IDS has a new vision shifting its focus from consumers to professionals

“We are brokers of dialogue,” Director of Conference Programming, Ian Chodikoff mentions as he explains the shift in IDS’ (Interior Design Show 2019) current vision. The expanded programming of “bringing people together to experience the power of design” speaks to the new opportunities the show is trying to foster among the industry.

Traditionally, IDS was the place to see the latest trends in the marketplace. It was where all the designers came to get plugged into whatever new was being released to the consumer. Now, with this new mandate, there is a change in culture in the air. Different professions are now coming together to hear one another speak, see what they are producing and understand the global implications we all have with the products we create.

As someone who is not satisfied with the current housing offerings of condos, townhouses and detached homes in the city. Backcountry Hut Company has created a possible solution to home affordability. They have designed a full-scale concept house built on a new “kit-of-parts” approach to small-scale structures. Measuring under 800 square feet and a cost of just over $200K the Great Lakes Cabin presents a modernist interpretation of rustic living with a spirit of the outdoor culture.

From housing to working environments, Think Inside the Box takes into consideration that humans come in all shapes and sizes, with the ability to enjoy a facet of experiences in their daily lives. But when it comes to the workplace, many companies still have a one-size-fits-all standard. WKRkit is a life-size kit-of-parts that can be organized into thousands of configurations according to one’s “workplace personality.” Just take the test and find out which layout is best suited for you. Throughout the show, this workplace will transform into 8 different settings to fit a creator, coworker, socialite, programmer showman, deal maker and multi-talker.

Lastly, Architect Marina Tabassum took the stage to give a keynote presentation entitled Wisdom of the Land. She talked about her country of Bangladesh and how the land and water are almost indistinguishable because of the changing seasons. There’s constant play between these elements. She shared her process behind a resort she built in a very secluded part of Bangladesh where even she felt like a foreigner in her own country when she visited the site. As a trained architect in modern theory, she knew she had to approach this project differently. She took us through her research into finding the ingredients of the land by looking to the existing landscape for inspiration. The result is a very vernacular design based on local traditions, local labour and local materials. She closed her talk reinstating that 21st-century architecture isn’t about serving the 1% who can afford it but making ourselves available to the 99% who can’t afford it.

This is where design should continue to put its stake in the ground. We all have a purpose in this industry. And building on the narrative around the importance of design is something we all have to take on as ambassadors to change the status-quo culture. I would argue that the power of design isn’t just in experiencing it, but through constant engagement, iteration and conversation is where design can truly make a difference.

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