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IDS Vancouver: Design for a different world

How do we create structures, objects and spaces for post-pandemic life?

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The last time the West Coast design glitterati gathered for the annually anticipated Interior Design Show Vancouver (IDS Vancouver) conference it was 2019.

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Now, two virtual conferences later, designers, architects, builders, trades and the general public—some of whom are starved for inspiration after two years of socially distanced design—are back to exchange ideas and soak up the kaleidoscope of inspiration, innovation and eye candy IDS Vancouver is known to deliver.

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There’s no question that the pandemic has fundamentally changed how we live, work and exist within our spaces. Taking place Sept. 22 to 25 at the Vancouver Convention Centre West, the 18th annual IDS Vancouver will invite participants and attendees to explore the realm of new design possibilities with the theme “New Futures.”

IDS Vancouver
IDS Vancouver’s Trade Day on Sept. 23 will include eight seminars, some of which are continuing education accredited, led by some of the industry’s highest design minds. Photo by DENNISTHFOODIE.COM Courtesy ID /PNG

Bronwyn Gourley-Woo, IDS Vancouver’s director of conference, has noticed a heightened level of innovation and excitement heading into the first post-pandemic show, which will feature Canadian and international talent. “From speaking with exhibitors, we have learned that many have used (the pandemic) to incubate and grow their designs and collections, and many are launching new products. There are also many exhibitors that participated in solo options previously who have joined forces and will be exhibiting in collaborative installations,” she explains.

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Kicking off with the always buzzed-about opening night party on Sept. 22, the conference will continue with a full day of back-to-back Trade Day seminars on Sept. 23. On Sept. 24 and 25, folks can take in the array of exhibits from artists, craftspeople, trades, suppliers and designers showing off their wares under the bright lights of the convention centre’s West exhibition hall.

Gillian Segal, a fixture on Vancouver’s design scene for over a decade, has been attending IDS Vancouver since she was a design student and will be one of the six keynote speakers presenting at the event.

After two years of virtual IDS Vancouver conferences, Segal is excited to reconvene with the design community in person. “I get energized from other people,” she explains. The interiors expert is especially looking forward to the keynote speech by fellow designer Nam Dang-Mitchell, known for her unique esthetic that melds traditional and edgy elements.

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During lockdown, Segal saw many changes in the industry, including more opportunities for remote design. Her client base exploded internationally and across Canada, with new inquiries and projects coming in from Canada’s East Coast, the U.S., Mexico and Europe.

Gillian Segal
Sought-after Vancouver interior designer Gillian Segal is a keynote speaker at the 18th annual IDS Vancouver. Photo by The Collective You /PNG

Segal, whose office is based in Yaletown, also noticed clients placing more value on personal spaces in the home, such as the bedroom and outdoor areas.

The designer’s keynote speech will focus on sustainably sourced pieces, encouraging professionals to work with local artists and makers. “I’ll talk about the ethos and strategy behind how we source and where we source, and why (sourcing) vintage goods is a really important part of our design process,” she explains.

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In her Trade Day seminar, Robin Rosebrugh, architecture and design manager at Vancouver-based Steelcase, will discuss designing for a hybrid workforce and the evolution of workspaces in a post-pandemic world.

In her seminar on September 23, Robin Rosebrugh, architecture and design manager at Steelcase will explore the evolution of working life and post-pandemic workplace design.
In her seminar on September 23, Robin Rosebrugh, architecture and design manager at Steelcase will explore the evolution of working life and post-pandemic workplace design. Photo by Steelcase /PNG

In his Trade Day seminar, Passive House: Future Thinking for High Performance Design and Comfort, Vancouver architect, sustainable housing advocate and past-IDS presenter Cedric Burgers will share his knowledge of leading-edge innovations in thermal efficient building. Here, he’ll touch on the importance of taking a holistic approach to passive housing design that integrates the realities of daily living—kids, pets, gardening and entertaining—drawing on his experience living in the West Vancouver passive house he designed for his family.

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And Dr. Melanie Robinson of BIM Academy will cover an exciting new technology called digital twinning, which simulates physical structures to predict how objects or processes will perform in different situations.

Other notable IDS Vancouver programs include Studio North, showcasing the work of independent product designers, and The District marketplace, where attendees can peruse and purchase home and lifestyle goods from more than 20 environmentally and socially conscious Vancouver brands.

IDS Vancouver
An attendee takes in a colourful installation designed by Livingspace Interiors and Paloa Lenti at IDS Vancouver 2019. Photo by DENNISTHFOODIE.COM Courtesy ID /PNG

And a future-themed IDS wouldn’t be complete without an opportunity for interior design students to show off their most innovative and forward-thinking ideas. In the LIV Design Student Challenge, students from BCIT, LaSalle College Vancouver and other schools will present collaborative workspace concepts for a chance to win up to $8,000 and an internship.

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IDS Vancouver takes place Sept. 22 to 25 at the Vancouver Convention Centre — West


10 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Massimo Buster Minale, founder and creative director of Buster + Punch, presented by CANTU Bathrooms & Hardware

11:30 a.m. to noon

Bridgitte Alomes, founder, Natural Pod

Part of the AZURE Trade Talks

1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Lora Appleton, founder, Female Design Council

Part of the AZURE Trade Talks

3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Alessandro Munge, founder and design director at Studio Munge, presented by Caesarstone

In conversation with Elizabeth Pagliacolo, editor in chief, AZURE Magazine


9 a.m.

The Depth of Light by ThinkL Studio

Colour, Material and Finish Forecast: Spring Summer 2023

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10:30 a.m.

Reimagined Outdoor Kitchen Design with Urban Bonfire

Future of Workplace Design with Steelcase

12:30 p.m.

Digital Twinning: The Digital Art of the Future

Women in the Business of Design panel discussion

2:30 p.m.

Passive House: Future Thinking for High Performance Design and Comfort with Cedric Burgers

Kitchen Design for the Home Chef with Alison Kent panel discussion


1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Melanie Cherrier and Laurence Pons-Lavigne, Blanc Marine Interiors

3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Gillian Segal, principal and founder, Gillian Segal Design


House & Home magazine’s Lynda Reeves hosts conversations with Canadian designers on the Caesarstone Main Stage.

1 p.m. to 2 p.m.

The New Mix with Nam-Dang Mitchell, founder, Nam Dang-Mitchell Design Inc.

2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Pure Style with Ami McKay, owner and creative director, PURE Design Inc.

For information and tickets visit Interiordesignshow.com

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