If you build it…

Any trade show worth its salt gets richer in content over time -and IIDEX/Neo- Con Canada is no exception. With new feature exhibits, pavilions, symposiums, seminar streams and learning labs, the 24th annual edition of IIDEX -Canada’s largest exposition and conference for the design, construction and management of the built environment -promises to be bigger and better than ever. For two days in late September, you’ll have to get up early in the morning to experience everything under the roof of Toronto’s Direct Energy Centre.

Of course, the show’s main focus remains the introduction of new products. A new floor plan will be home to more than 400 exhibitors -including Allseating, Allsteel, Dietiker Switzerland, DIRTT Environmental Solutions, the Global Group, Inscape, InterfaceFLOR, Modernweave, Nienkmper, Shaw Contract, Tandus Canada and Teknion.

This year there are four feature exhibits: the Light Canada Expo and Conference, the Green Patient Room, Tomorrow’s Products From Today’s Materials, and canhome.

Sponsored by the Toronto chapter of the Illuminating Engineering Society, Light Canada is the country’s largest lighting expo and conference. Covering 15,000 square feet of floor space, with over 100 Canadian and international exhibitors, it showcases the latest in interior, exterior, commercial and architectural lighting products.

The Green Patient Room makes its debut as the feature exhibit in the new Healthcare Pavilion. The fully sustainable patient room -which embraces the idea that green materials and technologies can be economically viable, readily available and appropriate in healthcare settings -demonstrates the latest design concepts with regard to patient wellness and caregiver safety.

Tomorrow’s Products From Today’s Materials, developed exclusively for IIDEX by Material Connexion, showcases the latest new and sustainable materials from emerging Toronto and Canadian companies. The exhibit is based on a calendar theme, with each of the 52 “weeks” representing a material, or product derived from a particular material.

Being introduced to Canada’s design and architectural community for the first time, canhome is a full-size home that meets LEED standards and spotlights the latest in sustainable living. Designed by George Brown College’s Institute Without Boundaries, the 850-square-foot exhibit offers real-time examples of equilibrium, healthy and flex housing principles in a cool experiential environment.

Always a big draw at IIDEX are keynote speakers from Canada and around the world. This year there are six, covering Lighting, Facility Management, Legend, Environment, Innovation and Architecture.

Abhay Wadhwa (Lighting) heads Manhattan-based AWA Lighting Designers, whose wide-ranging projects run the gamut from a music venue in Mumbai to a state park in New York City. He will discuss the need to respond effectively to diverse local design paradigms, customs, climates, political realities and religious traditions.

Greg Scott (Facility Management) is the director of major projects for the 2010 Winter Olympics to be held in B. C. Scott will share an insider’s view on the challenges and opportunities he’s experiencing as he tackles multi-use buildings in the context of the Olympics.

Klaus Neinkmper (Legend) is president and CEO of Nienkmper, the Toronto furniture and accessories company. He will sit down with the Royal Ontario Museum’s William Thorsell, for a wide-ranging discussion and celebration of his 40-year history as a furniture innovator.

Dr. Michael Braungart (Environment) is the German chemist behind the influential 2002 bestseller -and bible for the next Industrial Revolution –Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things. Braungart will discuss how rethinking products and processes in cradle-to-cradle cycles can create economic, ecological and social value.

Jeremy Gutsche (Innovation), chief trend hunter at the online magazine TrendHunter.com,relentlessly tracks – and finds -the Next Big Thing. He will present a beginning-to-end exploration of how to leverage trends and methodical innovation to generate breakthrough ideas.

Kim Herforth Nielson (Architecture) is partner and principal architect of Copenhagen-based 3XN, one of Europe’s most adventurous architectural practices. He will discuss his 20-year-old firm’s architectural working method, which springs from five words: investigate, ask, tell, draw, and build.

All this plus special receptions, award ceremonies and much more. IIDEX/Neo- Con Canada runs at the Direct Energy Centre, Exhibition Place, Sept. 25 and 26.