Good show

Let’s hear it for the Interior Design Show, which, this past January, made a triumphant return to its original location, the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. The North Building never looked so good, and IDS — the 12th annual edition — welcomed a record 48,000 showgoers to the opening-night gala and weekend events. For a glimpse inside the gala (attended by such star designers as Jaime Hayn and Tord Boontje), see Who’s Who (page 47). And for highlights of the show, see Karolina Olechnowicz’s report, “Aiming high” (page 36).

This year IDS spearheaded the inaugural Toronto International Design Festival, a weeklong celebration of local and international designers — with venues across the city hosting design events, exhibits, lectures and more. “IDS and TIDF are a way of making Toronto a must-see design designation,” says Shauna Levy, co-founder of IDS and vice-president of MMPI Canada, creator of the show and festival. “The events are meant to emulate what we see in cities that are home to a major design fair, such as Milan, Miami and London.” The ever-popular Come Up to My Room returned to the Gladstone Hotel, while Radiant Dark relocated to Commerce Court. Other venues included Harbourfront Centre, the Royal Ontario Museum and the Art Gallery of Ontario.

The Design Exchange was home to the week’s key event, an all-day symposium. Conversations in Design: A World Without Oil brought together 15 preeminent designers and thinkers from around the world for a lively and provocative discussion about sustainable design. Dutch-born Boontje was there, in conversation with Enrico Bressen, co-founder of the innovative housewares company Artecnica. So was Dr. Dayna Baumeister of the Biomimicry Guild, the influential worldwide consultancy for bio-inspired design. Canadian participants included visionary designer Bruce Mau; Todd Wood, the VP of Industrial Design at Research in Motion, maker of the BlackBerry; and Mirko Zardini, director of the Canadian Centre for Architecture.

“Mirko did an excellent job setting the stage by explaining how the design community responded to the first energy crisis in the 1970s, and the rest just followed,” says IDS symposium director Rachel Gotlieb. “Architects, designers, captains of industry, museum professional, academics and students were all there, and it was a great meeting of the minds.” CI

Michael Totzke [email protected]