First Look: IDS Vancouver Opens Tonight

A sneak peek at the design magic that awaits at IDS Vancouver this weekend.

September 20, 2018

By Stacey McLachlan / Photo: Stacey McLachlan

It’s like Christmas for the design set: IDS Vancouver brings international inspiration and local heroes together under one roof to show off big ideas and bold new looks. The show opens tonight with the launch party at 7:00 and runs all weekend with speaker events, a bustling bar and interactive displays in full swing. The full list of exhibitors and events can be found here, or you can read on for a sneak peek of the show floor.

Sneak Preview: IDS Vancouver 2018

Greeting guests when they first arrive is a celebration of Canadian design: Canadian By Nature. Featuring mostly designers hailing from or working on the West Coast, you’ll find pieces from local standbys like Bocci, Bensen and Lukas Peet among designs from further-flung contributors like Toronto lighting designers Luvere. Even the display itself is the work of local graphic designers Glasfurd and Walker.

Canada By Nature’s display was the work of Glasfurd and Walker, the graphic designers responsible for much of Vancouver’s coolest restaurant branding.
Paper lanterns from Vancouver’s Molo.
Luvere’s living lighting design is a collaboration with Vancouver florist Wild Bunch.

 

Caesarstone‘s Altered States exhibit pairs a beautiful modernist kitchen (“People on the West Coast have much more modern tastes than the rest of Canada,” says Caesarstone’s national marketing manager John Filomena) next to a more abstract interpretation of the material from Snarkitecture. On the one side, stunning faux-concrete quartz lines a sleek countertop-and-backsplash combo, while on the other, a tower of marble-topped platforms invites visitors to climb up and engage with the structure.

This year’s central bar is a design-build collaboration between architect Michael Leckie and Origins, crafted from over 390 sheets of plywood—it’s an enclosure that creates a cozy, intimate vibe and break from the bustle of the showroom floor, but one that also allows views of all the action through each of the openings. But despite the amount of material it took to create the striking wood-grid structure, there was very little waste, and Leckie hopes that it might find a use after the show is over, too. “Ultimately, we want this to be a stop-over in the life cycle of the wood,” he explains. “Ideally it could be used for a social housing project one day.”

Our sister magazine Western Living has set up camp on the IDS Vancouver floor too, with a celebration of Albertan design curated by Calgary designer Kevin Mitchell and crafted with the help of Ritchie Custom Homes. The booth itself is actually shaped like the province, and kitted out with some of the most engaging modern industrial design, textiles and furniture happening in the scene right now.

Pieces from Alberta’s most interesting design minds fill out the Western Living Alberta ReDefined booth. Mtharu designed the overhead lights.
Designers on display include Ryspot (the colourfully-topped concrete tables), Mtharu (the metallic bar stool) and Loyal Loot (the colourful log bowls). The iron screen on the wall is designed by RNDSQR and manufactured by Mercedes and Singh—the same designers behind Mtharu.
Edmonton’s Birch and Grey designed the coffee table
Ryspot designed the concrete accessories.

Right next door, you’ll find an exploration of a design scene from across the world: What the Hel, a spotlight on Finnish designers. “We want to show we’re more than just minimalism,” says trend analyst Susanna Björklund, who curated the display. To demonstrate, bold wallpapers, rich fabrics and quirky lighting are all in full effect.

What the Hel

There’s plenty to see beyond this, of course—like this year’s Open Studio tasked eight designers with creating retreat-like bathrooms, and The Mix, which pairs a local designer with an out-of-towner for both collaborative on-site and off-site exhibits. But if you miss all the magic, don’t worry: Vancouver’s design scene is here for you all year ’round.

IDS Vancouver runs Thursday, September 20 to Sunday, September 22 at the Vancouver Convention Centre. Find tickets here.

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