Welcomed to IIDEX

Held this past September, IIDEX/NeoCon Canada welcomed visitors in style, thanks to hotel-facade signage inspired by the launch of Hospitality Canada, IIDEX’s new show-within-a-show. An estimated 15,000 people crossed the threshold to attend the country’s most comprehensive expo and conference for the design, construction and management of the built environment.

Back again due to popular demand, THINK:Material showcased more than 50 metals, natural fibres, textiles and other goodies; while design firm II BY IV highlighted favourite items from the studio’s library of materials. Thinkmaterial.ca, an online compilation of exhibited materials, was introduced this year.

Landscape design was brought to the forefront with an all-new Landscape Pavilion, featuring the top exhibitors and suppliers with the greenest thumbs. The pavilion proved to be the source of emerging trends on integrating interior and exterior spaces, and featured an expanded selection of landscape seminars.        

Hockey season came early, thanks to IIDEX’s first-ever office-chair hockey tournament. Originally conceived by Herman Miller, this is a tournament in which teams – wheeling around on ergonomic chairs – compete against each other in a hockey game for charity. Onlookers cheered on the teams and contributed with donations, popping their business cards into a draw to win one of the office chairs (provided by Allsteel, Krug, Herman Miller and Steelcase, among others) for themselves. With Allsteel the ultimate winner, the tournament raised more than $30,000 for Ronald McDonald House Toronto.

Of course the main attraction at IIDEX remains the show floor, featuring the booths of 350 exhibitors. New products abounded, including my five favourites featured on these pages.  

1–Table top

2011 Products Innovation Award Winner, Silver

The Metronome Table by figforty for Nienkämper was designed on a very stable and structural platform. The focus is on the leg components, which provide the greatest stability by use of angles; when pushing on the table there is very little motion. The centre of the table opens up to expose a brightly coloured trough, within which hides all power connectivity. The legs are clear anodized aluminum with polished aluminum details at the top and bottom, or fully polished aluminum. Tabletops are available in wood veneer, laminate or glass. The collection ranges from small meeting tables and individual desks to large-scale boardroom tables.  nienkamper.com1-Smooth operator

2–Smooth operator

2011 Products Innovation Award Winner, Gold

Perillo, designed by Martin Bellendat for Dauphin, is a futuristic lounge chair that seems part origami, part optical illusion: it wraps around itself, flowing seamlessly from backrest to armrests and from seat to floor. Crafted from one continuous sheet of high-gloss thermo plastic, the chair is available with or without an upholstered seat, in several custom colours. With its simple yet sculptural appearance, Perillo makes an elegant addition to a lobby, touchdown area or any space requiring a strong focal point.  dauphin.com

3—Think it, write it

Creating a whiteboard from any surface has never been easier with IdeaPaint’s IdeaPaint PRO, now widely available in Canada. IdeaPaint PRO is a single-coat, roller-applied paint that turns any smooth surface into a high-performance dry-erase writing surface. It can be applied to drywall, chalkboard, metal and even glass surfaces, and comes in both standard and custom colours. Any dry-erase markers will work well on this surface and cleaning is done with a standard dry-erase eraser, dry cotton cloth or micro-fibre towel.  ideapaint.com

4—Raise the mast

Teknion’s new MAST monitor arms have been designed to not only accommodate any type of monitor but also to anticipate ever-changing workplace technology requirements. Using knurled knobs, the user can easily self-adjust the product without tools. The joints are engineered for strength and fluid ease of movement, with a light friction mechanism that ensures the arms stop exactly where required by the user. MAST is built around a stanchion that accommodates up to four monitors on a single-height post, and up to eight monitors by combining dual-height posts side by side. It offers unique advanced wire management that hides vertically flowing wires.  teknion.com 

5—Growth spurt

Distributed by Bluecony, Moll is the desk that grows with your child, thanks to a newly patented, easy-to-use height adjustment. With the touch of a finger, the desktop automatically moves up and down to achieve a desired height, allowing a little one to switch from seated to upright activities. The desktop allows continuous adjustment up to 30 degrees to guarantee the ergonomically correct posture for various activities; a handle beneath releases the angle and returns the desktop gently and safely to its original position. There are five Moll desks to chose from (the Booster, Runner, Sprinter, Runner Compact and Pro Combi), along with accessories ranging from shelving and storage to side tables and lights.   bluecony.com