Featuring over 250 exhibitors and a star-studded list of speakers, IDS Vancouver, taking place from now until Sunday (September 25) at the Vancouver Convention Centre’s west building (999 Canada Place), can be an overwhelming experience. With a little planning, however, you’ll be able to make the most of the largest design event on the West Coast and all the local and international talent it has to offer.
We’ve already nailed down three must-see features at this year’s fete. Now, here are 13 noteworthy design objects to scope as you make your way through the labyrinth of a show, as spotted by the keen eyes at the Straight during the event’s opening-night party.
Ceramics by Lindsey Hampton
One of our top picks for this year’s show, Clay & Glaze may just be IDS Vancouver’s dreamiest installation yet. The exhibit features pieces by 14 regional and international ceramists, each of whom push the boundaries of contemporary pottery. Check out Vancouver ceramist Lindsey Hampton’s offerings: we’re digging the designer’s Pantone-approved and funky, ring-encircled table lamps, as well as her speckled vases adorned with vibrant, geometric shapes.
Find Lindsey Hampton at Clay & Glaze, booth 1239.
Belmont chair by Revolution Design House
Outdoor furniture gets a cool makeover in this lounge chair by Portland’s Revolution Design House. The teak body and powder-coated steel frame is completely weather-proof, and the chic vinyl padding is made to take a beating—or pouring—too. If you’re after a true Pacific Northwest look, you can remove the cover to expose the Belmont’s wood slats without compromising comfort, thanks to the seat’s smooth, ergonomic design.
Find Revolution Design House at booth 313.
Axios series by Willow & Stump
A fixture at the Eastside Culture Crawl, local woodworking firm Willow & Stump is wowing us with its relatively new Axios series: a collection of modular home items designed for small spaces. We love the geometric nesting trays—think a West Coast interpretation of the classic design by Hay—and patterned stool-slash-side-tables, though it’s hard not to be drawn to the hexagonal wall sconces. Crafted from ash and Corian, the wall-mounted lights glow beautifully from the booth’s cloudy pink wall.
Find Willow & Stump at booth 347.
Edge dominos by Fire Road
The age-old domino gets an elevated update in this aluminum iteration by San Francisco–based label Fire Road. Stripped of excess, each rectangular tile is left with its most essential parts—the edges and pips—which minimizes waste and offers the set a clean, lightweight finish. The laser-engraved spots are scratch-proof and the durable black aluminum drops with a satisfying clink that’s perfect for road-trips and at-home play.
Find Fire Road at The District marketplace.
Chubby chair by Dirk Vander Kooij
Dirk Vander Kooij’s pieces fit right in with Vancouver’s eco-minded lifestyle: the Dutch designer uses recycled and discarded waste to craft his eccentric seats, tables, and lights. His Chubby chair—presented as part of this year’s international design exhibit, the Dutch Exchange: Eindhoven—resembles soft Play-Doh, but is actually made from synthetic materials found inside old refrigerators. Ask Vander Kooij about his reclaimed-plastic SnowMEN speakers while you’re visiting, and be sure to venture into the centre of the Dutch courtyard– or hofje-inspired installation designed by local firm Burgers Architecture Inc., which houses vertical lengths of lush greenery.
Find Dirk Vander Kooij at the Dutch Exchange: Eindhoven, booth 803.
Niko by Most Modest
Forget tucking away your power bars underneath tables and chairs: San Francisco–based design studio Most Modest makes “furniture-style” strips you’ll want to show off. Light-washed wood, hand-carved into a long, hexagonal shape, makes up the body, while a knitted mesh cord—available in jolly shades like yellow, sapphire blue, and ivory—adds a punch of fun to office and work settings. A gorgeous leather strap—meant to control the length of your cord—helps seal the deal.
Find Most Modest at Studio North.
