IIDEX Celebrating Canadian Design

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To me, IIDEX has always been the kick-off to the Canadian design season. As Canada’s National Design and Architecture Expo and Conference, this is the place where designers and architects gather to see the latest in building products, technology and materials. Taking place at the Direct Energy Centre, as most trade shows go, the majority of the hall was dedicated to vendors showcasing industrial flooring, lighting and decorative elements.

But amidst the repetitive maze-like layout of the show floor, there were several installations that allowed visitors to interact and take some time to see what the local-talent is up to.

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Glamping, also know as “glamourous camping”, was an interactive camp-ground/lounge designed by Mason Studio. Cardboard bears and trees set the stage for an environment full of inflatable and tufted furniture. This urban get-a-way fused the great Canadian outdoors with the modern comforts of the great indoors. The installation focused on showcasing the products of other vendors, sparking a conversation about the space and the displayed articles.

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Woodshop was a collaboration between the City of Toronto, IIDEX Canada, and Ideacious.com that brought together 15 innovative wood prototypes that utilized Toronto’s untapped Ash resource. The installation proposed innovative, market-ready commercial and consumer prototypes to reduce the number of ash trees headed for the landfill.

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Using traditional woodworking processes coupled with digital design and CNC fabrication techniques, Impression by Kerr Design created the intricate details carved into a wooden bowl. Tawt (Blanket Box) by urbanproduct re-imagined the traditional Haidi bentwood boxes into a contemporary form. SLASH + BURN, by Fieldhouse, Ford + Reed, was a collection of turned ash pendant lights that used burning as a finishing technique. Fort York by Rob Southcott Studio was a series of storage furniture constructed from salvaged ash pieces collected throughout the York region.

Did you know that Beyonce and Simon Cowell only use coloured toilet paper?

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The World House Renova installation, designed by Luigi Ferrara was an exploration in the use of colour and design. Available in more than 60 countries, the European brand offers colourful designs and new functional solutions through stylish and environmentally safe products for the home and body. Rolls of paper were constructed to create a variety of new meanings such as a tree, flowers and sexy garments.

Overall, the 2013 IIDEX left me feeling inspired knowing that the Canadian design scene is strong with innovative products and ideas that relate to the culture and resources found in our own backyard.

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