal-based Dear Humans, plus projects from esteemed Vancouver names such as Benson, molo, Lukas Peet, and Bocci.
You can always count on IDS Vancouver’s on-site bar to serve up a sight worth photographing—and this year’s edition is no exception. Designed by local architecture firm Leckie Studio with assistance from machining facility Origins CNC, the installation comprises a whopping 392 sheets of regionally sourced plywood that have been interlocked to form a walled fortress that draws curious visitors in, while creating a cozy, intimate space for those enjoying a tipple inside. The linear, pared-down design casts shapes and shadows across the furnishings and floor that should make great fodder for the ’gram, too.
What the Hel
More than 20 Finnish designers are featured in this cheekily titled trend exhibition—Hel being short for Helsinki. It explores the impact of digitization on local and global design through quirky and innovative works from some of the Nordic country’s brightest talents. Curated by Finnish trend analyst Susanna Björklund, the installation will feature goods such as delicate, cagelike sideboards by master cabinetmaker Antrei Hartikainen; hemp textiles by Saana ja Olli; and pretty, candy-hued pendant lights by designer Hanna Anonen—each exuding that distinct northern quality that the world has grown to love.
Part cash-and-carry marketplace and part gift shop, the District stocks new and beloved design objects for the kitchen, home office, closet, and beyond from nearly 20 homegrown designers and labels. Look for East Van Light’s vintage-industrial lamps, Konzuk’s and Grey by Becki Chan’s architecturally inspired jewellery, and Urbanwalls’ removable wall decals in chic abstract and botanical-print patterns. New vendors, meanwhile, include French-linen line Flax Sleep and sustainable eyewear label Seymour + Smith.