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.


June 8th

It’s my birthday today. 36! Some of the major events that are happening today:

The PC party has a majority government for the provincial election which means Doug Ford is the Premier.

Anthony Bourdain has committed suicide, just days after Kate Spade took her life as well.

And I have injuries and bruises from rugby. Who would have thought that I would be playing with kids still in high school on my team? This is definitely a new era in hitting your mid-thirties.

As a challenge to myself, and to defy that saying “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” I am going to do/learn/explore 36 new things this year. It’s a revamped idea to a bucket list, which I am calling my birthday list. At the moment I have 20 items and will look to fill another 16 in the coming months. Check out my list:

  1. Learn to solve a rubix cube
  2. Learn to play the drums
  3. Learn to cook pancit
  4. Learn a new language
  5. Learn to code
  6. Learn to fly a plane
  7. Write a screenplay
  8. Learn to ride a motorcycle
  9. Go hunting
  10. Learn to knit
  11. Learn to silk screen a t-shirt
  12. Re-learn Chopin Waltz Opus. 64 No.2
  13. Get the confidence to sing
  14. Complete a spartan race
  15. Try to solve Einstein’s house problem
  16. Learn to decorate a cake
  17. Learn to shoot video footage with a drone
  18. Exhibit video mapping and projection
  19. Go rock climbing
  20. Speak at a conference


A Turkish Bath

I’ve only done one body treatment. And boy was that a revealing experience. So, my lack of research into what a Turkish bath entailed was, of course, amusing when I got into the room to find out that I would be almost fully naked (except for a piece of cloth around my unmentionables). Continue reading “A Turkish Bath”

Janet Jackson Billboard Icon Award

Last night, the 52-year-old singer became the first black woman to receive the honour. She joins the club of Icon recipients along with Neil DiamondStevie WonderPrinceJennifer LopezCeline Dion and Cher. In her speech, she fully addresses the #MeToo movement with her speech: “It’s a moment when at long last women have made it clear that we will no longer be controlled, manipulated, or abused. I stand with those women and with those men equally outraged by discrimination who support us in heart or mind.” Continue reading “Janet Jackson Billboard Icon Award”

The Royal Wedding – a new era for the monarchy

A new era in the monarchy is taking place. As I watch the recap of the Royal Wedding one woman was being interviewed by a reporter asked her about her thoughts. She said, quite candidly, “she is the first black princess”. There are a lot of firsts happening today, Harry will now be known as His Royal Highness The Duke of Sussex, Earl of Dumbarton and Baron Kilkeel. Meghan will be known as Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Sussex. She will be the first person to hold that title.

Continue reading “The Royal Wedding – a new era for the monarchy”

Speculating the Future of Food

In a recent Monocle Minute newsletter, they featured California-based chef James Corwell who has created Ahimi, a tuna alternative made from tomato, soy sauce, sugar, water and sesame oil. This is coming after the stark realization that within the next 30 years, because of overfishing there may no longer be any fish in the sea. Which means we have to look for some seafood surrogates and realities about our precious ecosystem. Continue reading “Speculating the Future of Food”

Branding a brandless company – Muji

What I love about Muji is the simplicity in their designs. You can see it in every aspect of your home. There’s a sense of zen and cleanness about the look and feel of their products. In recent years this company has started to expand its product line to pre-fab homes to hotel chains in Asia.

Continue reading “Branding a brandless company – Muji”

The power of Fortnite

I never understood the fascination with watching YouTubers play video games. My nephews are addicted to watching DanTDM play Minecraft and now are aspiring to be a gamer on YouTube. I thought it was a generational thing until I asked them about the Fortnite game. They told me that Ninja is the best player and that when they are ready to play the game, they will know how to use all the best moves because of him. Continue reading “The power of Fortnite”