Fin credenza by Ben Barber Studio
Local designer Ben Barber has been on our radar since we spotlighted his pretty, pastel-hued furnishings ahead of last year’s Eastside Culture Crawl and we’re happy to see he’s since added to his whimsy-filled collection. Barber’s entire IDS display is a Candyland dream, with pops of electric-blue, mint, and rose-gold placed atop a bubblegum-pink backdrop, though we’re particularly fond of this three-legged credenza. Here, the customizable piece features a cheery yellow-to-powder-blue gradient and violet, gumdroplike feet—a nod to the designer’s signature bullet bowls—that complete the sweet-as-pie picture.
Find Ben Barber Studio at booth 1327.
U3 Serving Trolley by Bowen Liu Design
Cocktail hour has never looked so good, thanks to Rochester-based designer Bowen Liu’s U3 Serving Trolley. With its white ash construction, curvy silhouette, and sturdy maple wheels, this pared-down bar cart screams Scandinavian minimalism. Gather your guests around the trolley’s gentle slopes for round after round of Old-Fashioneds or simply stock the piece with books and trinkets for a super sleek—and conveniently movable—display case.
Find Bowen Liu Design at booth 1503.
Flat-pack planters by GrooveBox Living
Seattle’s GrooveBox Living is reinventing the gardening game with these slick, steel-and-bamboo planters that collapse in a flash for easy shipping and movement. The pieces come together with a slide-and-lock construction and are available in an array of sizes for the desktop, backyard, patio, and more. The best part? They’re made in snazzy colours like bright orange and grey, so even if your plant isn’t looking too hot, at least the vessel will be. Also, how cool is the compact fire pit that doubles as a bench when not in use? Perfect for condos and Vancouver’s tiny spaces.
Find GrooveBox Living at booth 453.
Starterset by ChopValue
A contender in IDS Vancouver’s Prototype—a design competition among next-gen designers—ChopValue, the brainchild of UBC Forestry PhD candidate Felix Böck, makes furnishings and décor accessories using recycled bamboo chopsticks. According to the startup, over 100,000 of the disposable utensils are tossed into landfills every day in Vancouver, so it’s making an effort to divert the waste by combining the used tools with a water-based resin and compressing them into coasters, tabletops, and shelves. We’re a fan of the starterset: a mix of bamboo tiles and shelves that add an ecofriendly touch to your space.
Find ChopValue at Prototype.
Steel candle-holders by Barter Design Co.
Trained sculptor Kenneth Torrance left his position as a creative director at a South Granville interior-design shop in an effort to reconnect with the city’s makers and their handcrafted pieces. Now the founder of Vancouver’s Barter Design Co., Torrance collaborates regularly with B.C. artisans in an effort to turn their crafts into more viable careers while sharing their one-of-a-kind wares with the world. These sophisticated “smashed-steel” candle-holders are the work of local metalsmith Timothy Dycke and are paired with beeswax lights hand-poured on the Sunshine Coast.
Find Barter Design Co. at booth 1339.
Ttris shelves by Arostegui Studio
Sometimes, good design simply means reducing an object to its most basic state. Case in point: these modular shelves by Victoria-based design firm Arostegui Studio. Crafted in B.C. from lightweight aluminum, the Tetris-inspired pieces are meant to be arranged and rearranged—just like the’80s-era blocks—according to the user’s needs. A selection of bright, upbeat colours like poppy-red, lavender, and mustard further evoke the old-school video game.
Find Arostegui Studio at Studio North.
Scrimshaw light by Hinterland Design
If you’re interested in seeing the creative possibilities provided by B.C.–grown woods, then the booth of Railtown-based firm Hinterland Design is a must-visit. Take five on the studio’s marshmallowlike Pillowy bench and drink in the boho-leaning stools, coffee tables, and the Scrimshaw: a tripod side-table and standing-lamp combo that’s so genius, you’ll wonder why you don’t already own one. (Hello, new nightstand!)
Find Hinterland Design at booth 837.