25 and counting

Turning 25 in 2009, IIDEX/NeoCon Canada — the country’s most comprehensive exposition and conference for the design, construction and management of the built environment — is more concerned with the future than the past. There will, of course, be a 25th-anniversary exhibit of IIDEX Innovation Award-winning products at the Direct Energy Centre, home to the show on Sept. 24 and 25. But the theme for 2009 — IIDEX: The Next Twenty Five — puts the emphasis on the latest and most in-depth products, speakers, ideas and events that will shape the next quarter century of design and architecture in Canada and beyond.

The show’s main focus remains the introduction of new products. A new floor plan will be home to more than 350 exhibitors — including DIRTT Environmental Solutions, Inscape, InterfaceFLOR, Modernweave, Nienkmper, Tayco and Teknion.

This year’s special features include the Green Building Festival, Material World, the Light Canada Expo and Conference, and the Green Patient Lab.

IIDEX and the Green Building Festival (which was created in 2005) have forged a strategic partnership to create the most comprehensive exposition focused on sustainable products and services for the built environment. Highlights include visionary keynotes, panels and presentations; a roster of CEU-accredited sustainability seminars; and a tour of a local green design project.

Material World showcases the latest new and sustainable materials from emerging Canadian and international companies. This year, Material World will premiere a special interactive exhibit entitled Think:Material, created specifically for IIDEX. Attendees will be able to see, touch and experience over 50 innovative new materials.

Sponsored by the Toronto chapter of the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES), Light Canada is the country’s largest lighting expo and conference. With over 100 Canadian and international exhibitors, it showcases the latest in interior, exterior, commercial and architectural lighting products, plus lamps and lighting controls. Acclaimed American light artist Stephen Knapp, this year’s Lighting Keynote speaker, will unveil a 12-by-24-inch state-of-the-art installation.

Incorporating visitor feedback from 10 international trade shows — plus private viewings from healthcare practitioners, facility managers, designers and senior managers — 2008’s Green Patient Room returns to IIDEX as the Green Patient Lab. Improvements include a new overall design and a media wall featuring the latest medical technology enhancements.

Always a big draw at IIDEX are keynote speakers from Canada and around the world. This year there are four, covering Lighting, Design, Business and Environment.

Stephen Knapp (Lighting) has been producing lightpaintings — formed at the intersection of painting, sculpture and architecture — for decades, gaining an international reputation for large-scale works of pure radiance. Knapp will discuss the development of lightpaintings; he’ll also examine the impact light art could have on the art and architecture of the future, and how it could change the way we design our buildings.

Stephen Burks (Design), the founder of New York-based Readymade Projects, is one of the most sought-after industrial designers of his generation. He uses every project opportunity to bridge the gap between the luxury brands he works with and his passionate commitment to design with a conscience. Burks will explore hybrid design as an agent of social change.

Bertrand Cesvet (Business) is chairman and senior partner at Sid Lee, a creative-services company with more than 300 employees and collaborators, known as “artisans,” spread across Montreal, Amsterdam and Paris. He will demonstrate commercial creativity in action, presenting Sid Lee’s work for Adidas Originals, which spans multiple consumer touch points, from store design to mass and interactive communications.

Enrique Pealosa (Environment) is one of the world’s most visionary politicians; in his short tenure as mayor of Bogot, Columbia (1998-2001), he transformed the city profoundly. Now a consultant on urban vision and sustainability strategy, Pealosa will focus on sustainable mobility as a tool for achieving social equity.

All this plus special receptions, galas, tours and award ceremonies. The latter includes — for the first time ever — Canadian Interiors’ own Best of Canada Design Awards. The 12th annual awards ceremony promises to be a highlight of IIDEX. CI