IIDEX, reborn

This September in Toronto, it’s not the same old IIDEX/NeoCon Canada coming around again. With the involvement of Architecture Canada|RAIC – co-presenting the show with IDC (Interior Designers of Canada) – the country’s National Design + Architecture Exposition & Conference has an expanded multidisciplinary focus. IIDEX is now 10 expos in one: Architecture Canada, Workplace Design, Healthcare Canada, Light Canada, Hospitality Canada, Education Canada, Landscape Architecture, Material World, Textile Design and Retail Design. 

Brand-new attractions abound. Candela (Ottawa Light Art Exhibition) shines a spotlight on the exploration of electric lighting as an artistic medium. The International Pavilion showcases 10 to 15 European manufacturers with a mix of products and photos. Chair Connection – a joint project of IIDEX and Montreal’s SIDIM design show – features chairs manufactured at home and abroad, selected by 30 IDC members across Canada. The YSmell Project, featuring finalists of a new store-design competition by the Toronto chapter of the Retail Design Institute, includes a scent display created by Nose Knows Design. Special Delivery is an exhibition that transforms four truck interiors into site-specific installations; the trucks are accompanied by a special installation at the Fender Bender IIDEX closing party at the Gladstone Hotel. 

Films by Design is an architecture and design film series, extending the programming of this year’s Architecture Keynote speakers. The Architecture Keynote is moderated by Ian Chodikoff, architect and editor of Canadian Architect magazine. It brings together three of the world’s leading practitioners of socially sustainable architecture to relate their experiences in both the nonprofit and private sectors: Janna Levitt, principal of Toronto-based Levitt Goodman Architects; Michael Murphy, founding partner and executive director of Boston’s MASS Design Group; and John Peterson, founder and president of U.S. nonprofit Public Architecture, as well as principal of San Francisco-based Peterson Architects.

Three other keynotes are part of the IIDEX program: Design, Lighting and Hospitality.

Delivering the Design Keynote is Patrick Norguet of Paris-based Studio Norguet Design. One of France’s most renowned and prolific designers, Norguet will explore his industrial design process – informed by the ateliers, artisans and mass producers he has worked with – and how it has evolved into the creation of interior design projects that smartly integrate his furnishings.

Delivering the Lighting Keynote is Will Hastings, senior show lighting designer of Walt Disney Imagineering. Holding an enviable post with one of the world’s most innovative entertainment organizations, Hastings will explore the role of lighting designer as storyteller and, using a variety of past projects as case studies, demonstrate
a theatrical approach to
architectural lighting.

The Hospitality Keynote takes the form of a conversation between Adam D. Tihany of Tihany Design, and Ilana Weitzman, editor-in-chief of enRoute magazine. During the talk, Tihany – widely regarded as one of the world’s preeminent hospitality designers – will discuss his design process and his philosophy that every space should tell a unique story.

All this plus a full roster of award ceremonies and exhibits; various initiatives from Moleskine Canada; the return of SWIPE Books + Objects, Canada’s premier design bookstore – and much more.

Held at Toronto’s Direct Energy Centre, Exhibition Place, IIDEX/NeoCon Canada runs Sept. 20-21. For more information, visit iidexneocon.com.